New tech systems are go

Computer upgrades? It’s about time. (Extra Ketchup / Flickr)

Hotly-anticipated technology upgrades have finally arrived at Brandon University.  In a radical move late this March, BU replaced its current IT staff with a single Unix administrator, known to the Internet community as Dilbert.

“All internal server software has been replaced with systems running Linux and MariaDB,” says the free-lance programmer.  “The entire system has gone completely Open Source.”

What does this mean for students?  Log-in time has been reduced to .02 seconds on all campus-located computers, as well as state-of-the-art upgrades and new media-editing software.  “So far we’ve experienced no server downtime,” he adds.

Campus Wi-Fi connections have also been improved. “The Wi-Fi needed revamping,” explains Dilbert. “Connection time-outs experienced for laptops and devices have been eliminated.”

Dilbert came to BU, it seems, by a stroke of good luck.

“My automatic script had hacked into the BU database and filled the position of IT administrator for me,” relates the 45-year old millionaire.  “I then saw the ad BU had put in oDesk and they looked pretty desperate.  I responded the next day, and they hired me on the spot!”

BU’s system has been entirely rewritten.

“After typing 200 words per minute, for 20 minutes, I rewrote all of BU’s internal business login rules as well as the current website in a little PHP and SQL.  It didn’t take long.”

Dilbert only charges $1 a month for his services, as more of a courtesy, since he claims to be working mainly out of philanthropic motives.   When asked if anything else prompted a successful programmer to come to BU, Dilbert responded, “I did it mostly out of compassion.  I felt so sorry for all those students paying those ridiculous technology fees on top of their tuition, and not getting much to show for it.”  He recounted to the Quill his days a poor computer science undergrad, with his credit card maxed to the limit and not being able to buy Cheerios.

With licensing costs now eliminated, the funding generated by this move can now be allocated to more effective university spending.   A surplus of $350,000—formerly consumed by IT staff salaries—has already been partially used to purchase a new supercomputer for the Science faculty that surpasses those of University of Illinois, Stanford University, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in computational power and RAM.

Additional surplus funding has been awarded to BUGA (Brandon University Gaming Association).  A BUGA representative has already indicated the funds will go towards purchasing Alienware custom-built gaming PCs for each member.

“It’s all about the efficiency of the system,” remarks Dilbert.  “If you have efficiency, you don’t need staff.”

Former IT staff have been relocated to the newly-announced BU Faculty of Game Design and System Administration.

Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 103, Issue 27,  April 2, 2013.