Wherein I blog-on-the-job (almost)

I’m taking the MCSE now, at this company called Avantus. They cost rather more than some of the other IT trianing providers in Singapore, but I went for this one since my company is paying anyways. Not that I would waste corporate resources wantonly, but it is my belief that you get what you pay for, and that there has to be a reason this company charges up to twice as much as its competitors.

And there is. They give us free cake during breakfast and tea-time, and Milo is available all-day.

I’m actually sitting at the computer where I’m supposed to be practicing delegation of rights to Organizational Units or something, but I’ve finished ahead of my peers as I am the only one amongst them who can really call himself a Sys Admin and thus possess power beyond their ken. The rest of them are programmers who didn’t read the description for the course and are now stuck learning things they will never need to know in the course of their careers or IT vendors who only need the certification so that their companies can get Microsoft Gold Partner, which means they will get a neat black flag with “Microsoft” written on it in golden lettering which they will worship but which none of their clients will care about.

The course has been pretty easy so far, except that I keep falling asleep. Due to the small class sizes, this is embarrassing to say the least, and I do try my best to keep awake, from the tried-and-tested holding a pen method, which I kept dropping and drawing attention to myself, to keeping my mouth filled with water, which just resulted in my shirt getting wet when I eventually dozed off.

The worst part of the course is the free time, which I spend trolling for the potential jobs that I might otherwise be doing. It’s like watching a show on the culinary delights of happy-eats-land whilst having instant noodles – I am bound to the company at least until the course ends in April. And however tempting those work-and-travel schemes sound, I also have the bloody loan to pay off.

Corporate life is terrible, not because it’s stressful and bloodthirsty, but because it’s long stretches of lousy scenery coupled with really boring travellig companions.

Easy Mee-Siam

I’m trying out Jamglue – it’s a web-based sound mixing programme that has a killer feature – samples already provided. I mixed something featuring a mix called “cluck”, a basic drum beat, a random piano piece and a phrase courtesy of President Bush.

by neoujam

If you’re looking to recreate Mr Brown’s Mee-Siam experience, sign up now. Bloody fun when you’re bored.

Just need someone to upload Singaporean politicians’ speeches. Anyone taped parliament?

Wherein I go for my first MCSA lesson

It consisted mostly of sitting around listening to our lecturer, who was younger than the majority of course participants, ramble on about the impoirtance of Active Directory and the proper usage of LDAP strings.

I am slightly disappointed, though in truth since I’m taking this course part-time after work I don’t think I have the energy to concentrate on anything more difficult. The high point of today’s lesson was when our instructor challenged us to “create a thousand Organizational Units within 1 minute”, a task which for some reason he seemed to think would be difficult for a bunch of guys who worked as Sysadmins. I can think of a trivial solution:

for %i in (1, 1000, 1) do dsadd ou ou=%i,dc=xxx,dc=com

Perhaps if you tried to do an IO operation from a CSV or something it might take longer than a minute to script. And then it’s more a petty show of typing speed than anything else.

It doesn’t help that there are two girls from the training centre taking the course for free (my guess is sales-related staff trying to understand what they’re supposed to be selling) sitting behind me. They unfortunately belong to the category of students who never have questions and, when the time comes for practical, giggle excessively because they are unable to perform tasks and hope that the giggling will sound cute enough to attract alpha males to their rescue.

In an MCSA (that’s Microsoft Certified System Administrator) course, there are no alpha males. The girls sank.

There are only low-level System Admins, who probably do not really like giggling girls who need help adding Users to Active Directory, after a long day at work facing not-so-giggly-girls who need help adding Users to Active Directory or performing any of a dozen other minor odd tasks to satisfy their inane administrative requirements. Even the course instructor worked as some kind of big-shot network engineer (he claimed to have entered The Pentagon’s first-floor server room), and his response was to stand behind them as they floundered about with their MMC and tell them to refer to the appropriate instructions.

Ah well. The course is company-sponsored. Who am I to complain?

speaking of company sponsored, I also get to go to Shanghai next week for a company trip! I’d like to say I’m happy about it, but I get the sneaking suspicion that I was chosen to go for the trip because of the biting remark I’d contributed at the company mid-year review about how I’d been “tricked” into the company because of the promise of overseas work opportunities, upon which my boss had promised to fulfill said promise.

Now I feel obliged not to quit as soon as I might have wanted to. As my boss knows only too well.