Automatically shutting down idle computers
cmw.osdude 120000QT77 Comment (1) Visits (2999)
As editor for Linux and Open Source on developerWorks, I sometimes have to go back and dig through older articles as I evaluate new submissions. The nature of these topics means that people are always finding new spins on existing tools and techniques. However, I don't want the new stuff to supplant the existing material if the older articles are still valid. In Linux especially, I'll find that information that is several years old is still valid and useful because the technology improves behind the scenes without messing with the established interface.
So, today I'm going through a proposal for an article talking about approaches to using Snort (an open source network intrusion prevention and detection system) and I find this article from 2008: "Shut down idle computers on your network automatically". This was published in the Linux zone before I became editor there and I just missed it at the time.
That is just cool! What an interesting combination of technologies that combine creatively to solve a problem. To me that's the real world of IT. Even with all of the sophisticated "off the shelf" solutions and custom developement that happens in an environment, the people in charge of getting things done are still going to have to use their own creativity to patch over missing elements. Sure, these functions usually get incorporated into the other tools over time, but this sort of creative solution helps an astute IT team fix things right now. In some cases this sort of solution works just fine and prevents having to purchase an expensive commercial solution when it emerges.
I want to raise a glass in toast to all the people doing the hard work of keeping things running for people. Your work is never appreciated when you do it correctly (everything just works) and you are unfairly maligned when problems do come up. Hopefully these kinds of tools in your toolbox help keep you nimble and make you miracle workers.