Being responsible for providing an enterprise-level service is a monumental undertaking. Understatement of the epoch.
That’s partly why my blog entries have slowed to one per week, and why I’ve been MIA from the blogosphere lately.
I tried so hard to take this entire week off. No luck so far. A little Red Hat Linux server box had other plans for me.
Silly me to only plan four hours this morning for the outage. Hah! After twelve hours, most of the problems were licked, but now, all foreign characters in dozens of blogs are showing up as scrambled, garbled text. Damn.
I guess that no matter how well your test environment is running, when you switch it over to production, little unforeseen problems are inevitable.
This server had really needed a rebuild, and this week turned out to be the most opportune time. The original system administrator had accidentally created a script that changed the permissions of every single file on the server to 777. If you don’t know anything about UNIX permissions, that is a very, very bad thing. So the server was partially restored and has been limping along ever since.
Now why did I volunteer to take this on again? Oh yeah, our university really did deserve to have a well-maintained weblog server. I just know that demand for this thing is really going to spike as people start to grasp this whole blog thing.
The students are already doing amazing things with their blogs. For many of the blogs, one can type in a couple of keywords into a Google search box related to the subject of a student’s online project, and that student’s site is the number one-ranked result!
Usually, when a student writes a paper, the student sees it, and the instructor sees it, and the paper gets tucked away in a forgotten file forever. Now what these undergraduates are writing is immediately published in an extremely high-profile manner. Cool, scary, and potentially ground-breaking.
I suppose things like that make it all worthwhile, but I just need a vacation so badly.