October 04, 2005

Addressing Comments Regarding Outages

Thank you to all people who are reading the blog. All comments, negative and positive, countering or agreeing are great. I will now address a few of the better ones.

Comment 1

  • The admin's network wouldn't be down for 8 days because no one using the admin network blatently breaks the usage rules (for instance by pluging in wireless access points)

I love a straw-man flame. I answered this comment with a comment of my own:
I unplugged the wireless when the network wasn't working, in case I was creating a routing loop. Now, straw-man arguments are oh-so-very common in the IT industry. Happened at my previous job a lot. Take a comparison of these:
'Sorry, we can't help you, as you're running Linux and we don't actually know any technical data about what we provide.'
'Sorry, we can't help you, as your router wasn't bought from our to-do list and doesn't match our checklist support system.'
'Sorry, because you plugged in a wireless router, turned down the power so far it doesn't get out of the room and removed the external arial and have taken it out since outages occured, you're in no position to blame student computing for the outages on the network.'

They all create a new argument and use it to prove another. This is the fundamental of a straw man argument.

The wiser of you will realise that my retort in itself is a Straw Man. This is because fighting fire with fire is funny, until you get seriously burned!

Comment 2

  • The difference being that running most of the apps that are running on the network here would be a sacking offence at most research establishments…

I got told by student computing the problem was caused by worms, viruses and peer to peer activity. As for viruses and worms I think the comparison is somewhat fair. Peer to peer is a much more tricky one because here although it's banned it's not a single-strike policy like it was at that establishment. However, the techincals ways in which to contain the problem are very much similar from what I've been told.

If the problems were being caused by an overabundance of legtimate activities such as recreational downloading, legitimate peer to peer such as bittorrenting legitimate files or Skype, and gaming… I'd definitely retract my complaints and put it down to a network that's just starved for bandwidth, which no-one can do anything about.

Comment 3

  • Pfui. SCS is just being a buncha lazy nerks. They can fix it, they just don't want to go to the trouble, so they are wingeing to the residents.

Probably not as bad as all that! What I will say is I really would expect to see them forced to add some kind of system to prevent this type of thing in future. But hey, I'm just a student who can't access reading notes, the mandantory-to-use forums for lessons, or sensitive information such as Warwick Pride guides in his room and instead has to do so in a public place.

- 3 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. I have no idea what the real source of the trouble with the residential network is, but I don't think it's fair to compare it with an office network from the network admin point of view. Aside from the fact that most offices do not have thousands of devices connected, most of the devices are homogeneous (from the same manufacturer) and network technicians can check every access point easily by walking up to that desk. In a hall of residence, virtually every single device is different (many of them having been imported from all over the world) and technicians cannot just walk into each and every bedroom to check what is connected and test the port. Add that to the fact that staff users will usually have a very predictable pattern of traffic and will mostly use only correctly licensed software installed from a reputable source, and there's really not much of a comparison.

    04 Oct 2005, 17:17

  2. I think this is probably the nicest comment I've heard so far and I don't really think I can counter it. Anyway, the outage is over, so everyone on both sides of the war can rejoice.

    04 Oct 2005, 17:20

  3. Enjoy your in-room networking then! We didn't have anything like that when I was a student. Also the web hadn't been invented.

    04 Oct 2005, 17:25

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