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BlueWolf's Howl

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August 03, 2002

Each One Teach One

I think I roped two more.

At work thereís an old program for logging maintenance and other sundry tasks. The program requires the install of an archaic database that assumes itís being run on Win 95. Does it work on Win 2K? Yes. So whatís the problem? The problem centers on security. Win 95 programs assume you have certain rights and privileges. In Win 95 you did. In Win 2K you donít. So the only way to get the program to work is to give elevated privileges to the regular users on the local machine. [In effect, giving you the security of a Win95 machine.]

Okay, so most people still donít know what Iím talking about and why it would even be considered a problem. With Win95 (in a work environment), you couldnít stop people from fiddling with the knobs. They could log in locally and cause quite a bit of tech support troubles (even with system policies in place). With Win 2K, that should have been eliminated. With the proper security, the major part of the local computer should have been virtually idiot-proof. Well... whenever you make something idiot-proof, someone goes out and finds a better idiot. [Three computers this week were trashed because someone who thought they knew what they were doing (and thought they knew far more than the LAN shop) fiddled with the knobs.]

While we are creating new policies and juggling the minutiae of specific rights and privileges to prevent people from stepping on their own *&% Ö I decided to look at the whole system and see if there was a better way to solve the problem. There are only two holdover programs. One is a forms program thatís being resolved at a higher level. Theyíre working on converting it to a web-based format. The other program is this maintenance log. HmmÖ log, shmog, blogÖ OMGÖa BLOG. That would be perfect!

I pitched the idea of MT to my coworkers and manager. It would eliminate the permissions problems. It would be easy to use. It would be easy to maintain. It could generate reports (you could print the daily, weekly, monthly or by category pages). There was still some resistance. My coworkers were hesitant because of the maintenance aspect. My manager was hesitant because of the perceived training required for the users.

So the night before last, I created a new blog. I added an ďAdministrativeĒ user for my coworker. I also added a regular user (with limited permissions) as a comparison. My coworker signed in and took a look around. Heís smart. Heíll figure it all out. Heíll see how easy it is to configure. If he can figure out and learn how to configure ACLs on a firewall, this should be a walk in the park. He posted and then saw the post on the page. His eyes twinkled. Then I showed him the templates area. Iím going to lead him to the resources and let him figure out most of it on his own. Heís developing a new skill and itís exciting to watch. [I love seeing people learn.]

One down, one to go. I ended up chatting with my manager at the end of the day on Friday. We do that sometimes and itís nice to talk as regular people instead of always talking shop. We chatted about weekend plans. I told him about my plans for drawing some cartoons and working on websites, blogs and email lists. Heís recently divorced and currently doing the singles scene. Itís frustrating. He asked me about ďall these peopleĒ he meets that say they met online. He doesnít know how that happens Ė he goes home and checks his email and logs off. He has already explored the chat rooms. They made him feel ďdirtyĒ and werenít very fulfilling. Heís even tried the matchmakers.com stuff. It wasnít what he wanted. Ah! You need a BLOG. That way you can get to know people and they can get to know you and love will blossom. [Dr. Ruth has nothing on me ; ) ] He was open to the idea. BINGO! Got another one on the hook.

So this weekend, Iíll be creating a blog for him. My focus is going to be on ease of use. Iím going to set him up at Blogger (or something similar) and set up his template. Iím going to find some links to get him started and give him some good examples of what blogging is all about. Iím also going to sign him up for blogrolling so that he can easily maintain his own links. Itís been a long time since I used Blogger, but I bet they still donít have comments. He needs comments. Iíll have to put up something like remote dotcomments for him. It will be easy to use. It will look nice. It will get him in a social scene and heíll be happy and really nice to us. Happy people are always nice.

I suspect we will also be getting a new maintenance log (blog) soon.

Posted by BlueWolf on August 3, 2002 11:12 AM