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Filed Under Technology

Highlights from the SysAdminís Keychain

Posted October 7, 2007

The SysAdmin is the person responsible for fixing your computer at work. If youíve seen them, grumbling as they retrieve your forgotten password, you might have noticed the keychain, a giant jangly Giacometti sculpture clanging off a carabiner attached to their fanny pack. What do they have on that mass of metal? And if youíve ever gotten close enough to their unnaturally pale skin you might get a close look at what tools are necessary to weigh them down and cause hip problems later in life.

Skeleton key
This is usually ornamental, stolen from the SysAdminís grandmotherís house while the rest of the family was out enjoying the sun. It is meant to attract the hot goth girl from Human Resources but almost always fails. It also may open a treasure from the secret lair they constructed during their Dungeons and Dragons days.

Identity Badge/USB drive
All major IT firms require multiple levels of security, and the SysAdmin is happy to carry the badge, because it makes them feel important. For one moment per day as they swipe their card, they can pretend that the work for the National Security Agency and they fear that the alarms just might go off and they can resume their former, Jason Bourne-like existence outside the law. They keep the ident card on their keychain because they are not so uncool as to wear it on a lanyard. Only database administrators do that.

But how could you make it better? The backing of the ident card contains a USB drive to store sensitive materials (mp3ís, porn, the cell phone number of the hot goth chick from Human Resources, and the eBook version of The Fountainhead).

Movie Store Fob
This signifies that the SysAdmin is not afraid to go out into the normal world and rent movies (even though he usually rents new video games).

Actual Keys
There are some useful keys on the keychain, like the key to the house, the Miata, and the key to the locker for the gym the SysAdmin never has time to go to. Thereís often a key for a safe deposit box for all his important paperwork, such as bonds, passport, and a photo taken when he was accidentally being kissed.

Leatherman/Gerber tool/Scimitar
These tools are used to fix computers, to install RAM and replace hard drives. Sometimes you even need a saw to get into somebodyís hard drive. Just as long as you understand that the SysAdminís keychain will never have a Swiss Army knife. Who ever heard of the Swiss Army? What did they ever win? The Leatherman or other large weapon-filled tool may not have the usual instruments for opening a can of Mountain Dew, but when in doubt you can always use the awl.



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