It's the last Friday of July and you know what that means. It's Sysadmin Day, an international holiday on which end-users thank their admins for all their hard work! Or it would be, if anyone actually cared... *sigh* All I ever wanted was an STFU mug.
To all the sysadmins who -do- get some appreciation from their customers today: good on you! Enjoy your brief period in the lime light! ^_^
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This afternoon my buddy Edmond came up to me with an interesting predicament. He runs Mac OS X on his Macbook and would like to:
A) have a password-less screen saver
B) have the ability to lock his screen with a password
Usually one simply uses screen saver passwords to achieve goal B, but Ed was adamant that he wanted A as well. Not something you often see, right? Initially I thought it wouldn't be possible, but then I had a flash of insight. It's possible! Here's how...
1. Open "System Preferences". Go into "Security".
2. Uncheck the box marked "Require password to wake...".
3. Open "Keychain Access". Open its preferences window.
4. Check the box marked "Show status in menu bar".
5. A padlock appears in your menu bar.
From now on you can lock your screen by clicking on the padlock and selecting "Lock screen". And you can still use your screen saver and go back into the OS without a password. The only downside to this is that one can also wake up your system from sleep without a password. Not something I'd like to have if my laptop was ever stolen.
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Oy vey! One of the folks on the Sun Fire V890 must've been mesjoge! Why else would you decided to make such a weird design decision?!
What's up? I'll tell you what's up!
For some reason the design team decided to throw out the RJ45 console port that's been a Sun standard for nigh on ten years. And what did they replace it with? A DB25 port commonly seen in the Mesozoic Era! Good lord! This left me stranded without the proper cable for this morning's installation (thankfully I could borrow one). However, it also requires us to get completely new and different cables for our Cyclades console server!
Bad Sun! How could you make such a silly decision?!
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So far I've talked to the people in the field, the folks I should end up working with. Now, in order to get there I've started talking with the college I'm eyeing.
First off, here's the pages for the two courses that I need to decide between:
I've talked to the secretariate of the english course. They told me I'd be able to enroll until the end of August, so that seems fine to me. They also suggested that I e-mail the course's coorinator to pose specific questions and to arrange for an intake meeting. At said meeting we'd discuss my curricilum and how it can be adjusted to fit my prior experience.
So. Off to send an e-mail I am!
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I can heartily recommend anyone considering a career switch to go and have a chat with people who work in their aspired field.
I made a little visit to my old high school this morning, to talk to their HR guy. He gave me a lot of valuable tips and suggested that a part-time study would indeed be the best and safest option for me. He indicated that it would be nigh on impossible for me to get a zij-instroom position, due to my lack of experience.
He also suggested that I go have a talk with the CWI (Centrum voor Werk en Inkomen), the part of the dutch government charged with work and job security. He reckoned that I might strike a lucky deal with them, getting a subsidy for hours I didn't spend working for Snow. In order to make time for my education I'd need to cut back on my working hours (and thus my monthly wages) by about 40%. This grant might help cover for at least part of the money I'd miss out on.
Tomorrow I'll also make a phone call with the CO of another high school. His number was given to me by my father's girlfriend who happens to work with the fellow. I'm curious if he has some other useful tips for me :)
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Now that I'd decided to become a teacher, it left me with even more questions (duh). Which subject would I teach? At what kind of school? What kind of education do I need? Where do I study? How will this fit in with my job? Will I even be able to keep my job? OMG, will we be able to pay our mortgage and still have food on the table?! ONOZ!
Stuff like that.
Well... I quickly decided that I'd like to teach english or math at a high school level. I can wax lyrically about both subjects and both fields offer me with loads of new stuff to learn and explore.
So... How do you go from having a completely unrelated job, to being a teacher? Here's how... (mind you, all of this applies to the Netherlands).
You start out with two options:
1. You take up a part-time or full-time college education. (deeltijd or voltijd in dutch).
2. You take up a part-time teaching position and follow additional classes to become a real teacher.
This second option is called zij-instroom in dutch and really is only an option if your ambitions lie in teaching the same field you worked in. So for example, I could get a zij-instroom position teaching Comp Sci at high schools, whereas a biologist could start teaching Biology. Zij-instroom however requires you to have real and provable experience in said field, including the degrees that come with it. You will also need to take an entrance exam because they won't let just everybody start teaching. Should you be accepted for zij-instroom, then you'll get a two-year teaching permit, which is directly connected to a contract between you and the school in question.
Anywho... What with zij-instroom not being an option for my two chosen fields (I have neither a degree, nor work experience in english or math) I have to opt for the longer path. Getting into a full-time education (voltijd) really isn't an option for me anymore: I wouldn't have any income, I'd be bored stiff and I'd be in a class full of eighteen year olds. Which automatically guides me towards a part-time education.
Luckily every college in the Netherlands offers deeltijd educations for professionals looking for a career switch, or an upgrade to their knowledge. The Hogeschool Utrecht offers teachers educations that are actually reputable and it's close to my home as well! Now all that remains is to convince my employer to let me work either three or four days a week. *gulp*
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This blog post was made invisible initially. It has now been made available to the Internet at large. Sorry for breaking continuity :D
I'm getting out of IT.
That day in June something snapped inside of me and I decided that I could no longer carry on working as a sysadmin. The work no longer motivates me, nor does it offer me some shine of glamour. I know that, while there are still endless, uncharted seas for me to discover, this field no longer holds a challenge for me. I know that whatever I'll need to learn, I'll be able to do so in a few days. Lather, rinse, repeat, until I grow old.
No thank you.
No longer will I be shifting bits and bytes around, being a faceless peon in a huge corporation. No longer will I be burning midnight oil at the altar of Unix.
Instead I will make difference in this world and I will be of use to the general public. I will try to educate this world's children, nudging them into directions they might otherwise ignore.
I have decided to go into education and become a high school teacher.
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All content, with exception of "borrowed" blogpost images, or unless otherwise indicated, is copyright of Thomas Sluyter. The character Kilala the cat-demon is copyright of Rumiko Takahashi and used here without permission.