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A Roaring Start for the New Kid

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What a week this has been. It started off wonderfully, in my

brand-new job that I inherited from the incomparable Brian Proffitt.

After six years of artfully steering the good ship Linux Today (and

LinuxPlanet, and several other Jupitermedia sites), Brian has moved on

to hobnob with the likes of Linus and other Linux luminaries.


I was very excited and pleased to be chosen as his successor; while I

am not worthy to fill his aromatic old sandals, I will do my best to at

least not wreck the joint.

The happy glow lasted about half a

day. (Boss, if you’re reading this you really should stop now. Really.

The rest is very boring and a waste of your time. Honestly, don’t


It seems to be an unwritten law that starting a new job

excites and incites the spirits of mischief, who then spring into

action and do their darndest to sabotage everything you do, and make

your new bosses wonder what possessed them to ever think you were worth

hiring. Want to know what the spirits of mischief did to me? Whether

you do or not I’m going to tell you. The little beasts possessed my

phone lines and killed my Internet connection.

Oh, it all started innocently enough with a happy email from my service provider:

"Faster Speeds! Please read!


morning starting around 5 am, our technician will be installing the

necessary equipment to increase our backbone, which means faster

speeds! All customers should notice the increase, especially

dsl/broadband customers!

"You should not experience any trouble,

in the event you do have difficulty logging on to the internet once the

network has been restored-a reboot of your computer, router/modem and

equipment, should have you back on line!"

Oh yeah. No sweat.

Just one little problem: by the end of a day punctuated by recurring

outages, not only did I not have New! Faster! DSL!, I didn’t even have

dialup. Nor any phone service at all. In fact as I write this I’m

getting ready to head to a friend’s house to finish working. They’re

sure going to be pleased to see me at 7am tomorrow too! Which is not

quite as bad as being caught with no shelter in a hailstorm, but it’s

close. Pshaw, you say, just go to a coffee shop or Internet cafe. How I

wish I could- this is the sticks, friends, the real backwoods. We’re

lucky to have flush toilets.

The sort-of good news is this has

been a great test-to-destruction trial of my contingency plans. I have many

contingency plans for all occasions. I have a Plan A, and a Plan B, and

several more letters of the alphabet. This is necessary because out in

this here neck of the woods the power likes to go out a lot, and so far

I haven’t figured how to power a computer with a woodstove. So I have

several alternate places to work, and if I have to dialup is always

available. Good old phone company, hanging in through thick and thin.

Except today. No dialup, no phone at all. The phone tech who was theoretically

fixing my phone lines flew out of here at the dot of five, without so

much as a “Haha hoho heehee I’m leaving, sucker”. Guess what, Mr. Phone

Tech- I was sorry that you got stung by wasps at my house. But now I’m

not. I hope they come back for a second attack.

So through

cunning, resourcefulness, and sheer stubbornness I’m getting the job

done. Which just goes to show that stubbornness can be a positive

trait, and I’m going to make sure my mom reads this because she always

thinks I’m too stubborn. Well this time it paid off, Mom! Haha!


Linux Today readers, new, old, and middlin’, and barring plagues of

locusts and rivers of blood, you’re stuck with me! (I think locusts are

covered by Plan W…)

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