Interview with Roderick W. Smith, Author of "Advanced Linux Networking"
It wasn't really system administration, but I was once in the room when somebody (who shall remain nameless) put a hard disk ON an opened computer case without mounting it IN the case in order to transfer some files off of the drive. Unfortunately, the way the drive was placed on the computer case caused a short on the drive's circuit board when it was powered up, which completely fried the drive, rendering it useless. Fortunately, there was an earlier backup, so it wasn't a complete loss, but some files were lost forever, not to mention use of the hard disk.

In terms of software, I'm sure I've trashed an MBR or two while repartitioning a drive, but I can't think of any specific case that really qualifies as "most careless." There are so many careless things that can happen. Personally, I try to be very deliberate when working as root -- I usually type a command, pause with my hands off the keyboard, and only when I've reviewed the command a couple of times do I press the Enter key.

What are your plans for the future? Any exciting new projects?

I've got a book on FreeBSD that's mostly finished and will be coming out from Osborne/McGraw-Hill before too long. A book I co-authored with Vicki Stanfield, _Linux System Administration_, has just gone into its second edition. I've got proposals out for a couple of future projects, but I've heard nothing definite yet about those.


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Thu, Feb 4th