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Θέμα: 4 species of UNIX Administrators



(nil): Akis Karnouskos (akis(@)ceid.upatras.gr)
Ημερομηνία: Τρι 10 Ιούν 1997 - 09:43:29 EEST

There are four major species of Unix sysad:

  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 sys-admin:

Situation: Low disk space.

Technical Thug:
     Writes a suite of scripts to monitor disk usage, maintain a database
     of historic disk usage, predict future disk usage via least squares
     regression analysis, identify users who are more than a standard
     deviation over the mean, and send mail to the offending parties.
     Places script in cron. Disk usage does not change, since disk-hogs, by
     nature, either ignore script-generated mail, or file it away in
     triplicate.

Administrative Fascist:
     Puts disk usage policy in motd. Uses disk quotas. Allows no
     exceptions, thus crippling development work. Locks accounts that go
     over quota.

Maniac:

     # cd /home
     # rm -rf `du -s * | sort -rn | head -1 | awk '{print $2}'`;

Idiot:

     # cd /home
     # cat `du -s * | sort -rn | head -1 | awk '{ printf "%s/*\n", $2}'` | compress

     ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Situation:
     Excessive CPU usage.

Technical Thug:
     Writes a suite of scripts to monitor processes, maintain a database of
     CPU usage, identify processes more than a standard deviation over the
     norm, and renice offending processes. Places script in cron. Ends up
     renicing the production database into oblivion, bringing operations to
     a grinding halt, much to the delight of the xtrek freaks.

Administrative Fascist:
     Puts CPU usage policy in motd. Uses CPU quotas. Locks accounts that go
     over quota. Allows no exceptions, thus crippling development work,
     much to the delight of the xtrek freaks.

Maniac:

     # kill -9 `ps -augxww | sort -rn +8 -9 | head -1 | awk '{print $2}'`

Idiot:

     # compress -f `ps -augxww | sort -rn +8 -9 | head -1 | awk '{print $2}'`

     ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Situation:
     New account creation.

Technical Thug:
     Writes perl script that creates home directory, copies in
     incomprehensible default environment, and places entries in
     /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow, and /etc/group. (By hand, NOT with
     passmgmt.) Slaps on setuid bit; tells a nearby secretary to handle new
     accounts. Usually, said secretary is still dithering over the
     difference between 'enter' and 'return'; and so, no new accounts are
     ever created.

Administrative Fascist:
     Puts new account policy in motd. Since people without accounts cannot
     read the motd, nobody ever fulfills the bureaucratic requirements; and
     so, no new accounts are ever created.

Maniac:
     "If you're too stupid to break in and create your own account, I don't
     want you on the system. We've got too many goddamn sh*t-for-brains
     a**holes on this box anyway."

Idiot:

     # cd /home; mkdir "Bob's home directory"
     # echo "Bob Simon:gandalf:0:0::/dev/tty:compress -f" > /etc/passwd

     ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Situation:
     Root disk fails.

Technical Thug:
     Repairs drive. Usually is able to repair filesystem from boot monitor.
     Failing that, front-panel toggles microkernel in and starts script on
     neighboring machine to load binary boot code into broken machine,
     reformat and reinstall OS. Lets it run over the weekend while he goes
     mountain climbing.

Administrative Fascist:
     Begins investigation to determine who broke the drive. Refuses to fix
     system until culprit is identified and charged for the equipment.

Maniac, LARGE SYSTEM:
     Rips drive from system, uses sledgehammer to smash same to flinders.
     Calls manufacturer, threatens pets. Abuses field engineer while they
     put in a new drive and reinstall the OS.

Maniac, SMALL SYSTEM:
     Rips drive from system, uses ball-peen hammer to smash same to
     flinders. Calls Requisitions, threatens pets. Abuses bystanders while
     putting in new drive and reinstalling OS.

Idiot:
     Doesn't notice anything wrong.

     ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Situation:
     Poor network response.

Technical Thug:
     Writes scripts to monitor network, then rewires entire machine room,
     improving response time by 2%. Shrugs shoulders, says, "I've done all
     I can do," and goes mountain climbing.

Administrative Fascist:
     Puts network usage policy in motd. Calls up Berkeley and AT&T, badgers
     whoever answers for network quotas. Tries to get xtrek freaks fired.

Maniac:
     Every two hours, pulls ethernet cable from wall and waits for
     connections to time out.

Idiot:

     # compress -f /dev/en0

     ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Situation:
     User questions.

Technical Thug:
     Hacks the code of emacs' doctor-mode to answer new users questions.
     Doesn't bother to tell people how to start the new "guru-mode", or for
     that matter, emacs.

Administrative Fascist:
     Puts user support policy in motd. Maintains queue of questions.
     Answers them when he gets a chance, often within two weeks of receipt
     of the proper form.

Maniac:
     Screams at users until they go away. Sometimes barters knowledge for
     powerful drink and/or sycophantic adulation.

Idiot:
     Answers all questions to best of his knowledge until the user realizes
     few UNIX systems support punched cards or JCL.

     ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Situation:
     *Stupid* user questions.

Technical Thug:
     Answers question in hex, binary, postfix, and/or French until user
     gives up and goes away.

Administrative Fascist:
     Locks user's account until user can present documentation
     demonstrating their qualification to use the machine.

Maniac:

     # cat >> ~luser/.cshrc
     alias vi 'rm \!*;unalias vi;grep -v BoZo ~/.cshrc > ~/.z; mv -f ~/.z ~/.cshrc'
     ^D

Idiot:
     Answers all questions to best of his knowledge. Recruits user to
     system administration team.

     ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Situation:
     Process accounting management.

Technical Thug:
     Ignores packaged accounting software; trusts scripts to sniff out any
     problems & compute charges.

Administrative Fascist:
     Devotes 75% of disk space to accounting records owned by root and
     chmod'ed 000.

Maniac:
     Laughs fool head off at very mention of accounting.

Idiot:

     # lpr /etc/wtmp /usr/adm/paact

     ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Situation:
     Religious war, BSD vs. System V.

Technical Thug:
     BSD. Crippled on System V boxes.

Administrative Fascist:
     System V. Horrified by the people who use BSD. Places frequent calls
     to DEA.

Maniac:
     Prefers BSD, but doesn't care as long as HIS processes run quickly.

Idiot:

     # cd c:

     ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Situation:
     Religious war, System V vs. AIX

Technical Thug:
     Weeps.

Administrative Fascist:
     AIX-- doesn't much care for the OS, but loves the jackboots.

Maniac:
     System V, but keeps AIX skills up, knowing full well how much Big
     Financial Institutions love IBM...

Idiot:
     AIX.

     ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Situation:
     Balky printer daemons.

Technical Thug:
     Rewrites lpd in FORTH.

Administrative Fascist:
     Puts printer use policy in motd. Calls customer support every time the
     printer freezes. Tries to get user who submitted the most recent job
     fired.

Maniac:
     Writes script that kills all the daemons, clears all the print queues,
     and maybe restarts the daemons. Runs it once a hour from cron.

Idiot:

     # kill -9 /dev/lp ; /dev/lp &

     ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Situation:
     OS upgrade.

Technical Thug:
     Reads source code of new release, takes only what he likes.

Administrative Fascist:
     Instigates lawsuit against the vendor for having shipped a product
     with bugs in it in the first place.

Maniac:

     # uptime
     1:33pm up 19 days, 22:49, 167 users, load average: 6.49, 6.45, 6.31
     # wall
     Well, it's upgrade time. Should take a few hours. And good luck on that
     5:00 deadline, guys! We're all pulling for you!
     ^D

Idiot:

     # dd if=/dev/rmt8 of=/vmunix

     ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Situation:
     Balky mail.

Technical Thug:
     Rewrites sendmail.cf from scratch. Rewrites sendmail in SNOBOL. Hacks
     kernel to implement file locking. Hacks kernel to implement "better"
     semaphores. Rewrites sendmail in assembly. Hacks kernel to . . .

Administrative Fascist:
     Puts mail use policy in motd. Locks accounts that go over mail use
     quota. Keeps quota low enough that people go back to interoffice mail,
     thus solving problem.

Maniac:

     # kill -9 `ps -augxww | grep sendmail | awk '{print $2}'`
     # rm -f /usr/spool/mail/*
     # wall
     Mail is down. Please use interoffice mail until we have it back up.
     ^D
     # write max
     I've got my boots and backpack. Ready to leave for Mount Tam?
     ^D

Idiot:

     # echo "HELP!" | mail tech_support.AT.vendor.com%kremvax%bitnet!BIFF!!!

     ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Situation:
     Users want phone list application.

Technical Thug:
     Writes RDBMS in perl and Smalltalk. Users give up and go back to
     post-it notes.

Administrative Fascist:
     Oracle. Users give up and go back to post-it notes.

Maniac:
     Tells the users to use flat files and grep, the way God meant man to
     keep track of phone numbers. Users give up and go back to post-it
     notes.

Idiot:

     % dd ibs=80 if=/dev/rdisk001s7 | grep "Fred"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Other guidelines:

Typical root .cshrc file:

Technical Thug:
     Longer than eight kilobytes. Sources the output of a perl script,
     rewrites itself.

Administrative Fascist:
     Typical lines include:

     umask 777
     alias cd 'cd \!*; rm -rf ching *hack mille omega rogue xtrek >& /dev/null &'

Maniac:
     Typical lines include:

     alias rm 'rm -rf \!*'
     alias hose kill -9 '`ps -augxww | grep \!* | awk \'{print $2}\'`'
     alias kill 'kill -9 \!* ; kill -9 \!* ; kill -9 \!*'
     alias renice 'echo Renice\? You must mean kill -9.; kill -9 \!*'

Idiot:
     Typical lines include:

     alias dir ls
     alias era rm
     alias kitty cat
     alias process_table ps
     setenv DISPLAY vt100

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hobbies, Technical:

Technical Thug:
     Writes entries for Obsfuscated C contest. Optimizes INTERCAL scripts.
     Maintains ENIAC emulator. Virtual reality .

Administrative Fascist:
     Bugs office. Audits card-key logs. Modifies old TVs to listen in on
     cellular phone conversations. Listens to police band.

Maniac:
     Volunteers at Survival Research Labs. Bugs office. Edits card-key
     logs. Modifies old TVs to listen in on cellular phone conversations.
     Jams police band.

Idiot:
     Ties shoes. Maintains COBOL decimal to roman numeral converter.
     Rereads flowcharts from his salad days at Rand.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hobbies, Nontechnical:

Technical Thug:
     Drinks "Smart Drinks." Attends raves. Hangs out at poetry readings and
     Whole Earth Review events and tries to pick up Birkenstock MOTAS.

Administrative Fascist:
     Reads _Readers Digest_ and _Mein Kampf_. Sometimes turns up car radio
     and sings along to John Denver. Golfs. Drinks gin martinis. Hangs out
     in yuppie bars and tries to pick up dominatrixes.

Maniac:
     Reads _Utne Reader_ and _Mein Kampf_. Faithfully attends Dickies and
     Ramones concerts. Punches out people who say "virtual reality." Drinks
     damn near anything, but favors Wild Turkey, Black Bush, and grain
     alcohol. Hangs out in neighborhood bars and tries to pick up MOTAS by
     drinking longshoremen under the table .

Idiot:
     Reads _Time_ and _Newsweek_-- and *believes* them. Drinks
     Jagermeister. Tries to pick up close blood relations-- often succeeds,
     producting next generation of idiots.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Compound System Administrators:

Technical Fascist:
     Hacks kernel & writes a horde of scripts to prevent folk from ever
using more than their fair share of system resources. Resulting overhead
and load brings system to its knees.

Technical Maniac:
     Writes scripts that SEEM to be monitoring the system, but are actually
encrypting large lists of passwords. Uses nearby nodes as beta test sites
for worms.

Technical Idiot:
     Writes superuser-run scripts that sooner or later do an "rm -rf /".

Fascistic Maniac:
     At first hint of cracker incursions, whether real or imagined, shuts
down system by triggering water-on-the-brain detectors and Halon system.

Fascistic Idiot:

# cp /dev/null /etc/passwd

Maniacal Idiot:
     Napalms the CPU.


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