Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2005 > Mid-October 2005 Edition

Mid-October 2005 Edition


It has been a very busy month for me at the library. It has been devoted mostly to technical support. I installed new workstations and specialized programs.

One such was a server for a hugh audio distribution system on the library's lower level. I knew the system was old, but not that it was so old that it needed a very slow serial speed (300 bps) to communicate with any computer attached to it. But it took so long to figure that out that I know I lost some hit points off that.

However, I made up those points by the way I have set up an iMac G5 to authenticate (identify itself) to the bsu.edu domain, thereby letting users log onto the campus network. I also succeeded in making the public VendPrint queues visible to the iMac and printing a document to one. (VendPrint queues let users print to the public printers while letting us monitor paper usage.)

The iMac is almost ready to have its hard disk copied into an image to be impressed onto other iMacs. The only real problem now is that domain authentication does not work with wireless connections. I will work on that problem tomorrow.

One of my co-workers is leaving us Friday for California for work of a different sort. I have applied for his job, much of which (until the position is filled) I will be doing anyway.

Museum Days

Rain, high gas prices, and the lack of celebrities clouded this year's town festival.

As this year is the fiftieth anniversary of James Dean's death, you would think that more people would come here this year for Museum Days. Maybe people don't know that it's been fifty years since his demise. Or they think the festival was already done in June. That was a separate James Dean Fest in Marion — speaking of that, the local county prosecutor is going after the organizer for fraud.

However, as secretary of the Friends of the local library, I can report the good news that our Book Sale during Museum Days did very well despite the weather and the obscure location of our tent.

People did come, I have read, for the commemoration of James Dean on the thirtieth. That was sponsored by Warner Brothers this time. I guess WB wanted to make up with the town (the studio could have held it anywhere else) for WB's trouble with the guys who are restoring the old high school. I myself knew nothing about this until I heard strange noises outside my bedroom window that Friday night.

Fall Pledge

I spent three hours on each of two Friday afternoons taking pledges for Indiana Public Radio. The first Friday did not go well: few people called. The second Friday was much, much better: The gentleman (a retired professor) who took calls with me during my very first pledge drive last year was there. On that second Friday we took in over $1500.

This involvement in civic duties (the Friends, the pledge drives) outside my chosen profession is one of the good fruits of my dismissal from the bank. It gave me so much free time that I decided to contribute my time to worthy causes for something to do.


I had an interview for a programmer analyst job involving administrative databases. The job is at a college which is a ninety-minute drive away. The interview took place in the lower level of the college library, which manages the campus computer services.

The college holds a Japanese-like belief in consensus building. Thus I was interviewed many times by the many people and committees whom I will be working with if I should get the job. I was with the heads of computer services (including my possible boss); the computing and network team; a committee of users (mostly financial); and the head of the library himself. After the interview I was dined with some of the interviewers at the local Chili's restaurant.

I have learned that the college's network was sort of organically grown by a history professor, who was chosen because he had some experience in computers. The network did not work well (to be expected with just one router and a bunch of hubs); but it did work, and the administration was blissfully ignorant. Only after a financial crisis, touched off by faulty data entry by one of the administration departments, was the history professor retired, the network rebuilt, and the department put on a more professional footing. That informatic reformation is still going on, with rewiring nearly complete and with a grudging accepting of Windows servers (the college is a bastion of hackerdom).

The college (which I will not name yet) is a very lovely place in a small city that has not been beaten quite as savagely by industrial outsourcing as had Marion and Muncie. The library itself is a compact maze of book stacks, museum exhibits, carrel nooks, committee rooms and archives locked in castered sliding shelves: all in a building that people thought was room enough when it was put together in the 1960's.

Anyway, it would be a nice job to have if I should get it. Naturally I will have to move to the city, or somewhere close, because the college is too far from Fairmount to make commuting practical.

Copyright © 2005 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Written on 12 October 2005.