No, you’ve just been reamed by something abnormally large…. and so it is with bitter irony that I note that literally right after a post stating that I am talking too much (for the health of my own job) about my day job, here I go, talking about my day job…
One of the scribes in The Register was talking today about how good things are in the present tech bubble, I’m all WTF, but of course it’s like the present housing bubble, if you’re in the city of London, it’s pedal to the metal boom time, eg it’s a geographically small fucking bubble… and if you’re inside it, you can’t see out.
Outside that tech bubble, there isn’t any good stuff going on, it is all what I like to call “churn”, eg company with crap IT systems decides to save money, and moves from ISP 1 to ISP 2, I do the actual moving, and ask myself why the fuck they are doing it, because it isn’t any cheaper or better or anything else, not in reality and at the end of the process, it is all bollocks.
When you are compulsive CYA notes taker, if you stay in the same job long enough you start to see shit, simply because you are in the same place long enough to have a perspective, and your CYA notes give you reference points based in fact…
So you go to a big brand high street restaurant, site is down, site depends on a single mid range router, 400 quid ish new, so you go through your notes because you recognise the place, and lo and behold you did the original install 18 months ago when the place was first shop-fitted out, and what’s this you see on your notes, oh yes, 18 months ago you were fitting the PRIMARY router, you were to come back at some later date and fit the BACKUP, everything else was in place including the dual xDSL lines, on-site networking, cabs, etc.
So in a bid to save a one off 400 quid on a router and 50 a month on activating the second xDSL line, a big name high street restaurant with minimum 200 covers goes hard down all weekend, cash only… but then in a bid to save other monies they only have one English staff member, the manager/ess, all the other staff are fringe european who of course work longer hours for less money than the locals and all live together in rented accoms, but you sack one of them and the whole crew leaves, again shutting your site…
Of course it took several visits from our engineers to sort the problem, because our engineers fall into two categories, those who are on good money and aren’t actually worth it, and those who are on sweet fuck all, and even if they know it, they don’t give a fuck.
This is compounded by the fact that the engineers at the ISP that we have to liaise with are all Indian, as in not Indian genetically but with british accents and culture, as in Indian Indian, working here on minimum wage, living in shared accoms as a crew, and more interested in following an expert system script than doing anything useful, even if they knew how…
So it is pure luck that I have been to the site before, so, I can like, compare shit… http://winmerge.org/ …and also pure luck that the guy I happen to be speaking to at the ISP is a/ english b/ knows his shit c/ hasn’t yet had his day turned to crap, so he like me has looked at what everyone else involved to date has written down about the job, and note that it doesn’t make logical sense…
For example, lots of cisco routers have two specific LED’s amongst all the others, CD and PPP, carrier detect and point to point protocol.
xDSL is badexampleguy like FM radio, the data is carried on a frequency, or rather a set of them, call it the carrier frequency, so when you can detect the carrier frequency, you have a connection between the modem/router and the local exchange DSLAM… and the CD light comes on solid….
..from there the modem router in your shop talks via the DSLAM to the BRAS/RADIUS server at the ISP, and says hey, I’m Fred and I’m a paid up customer on this number, can I get on to teh intertubez plizz…. and if all that goes well, you get your solid PPP light / lock.
So when the fucking thing is sitting there with CD solid on, and PPP solid off, and previous engineers are blaming the LINE between the site and the exchange…. you know something ain’t logical like… because that line is providing the CD lock connectivity…
… plus the manageress was a nice chick, pleasant and smiley and “can I get you another coffee?” and all that good stuff.. so you’re more inclined than if they are a miserable asshole.
the cisco commands
debug ppp neg
debug ppp neg auth
u all (always u all when done, to stop debugging, or you’ll bog down and crash that shit)
would have told any of the previous engineers on site what was up, but what do I know, I’m not a cisco certified mother-fucker, and these guys were, so they have all forgotten more about IOS than I will ever know, apparently.
So they don’t need to read http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/docs/wan/point-to-point-protocol-ppp/25440-debug-ppp-negotiation.html
So they couldn’t work out that either the CHAP username or password, as supplied by the ISP mind ewe, was wrong, and indeed different to what it was back 18 months ago when I did the original install.. winmerge is *magic* at finding differences in files….
I wish I could tell you that this sort of shit was rare, or typos in IP address ranges, or mistaken selections of xDSL annexe A/M, or conflicts between speeds being set fixed on one box and set on full duplex auto on another…..
Of course it (it being the configuration change that has made the router fail) is always blamed on power outages, the guy who just walked out the door, the phase of the moon, how many minutes elapsed since obama was last on the golf course.
Which is absolutely amazing, because when you actually find the smoking gun, as above in the restaurant, out of the entire ASCII character set that those randy little gremlins could have chosen to fuck with us all with, completely fucking randomly like, it’s always two characters of a password that are transposed, or the casing of the character swapped, or an entire word duplicated perfectly from the previous field / command… fucking amazing…
But, we are assured by the likes of our el Reg scribe, who, due to readership volume and so on and so forth, has a *vastly* greater voice than me, a voice loud enough *other* journos in other fields hear, and quote in their own regurgitated articles, that the tech industry is so BOOM that it is actually a bubble…..
Really? If it is a boom time bubble, and it bursts, what will happen to the likes of our Don Mangari ristorante next time their single internet connection goes down and leaves the site hard down and shut for everything except cash sales, at which you can’t redeem your vouchers or coupons or membership card discounts either bro…. given that this is boom time and they still don’t have a backup installed and it took 4 engineer visits and 3 lost working days to sort, in boom time…lol