Information, Technology, Communication: choose two

So, a couple of fellows just came through here, around the back by the administration offices. The senior guy said that they were from IT, and that he had just shut down a ‘port’ because a computer had been ‘compromised’, and was sending out a ton of traffic, essentially a denial of service attack.

Now, it’s Spring Break around the university that employs me, so we are running with fewer people than usual, so I can’t altogether blame the fellow for not finding anyone more senior than YHB to tell his interesting story to. I mean, I’m a circulation assistant. All I’m going to do is pass the story on to somebody else. But it’s totally plausible that I was the only employee in the library sitting at a desk at the moment he was through, so what the heck, why not tell me as you are going out, in addition to sending an email or filing a whatnot. The fact that I am only vaguely aware that computers have ports and could not with any accuracy tell you what they do and don’t do, or how I could tell that a computer port had been shut down by IT, well, not his problem, I suppose.

All right, in the interest of passing the story along to somebody who has the unfortunate job of dealing with the now de-ported computer, I ask what seems like the first question someone will ask me: what computer is it? What room is it in? This is a bit of a stumper; the IT fellow has to look it up on his laptop, and his coworker has to co-look it up with him. But the laptop is slow and has difficulty connecting to our wireless, so this takes a little while. Hum de dum. Of course, it being Spring Break, we’re not so terribly busy here, particularly as I cannot (being the only one here) leave the Circ Desk and go shelve any of the five carts of books waiting for me. La de da. My understanding, by the way, is that the public computers here at the library (and of course there are dozens of them) have some sort of security in place specifically to prevent that sort of thing, but security doesn’t always work, does it? Aha! He has the information: the computer in question is in room XXXX, another wing of the building entirely, not in the library at all but in the Hmphm Department.

Well, then. Excellent. I mean, excellent for the library. Not so good for the Hmphm Department. When I began to direct this IT fellow to the Hmphm Department office, so he could pass the story along to them, he shrugged, put his laptop away, and said that no doubt they would call IT when they discovered that their computer didn’t work properly.

I’m mostly passing this story along to you, Gentle Reader, because I don’t really have anybody else to tell it to. I will try to drop by the Hmphm Department office later, but I do need to stay at the Circ Desk, because, you know, only fellow in the library (insert video of cartwheel). I am also passing it along because I am just utterly dumbfounded and flabbergast and disoriented: if this guy really didn’t need to pass along the info to anybody, but was going to wait until the aggrieved user called IT, then what was he doing here?

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,

4 thoughts on “Information, Technology, Communication: choose two

  1. irilyth

    Also, why did he take the time to stop and answer your question in the first place, rather than just saying “enh, don’t worry about which computer it is, I’m sure whoever it belongs to will call us when they find out that it’s been blocked”?


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