Spooky Baltimore and LISA 09

October 29, 2009

Photo by Sidewalk Flying (via Flickr, Creative Commons)

It’s that time of year and we’re feeling Halloweeny and spooky … and we’re thinking about Baltimore. Some of us will be there next week for LISA 09. Perhaps Baltimore’s spookiest citizen was Edgar Allan Poe, not really a guy you’d want around a campfire — or the graveyeard helpdesk shift!

Spookiest of all is that Poe was just recently re-funeraled. Weird but true. Apparently just seven people showed to his original funeral, so on the bicentennial of his birth earlier this month, Baltimore held a public viewing of his body and a funeral procession. Check this really beautiful (in a freaky kind of way) Flickr set.

Here is some more info on Haunted Baltimore. It’s got more good stuff on Poe.



LISA 09 … The Fun Stuff (Like a Field Trip to the National Cryptologic Museum!!)

October 28, 2009

LISA 09, the Large Installation System Administration conference kicks off next week at the Baltimore Marriott. All you need to know is on their website. Wwe thought we’d highlight some of the funner things you can do at LISA. Tomorrow we’ll be writing about great stuff to do (eat, drink, see, etc.) in Baltimore.

Board Game Night: Sunday, November 1, 8:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m., Essex C

Exhibit Hall Happy Hour: Wednesday, November 4, 5:30 p.m.–7:00 p.m., Grand Ballroom Salons VI–X. And yes, this IS shameless Self-Promotion Moment.. BigFix is sponsoring this so it will definitely be fun

Post Halloween Dress-Up Conference Reception (officialy called Halloween II) Prizes will be awarded for best costumes—though they are optional.  Thursday, November 5, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Grand Ballroom Salons VI–X

BigFix: SysAdmin of the Year Award Party. (As in the thing we’ve been writing about on this blog for a few weeks!) Wednesday, November 4, 9:30 p.m.–11:30 p.m., Harborside Ballroom D & E

LISA ’09 Scavenger Hunt. Ripped from the pages of the LISA 09 website is this description: “We’re mixing things up and summoning your inner detectives this year with the new LISA Scavenger Hunt. Inside your registration packet you’ll find a LISA ’09 Scavenger Hunt Card with characteristics of folks who either helped to organize or are participating in LISA ’09. Use your finest sleuthing skills to locate people who fit the bill, take a moment to chat with them, and ask them politely for their signatures. All you need to win are 10 signatures. Once you’ve got your 10, drop by the USENIX Membership Booth to spin the Prize Wheel. Prizes range from T-shirts through key chains to free conference passes and more. Don’t miss out on the fun: Join in the LISA ’09 Scavenger Hunt and spin to win!”

Optional Field Trip to the National Cryptologic Museum (how cool!) Saturday, November 7, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

This caption might be in code



Profiling “…soihadto” Sysadmin of the Year Gala Headliners… Plus Tweet to Win a Prize

October 27, 2009

The Sysadmin of the Year awards gala is coming up fast… Nov. 4 in the evening at the Large Installation System Administration (LISA) conference in Baltimore.  BigFix has signed indie rockers “…soihadto” to headline the event. In a minute, we’ll profile the band. But first, if you’re into music here’s a quick chance to win something for helping us promote …soihadto and this blogpost.

Tweet your favorite …soihadto song or fact. Append your tweet with the hashtags #soihadto and #sysadmin and you can be one of three lucky winners of TuneUp, the software that “automagically” cleans up your iTunes. A link to the music is below.

Alright… on to profiling the band.

...soihadto are Rahn, Yungwirth, Duff and Honus

…soihadto fuses indie, punk, hardcore and  soul-funk and they are ALL about live music. It is their core. This is what the band has to say about themselves on MySpace:

If any one thing brought the members of …soihadto… together, it’s the belief that music isn’t simply meant to be listened to, it’s to be experienced. Rahn, Duff, Honus and Yungwirth fuel their performances with a love for the pure, immersive sound of performing live.

You can check out three …soihadto songs (and download free MP3s) at ilike.com/artist/…soihadto And there are some great images from various photographers on Flickr.

Duff Goldman, on bass, is perhaps the most known of the four …soihadtoans. He gets his own Wikipedia entry. He is the star of Food TV’s Ace of Cakes, a reality TV show. They make cakes. In fact, as we wrote yesterday, Duff’ll be making a cake for 200 lucky Sysadmins to devour at the gala. Here’s Duff in a funny promo for the show:

The other  guys are equally awesome. You can tell by their music and their MySpace profiles.

Rahn on guitar. His MySpace profile has this to say: “there’s a big difference between talent and gimmick.” Those are some true and honorable words.

Yungwirth, also on guitar, says “Courage makes a King.”

Honus on the drum kit. He says “Who He?” Seems his profile pic answers the question quite well. He awesome!

If you’re at LISA make sure to check out …soihadto. And remember to Tweet to win your musical prize today.



Rumors: What Will The Ace of Cakes Bake for The Sysadmins?

October 26, 2009

Most expect that the Ace of Cake’s cake for 200 sysadmins to be revealed Nov. 4 at the LISA conference will be computer related. But what will it be? A server? A rack? A chip? An end-user? A mousepad? A sysadmin!?

We have zero inside information, we’re afraid. But we’ve scoured the web for computer related cakes and some cakes by Ace of Cakes. Check ’em out. The first three are Ace of Cakes cakes. The last three are computer cakes.


Tweet Your Cake Speculation to Win
Now rockstar sysadmins… here is a chance to win a nice prize today. Tweet your cake speculation with the hashtags #aceofcakes and #sysadmin. We’ll pick three tweeters at random and give you a copy of TuneUp, the software that “automagically” cleans up your music collection.

from Ace of Cakes

from Ace of Cakes

from Ace of Cakes

from Ace of Cakes

from Ace of Cakes

from Ace of Cakes

image: Eric Charlton

image: Erik Charlton



Stay Tuned For November 4 (And Beyond)

October 24, 2009

Nominations for the Sysadmin of the Year contest are now closed. We have some cool stats for you which we will try to publish before the winners are announced on Nov. 4. So stay tuned….



Last Day for Sysadmin Nominations

October 23, 2009
This Is The Last Day to Get Nominated (Or Nominate Yourself) Photo Credit: Sister72

This Is The Last Day to Get Nominated (Or Nominate Yourself) Photo Credit: Sister72

Lotsa money at stake. Lotsa prizes at stake. Lotsa industry cred and career-advancement mojo at stake. If you’ve not yet been nominated (you would know), send this link and make it happen. You can also nominate yourself. Contest is sponsored by LOPSA, Usenix/Sage and BigFix. Award gala is Nov. 4 at the LISA conference in Baltimore.



My Sysadmin is a Rockstar Because… Part II

October 22, 2009

There is only one more day to get nominated or nominate yourself for  Sysadmin of the Year. Don’t miss out. There is up to $5,000 at play, not to mention hardware. Cash and hardware! What else speaks as sweetly to a sysadmin?

Here’s what you gotta do. Send this blog post to a friend or a colleague or your boss. Use the following subject line:  “check this out and please nominate me… hurry just one day left.” Don’t feel like sharing the gonzo-big progressive jackpot with anybody? That’s fine. Just nominate yourself then! Either way, full details on the contest are right here.

As we said Nominators are asked to answer an important question: “My SysAdmin is a Rock Star because…”

Yesterday, we gave you a taste of what actual nominators are saying. Here are a few more responses (again edited to protect the innocent):

Two words, hard worker!  When most people in her position are chating or looking up useless information she is working at the tasks her job asks of her.  When anyone needs help, she goes all the way to solve whatever problem they might have or advice they may need.

I work long hours, off hours often for patches, and get very little recognition.  I support 450+ servers, virtual, HPUX and Windows, and do a darn good job of it. Thanks for appreciating the unsung heroes (starts humming the theme from the “Fall Guy”)

He has a very strong grasp of our complex system operations not only from a technical perspective but also, more importantly, from an operational perspective.  He knows which areas are dependent upon specific systems, how these interact with other systems (dependencies) and what must be done to provide optimal  operations.

Hey Fall Guy… this one’s for you: