25 November 2008 Leave a comment
Excise: an indirect tax
We’re getting a temporary 2.5% cut in Value Added Tax, to encourage us to spend our way out of recession. I must say, I’m motivated to get out there and spend, spend, spend. (irony mode off).
Amongst the many forms of excise levied on the Large Corporate employee is the “standard build”. Of course, in most Large Corporates, the build is anything but standard, but they like to maintain the fiction because it implies that costs are being controlled to within an inch of their costly little lives.
My main work PC got sick on Monday. Following a weekend “security update” it no longer felt comfortable about running Excel or an other Office app, insisting that, once loaded, the application was not in fact installed. Since my machine, by virtue of my being a developer with local admin rights, is by no means standard, a rebuild was scheduled within a couple of hours of identifying the problem. Apparently the Service Level Agreement for rebuilds stipulates a maximum four day turnaround.
Four. Frickin’. Days. Are they having a Turkish*?
In the event the PC was collected and driven away on a trolley in just under two, to be returned the following morning, which should be tomorrow.
Such is progress. Ten years ago, in a different bank, when a set of DLLs I was testing managed to destabilise my PC, a chap came round inside an hour, inserted a floppy disc and gave the three-finger salute. An hour later, NT 4.0 was up and running, good as new. Come to think, that site may still have been on 3.51…
When the machine comes back, I’ll get the dubious pleasure (assuming my admin rights have somehow been preserved) of reloading the various items I need to be able to do something that actually justifies my comfortable income.
- 7-Zip, to unzip all the install files I zipped to the network
- Oracle 10g Express Edition, for my development data
- TortoiseSVN, so I can continue to control my source
- Consolas Font Family for editing that source
- SQL Tools 1.42 to talk to Oracle XE (and the integration/production instances)
- Firefox, plus about 10 add-ons (All-in-one sidebar, Adblock plus, IE Tab, Firebug and Foxmarks are essential, the others can come in as required)
- Ruby 1.8.6
- Ruby Gems, about 70 of the little darlings
- SQLite3, for my local task/issue/bug tracking database
- Console.exe, to reduce the misery of the command line
- VBScroll, so the mouse wheel will work in the VBA Editor
- Java, because the AvenTail VPN tunnelling thingy I have to use each day needs it
To be honest, I expected the list to be longer. I will install Visual Studio at some point, but I haven’t written a line of C# this year, so it’s hardly pressing.
I reckon I should have it all running again by Friday, which makes a week’s money for maybe two days’ actual work. Large Corporation Excise – I hope the increased security was worth it.
* Rhyming slang: Turkish bath (barff) = Laugh