Friday, August 22, 2008

Dare to be stupid

MAC Address
(1) Apple Computer Inc
1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014
(2) Media Access Control address. A unique set of hexidecimal characters that identifies your computer. ex. 00:1d:4f:45:83:21

In case you don't know, I work on a military base. Yesterday one of our telecommuters, one that only comes in one day of the month, tried hooking up her laptop to the network. The port was down. We tried another and another. They were all down. We thought maybe that the IT department had been shutting down little used ports as they like to do from time to time. Over the course of the day we had 5 ethernet ports fail on us.

It turns out that there is a problem with people bringing in unauthorized computers and hooking them up to the network. Not sure why this is a problem. They can get on-line but they can't access any of the secured material.

What the IT people did was assign particular MAC addresses to particular ports. If your machine doesn't have that MAC address then the port stops working.

This just means that telecommuters can't hook up their laptops here unless we have a dedicated port just for that one machine. It means we can't hook up any of our old computers with legacy data unless we call up and feed the MAC address to the network engineers. It means that anytime someone moves to a new cubicle, a printer gets moved, I have to run diagnostics on someone's laptop, or just helping setup someone's new home computer I have to jump through a series of hoops to get everything running. I can't even run the cable to a different machine to see if a problem is being caused by the computer or by a bad port. I've already had to call in and get things reconfigured once.

They live to be a pain in my ass.

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