The IT Professional’s PlayBook

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So, you’re growing tired of trying to convince clueless managers about approving your requests to improve IT operations.  Maybe you’ve been doing it like this…

You: “Good morning sir/ma’am.  If we spend some money on upgrading our WAN links, we can get ahead of our backlog of projects by moving all our deployment processes out of the slow lane.”

Them: “I don’t know who WAN links is, but it sounds like Chinese food.  Go away.”

Maybe you should try rehearsing these tried-and-tested proven methods:

You: “Good morning sir/ma’am.  I ran the numbers and found we could save money by upgrading our WAN links.  A one-time cost of $14k would eliminate our need for additional infrastructure, license upgrades, controlled spaces, and lower power and cooling costs at all our remote facilities.  That alone would reduce our infrastructure costs by $5,000 per year, and cut our deployment times from weeks to hours.  The cost could be a tax deduction and we’d recoup that in less than three years.  And, are you losing weight?”

Them: “Yes, I’ve been working on my chip shot all weekend and I think it’s getting me in shape again.  I like you Bob….”

You: “It’s Ben.  Sir.”

Them: “Right, Bill, anyhow, it sounds like you think this WAN links guy is really that good?  Ok. I’ll approve him, if you think he can help with our taxes.”

Another example…

You: “Good morning sir/ma’am. I ran the numbers and it turns out we’re spending 150 hours per week installing apps by hand.  That’s 5 technicians over 150 hours at $7.50 per hour, oops, I mean $5.50 per hour.  That comes to $8,250 per week, and a backlog on other support requests in the queue.  We could spend a quarter of that packaging or wrapping the installers and procuring a product to help deploy them remotely.”

Them: “I like that idea.  We can then cut 3 of those technician’s jobs and reduce our burden rate at the same time!  Great work Bill!  You can call me Mike.”

You: “Actually, uh, no disrespect, but I don’t think we should cut…”

Them: “Consider it done Bobby!” (strong pat on the back)

And another…

You: “Good morning Ma’am.  I would like to request approval to replace Acronis and Ghost and all our other imaging tools with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit.  It’s free.  It’s very customizable.  It would allow us to reduce our image library from 43 individual images to 1 with a task sequence.  And it’s been around for years and battle tested.”

Them: “That sounds interesting.  But I spoke with Sam, who dates my daughter, and he says it’s better to maintain 43 image files every month because the extra care and feeding makes it an important job.  And he graduated from a 2 year tech school.  And he dates my daughter, so you know how that goes.  But really, Bobby, I appreciate your concern.”

You: “It’s Ben.  But thank you.”

And finally…

You: “Good morning Ma’am.  I heard about the big tax changes and how we’re going to save $20 million this year alone.  I was wondering if you had a few minutes to discuss some ideas I have about infrastructure improvements to help streamline our operations and save money?”

Them: “I’m glad you asked.  Yes, but it’s actually around $22 million.  And we already have plans to apply that towards automation, to reduce our dependency on human labor.  Oh, and what was your name again?”

Or, you could just consider a career in the legal or medical field.

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My First Day as Microsoft CEO

Greetings,

First of all, thank you all for being here today, in my 800 bedroom cabin atop the humble foot hill called Mt. Everest. I hope your parachutes all provided a smooth arrival?  It is an honor having you here to listen to me pontificate about my vision for Microsoft, now that I’ve been voted Ultimate Excecutive Officer, or UEO. I plan to outline changes which I feel will help launch our fine organization to the “next level” (air quotes).

Before I continue, I’d like to take a moment to thank Satya for all his hard work.  He exemplifies all of the qualities and traits a CEO and leader should have, of which I have none.  But that’s beside the point.  Actually, he doesn’t yet know I’m the new CEO or UEO, he thinks the plane he’s on is taking him to meet Oprah for an interview, but I paid the pilot to fly in circles over some place near Antarctica, and I had all the door locks changed.  Please thank Satya, if you ever see him again, for the open bar.

So, first things first:

As of today, all former prefixes like “Active”, “Live”, “One”, “Visual” and so on are being changed to “Awesome”.  So it’s Awesome Directory, Awesome Studio, and Awesome Drive.  Get used to it.  And from now on, no product will have a name that takes more than 5 syllables to pronounce.

Licensing is going to change as well.  A new program called “4th grade review” is going live today.  We will randomly-select a 4th grade student in a random school in Kenya.  They will read the EULA to their classmates, and if even one student looks confused, they get to rewrite it.

Servicing channels are going to be renamed yet one more time.  They went from “Current Branch” to “Semi-Annual blah blah”.  But now we’ll have the following names:

  • “I hate change!” (formerly LTSB/LTSC) is now once every 5 years
  • “What’s the hurry?” (formerly CBB/Semi-Annual) is now once every year
  • “I kind of miss getting updates” (formerly CB/Semi-Annual Targeted) is now twice a year
  • and “Where the fuck are my updates?!” (formerly Insider Preview) is now every week

Changes to Windows

Windows 10 “Enterprise” SKU images will no longer include games or media services apps.  In fact, we won’t even allow those to be installed.  If you want them, buy the Home edition.  The Professional edition will offer it as an option, but not installed by default.

The Control Panel will be entirely migrated into Settings by the time I leave the stage and run out the back door.

We have a new edition called Windows “In-Your-Face” edition, which will be entirely FREE as long as you agree to so much telemetry and advertisements that you might forget what apps you were trying to launch.

All application installations will have to be MSI, C2R, App-V or portable .Exe only.  No more legacy garbage.  Stubborn app vendors can suck it.

Other Products

Office 365 is now going to be entirely browser-based.  No more installations.  Every single feature you had in the C2R and MSI packages will be in the new browser-app.  You’re welcome.

A new driver “service” (air quotes again) is being released.  The code name is Device Optimization Universal Configuration Hardware Emulation, or just DOUCHE for short.  All vendor drivers will have to check into our portal and we will manage a true PnP experience without any manual intervention required, ever.  As in never, or ever, or which ever never you ever never prefer.  Vendors can no longer install drivers without coming through us.  PnP is now going to work the way we envisioned it should work, back when we were eating mushrooms atop some mountain in Chile.  Good times (drifts off with a dazed look)…. Oh, yeah, it’ll be like a toaster.  Plug it in, and watch it burn the toast.

More 

All versioning will be consistent across all products from now on.  No more 10 for this, 2017 for that, or 2.3.5550.0000.1000 for the other. There’s going to be one version format only.  We haven’t settled on it yet, but whoever wins the beer funnel challenge gets to pick it.

We signed a deal with Jeff B. to get Alexa installed on every Windows SKU.  We will be including an app that lets you pay to watch Alexa and Cortana fight in a 3D virtual cage of death, only with our Hololens product, obviously, and all proceeds going to charity.

SQL Server is now renamed to Awesome Database Server.

All external web portals like Fast Track, Partner, Azure, O365, and so on are being merged into one web portal and one credential set across all of them.  And speaking of credentials, you can now open multiple Azure instances in a single browser using separate credentials.  You’re welcome.

We will also start a new customer loyalty program next week.  The plan is simple.  Once a day, the first person to show up in front of a Microsoft store with a bullhorn, shouting “Java sucks and so does Flash” gets a t-shirt.

I’d like to continue with more, but I was just told that Satya’s plane is on the way back so I have to meet my Uber ride out back.  Sorry I don’t have time for questions. Thank you!

Finally! Dave’s Master’s Class on Programming Skills

You’ve waited years, in fact, decades, for this once-in-a-lifetime chance to peer inside the vast and empty space of my mind to gain invaluable insight to insightful and invaluable insights behind expert-level coding mastery! Say that ten times.

Well, here it is!

Open your favorite code editor and paste in whatever code you feel like working with right now.  Let’s get started!

Preparation

  • It’s important to keep a can of compressed air nearby in order to cool down the keyboard, as it will likely reach unbearable temperatures
  • I also recommend a small bowl filled with ice cubes to cool your fingers down after each lesson.
  • Liquefied Caffeine
  • Sugary ingestibles
  • Ear buds or headphones
  • Ear plugs for anyone else in the room

Lesson 1 – Code Formatting

  1. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  2. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  3. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  4. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  5. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  6. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  7. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  8. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  9. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  10. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  11. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  12. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  13. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  14. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  15. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  16. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  17. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  18. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  19. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  20. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  21. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  22. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  23. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  24. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  25. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  26. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  27. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  28. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  29. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  30. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  31. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  32. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  33. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  34. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  35. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  36. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  37. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  38. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  39. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  40. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  41. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  42. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  43. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  44. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  45. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  46. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  47. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  48. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  49. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL
  50. Press SHIFT+CTRL+[>] and DEL

Lesson 2 – Refactoring

  1. Highlight a line of code
  2. Press CTRL+C
  3. Click on the next empty line
  4. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  5. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  6. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  7. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  8. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  9. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  10. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  11. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  12. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  13. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  14. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  15. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  16. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  17. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  18. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  19. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  20. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  21. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  22. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  23. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  24. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  25. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  26. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  27. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  28. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  29. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  30. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  31. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  32. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  33. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  34. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  35. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  36. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  37. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  38. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  39. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  40. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  41. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  42. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  43. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  44. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  45. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  46. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  47. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  48. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  49. Press CTRL+V and ENTER
  50. Press CTRL+V and ENTER

Lesson 3 – Expert Refactoring

  1. Place cursor at beginning of first line of code
  2. Press TAB
  3. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  4. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  5. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  6. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  7. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  8. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  9. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  10. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  11. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  12. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  13. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  14. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  15. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  16. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  17. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  18. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  19. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  20. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  21. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  22. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  23. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  24. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  25. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  26. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  27. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  28. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  29. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  30. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  31. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  32. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  33. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  34. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  35. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  36. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  37. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  38. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  39. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  40. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  41. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  42. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  43. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  44. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  45. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  46. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  47. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  48. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  49. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB
  50. Press [Down Arrow]+[Home]+TAB

Lesson 4 – Super Expert Uber Refactoring

  1. Click the little [+] code-folding handle to collapse a bunch of code
  2. Click the tool icon to comment the entire block
  3. Press CTRL+N (new file)
  4. CTRL+V
  5. Repeat for every code block
  6. After every code block is in its own file, reverse the process and paste each file contents back into the original file
  7. Repeat steps 1 through 6 about 5,000 times

Summary

Repeat the above skill drills 5,000 times every day for the next 5,000 days and you’ll be ready to apply for that fantastic junior entry level programmer analyst position you’ve been waiting for!  Don’t wait!  Get started today!

Windows 10 Secrets: Undocumented Hotkeys

The next time you want to impress someone at a social gathering, wait until they’ve finished rambling about how much they know about Windows 10. Then set your drink down calmly, smile and chuckle “That’s cute. I remember when I first learned those tricks. Years ago.  Before I became a man.” (tip: insert woman here, if appropriate)

Then hit them with these proven hotkey secrets:

Un-stick any frozen application

Press CTRL+ALT+Space+ smack the shit out of the keyboard. Any keys will do.

Recover a frozen web form

Press CTRL+ALT+DEL then grasp the keyboard in both hands and forcefully rip the USB connector loose.  Bonus tip: scream as loud as possible while removing the keyboard to speed up the recovery.

Automatically Rebuff an Annoying Facebook Comment

Press CTRL+ALT and press your face against the display screen and scream as loud as you can “you stupid MF-er!!!

Remember, computers don’t kill people.  People kill people… and their computers.

Quick Rundown on FudgePop and why the Silly Name

The name comes from a wine-infused discussion around Chocolatey, which was around Nuget, which was around Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Chocolatey Stout, which was bout $9 per bottle.  This post however, was sponsored by half a bottle of Pinot Noir, by an unnamed winery somewhere in Wineville.  FudgePop itself was contrived from a casual “bet” over a bottle of Dogfish Head 120 IPA that it’s possible to use nothing but free tools and features included with Windows 10 to manage a “group” of such devices from a central location, regardless of where those other devices are located.

Btw, I just uploaded 1.0.16 to the PowerShell gallery

Installation

Install-Module FudgePop
Import-Module FudgePop

Note: .NET framework 3.5 is recommended for some Chocolatey packages.  FudgePop does not install .NET 3.5 by default.

Use the following to confirm/verify the latest version…

Get-Module

Once the module has been installed on each subsequent victim, er, I mean “device”, scaling out is just a matter of replicating the same steps as the previous device.  On domain-joined devices, you can use Group Policy to deploy it as well as via PowerShell deployment from Intune for devices joined to Azure AD Premium.  Workgroup computers require manual intervention (hands-on, remote connection, etc.)

Functions

New-FudgePopTemplate

Creates a new XML control file using the default (sample) provided with the module.  Other samples are posted on the project GitHub site.  Note that all settings are disabled by default, and filled in with sample/example information only.

New-FudgePopTemplate -OutputFile "c:\devtest\control.xml"

Install-FudgePop

Configures default options such as control file location, enable/disable recurring scheduled execution, and hourly interval between scheduled executions.

Install-FudgePop

Invoke-FudgePop

Executes the FudgePop agent.  If you configured it correctly, magical things happen before your drunken eyes.  If you goofed up the configuration, it forces you to watch The View until your eyeballs bleed.  That last feature is not yet enabled.  Note that this function is what is called by the RunFudgePop.bat script during each scheduled execution (if scheduled execution is enabled).

Invoke-FudgePop -TestMode -Verbose
Invoke-FudgePop -Verbose

Remove-FudgePop

Disables and uninstalls FudgePop from a client device.  It then applies 440 volts of taser current to your genitals until you reinstall it.  jk

Remove-FudgePop -Complete

Show-FudgePop

Displays information about current configuration, last runtime status and rectal thermometer temperature of your cat or dog.  That last feature is not yet enabled.

Show-FudgePop

Get-FudgePopInventory

Bonus, low-calorie, gluten-free, and totally vegan function to export basic inventory data from your meth-addicted Windows device.  It was a proof-of-concept to export a basic set of juicy and utterly useless data into an Azure SQL database so I could win a bet and enjoy a free sushi lunch.  The Azure SQL interface is planned for a future version, but will ultimately depend on user feedback (i.e. does anyone really want that capability?) and how badly I want more sushi.

Get-FudgePopInventory
Get-FudgePopInventory -Computer d001,d002,d003
Get-FudgePopInventory -FilePath "c:\reports\"
Get-FudgePopInventory -StyleSheet "c:\reports\custom.css"

Help

The markdown files were cranked out by a team of recovering caffeine addicts fresh from the Port Authority bus terminal.  Actually, they were cranked out with PlatyPs, which is pretty cool, and doesn’t come from the bus terminal.  You can find them in the “docs” folder beneath the module path (e.g. “c:\program files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\fudgepop\1.0.16\docs”).

Use FudgePop in a Sentence

Hey man.  I just took a FudgePop on your mattress.”

Sample Scenario

You’re drunk.  But that’s not unusual with your day job as an airline pilot.  You staggered out of an airport terminal, and fell face-first into a random Uber vehicle with the doors open.  You wake up the next morning at your apartment, in a bathtub filled with ice, and a clear plastic aquarium tube attached to where your left kidney used to be.  You get up carefully, and drag the tube with you to the kitchen and make some fresh ramen with Srirachi sauce and a cup of coffee.  The entire time you keep thinking that of all his pranks, your roommate did a fantastic job of making these sutures look and feel authentic.

You grab your roommate’s laptop which has Windows 10 1709 installed, and you logon as a local administrator account and open a PowerShell console using “Run as Administrator”

You set the execution policy to Unrestricted, while staring at the PowerShell book with Don Jones’ picture on it, and say to yourself, “I know, this is very very bad, but I live on the edge baby.”

Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted

You then use one finger on each hand to type:

Install-Module FudgePop

…and press Enter.

(example only. actual results may vary, depending upon your alcohol intake and criminal record)

Then, you can’t help it, but you hurl directly onto your cat, who returns the favor by urinating in your snow boots.  You use the cat to wipe your face off, and return back to the keyboard and type:

Import-Module FudgePop

…and press Enter.

After an IV drip of Death From Above coffee, and a Cat Shampoo enema, you type:

New-FudgePopTemplate -OutputFile wtfisthis.xml

…and make a new control XML file.  You edit it to suit your test environment (computer names, collection names, apps, etc.) and copy the XML file to your GitHub Gist.  You get the “raw” Gist URL and copy the address to your clipboard.

You make some breakfast from whatever isn’t fuzzy in the fridge and then go back to the keyboard, where you cat fell asleep, causing the letter “zzzzzz” to overflow the buffer and make a machine gun beep sound.  You realize that wasn’t Cat Shampoo, but Drano that your poured into the Cat Shampoo bottle because the Drano bottle leaked after you dropped while trying to light your vaporizer with a match.  You scoot the kitty off the keyboard, brush off the hair balls and type…

Install-FudgePop

You answer the prompts with one hand, choosing to enable the scheduled run option for 3 hour intervals, while the other hand is manipulating a pair of greasy chopsticks you found in the trashcan because you couldn’t find a fork, spoon, or plastic spork anywhere.

You look around for the mouse, but it’s gone.  After scouring the entire house/apartment, you find it buried in the kitty litter box.  You recover it, wipe it off on your pants and set it back on the desk and use it to poke around to see what all this FudgePop mess did to your roommate’s computer…

  • It created a registry hive under HKLM:Software\FudgePop
  • It created a PowerShell module folder under $env:PSModulePath
  • It created a Scheduled Task named “FudgePop Agent” under the root folder
  • It added $100 to your bank account (not really)

You go back to the PowerShell console, pause, look around for the cat, and think “what in the **** am I doing anyway?” and after 30 seconds of staring into space you remember that you were using your roommate’s laptop for an important experiment, and you continue on.

You type in…

Invoke-FudgePop -TestMode -Verbose

…so you can see everything it would have done if it weren’t using that stupid -TestMode switch.  It prompts you to trust some mysterious thing called an “untrusted repository”, but you’ve got 55 gallons of testosterone coursing through your veins, and no stupid sissy warnings are going to scare you off.  And besides, you can’t spell “untrusted” without the word “trust” so how could it be bad?  Just like your cousin who kept whining about putting that safety “on” when you were shooting at tin cans and you ignored him and shoot him in the foot.  Like that’s any excuse to use safety stuff.  Yeah.  But it’s okay, because FudgePop is only asking you to trust the PowerShell Gallery, so it can install some needed tools.

You toss back another glass of liquor, notice the cat staring at you, making you wonder if she spiked your glass with something special.  You ignore that feeling and type…

Invoke-FudgePop -Verbose

…just to see what it’s doing to diabolically reconfigure your roommate’s laptop into a tactical nuclear toilet flushing device.  Not really, but it’s likely that it’s creating a desktop shortcut for Internet Explorer, installed a bunch of Chocolatey packages like 7-Zip, Visual Studio Code, Office 365 ProPlus, and Putty, added some folders, files and registry keys, reconfigured some services, and installed a custom .MSI or .EXE from an on-premises server share (you know, the “Chris Hansen Kiddy Porn Undercover Arrest Me Kit 2015 Premium Edition.exe” with the important /S switch).

Everything looks great.

But, being that you don’t trust anyone who’s birth certificate says their name is really ‘skatterbrainz’ you decide to look under C:\Windows\Temp and find a “fudgepop.log” file and open it up.  Your skull falls in pieces on the floor due to the overload of retinal bombardment of verbosity and quantum-level granularity, and because you’re still hung over AF.  But that’s beside the point.  You make some tweaks to the control XML file, rub your hands together while nodding and grinning, laughing like a German lab scientist in a WWII movie, not realizing your cat is going to the bathroom on something else you value on the other side of the room.  You install FudgePop on another device and repeat the process.

You carefully tie that plastic kidney tube closed using the twisty-tie from the plastic bag you use for the litter box.

Later, your room mate returns, sees what you’ve done and pounds your face into the sofa and leaves.

I hope to return in 2018.  Until then: Happy New Year!

IT Pro Tips for Android Users

Warning: The following information may contain extreme and dangerous technical terminology. Read at your own risk.

  1. Do not submerge your device in water unless it is encased in a waterproof case.
  2. Do not smack the touch screen with large, rhinestone-embossed, 10k gold-plated pimp ring.
  3. Do not operate your device without some sort of protective case.  A protective case does not include duct tape or ziplock baggies.
  4. Do not puke on your device.
  5. Do not use your device as a substitute car jack.
  6. Do not use your device to crush dangerous insects or spiders.
  7. Do not use your device to pry open the jaws of an angry pit bull.
  8. Do not pound nails with your device.
  9. Do not use the flashlight feature on your phone to search in the dark for your phone.
  10. Do not attempt to clean a soiled device by dunking it in boiling water, or paint thinner.
  11. Do – Remove Facebook apps to increase battery life from 3 hours to 7 hours.
  12. Do  – Remove all apps to increase battery life from 7 to 400 hours.
  13. Do – Disable NFC unless you’re one of those weirdos that has an NFC device.
  14. Do – Disable Bluetooth unless you have Bluetooth devices to pair it with.
  15. Do – Install a real keyboard app on it as soon as possible (e.g. Swiftkey)
  16. Do – Avoid conversations with iPhone users. If it cannot be avoided, be sure to respond to the other person’s first question (regardless of the topic) with “You know, Android has been scientifically proven to extend penises.”
  17. Do – Avoid conversations with other Android device users if they’re not from the same manufacturer.  For example, if an LG device touches a Samsung device, it may cause a matter/anti-matter implosion.
  18. Do – Perform a factory-reset after you reach level 40 on Candy Crush Soda Saga.
  19. Do – enable cloud backup services.  If you cannot enable cloud backup services, toss the device in the nearest fire.
  20. Do not forget to enjoy using your new Android device.

If I had a Dollar for Every time…

Skype for Business client said “You can’t add or remove Favorites at this time. Try again later.”

Someone on a conference call said (late): “Sorry, I was walking to mute

A web site says it only works in Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer (but not Edge)

My smartphone says “you have 24 app updates pending

Microsoft Outlook client says “trying to connect”

I heard “that will be fixed in the next version

Our power company insists a new project will benefit customer costs, but it never does

Health, Dental and Vision insurance premiums increased, while overall coverage drops

I pass a hospital in the midst of major renovation or new construction

I hear Siri say “here’s what I found…”

I hear Google Assistant saying nothing whatsoever (it pantomimes)

I hear a corporate line manager get excited over a cloud migration while saying it will help reallocate staffing

I hear a corporate executive get excited over a cloud migration while saying it will help reduce staffing

Netflix adds another stand-up comedy special

I hear someone bashing foreign markets while they’re holding a Chinese-made phone

I hear someone complain about how stupid and unreliable human vehicle drivers are, but they’re dead against self-driving cars

My little terrier bark at the sound of an ant tip-toeing over the carpet at 2am

I hear Webex say “at the tone, please say your name and then press pound…

I see some idiot named Skatterbrainz post some stupid crap online