Doing the I.T. thing at the South Pole

Here is something completely geeky, but I find it incredibly fascinating. Slashdot had a link to this article with Henry Malmgren, the I.T. manager to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station[wiki]. It’s a long read, but worth it to see how things operate down there, especially on a much heavier, tech level than most people probably think.

And truth be told, yours truly is working in this realm of responsibility with my day job, so I guess that’s why I find it even more intriguing. Most of the time, the biggest concern is making sure that equipment doesn’t over heat, resulting in failure. This guy, on the other hand, has to make sure everything stays warm enough so things don’t seize up from the -25F temps.

It’s also satisfying to know that the same crap happens no matter where you are in the world.

What takes up most of your time?

Information security has really come to the forefront in our priorities. Right now keeping up with security vulnerabilities and patches and things like that is taking a good third of our time. That’s a change from even two years ago. [computerworld]

It takes a strong person to want to do this type of job that essentially experiences nine months of “winter”, slightly less amount of time seeing the sun rise, and works six days a week, a minimum nine hours a day. Granted that there isn’t a lot of other things to do at the bottom of the world, but you really have to be a solitary individual that enjoys fixing people’s network problems while constantly trying to keep your toes warm.

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