Tuesday, 5 October 2010

User Group and a rogue unix command

It was our User Group this morning - always well attended and a chance to bring our customers up to date with developments and get some feedback. Began with a projects update:
  • MOLE2 (our new VLE ) is going well and live in 2 pilot departments, being rolled out to rest of University over next year or so.
  • Google - we've made the decision now in principle to implement Google apps for staff, moving mail at Christmas and calendar and other apps soon after
  • Upgrade to our student system - technical upgrade completed and gone well, look and feel upgrade now in progress.
  • New portal (to be based on Liferay) progressing well

Other things we talked about were recent incidents and performance problems, and the complexity of systems, processes, configuration and data which underlies everything we do. Trying to get a handle of not just the systems, but the business processes, to simplify them is our next big thing.

I then gave a version of my "Challenges Facing an IT Director" presentation, which I've blogged about before, leading into an explanation of our new governance process, based on service management. Illustrated beautifully by this simple diagram:

Finally we had a very good presentation on our upgraded  Content Management System which is about to go live. This is something we've been justifiably criticised for over the past couple of years as the version of the system we've been running is not brilliant, but the upgraded one is much better!

Then a discussion with our internal auditors about our next audit - on Freedom of Information - more on that as it happens!

At the end of this afternoon, a couple of things that make me love working in CiCS. Someone (who shall remain nameless unless outed in the comments), made a little mistake with a unix command and deleted something he shouldn't have. The command was " rm -R * " which might mean something to unix people :-).  Anyway, he was promptly visited by our Unix group leader who beat him over the head repeatedly with a plastic hammer and then pinned a P45 to his desk. Perhaps not a mistake he'll make again!

And the second thing was someone introducing me to Flipboard for the iPad. It's brilliant! So elegant, and such a different way to  look at social media.


Anonymous said...

This endorsement of Blackboard ( a company wih a history of success through litigation) and Apple products does not fill me me with confidence.

Hence the anonymity.

Chris Sexton said...

Confidence with what - me? CiCS?, the University? As a department we use - and therefore presumably by your definition "endorse" - products by many companies. Microsoft, Oracle, Novell, HP, Sun, SAP. The list could go on and on. Do any of them fill you with confidence?

George Credland said...

" rm -R * " in English means recursively delete all files. A quick way of tidying up but you have to be careful to run it from the right directory as there's no "Are you sure?" confirmation.

Chris Sexton said...

I was surprised about the no "are you sure" question, but apparently unix assumes you know what you're doing.....

Richard said...

This is where a GUI is clearly better - the little dog would pop up and say "You look like you're about to recursively delete your entire file system. Do you really want to do that?"

And then you can click "Yes".

Jonathan said...

At my previous employers such feats were rewarded with the presentation of a spanner, for that is what they were, to the person(s) responsible and this was held until the next snafu.

rob said...

I have done this in the past (who hasn't). No one was happy, but someone did say if the permissions had been set better it would not have been possible.

Paul Leman said...

hey Anonymous, don't hide behind your cloak of invisibilty - tell us who you are and/or which marvellous products you trust