"Are you able to join the [moronic conference call that could have been an email] ?"
Wrong question. I am able to join, but I am not joining. And now I'm turning off my instant messenger too. This is why I'm still working on something that I could have finished three days ago if it weren't for conference call overload.
2020-04-22 14:11 from IGnatius T Foobar
"Are you able to join the [moronic conference call that could have
been an email] ?"
Wrong question. I am able to join, but I am not joining. And now I'm
turning off my instant messenger too. This is why I'm still working on
something that I could have finished three days ago if it weren't for
conference call overload.
Don't you love when they invite you to a video or audio teleconference that is totally unnecesary, and you show up anyway, and the conference crashes because the organizer and you are the only people who managed to set the software right?
Not weird software you have to compile yourself or any other user-unfriendly thing mind you. Software designed for end-users...
All of them have pros and cons.
* Microsoft Teams (aka Microsoft's dagger straight into the heart of Slack)
Scales pretty well. Seems to support most hardware. It was the first one that I saw which could blur your background without additional software.
Doesn't support participants using telephone audio unless you've surrendered your entire phone system to Microsoft. Insists on stealing my headset from whatever other application was using it when I join a screen share.
* WebEx (Cisco)
The perennial corporate favorite. Works pretty well, supports both computer audio and phone audio. Generally considered secure by corporate data security poindexters. It's expensive to use. During peak demand it can take 30-90 seconds to establish audio and video once you've joined a call.
* Zoom Meetings
This one is going gangbusters right now; they've done a great job of making it scale During These Uncertain Times (tm). It has the nicest set of background substitution tools, with or without a blue screen. On the other hand, it's pretty much universally thought to be insecure, actually prohibited by some corporate security groups (mine is one), and is known to have a direct surveillance path by the Chinese government.
* Facebook Video
Fuck you, I'm not joining your meeting.
Don't forget Skype, Google Meet, Google Hangouts. My last two jobs have predominantly used the latter two (which are nearly identical products, and work in Chrome without installing any native plugins.) We haven't had any problems except for the occasional audio feedback loop.
Hell no I'm not going to let the IT department put its spyware all over my personal rig. Now I've got to build a VM if I want to get any work done today.
I think that's the first problem. You shouldn't be wanting to get any
work done today.
And I didn't. Things got progressively worse, partially my own fault.
I have the corporate desktop image on a USB stick, so I figured I'd just spin one up in a VM. It doesn't boot, not in UEFI mode, not in BIOS mode, nothing even recognizes it as a bootable stick. So I figured just to get some work done I'll boot it from bare metal and install it on a spare drive I happen to have in the machine. Upon booting I expected the "which drive do you want to install it on" screen, but the image is pre-configured to just start the installation immediately.
Eventually I got an error that basically said "Windows cannot be installed on this disk, which contained another installation that you were already using, but we've erased it anyway. Sorry NOT SORRY!"
Then I discovered that for reasons I still can't figure out, my backups were excluding anything stored on the Desktop. WTF?
I removed the M.2 from my work laptop and installed it in the desktop to see if it would boot. Didn't even find it.
And for the final knife in the back, after I reassembled the laptop -- having disconnected the battery -- it worked again when I powered it up. So I basically wrecked my personal rig for no reason.
I blame Facebook.
Then I discovered that for reasons I still can't figure out, my
backups were excluding anything stored on the Desktop. WTF?
Sorry to hear that, man.
I always do a full rsync dump of my personal computers using a Live CD, when the OS is powered off. That way I can check the important things are copied and I can ensure backup consistency.
I still don't know why.
Lost from the desktop, and omitted from my backups, was the entire ten year collection of audio work I did for my friend who owns a dance studio. This year when we put together music for the recital, every time she asks "can you bring up so-and-so song that we used a couple of years ago" it'll be "nope, we have to produce it from scratch again."
I've also lost all the raw footage for several video projects, including the sequel to my generator video that has 1.8 million views. I lost other footage too, including my overhaul of the World's Oldest Power Strip, which cannot be re-acquired because I've already disassembled it and thrown away the old parts.
This is my fault. I should have kept an offsite backup. That having been said, my *onsite* backup wasn't destroyed; it simply didn't include everything I thought it included. I can't even blame Microsoft for this one -- their installer normally asks you which disk to erase -- this was our corporate image which goes ahead and erases Disk 0 without asking.
EPILOGUE: on Wednesday afternoon I got a call from the help desk, answering my request for assistance with a totally dead laptop that I submitted on Monday morning. I had already given up on ever getting help from them, as they had a zero track record of success to begin with, but if the machine was dead I would have had to get a replacement sent. Good thing I worked around the problem on my own or I'd have been unable to work for a week.
Epi-epi-epi-logue: after a few more problems with the work laptop, they're sending me a new one.
I heard my cubicle ( well, sort of cubicle, we went to open concept 2 years ago. everyone hates it. ) is being used for storage now. I guess some team was required to come ion, and they took over our area, moved the rest of my teams stuff into my spot.
Below was during renovation. We do have little plastic barriers screwed into the tables they are about a foot tall, one above the desk, one below. And a small coat cabinet against the wall between tables. About 400 of us on this floor total. Its awful. I dont have a good picture of it afterwards, without a lot of faces and stuff i shouldn't be posting.
Oh, and they didnt even bother cleaning the carpet after they moved the cubes and desks out...