The End Of An Era

We’ll yesterday marked the end of an era for great geek TV. I am speaking of the death of The Screensavers and TechTV. No it isn’t quite dead yet but you can hear the long melodic drumbeat beating ever slower now days. Last night’s revelation at the end of the show is what put the final nail in the coffin for the show and the network. That revelation was that last night was Patrick Norton’s last night as a host of the show and he would not be moving to LA where the show will now be produced. The begining of the end came about a couple of months ago with the purchase of the network and the dismissal of Leo Leoporte the creator and main staple of the shows Call For Help and The Screensavers. The only two shows which kept the network alive. One can only imagine a couple of eldery drunks maning the helm of the G4 network not in the know of technology . Why take over a network when youre going to kill the two shows that make TechTV what it is. I have been watching the show since its inception, a matter of fact that was my main motivation to toss cable and buy a satelite dish. In the begining it was Leo & Kate as the hosts of the show and they had the best chemistry. When Kate left the show I didnt see Patrick filling her shoes however in some strange way it worked Kate seemed a little more knowledgable than Patrick but he did just fine. Leo was never the most knowledgable but it was his character, charisma and ability to pass the ball on when he knew it was over his head that kept you coming back. I had the privledge on several occasions to be on the show via Netcam, I think those days will be my fondest memories. On occasion a new member of the Screensavers staff was thrown into temporary hosting while either Patrick or Leo were unable to be on the show, his name is Kevin. Now kevin a young and very knowledgable individual however a host he is not. And his age shows it, especially in his sometimes irresponisble reporting. His nickname is the ‘Dark Tipper’ for his reports on hacking and so forth which sometimes flirts with being illegal or at least immoral at times. I remember the one show that infurated me the most and forced me to send emails to various senior members of the show and the network. That segment was on building a portable server. Its sole purpose was to trade illegal files wether it be MP3, Videos or a number of other files using someone elses unsecured wireless connection. Now the way he tried to justify it was by saying “you should’nt do this” to the viewers watching the show. My opinion to this is, if they should’nt do it why teach them. I am sure there are probaly a couple of individuals that have had a summons issued to them for illegal downloads by the RIAA caused by some want to be hacker after watching that show. Now the show is in the hands of Kevin alone until they find someone to co-host with him. The show lost most of their viewers with the loss of Leo as is evident in the thousands of post on Leo’s site Now with Patrick’s departure the mass exodus will be in full swing, leaving G4/Comcast with an viewerless network.


We’ll I had nothing better to do than add an entry into my blog. Right now I’m stuck in a Metro-North train inside the tunnel just outside of Grand Central. I cut my day short so I could catch an earlier train and get some much needed rest. I would have been better off staying at my clients location and earning $125 an hour. So what have things been like lately you might ask. We’ll remember the client with the crashed hard drive, we’ll as fate would have it the data was unrecoverable. We are going to try another service that uses more extreme methods of recovery. I hope they can get some data off that drive, I feel sorry for that customer. Other than that and a couple of minor client emergencies it has beento why relatively quiet. Even though it has been quiet, I have a lot of work to finish and not sleeping much. You know I have a lot of work when I don’t have time to play CounterStrike. Whenever I jump onto one of the game servers I frequent, I hear the regulars exclaim “Whoa..PC-Doc is here, where you’ve been?” That leads me to where I am right now so tired I left early to get home have a couple beers and take a nap. Funny how life continually screws me at every chance available. We’ll the train is finally moving again after 30mins of sitting in the dark and un-air-conditioned train. I am going to submit this now and try and call my wife that is waiting for me at the station in White Plains.


Backup, Backup, Backup…..

I don’t know how many times I have seen it and today was no different. A customer who lost almost all of their data due to a Hard Drive failure is now faced with sending the drive to a clean room. It turns out that their backup system has not been backing up since March. I can remember years back telling the customer to invest in a RAID setup. No matter how many times I told them the cost well out weighed the time required to retrieve a server from tape let alone the peril of complete data loss. It is always amazing when I receive blank stares followed by “I don’t remember that!”, when you jog their memory about the RAID conversation. Plus it always happens at the worst time and you have to stop everything your doing no matter who you are helping. A had to leave a regularly scheduled client early and travel uptown to get to the downed server because it was urgent. I spent several hours rebuilding the server’s OS and installing the backup software. At which point I started cataloging tapes starting from what should have been the most recent. When I started to see the dates of the backups I gasped and it must have been loud, because a crowd gathered to see what was wrong. The only option left to the customer was to spend between $1700-$6000 for a six day turn around visit to a clean room. You can get it done much quicker if needed however that is when they put a gun to your head and extort money from you literally. If the customer decided to go the emergency route that number balloons to between $9000 and $20000.

Let that be a lesson to you all, listen to the IT guy that’s what you pay him for. That’s like a doctor telling you have cancer and you need to have an operation and chemotherapy to make sure it is gone completely. You then tell the doctor “I’ll opt for the operation but will pass on the chemotherapy.” Like Duh!