Linked by David Adams on Fri 25th Sep 2009 16:17 UTC
Bugs & Viruses A non-OSNews-reader asks: "I've got 5 PCs that I'm trying to use to train disadvantaged young people. The problem is they are riddled with viruses and a firewall blocks me from updating them. The people in charge of maintaining the PCs won't fix them or give me the admin password (Win XP) to let me install a new or updated antivirus. The centre is being shut down in a few months. If they were working, I could still do a lot with them, so I've been looking for a good online virus scan - but they all try to download a little .exe onto your PC first, and the settings on the PCs won't allow that. Suggestions? Solutions? Links?" Read on for our recommendation. Update: It appears that this question is part of an elaborate email scam designed to propagate malware. See here for details.
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RE[3]: Argh.
by Jokel on Sat 26th Sep 2009 06:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Argh."
Jokel
Member since:
2006-06-01

I think you hit the nail on the head. Let me illustrate this with a with a little story:

A friend of my was working in a IT department from a large institution. There was a small training room filled with computers. They where all badly infested with malware and viruses. Needless to say they where not connected to the corporation network, but had their own "line" to the outside world. The IT department did not want to put in any effort to clean up the mess.

My friend got the idea he could make some promotion by showing off his skills. And this looked the ideal opportunity. Yeah - he would be ranking high by taking this "personal" effort. Anyway - his idea was to impress upper management by getting the computers back working smoothly and malware/virus free. He did this little project in his spare time, and managed to get everything in full working order.

You should think they would be grateful - yes?

Sadly they where not happy at all. You see - they want to replace the "old" computer stuff with brand new equipment. They just have to "persuade" the upper echelon by claiming the computers where slow, crashing and not longer useful. Imagine their horror when they demonstrated the "useless" computers to this higher echelon and they where purring like a kitty?

Needless to say these computers where not replaced. When my friend proudly declared later on (without knowing what has happened) what he had done, he was "rewarded" with a promotion to a one-man "special cases" department. He even got his own (very tiny) room. He spend a few months cleaning up dirty mouses, keyboards etc. before he resigned and and left the institution.

Moral of the story?

Never ever take action on your own in a large institution before checking this out with someone higher in the chain. An never, never, never, ever do something that can piss off the IT administrator group...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Argh.
by nt_jerkface on Sat 26th Sep 2009 16:07 in reply to "RE[3]: Argh."
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Here's a story that reinforces my philosophy of doing nothing: blah blah some guy I heard about blah blah got in trouble for trying too hard blah blah blah.

Yea, we understand that you would be the guy sitting on his ass reading a magazine saying that it is out of your hands.

If I was working at a non-profit where kids go to learn about computers I wouldn't let a couple worthless IT admins screw the place up. I'd laugh if they filed a formal complaint over me fixing the computers.

Even if they got me booted, so what? It probably isn't worth my time to be at such a retarded organization.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Argh.
by darknexus on Sat 26th Sep 2009 16:23 in reply to "RE[4]: Argh."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

To be fair, things like that really do happen especially in larger corporations, if you don't clear things with those ahead of you it's possible, even likely, that you'll step on someone's little pet project and that someone just might be high enough to cause you grief. That being said, for every person that is a control freak and would stamp out personal initiative, there are usually two more who would thank you for making the effort and taking time to get things working properly. Still, I don't think people can be blamed for being careful.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Argh.
by DrillSgt on Sat 26th Sep 2009 16:26 in reply to "RE[3]: Argh."
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

Moral of the story?

Never ever take action on your own in a large institution before checking this out with someone higher in the chain. An never, never, never, ever do something that can piss off the IT administrator group...


Maybe I have just worked at companies that are too small, the largest having about 600 employees. I am having a problem grasping that someone with the access to these computers to do such a task was not in the IT Administrators Group. Where else could he have worked and had access to the computers and the proper software to perform such a task? If he was in Sales or something, then I can believe it. Maybe he pissed off upper management, but I am sure he didn't piss off the people in his own group that are not bean counters.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Argh.
by Jokel on Sun 27th Sep 2009 06:42 in reply to "RE[4]: Argh."
Jokel Member since:
2006-06-01

It was a large organization with more then 5000 workers. The IT structure was organized in separate departments. The workers in each department had just enough rights to do their job. Software was installed by using Tivoli. The department where he was working was a hardware install- and maintainance group. He has local administrator rights, and rights to install a basic software suite. The more specialised software was installed using Tivoli by the software group. You also had a network group and a server- and administrator group. Also there was a security group that controlled accounts and rights.

If you have ever worked in a big organisation you know all these groups are in competition with each other. Layered between those group is a management group that coordinates the whole bunch. Needless to say the management group flourish when the competition between groups is high.

The guy I was talking about was brand new and did not understand a bit of the the politics that was playing between groups, and groups and management. I agree it was stupid to ignore this, and he never made that mistake again. But hey... It was hist first job in this field hmm?

By the way - this was around the year 2000. The y2k fear was on the highest level, and they would hire anyone who knows a computer has a qwerty keyboard (and give anyone who know somebody to hire a fat bonus if he would get him "on board").

Things have very much changed after this time....

Reply Parent Score: 1