A thank-you on SysAdmin Day

Today is the 8th annual System Administrator Appreciation Day, so it is in the spirit of the event that I offer this post, which recounts nothing more and nothing less than a routine service call handled expertly. In other words, exactly the type of thing this day should be about:

The "blue screen of death" (BSOD) gets your attention in a way that other computer hiccups do not.

When the reaper arrived on my desktop yesterday it was the words "will damage the computer" that convinced me that a call to the helpdesk would be wiser than applying my virtually non-existent troubleshooting skills to whatever was ailing the thing.

Good decision.

After reading him a bit of the message, David Mahoney, a member of Network World's crackerjack IT team, made it clear that this was no trifling matter. (I'm thinking at this point: "work day shot.")

Mahoney arrived at my office within minutes. And within a few more minutes I was back in business.

Mahoney said he believes the hard drive is corrupted and that the BSOD could reappear soon ... or not for months.

Dell would later tell him that they suspect the motherboard.

Despite my initial fears, I finished the work day without further interruption.

This morning, Mahoney arrived at my office with a replacement machine, both just in case and because a Dell technician was on the way to take a look at the balky one.

Of course, as a user, I couldn't care less whether it turns out to be the hard drive or the motherboard.

All I know is that I stared a nasty BSOD squarely in the kisser and barely had a chance to blink before being able to get back to work.

Thanks, Dave.

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