I haven't done a post in a while, and in fact posting has been really quite rare for the last 3 months or so. There is a really good reason for this. I've been working 58 hour weeks, which I'm not complaining about (two jobs, extra money, redundancy pay soon), but lets face it, how much posting about work can I do when basically all my time is spent doing rather mundane stuff (at one job answering phones, and at the other rolling out computers)?
Let me say again, I'm not complaining. I actually quite enjoyed the rollout, time spent with people as you upgrade their machine is great, and that feeling of making something work when it just really doesn't work too is undescribable. However, it's really nothing to blog about. At some stage I should post up some of the interesting things I've learnt, script snippets I wrote (quite a few on my own time, because they made my own job a whole lot easier). That's not happening tonight though.
Recently (as in since Monday last week) I've been working with the Mac guy on rolling out Apple Remote Desktop. Actually Mac guy is wrong - in Desktop support there 4 of the 8 with Macs on their desk. All 4 use the mac as their primary machine; actually with me it's 5 of 9. Not bad stats there, I have to say. It's great because I'm working on a platform I enjoy using, I have 3 machines on my desk (two macs and a pc that is used just to vnc to a third), and I'm working with a tool that promises to be really useful.
Apple Remote Desktop, you say? It's not like the Microsoft product/tech of the same name. It's not really useful as just a way of remote controlling your own mac (that's what VNC is for), or for allowing multiple people to use the same mac at the same time. If you've heard of Microsoft's Systems Management Server, it's kind of the same thing. Gives you a way of rolling out packages (and install them) and files, get system information, etc. The retrieval of system information is of particular interest to me - it stores that data in a PostgreSQL database, that without much difficulty is accessible via PHP or, well, anything else. (Again something to write up at some stage.) I've been working on something I call "ARD Reports", which is a tool that talks to that database and retrieves information and does reports that ARD doesn't. Depending on how it goes I might try and release it, as I'm sure it will be of use to other people.
Anyway, I'll blog out some of the documentation I've generated while working with ARD as well, at some stage.