Rodney M Bliss

Why My Kids Have No Shoes

There was once an cobbler in a small village. His meager business was barely enough to pay his bills. Every day from before dawn to long after sunset, he’d sit hunched over his workbench, bending leather and pounding nails, polishing and repairing. Everyone agreed that the cobbler’s shoes were first rate. All the children in the village looked forward to the coming winter knowing that their feet would stay warm and dry in the beautiful boots he built for each of them. 

But, not everyone was excited about the coming cold and wet weather. There were three children who despaired of ever having sturdy boots and dry shoes. 

Rodney, school starts next week. 

Yeah, the kids have been complaining

We have five in high school and the three in junior high are going to have lots more homework. 

Yeah. . .

They are going to need access to the internet. 

Okay. . .

We need the network set up so that they can each log in with their own accounts. You were going to set that up months ago.

I used to be a computer expert. Seriously, I was once a world expert on computer systems. I got paid $150/hour to fly around the country and install and migrate email systems. 

It’s been a lot of years since I played the consultant. Several years ago I moved into managment, and then Project/Program Management. But, there’s still a little of that technical expertise rattling around in myhead. The problem is, that like an aging fighter, it’s harder to step in the ring. 

My server is a Windows 2012 R2 installation. 

I have at least a dozen computers in my house. It should be easy to get them all hooked up and configured to talk through the server. Should be, but isn’t. 

Two months ago, my server broke. My neighbor borrowed it to do some file copying, and somehow the server lost it’s mind. Easy, I’ll just fix it, right? 


Eventually, I couldn’t put it off anymore. This week was the week to fix it. The server has two disks, one is a 1TB drive that the operating system files are on. The other is a 5TB disk array. My first effort was to fix the OS. I rebooted at least a half dozen times, trying to get into the OS through the troubleshooting tools. After a couple of days of frustration, I finally decided I’d simply reinstall. 

More frustration. Windows wouldn’t install over the top of itself. My neighbor brought over some spare drives that we could attempt to install on and boot from. 

The first two were bad. 

The third one was only mostly bad. I won’t take you through the blow-by-blow. We rebooted at least 25 times, with various pieces of hardware hooked. We finally got the system reinstalled and then it died the same at it did the very first time. More reboots, more installs. 

It’s been 10 days of working on it, almost non-stop and I think I’ve finally got it stable, with an OS and my RAID array accessible. The work I’m doing is not hard. It’s stuff that I’ve been doing with various versions of Windows for 25 years. 

The difference? It’s no longer exciting. I used to relish the idea of doing battle with an obstinate operating system. Knowing I might be at it for hours or days, simply heightened the challenge. I think I got old. Now, I just want my stuff to work. 

Tomorrow, I create accounts on my new server for my kids. Yep, tomorrow, the cobbler’s kids get their network accounts. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2015 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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