[AusNOG] My condolences to the people trying to sort out remote learning

Dave Taht dave.taht at gmail.com
Mon Apr 20 10:06:55 EST 2020

On Sun, Apr 19, 2020 at 5:04 PM Rob Thomas <xrobau at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm watching my wife and her friends on derpbook try to consolidate
> their tech support hints and tips to get the rugrats onto and into Day
> 1 of their remote learning, and the last thing she sent to me was
> 'High school has fully crashed'.
> I understand that all your stuff is on fire, and everything that was
> on fire yesterday is now a towering inferno, and you probably feel
> like everyone is blaming you.
> Please don't stress. If you have someone breathing down your neck,
> here's a bunch of technically correct, but also useless excuses you
> can give people to get them off your back for a while, while you
> actually fix the problems that have cropped up without having to
> explain them to a non-technical audience.
> 1. There are IPv6 problems (you can grow this one out as much as you
> want. Blame NAT64)
> 2. We aren't receiving all of AARNET's BGP announcements (bonus points
> are awarded if you're not MEANT to be receiving AARNET's BGP
> announcements, but still manage to use this as an excuse)
> 3. Some of our peering links are down (Well, you can't use that if you
> REALLY have all your peering links up, but who is in that state right
> now??)
> 4. Office365 is playing up _or_ Office365 has just started working
> (You can alternate this one, to match reality)
> 5. There's congestion on the Telstra network (Don't be specific as to
> WHERE the congestion is)
> 6. Have you checked YOUR firewall? No, really. Check it again. (Repeat
> several times)
> 7. Wildcard! Blame VoIP.  SIP is so complex, most people will glaze
> over when you start explaining that the SDP is being mangled
> incorrectly so RTP is leaving bogus port forwarding in place in your
> border NAT device which ... blah blah.

8. Bufferbloat!

> But here's the important thing.  This is not the end of the world. If
> stuff is down because of something out of your control, or because
> you're busy putting out other fires, IT DOESN'T MATTER. Here's a photo
> of my pair not CARING that everything is broken.
> https://i.imgur.com/jBXrE9M.png
> They're the end users, they don't care. No matter who is saying it's a
> life and death thing, it's not. There ARE things that are life and
> death (eg, 000/VoIP!). Care about those.
> And geez, if you REALLY get stuck with something that you think that
> you should be able to figure out and can't, post it here. We don't
> mind. Got a VOIP problem? Ask me here, or off list. BGP Filters not
> working? Routing loops? Whatever. Post it here. (Except, possibly
> enough of the 'Office 365 CDN is corrupt' stuff, because this is
> something that Microsoft REALLY SHOULD have solved by now)
> I always find that even just talking about, or writing down, a problem
> that has stumped me always helps (see 'Rubber Duck Debugging'). Half
> of us are sitting around twiddling our thumbs because we've got 50% of
> our normal traffic, and I'm sure we'll all be willing to help.
> --Rob
> PS: I honestly, truly, care. I've been RIGHT at the end of my tether
> for stupid reasons and because I was under insane pressure. You,
> personally, are more important than your job. Don't kill yourself
> (metaphorically OR literally).  Wanna chat about shit? Call me.
> 0402-077-155. Anytime.
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Make Music, Not War

Dave Täht
CTO, TekLibre, LLC
Tel: 1-831-435-0729

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