Navy story time, and this one is lengthy.
As a Lieutenant Jr. I served for a year on a large (>100m) ship, with the duties of assistant navigation officer, and of course, unofficial computer guy. When I first entered the ship (carrying my trusty laptop), I had to wait for 2 hours at the officer's wardroom... where I noticed an ethernet plug. After 15 minutes of waiting, I got bored. Like, really bored. What on TCP/IP could possibly go wrong?
So, scanning the network it is. Besides the usual security holes I came to expect in ""military secure networks"" (Windows XP SP2 unpatched and Windows 2003 Servers, also unpatched) I came along a variety of interesting computers with interesting things... that I cannot name. The aggressive scan also crashed the SMB service on the server causing no end of cute reactions, until I restarted it remotely.
But me and my big mouth... I actually talked about it with the ship's CO and the electronics officer, and promptly got the unofficial duty of computer guy, aka helldesk, technical support and I-try-to-explain-you-that-it-is-impossible-given-my-resources guy. I seriously think that this was their punishment for me messing around. At one time I received a call, that a certain PC was disconnected. I repeatedly told them to look if the ethernet cable was on. "Yes, of course it's on, I am not an idiot." (yea, right)
So I went to that room, 4 decks down and 3 sections aft. Just to push in the half-popped out ethernet jack. I would swear it was on purpose, but reality showed me I was wrong, oh so dead wrong.
For the full year of my commission, I kept pestering the CO to assign me with an assistant to teach them, and to give approval for some serious upgrades, patching and documenting. No good.
I set up some little things to get them interested, like some NMEA relays and installed navigation software on certain computers, re-enabled the server's webmail and patched the server itself, tried to clean the malware (aka. Sisyphus' rock), and tried to enforce a security policy. I also tried to convince the CO to install a document management system, to his utter horror and refusal (he was the hard copy type, as were most officers in the ship). I gave up on almost all besides the assistant thing, because I knew that once I left, everything would go to the high-entropy status of carrying papers around, but the CO kept telling me that would be unnecessary.
"You'll always be our man, you'll fix it (sic)".
What could go wrong?
I got my transfer with 1 week's notice. Panic struck. The CO was... well, he was less shocked than I expected, but still shocked (I learned later that he knew beforehand, but decided not to tell anybody anything). So came the most rediculous request of all:
To put down, within 1 A4 sheet, and in simple instructions, the things one had to do in order to fulfil the duties of the computer guy.
My answer:
"What I can do is write: 'Please read the following:', followed by the list of books one must read in order to get some introductory understanding of network and server management, with most accompanying skills."
I was so glad I got out of that hellhole.

  • 16
    Within one A4 sheet??
  • 5
    It's like writing Ulysses on a scrap of paper.
  • 3
    "everything. the end"

    cool story! next time univercity, or hospital.
  • 3
    All you need to know to be able to call yourself a Windows admin is how to click "next, next, next, finish" in a wizard - should be able to fit that on an A4
  • 4
    Can I have the list of books?
  • 0
    I've seen Air Force Systems and they will never upgrade form XP. They say all of their softwares are compatible only with XP 🤷🏻‍♂️.
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