I am a sysadmin, aka “systems administrator”, which means that yes, I manage servers and networks, but I also manage circuit breakers, AC units, desktop and laptop computers, Blackberrys, iPhones, and the occasional audio cassette. I am a guru of technology (or so all the users I support hope I am).
The reality is that I become a generalist and even though I have a few things I am definitely an expert at, with most things I know “something” about them but not everything.
Occasionally, I find that it is simpler and quicker to do something myself rather than hire an expert (in this case an electrician) and because I am a generalist this is often what I do. For example the ancient air circulation fan that was in the telco closet of the firm I support simply died. Without this fan there is no true air circulation in the small closet that hosts the main PBX phone switch. I ordered an industrial blower instead of a fan simply because of the small space the fan has to fit. The blower moves a much larger volume of air per minute compared to a slightly larger fan.
So here’s what the sysadmin had to do to complete this Information Technology related project:
- Research and purchase the replacement parts (purchasing dept.)
- Cut a piece of wood to serve as a mount for the blower (facilities dept.)
- Purchase the mounting hardware and electrical cord (facilities dept.)
- Connect the AC cord to the blower unit safely and maintaining the ground (facilities dept.)
- Mount the blower to the board and then attach everything to the wall (facilities dept.)
- Plug in the blower unit to test (IT dept.)
My dad would be proud of the electrical wiring because it was done properly and I maintained the ground connection of the 3-pronged power cord. In fact all of the skills for this project I pretty much learned from my dad (my dad worked for United Air Lines (UAL) for some 36 years as a mechanic before retiring and before that served as an electrician in the US Army).
This is the telco closet with the blower installed near the ceiling in the center. The Tadiran phone switch is the big white thing near the bottom and the iBook serves as the hold music player.
This is a detailed view of the blower mounted on the board now mounted securely to the wall.