back to article Sysadmin Day free give away

It's that time of year again: Sysadmin Day is upon us! July 26, 2013 is the international day of recognition for all those who toil in datacenter obscurity, fighting off cyber-ninjas so that videos of my cats flow unhindered through the tubes. As is typical, contests are popping up like weeds to attract the valuable eyeballs …


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  1. billse10


    not a legalese question, just a general interest one - why not Quebec?

    1. Really Anonymous Coward


    2. Steve Foster


      Perhaps Trevor doesn't speak French...

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        @billse10 and @Steve FOster

        A) I spent 13 years in French Immersion, thanks. My French isn't the best, but French words are still "first to mine" for most of my thought processes.

        B) Doing anything in Quebec means registering with la Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux. The simple truth of the matter is that it took me so long to figure out the legalese that by the time I had done so I was 2 weeks past the deadline to register the contest with la Régie. La Régie wants 30 days before the contest promotion starts - not just the contest - and I just couldn't get the legalese figured out in time. (It didn't help that I was originally trying to run it in 34 countries simultaneously.) In the end, not just Quebec got stiffed; there were a lot of countries I simply couldn't figure out, or I couldn't afford time/money to register with the correct authority.

        1. billse10

          Re: @billse10 and @Steve FOster

          B) seems like Quebec doesn't want you doing business there. Can't go doing things for people who don't speak the right language, can you, wouldn't be right ... (although one of the funniest things I've read for ages is Stephen Clarke's "1000 Years of Annoying the French")

          Maybe they should just have a vote on changing the constitutional make-up of the entire nation of Canada and not give a vote to anyone outside Quebec.

          Oh, wait, Alec Salmond's already patented that idea in scotland ....

        2. Grikath

          @ Trevor Re: legalese, participation in the Netherlands

          My personal knowledge of sysadminny stuff is not nearly enough to make these guys break a sweat ( unless Luser --> [facepalm] entries count ;) ), but to save you some effort and allow some of the more knowledgeable Dutch in next time ( or retroactively):

          Dutch law regarding foreign prize contests is (surprisingly) pretty straightforward: If it's not held in dutch territory, it assumes it is held according to local regulations, and the only thing that interests the State, in this case the Revenue Office, is that proper gambling/game tax (29% of cash/equivalent value) will be/has been paid over the prize. Prizes are exempt from this tax if the equivalent value is less than €454 (calculated from foreign currency at the moment of collection.)

          For foreign contests this is the sole responsibility of the recipient of the prize, not of the organiser. The recipient can avoid this tax if the country of origin has a comparable gambling/prize contest tax scheme, and if proof is provided this tax has been paid by the organisor as part of local regulations. But proof of this is again the sole responsibility of the recipient.

          So as far as the Netherlands is concerned, nothing stops anyone from here from legally participating or winning a prize.

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

            Re: @ Trevor legalese, participation in the Netherlands

            Crazy bureaucratic shite.

            > €454

            Probably not updated for inflation since the war of 1914.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Trevor_Pott - Re: @billse10 and @Steve FOster

          No offense but have you ever considered talking to a lawyer for the legalese part ? You know, like talking to a competent sysadmin when you need sound advice in computing stuff.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: @Trevor_Pott - @billse10 and @Steve FOster

            I spent rather a lot of time combing through lawyers only to discover that each jurisdiction wanted somewhere around $2000 to provide a set of T&Cs that I would then have to modify to my requirements. None of that lawyers I spoke to - literally none of them - were willing to work out a harmonized single set of Ts&Cs covering even the US and Canada, let alone multiple countries.

            Even if I had $2000/jurisdiction (I don't) that whole effort would be invalidated by rules in various jurisdictions that require you to have harmonised Ts&Cs for the entire event! This is one case where the "experts" aren't able or willing to provide "sound advice" at all.

  2. The Dude

    Ahhh... Quebec. Land of my ancestors. I think there were good reasons they headed west...

    1. Darryl

      Sure as hell glad that mine did too

  3. Mark 'Brain Fart' Berry

    So, sysadmin day is basically a sales pitch? Fathers/Mothers day is a sales gimmick too, but at least you get stuff without being pitched more crap than usual......

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Sysadmin day has pretty much been hijacked by commercial interests in order to do the sales pitch thing, yes. That's why I decided to do this webex thing. People are always trying to get your eyeballs so they can market you stuff. I wanted to turn that around: I managed to get some brains on tap so that we could ask them uncomfortable questions and basically make them be of more benefit to us than we are likely to be to them.

      That's why the CloudPhysics guy is there. He has zero commercial interest in flash in the enterprise. CloudPhysics doesn't actually win or lose a thing if flash fails or succeeds. But he knows enough to call "bullshit" on the other panel members (the amount of research he's done recently for some flash cards in the CloudPhysics product was pretty intense) and just the right amount of "does not care" to actually call bullshit when he hears it.

      I realize it isn't as awesome as giving away free space stations to every reader...but my influence is somewhat limited. It's the best I could do for this year.

      1. Terje

        I would say that space stations are highly overrated as far as computing goes.

        First off, they are high maintenance and if you just happens to be a bit busy or just piped the error log to /dev/null for a bit of leisurely relaxation time it is likely to crash in a spectacular fashion, after which you have to explain what happened to people who don't understand the pressing work schedule. Network latency and bandwidth constraints are other issues to consider together with the usually stone age hardware running the things. On the plus side though, it might be a very nice for off-site backup storage, safe from most possible disasters up to and including civilisation ending meteor strikes, as long as the aforementioned maintenance schedule is followed. An extra plus feature may be the possibility of sending some offending beancounters to collect a needed backup which with lack of previously mentioned maintenance can be a carte blanch to get rid of both the beancounter and the space station eating up the IT budget while firmly putting the blame on the beancounters.

        Mine's the one with BOFH embroidered on the back.

      2. Alan W. Rateliff, II
        Paris Hilton

        "I realize it isn't as awesome as giving away free space stations to every reader."

        How about a small moon, instead?

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Sadly sir, I have no moons to give. Otherwise, I'd probably try. :)

        2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Obligatory StarWars reference

          That's no moon ...

  4. mt_head

    Trainsignal should perhaps change their name a bit

    CamelCase perhaps? Whatevs. In any case, each time their name appeared in the article, I had to do a double-take to be sure I hadn't just read "Transvaginal"...

  5. bag o' spanners

    I gave up accepting invites to tech "events" because they were almost invariably just trying to capture commissioning bods with the power to sign cheques. Anyone withoutout that great powah was therefore shunted to the cheap buffet to endlessly discuss geek trivia with public sector triviatards (quelle joie!) So good on you for even attempting to change the format and legitimise the art of asking tricky questions. I've lost count of the number of PR wonks and sales zealots I've pissed off by pointing to the elephants in their rooms.

    Sysadmin is not really my field, except when the logical fails are coming thick and fast, so I'll continue to sabotage the apple cart on those rare occasions when the venue/swag/free lunch is worth the damage to my will to live.

    Hope it goes shwimmingly.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oddly enough, two days prior in the states it's national tequila day.

  7. Danny 14 Silver badge

    I dont want any of that crap, do you not have any mugs and mousemats? Blocks of sticky notes never go amiss and sharpie pens are always welcome.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      I do. I didn't think anyone would want them.

      1. Tim Bates

        Re: I didn't think anyone would want them.

        I thought it was pretty standard for all IT people to love free random junk...

        Free goodies means less trips to the office supplies shop/storeroom, and therefore less social interaction required.

        I'm not being 100% serious there, but I am being partly serious - I think most IT people do love their free pens, rulers, coffee mugs, etc.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: I didn't think anyone would want them.

          Well, there are 3 swag bags on the list. That said, I totally wouldn't have though kitsch was what people would be after. Tried to get the sweet stuff. Conference passes, Trainsignal training, licences...maybe I should have hunted the wild coffee mug with more fervour. Ah well, live and learn, eh?

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