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Field Guide to Unix System Administrators

There are four major species of Unix sys admin:

  1. The Technical Thug. Usually a systems programmer who has been forced into system administration; writes scripts in a polyglot of the Bourne shell, sed, C, awk, perl, and APL.
  2. The Administrative Fascist. Usually a retentive drone (or rarely, a harridan ex-secretary) who has been forced into system administration.
  3. The Maniac. Usually an aging cracker who discovered that neither the Mossad nor Cuba are willing to pay a living wage for computer espionage. Fell into system administration; occasionally approaches major competitors with indesp schemes.
  4. The Idiot. Usually a cretin, morpohodite, or old COBOL programmer selected to be the system administrator by a committee of cretins, morphodites, and old COBOL programmers.

How To Identify Your System Administrator

Situation: Low disk space

Situation: Excessive CPU usage.

Situation: New account creation.

Situation: Root disk fails.

Situation: Poor network response.

Situation: User questions.

Situation: Stupid user questions.

Situation: Process accounting management.

Situation: Religious war, BSD vs. System V.

Situation: Religious war, System V vs. AIX

Situation: Balky printer daemons.

Situation: OS upgrade.

Situation: Balky mail.

Situation: Users want phone list application.

Other Guidelines

Typical Root .cshrc File:

Hobbies, Technical:

Hobbies, Nontechnical:

1992 Presidential Election:

1996 Presidential Election:

Compound System Administrators

[ The Humor Library ] Field Guide to Unix SysAdmins
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