Saturday, June 27, 2015

Thoughts On The New State Of Marriage

Homosexual marriage is now Federal law.  Or rather the states no longer have the right to accept marriage as only between one man and one woman.

So what's the big deal?

As I've gotten older I realized the "Slippery Slope" argument is very valid.  I couldn't understand it when I was younger, but unfortunately age has proven it to be true.  In the 90's I remember the agument for Civil Unions for gay couples came up.  It was overwealmingly unpopular.  The argument at the tme was that would lead to Gay Marriage.

"No, that's not what we want", was the reply.

Yet, here we are.

"Polygamy will never be an issue, this is not about polygamy and it is an insult to compare the two."

I'm willing to bet money on what is next.  You see, once you change something that has been a religious anchor of Western culture it opens the door for other arguments.

The polygamists can now argue that their rights are being infringed because they cannot marry the two or three men or women they love.  The laws were changed to allow one man and one man to be "Married" or one woman and one woman to be "Married", why limit marriage to only "Two People"?

Don't you love?  Can't love win?  Why are you so Poligaphobic?

You are such a Hater! #H8tr

When the definition of an institution (or the word itself changes) then you can't morally say that it can't change for another group.  The new "Marriages" are not a commitment before God, they are a government contract.  I don't expect polygamy to be the end of this abomination.  Marriage between son and mother?  Marriage between father and daughter?  Marriage beween two brothers?  Why not?  Only those "Nutty Christians" who "Cling to their guns and religion" syand opposed.

The fact the Federal Government is now defining a "Marriage" is exactly why we on the right were so opposed to changing it.

The box is open, Pandora.  There is no closing it.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Art Of Troubleshooting

I've worked tech support for a long time.  Too long actually.  I've watched people come and go, new ideas get implemented and then tanked, old ideas rehashed as new ideas and then tanked.  The one thing that is constant is the methodology of troubleshooting.

I'd like to say it's an art.  It is a skill but I don't know if it can actually be taught.  I've seen a lot of people that can pass all these wonderful tests that crap themselves when a down system call comes in.

Case in point: Down system with a HIGHLY AGITATED customer.  His boss is yelling at him, the users are yelling at him.  Everyone wants the system back online but no one seems to know how to get to that state.

Phones are offline but powered up.

The server is running.

The Phone switch is running.

The IP Network is working for everyone.

Tier 1 gets the call and the customer explodes on them.  They want to troubleshoot as they have been down for over an hour and need this fixed immediately.

Troubleshooting has to begin with the flow of data.  Data is life.

Approach the problem from the most likely to the least likely point of failure.  The phones are down and are all in the same physical building.  They span across multiple phone switches, but the same phone switches that have some non-working phones have working phones.

The customer reset phones and the phone switches and things didn't fix themselves so he called TAC (which is the right thing to do when you are stuck).  The only thing I can fault him on was panicking when things went South.

Panic. Never. Helps.

Follow the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's rule: "Don't Panic".

In this case we had to look from Most Likely to Least Likely.  It is HIGHLY unlikely that 50 phones all suddenly go bad at exactly the same time with exactly the same symptoms.  Think from the phone out.

Phones are network devices first and foremost.

Does the phone have power? Yes
Does the phone boot up? Yes
Can the phone get a DHCP address? No
Does it come up with a cached IP address? Yes
Can you ping the phone's IP address from the server? No
Can you ping the phone's IP address from the phone switch? No
Can you ping the server from the phone? No
Can you ping the phone switch from the phone? No

From these quick tests we've determined the phone is getting power from the network POE switch (so likely the network cable between the phone and network switch is OK).  The phone boots up which indicates internally the phone is OK (no hardware/firmware failure).  The phone DOES NOT get an IP address (potential network problem).  The phone does indicate it's using its cached DHCP address (so the network used to work) but you cannot ping it from the phone equipment it has to connect to in order to operate.  You also cannot ping the phone equipment from the phone sooooo... SURVEY SAYS????

*ding*           IP Network Problem!

Rebooting the network switch the phones connected to corrected the problem and the phones logged in successfully.  Total time to identify the point of failure was around 10 minutes.

I'm not bashing the customer AT ALL.  I just want to use this to give an example of how important clear thinking, identification of the problem and an understanding of data flow is to proper troubleshooting.