Monday, June 18, 2012

Introduction: Fly on the Firewall

God has a sense of irony. And by irony, I mean that he places non-computer people like me in the IT department. Granted, I’m only a receptionist, but you still have to appreciate the irony. 

I don’t know much about computers: I keep clicking until something pops up or my computer crashes, I routinely break my work computer so that my coworkers have to come and fix it, and some days, I definitely have the desire to pour coffee over my keyboard to get it to wake up. My biggest claim to technological fame is that I can touch-type faster than my husband, former computer engineering major. (Thank you, 22 page exegesis papers.)

Despite all this, my boss asked me to start a blog which would relay various useful technological tidbits. (!!!) Yes, you read that right. I was very surprised and skeptical, too. But I guess it might be easier for me to learn how to do something and relay it to other people like me than it is for other people to understand my coworkers. 

Trust me, I’ve been practicing, and it’s hard. 

My coworkers are really skilled computer peoples. In fact, the other day, I broke my work computer (again), and I called one of our IT guys, but as soon as he asked “what is your problem?” my computer started working again. It’s like magic. 

I know I can’t compete with these guys, so I exact my revenge by pestering them mercilessly with many ignorant questions. 

I like to think of myself as a fly on the firewall. “Firewall” is a random technological word I picked up from a TV show. I don’t really know what it means. But according to Google, firewall means a “barrier intended to thwart the spread of a destructive agent.”

Destructive agents such as myself.

As a fly on the firewall, I will learn many well-kept technological secrets that will thwart myself from inadvertently destroying my own computer (I suspect this is my boss’ real motive), and I assure you that I will share here whatever technological tidbits I might glean.

 The Fly


  1. Bahahahaha!!!! I love this!!! If you are a fly then I am a mosquito! Speaking of firewalls....i did have a problem with blackboard when taking a recent quiz and someone in my class said that it was because of my "firewall". There's that word again! I acted like I knew exactly what he was talking about, to save face of course, but I was clueless. HELP!

    1. Sharleen,

      Yes, I believe a firewall will sometimes accidentally block something good.

      It's kinda like when you send an email to a lot of people at once, and it gets labeled as spam in someone's inbox. It's not that the email was spam. It just fooled the emailing program into thinking it was because of the large number of recipients.

      Likewise, though your quiz was not a destructive agent (at least, I hope not ;) something about it made technology think it was.

      I am working on getting a more complete answer from one of our Blackboard experts, so we can avoid this problem in the future :)

    2. Sharleen,

      I talked with one of our Blackboard experts, and he affirmed my original assessment.

      However, he said without further information he could not begin to know what is causing Blackboard to think your quiz was a destructive agent. He will be in contact with you shortly to fix it.

      Furthermore, we recommend that anyone else who experiences similar problems - or ANY problems at all - should contact our Help desk at (866)TEC-LETU or email us at

  2. i'm interested........good introduction to the blog.


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