back to article Animal crossing? Nah! Farmyard frolics, courtesy of Novell and pals

Wipe that chocolate off your face and settle in for another story from the archives of The Register's Who, Me? collection of reader confessions. Today's story sees the return of an On Call contributor and, while we are always wary of crossing the streams, especially in these troubled times, it seemed the thing to do where an …

  1. OssianScotland

    Agricultural College

    Wonderful quote from Tom Lehrer in an introduction to one of his songs

    "He was majoring in Animal Husbandry - until he got found out"

    (and I wonder what Tom would have said or sung about the times we are now existing in )

    1. nowster

      Re: Agricultural College

      That would be Dr Samuel Gall, inventor of the gall-bladder.

      "His educational career began interestingly enough in agricultural school, where he majored in animal husbandry, until they caught him at it one day."

      (Intro to "In Old Mexico", An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer)

      1. The First Dave

        Re: Agricultural College

        "inventor of the gall-bladder"

        Did he patent that? Imagine how much money that could have made, seems like everyone has a gall bladder these days.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Agricultural College

          "seems like everyone has a gall bladder these days."

          Indeed, they're quite common these days, likely because it comes with the system, and uninstallation is not recommended unless strictly necessary.

          1. The First Dave

            Re: Agricultural College

            They only say that to frighten you - you can remove it yourself, "quite painlessly" and will be just fine; try it and see in only three simple steps!

    2. red floyd

      Re: Agricultural College

      Until 2001, Lehrer was on staff at the University of California, Santa Cruz, teaching an introductory math class, and the "History of the American Folk Musical".

      Never had time to take that class when I was there :( ...

    3. Alistair

      Re: Agricultural College

      and I wonder what Tom would have said or sung about the times we are now existing in

      The Old Dope Pedlar

      I Got It From Agnes

      We Will All Go Together When We Go

      Be Prepared

      As they were, I think they cover the ground

  2. Joe Drunk

    I too was the class genius in my freshman year of uni. There was an intro to computers class (I don't remember the exact title) that was a requirement for all students regardless of major. The class taught basic MS-DOS 4, Word processing (Wordperfect 5.1), Spreadsheet (Lotus 123 v2) and other basics. None of the PCs were networked. Most in my class were non-Comp Sci majors so were clueless but I tutored as many as I could so they could get a passing grade.

    Beer icon because I got invited to a lot of frat parties as thanks!

  3. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    Silly question

    Ever found something that you thought was a handy tool being misused by others?

    Doesn't that apply to 90+% of all computer usage?

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Silly question

      Yeah, I was thinking of that as well... Lots of things on the computer can be twisted to do something other than their intended use. I know students used to rename their iTunes library sharing name to the answers to tests. I also heard about kids swapping one ear but and they could hear what was happening in the next room etc...

    2. swm Silver badge

      Re: Silly question

      I once taught a computer lab and one (or more?) of the students discovered the weakness of the X11 protocol and starting popping up windows on other student's screens. After laughing I said to him (who was a good student), "Cute, but let's tone this down a bit."

      I've noticed that higher ups don't have a sense of humor and frown on explosions, network hacking etc.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: Silly question

        Thats because they themselves don't tend to understand it.

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Silly question

        Risk aversion. For career managers there is no benefit for them to letting staff/students/ have any freedom to explore. At best the other guy will benefit, but not themselves. At worst they will land in the shit and their managers will almost certainly be the ones who throw them in there.

  4. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    maybe traded e-i-e-i-o for plain old I/O?

    On PowerPCs you could have kept the EIEIO. One of the more imaginative instruction names.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: maybe traded e-i-e-i-o for plain old I/O?

      sudo apt-get install glibc-doc-reference

      info libc


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: maybe traded e-i-e-i-o for plain old I/O?

      Back to farming? Sing along -

      Old McDonald had a farm


      1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

        Re: maybe traded e-i-e-i-o for plain old I/O?

        Or the dyslexic version ...

        Old McDonald had a farm, EIOIE

  5. Somone Unimportant

    Ahh yes - the Netware "SEND" command. First thing I removed from every SYS:PUBLIC folder on every server I ever built from Netware 2.1 to Netware 5.0.

    Not sure I agree with the writer's description of NDS as being as painful as that - for the site I worked with it allowed us to establish login accounts for 25,000 students - and this was in 1995 running Netware 4.11. By mid 90's everyone should have been running Netware 3.11, release data I believe was Valentine's day 1991, after 3.0 came out in late 1989.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, I was thinking the same NDS was great. Far better than Microsoft's Directory Services at the time (and in some ways better than it is now)..

      The demise of Novell Netware, I feel was solely down to the lack of a GUI and then being late to catch up. Fine for people who were well versed in NDS speak but for many the Windows GUI administration was way easier and the Novell GUI tools felt like poor bolt-ons that came too late.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cast aside the Wellington boots...

    Lucky bugger, I'm still doing what feels like 2 full time jobs between working in IT and being down on the farm most other times.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Cast aside the Wellington boots...

      Sounds like you made the wrong career choice, nothing to do with luck and everything to do with common sense (or lack thereof).

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Cast aside the Wellington boots...

      Server farm?

      Coat, because it can be cold in there!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cast aside the Wellington boots...

        Milking every processor for everything its got!

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Cast aside the Wellington boots...

          So THAT is why it's so friesian in here!

    3. Muscleguy Silver badge

      Re: Cast aside the Wellington boots...

      Let me guess, you work at an Agricultural college or a Vet School? Though the Roslyn Farm is a wee way from the shiny new campus now.

  7. A.P. Veening Silver badge

    James Herriott?

    going shoulder-deep in a cow's posterior and wiggling one's fingers around, James Herriot style.

    Get with the times, going shoulder deep in a cow's posterior is something the current generation associates with Dr. Pol.

  8. Terry 6 Silver badge

    career choices

    There were a few opportunities when i was younger, when I could have moved from special education to respectively educational IT support or training and I'd perhaps (?) have had an easier life. But I stayed with teaching because I was very good at getting kids reading, and pretty good at Leadership, though I hated admin and I could never have gone higher because that would have meant becoming a full-time desk jockey.

    But still, there are times when I wonder...........

  9. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Interesting where people end up

    My brother went through agricultural college, and did very well there. Then emigrated to Australia as a £10 POM... He got a job as a traveling salesman - and not even for agricultural products!

  10. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Back Orifice

    "..."Microsoft Office", the IT equivalent of going shoulder-deep in a cow's posterior and wiggling one's fingers around, James Herriot style."

    Which reminds me... around the same time/not long after would have been the emergence of "Back Orifice" from the "Cult of the Dead Cow"

    Note: following link has an image of cow's posterior, ready for a vet's gloved hand

  11. Admiral Grace Hopper

    Career Planning

    My career has happened mostly by accident. I was brought up next to a mixed arable farm and for many years I could imagine no finer ambition than to be a mixed arable farmer - I like cows plus you get to drive a combine harvester and how cool is that? If I hadn't fallen into IT I might have been a mixed arable farmer after all. One thing would be different is I had. I'd have to deal with a hell of lot less bullshit.

  12. jake Silver badge

    Quite the opposite here.

    I worked full time in IT, first as a 9-5er and then as a conslutant, until I had enough loot to purchase this ranch. Or, as I like to put it, I've retired from IT into a life of sun-up to long past sun-down 7 days per week dumb heavy work. (I still dabble in IT consulting ... new farm equipment is expensive!)

    I absolutely love it, and wouldn't have it any other way. Working with the critters and the land is far more honest than any corporate career.

  13. 2Fat2Bald

    Something similar happened to me around 20 years ago. Having decided to stop screwing around and actually work for a living I took a year out and did City-and-Guilds. However it transpires that the course I'm on A) had no real-world currency with the intended profession and B) Even if I DID get a job, it didn't pay well as many are called and few are chosen C) I wasn't likely to be chosen, as I didn't got to the "right school". So. F*ck that.

    I had discovered that years of gaming had basically equipped me for Helpdesk work, though. So I started to do that instead. And here I am. My one regret about my IT career is that I didn't start it ten years earlier (immediately after leaving school). That said, I had a lot of fun without one.

  14. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    ...and some of us in IT want to get out of IT and into farming...

    ...due to the proliferation of crypto-malware and other such things which we honestly do not need for excitement.

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