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How much spare time do you have?

By Garret` ·
I work in a fairly small place - 50+ users, 3 sites, 5 servers. There are two of us in the IT dept. My job is basically to manage all the IT gear while my colleague handles more of a manager's role.

He has been away on holidays recently and I've had the place to myself. I find I have a lot of spare time. The network takes care of itself, basicly...and I have to make work for myself to keep myself occupied.

When my colleague is back I wont be able to bum around on the net so much and will get onto some more serious stuff, but while he's been away I find things relaxing...almost too relaxing.

Does anyone else find this also? And what do you do to keep yourself occupied...there's only so much you can learn from wikipedia in one day

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Well as a Consultant I never have enough

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to How much spare time do yo ...

Spare time but what little I do have is spent reading up on Tech manuals and emerging technology.

What is state of the Art today is outdated within 6 months so I constantly need to make time to read up on the new things coming and I attend every conference that I can get away to get to.

Lately I've had slow days for weeks and then when I have something to attend I get an emergency call out so I can not attend the meetings which is a real pain but I always seem to get at least half a day for the really important ones.

I spend what little spare time I have learning what I'm going to be supplying or facing tomorrow so I have a half way decent chance of getting it right the first time and not wasting more time than the job really requires.


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do test restores of backup tapes

by gvillegym In reply to Well as a Consultant I ne ...

when was the last tine you did a test restore of a backup?

play disaster senario, you come to work one day & 2 servers were stolen last night, plan of action should be in place.

research & upgrade firmwares

test & evaulate the status & usefulness of spare parts and stored retired equipment

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Well actually yesterday was my last test restore

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to do test restores of backu ...

But one of the best ones that I've had recently was a server with hot swappable SCSI's. To keep these things up and running I always have a spare boot drive stored in the place so if anything goes drastically wrong it's just a matter of powering down grabbing the other HDD & Caddy and bunging it in and starting up again a few Windows Patches being applied and then Ghost the new Drive over to the original drive and I've got the working spare again. It works wonderfully with a total down time measured in minutes well until I came to one company where I've since found that the owners son likes to bring in all his fiends at night and use the network to play games on. He attempted to load a game onto a file server and took out the Boot Drive so he just grabbed the replacement boot drive and bunged it in shoved the corrupt one away and said nothing. Two days latter he came in tried to install the same game and trashed the other Boot drive so there was no file server the next day so I got called out found a total mess and went for the spare boot drive to repair the installation and found a even bigger mess.

I got Windows back onto the boot drive and established the RAID ARRAY and when I attempted to install any software the entire thing fell over. Anyway eventually 5 days latter I discovered two extra HDD added to the unit that I knew nothing about and no one else was owning up to knowing about them either once they where removed from the unit everything worked perfectly and since they both where full of games I have a fair idea of where they came from.

If only people would tell you what they have done to the systems life would be so much easier but when I realised that they was something seriously wrong I pushed a E-Mail server into joint use as a file server/E-Mail server and they only lost 1.5 days worth of data which wasn't much as it was all of a Saturday's work and part of the Sundays work where they don't really work on the week ends so they really only lost about 30 minutes reentering any data. :)

Next time I go there I'm going to be counting the drives before I even start doing any work but as they say Live and Learn. :^O

Col ]:)

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things to do in spare time at the office

by jck In reply to How much spare time do yo ...

The one thing you have to do:


For some reason, seeming busy is more important than actually being productive. I actually had a manager tell me at my last job that perception was more important than reality.

It didn't matter if I was beating deadlines and making things work ahead of schedule. If I was seen outside too much on my cell phone, I was considered unproductive and unprofessional because I wasn't at my desk at all times.

Just look busy no matter what. Read a book on something in your field, read a tech magazine in your field, read articles on websites that won't get you fired, etc.

Just stay at the desk and look busy and keep things up to snuff.

BTW, I read wikipedia too. Never get tired of it.

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by NBPQSECOFR In reply to How much spare time do yo ...

You can never go wrong reading up on the latest and greatest in Security. Get your self an RSS reader and subscribe to the Antivirus and Security RSS feeds for companies like Securina, CA, FrSIRT, F-Secure, Kapersky. Since we are encouraging our users to start using Firefox, I'm trying to maintain a presence at, including a couple of their RSS Feeds so I can keep myself fresh on Firefox incase our users have questions.

As others have mentioned, Certifications and Planning are a couple of other things I build into my workday.

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I didn't think spare time and IT could be used in the same sentence...

by zaferus In reply to How much spare time do yo ...

In the last few weeks there hasn't been a night I haven't been in the office, including the weekends. I thought most IT was the same - understaffed and 30 projects behind. I dream of having a day where I could have even two hours to read an IT magazine or load something up on our dust covered "test" server.

Consider yourself lucky!!!

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Spare Time

by Zenfitsch In reply to How much spare time do yo ...

I work for a small architectural millwork company with 3 servers and 30+ employees. Most of the time my system runs fine. The company has given me extra tasks that have nothing to do with computers or networks. I have learnt how to read shop drawings, assist with purchasing sheet goods and hardware for the manufacturing process, take care of job costing, etc.. This was because I was getting bored and couldn't stand pretending that I was working all the time. The only problem is when the system goes funky they still expect me to be able to fix it and do all of these other things. Oh well, at least if I decide to leave I will at least have some other skills to offer employers.

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spare time??

by mjd420nova In reply to How much spare time do yo ...

Don't be too apparent about the slack time, keep
out of sight and don't let the manager know.
Always keep by the phone, as the users will
want to know where you are if you're not near the phone. A couple of missed calls from an
upset user could sink the boat. I read alot,
usually a book a week, but will jump and run
when trouble arises. Looking busy can actually
be harder than actually working.

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Spare time for what?

by rpalin In reply to spare time??

I work in a busy production enviornment (450+ workstations) where there are not enough hours in a day. I am lucky to use the bathroom when I need to, none the less read a book a week. I average 6 miles a night, walking from one side of our plant to the other. Enjoy my friend because there are those of us on the other side of the fence.

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I understand completely...

by willow12827 In reply to How much spare time do yo ...

This is something I am constantly fighting when I work on the weekends. I work 12 hour shifts in the call center. There are times when the phone is quiet, the systems are running well and everything is done. I know I have created projects for myself that help the department. I spend a lot of time researching for documentation. How to topics and fix it's.

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