Farewell those sunny gore-filled days

The Xmas Xbox was a huge success - there's nothing quite like a bit of gore and violence on Xmas morning. Then once we'd actually got the thing set up and decided who was going to play what game first we had even more fun.

The Xmas Xbox was a huge success – there’s nothing quite like a bit of gore and violence on Xmas morning. Then once we’d actually got the thing set up and decided who was going to play what game first we had even more fun. It’s met all expectations and I haven’t even had time to consider putting Linux on it yet.

During the relative quiet of everyone else being away from work during the Xmas-New Year period, my IT services manager and I got down to business and had a few “shorts & t-shirts” days where – taking a map, compass and a packed lunch – we made various sorties into our store room in an attempt to make some sense of the past year’s worth of accumulated IT detritus.

In any business there are many, many IT-related tasks that can be delegated and even outsourced but I think sorting IT junk is something every IT manager should do to stay grounded. I never cease to be amazed at the broken-down crap we hang on to on the off chance it’ll instamagically decide to start working again if you ever (a) remember it’s there and (b) bother to get it out and try it. Most of it’s not even good for parts … I take pride in our utilisation of our hardware and my guys are pretty good at canabalising two- or three-year-old PCs to keep one running so by the time stuff falls out the bottom of our system and ends up in the store room it really is junk.

Anyway, having sneezed and wheezed our way through a skip’s worth of dusty rubbish, we’ve now made some space to store this year’s incoming crap so we can do it all again next summer. Ahhh, the cycle of life ... it’s just like in The Lion King.

Following our clean-out, I had my mid-January break and now I’m back and looking at the things I have to get done this year. For starters I have to finish implementing JDE, I have to finalise rolling out our VoIP solution and complete my strategic planning. At the same time I need to get my head around a bunch of things like broadband and wireless (and wireless broadband) and figure out what they’re going to do for us now and in the future. I should also drink less, go to the gym more regularly and call my mother at least once a week, but I’m really trying to focus on things that are achievable.

The thing that’s currently foremost in my mind is how much hotter it gets in Auckland on the day in January on which you have to go back to work. Is it really hotter or is it just because you have to wear long pants and shoes? I wonder if the same thing would happen if I didn’t come back to work until, say, May? What about June? Surely understanding this phenomenon is of sufficient importance that it justifies some major research effort. All I need is a sponsor …

Swanson is IT manager at W Stevenson & Sons in South Auckland. Send letters for publication to Computerworld Letters.

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