the red tape, it burns

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Oct 2, 2019, 9:57:14 AM10/2/19
I work for a Large Government Agency. [1] I have an old and outdated
machine that needs to be physically rebooted and fsck'd once or twice
a week, and I'm trying to replace it with a VM and slightly updated
software. The data is for reference only and hasn't changed in years.
I think there are three people who occasionally refer to it.

But I can't just set up my new machine, install the software, copy the
data, and go on my way.

First, the new software needs to be put onto a DVD and stored in our
Library. Then we need to write an Installation Document that details,
step by step, the actions and commands needed to install the software
on the machine. [2] Then I need to go to the Library, check out the
software, [3] and (under watchful eyes for verification purposes) follow
the instructions to install the software.

The data follows almost the same process, except ... The data is
considered Sensitive. As such, it must be encrypted when stored
in the Library. [4] But encrypted data is useless without an encryption
key. So the encryption key must also be stored in the Library along
with the data.

*sob* All I want do is replace a broken machine.


[1] I used to call it "Very Large", but I'm not longer certain that's true.
A co-worker pointed out that "Department of Defense has rounding errors
bigger than our budget."

[2] The woman in charge of the Installation Document was stunned when
I noted, in passing, that the software was already installed. How else
does she expect me to determine the steps needed to install the software
without installing the software?

[3] Find an external DVD drive to attach to my computer,

[4] I still need to figure out to how encrypt / decrypt a flash drive in
CentOS through VMWare, but that's UI and I'm sure I'll figure it out somehow.

Wojciech Derechowski

Oct 2, 2019, 11:54:17 PM10/2/19
On Wed, 02 Oct 2019 13:57:13 +0000, hymie! wrote:
> *sob* All I want do is replace a broken machine.

This is from Trurl's Machine in The Cyberiad by Stanisław Lem trans. by
Michael Kandel:

In order to reach the riverbed, it was necessary to pass the remains of
the machine, which resembled the wreck of some mighty vessel thrown up
upon a beach. Without a word, the two stopped together in the shadow of
its twisted hull. The machine still quivered slightly, and one could hear
something turning, creaking feebly, within.

"Yes, this is the bad end you've come to, and two and two is - as it always
was - " began Trurl, but just then the machine made a faint, barely audible
croaking noise and said, for the last time, "SEVEN." Then something snapped
inside, a few stones dribbled down from overhead, and now before them lay
nothing but a lifeless mass of scrap. The two constructors exchanged a look
and silently, without any further comment or conversation, walked back the
way they came.

Who is Entscheidungs and what is his problem?
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