Navy story time, and this one is lengthy.
As a Lieutenant Jr. I served for a year on a large (>100m) ship, with the duties of assistant navigation officer, and of course, unofficial computer guy. When I first entered the ship (carrying my trusty laptop), I had to wait for 2 hours at the officer's wardroom... where I noticed an ethernet plug. After 15 minutes of waiting, I got bored. Like, really bored. What on TCP/IP could possibly go wrong?
So, scanning the network it is. Besides the usual security holes I came to expect in ""military secure networks"" (Windows XP SP2 unpatched and Windows 2003 Servers, also unpatched) I came along a variety of interesting computers with interesting things... that I cannot name. The aggressive scan also crashed the SMB service on the server causing no end of cute reactions, until I restarted it remotely.
But me and my big mouth... I actually talked about it with the ship's CO and the electronics officer, and promptly got the unofficial duty of computer guy, aka helldesk, technical support and I-try-to-explain-you-that-it-is-impossible-given-my-resources guy. I seriously think that this was their punishment for me messing around. At one time I received a call, that a certain PC was disconnected. I repeatedly told them to look if the ethernet cable was on. "Yes, of course it's on, I am not an idiot." (yea, right)
So I went to that room, 4 decks down and 3 sections aft. Just to push in the half-popped out ethernet jack. I would swear it was on purpose, but reality showed me I was wrong, oh so dead wrong.
For the full year of my commission, I kept pestering the CO to assign me with an assistant to teach them, and to give approval for some serious upgrades, patching and documenting. No good.
I set up some little things to get them interested, like some NMEA relays and installed navigation software on certain computers, re-enabled the server's webmail and patched the server itself, tried to clean the malware (aka. Sisyphus' rock), and tried to enforce a security policy. I also tried to convince the CO to install a document management system, to his utter horror and refusal (he was the hard copy type, as were most officers in the ship). I gave up on almost all besides the assistant thing, because I knew that once I left, everything would go to the high-entropy status of carrying papers around, but the CO kept telling me that would be unnecessary.
"You'll always be our man, you'll fix it (sic)".
What could go wrong?
I got my transfer with 1 week's notice. Panic struck. The CO was... well, he was less shocked than I expected, but still shocked (I learned later that he knew beforehand, but decided not to tell anybody anything). So came the most rediculous request of all:
To put down, within 1 A4 sheet, and in simple instructions, the things one had to do in order to fulfil the duties of the computer guy.
My answer:
"What I can do is write: 'Please read the following:', followed by the list of books one must read in order to get some introductory understanding of network and server management, with most accompanying skills."
I was so glad I got out of that hellhole.

  • 8
    Great story, thanks for sharing!
  • 17
    Within one A4 sheet??
  • 4
    It's like writing Ulysses on a scrap of paper.
  • 3
    "everything. the end"

    cool story! next time univercity, or hospital.
  • 2
    All you need to know to be able to call yourself a Windows admin is how to click "next, next, next, finish" in a wizard - should be able to fit that on an A4
  • 1
    They don't attach a "computer guy" to y'all either. I figured it was just an infantry thing. Which was scary in itself because we navigated and communicated by a very high tech piece of widows software (🙄) that some random rifleman from the company was assigned to maintain.

    Not that the infantry doesn't get the occasional kid that joined for the college money and thought that branch would be "cool" because he watched one to many war movies, but still, I think the whole training course for that particular software was two weeks at the most and only provided to them once they got in country.

    In any case pretty sure our guy spent more time playing WoW than he did trying to learn anything because the shit was forever fucking up and he never seemed to get any better/quicker at fixing it. Not that he cared, he never went outside the wire.
  • 1
    Can I have the list of books?
  • 0
    I've seen Air Force Systems and they will never upgrade form XP. They say all of their softwares are compatible only with XP 🤷🏻‍♂️.
  • 1
    @fahad3267 bft's? that was the shit our guy could never get figured out. Not that we cared, all it was good for was letting the toc know we were driving too fast.
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