Happy SysAdmin Day

July 28th 2023 is System Administrator Appreciation Day, and it is usually celebrated .. oh wait, it isn’t. Well, not usually. And it’s not terribly grand even when it is.

I honestly can’t think of many occasions over the past decade or so where SysAdmin Day was celebrated in the office. Only MPC, I think, did the department get a proper cake. I’m sure we did something at Memset or KPS, but my mind is somewhat foggy of the details. I only remember the MPC cake because it was a proper surprise.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some troublesome computers to bring inline (well, online at least – haha).

Marvel’s Secret Top Gear Invasion

Marvel’s Secret Invasion did indeed revisit my old stomping ground of Dunsfold Park this week, where the episode did its best to try to outdo Top Gear. But try as they might, the Marvel team never came to the level of insanity (which we at Memset often witnessed in person) of the Top Gear team (Clarkson, May and Hammond – and then the other lot – and then the other lot – three sets of presenters during my tenure there).

Anyway, the shenanigans began as we looked out of Air Force One parked on the main Dunsfold runway. In the background we see the Memset building where I used to work (blue) and the former Top Gear studio (in red).

The majority of the action takes place on the other side of Dunsfold Park and where more Land Rovers than I could possibly count comes screaming out of bushes with helicopters and all sort of madness that was once only thought about on Top Gear start exploding with bullets and CG missiles flying about like War was having an end-of-year sale. It’s all very silly, to be honest.

Well, if Zuckerberg can do it, so can I!

I’ve just became a member of the fediverse and spun up my own Mastodon server. I’ve used a domain that I snapped up after watching Ted Lasso which I think is highly appropriate for social media: bantr.co.uk.

Now, I should make it clear that you don’t need to run your own server to be part of the Mastodon/fediverse. You can sign up for hundreds, maybe thousands of servers depending on your interest, for example. Many servers cater for a particular subject or interest but join other servers to form a unified network. See joinmastodon.org for more information.

It’s important to note that it hosts only one account at the moment: mine (@[email protected]). Nobody else can sign up for an account (yet) as I have limited resources which I don’t want to abuse. Usage is very low at the moment, and I’m still figuring out the best way of maintaining everything without it blowing up. But so far, so good.

I got back into Mastodon again once I found out that Zuckerberg’s Threads intend to join the fediverse – and what that means is that servers like Threads or mine can all exchange messages together to form one big social media network. But as a server admin, I have additional powers that allows me to block other servers or other users on other servers of interacting with my server or users. Each server operator can set their own rules as to how messages are sent and received.

More Skrull Shenanigans..

After discovering that the Marvel Secret Invasion team went to Dunsfold Park, home of Top Gear and my former employers, Memset Ltd., to film a variety of stuff for the show – another former employer’s building turns up in this week’s episode! Ten Trinity Square.

Former home of Willis Faber, this was where my dad spent the majority of his career, and I would occasionally accompany him to work during the school holidays. It introduced me (and got me hooked) on computer communications, and later I’d spend a couple of summer holidays on work experience for Willis Faber doing data entry work on powerful Macs (we’re talking late Motorola 68000, early PowerPC stuff). It’s now an exclusive member’s club and hotel – something I could never afford to stay at (unlike the Eurobet House Premier Inn in Woking where I could – and indeed, did).

We see the majestic pillars of Ten Trinity Square when Talos and Gravik leave the art gallery. It’s a small, but instantly recognisable location for me. But it’s certainly not the first time Ten Trinity Square has been in the movies – James Bond, Alexi Sayle (yes, really), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (the fictional Lara is from Guildford, Surrey – double co-incidence), Bridget Jones, The Professionals, The Bill, and Luther.

Marvel’s Avengers also shot at my former university, the University of East Anglia (UEA), a few years back at the Sainsbury’s Centre, which stood in for the Avengers HQ. Which is directly opposite Constable Terrace, the block of student accommodation I lived in.