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BLOG: Extreme BYOD: When consumer tech goes to unexpected places

Josh Fruhlinger | May 25, 2012
If there's one phrase I associate with the future, it's control panels.

We've been talking a lot about various oddly placed tech items in this article, but if you work in IT, you're probably thinking one thing: who's responsible for maintaining this stuff? Well, it's probably someone a lot like you, who just happens to have an office that's someplace a little cooler than yours.

A few years back, a user going by the name of Mradyfist took to the SomethingAwful forms and answered questions about his job at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. This is his description of a typical workday:

I'm the Sr. Computer Tech, which basically means I'm the hands-on repair guy for all the workstations (and sometimes personal laptops). Usual system is that someone would call our office and tell the help desk guy that Outlook is running slow (because Outlook is always running slow) or that their computer just wouldn't turn on this morning (because power supplies are constantly failing), he'd spin his chair around and kick the back of mine, and tell me to head down to the VMF (Vehicle Maintenance Facility) or an A3 cubicle, or the A1 offices, and I'd run down there and check up on it. So mostly workstations, an even mix of hardware and software; sometimes if it was a slow day and we weren't getting a lot of calls, help desk would just go handle something himself.

On top of that I'm also the guy who checks every laptop that comes into the station which hasn't been screened already by RPSC IT somewhere before arriving at Pole. Nothing too exciting, I just make sure that they've got the latest OS patches, they have some type of AV software with recent definitions (yes, even OS X and Linux), and then if they're staying out in the Summer Camp area I set up our super-secure corporate Wi-Fi network (so that nobody can fly down to the pole and steal our wifi).

There you have it: Even at the South Pole, Outlook always runs slow! Not sure if that makes your job seems more exciting or makes you believe that there's no real adventure in the world.



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