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I was a little too busy last week to post this since I am now a System Administrator and all. Enjoy!

System Administrator Appreciation Day

Where did sysadmin day come from?

Back in May 2000, at lunch table, Ted was reading some computer magazine, possibly InfoWorld. There was a double-page ad for Hewlett Packard LaserJet 4000 series printers.

In the ad, a typical "SysAdmin" sits in his cubical [sic]. A long line of "customers" stretches out the door, holding wrapped boxes, fruit baskets, and flowers; the ad saying that the customers want to show their appreciation for the purchase of HP LaserJet printers.

Just a few months previous, Ted had purchased a bunch of that same model LaserJet printer for my company. Sensing injustice, Ted exclaimed to my fellow co-workers: "Where's mine? Look at this guy!, He's getting gifts for his hard work".

They, of course, all rolled their eyes, and laughed.

However, later that night, he got the idea for a special holiday, like "Secretary's Day", for System Administrators. So he registered the domain-name,, and created the website. He chose the last Friday of July as the official day, sent out a few dozen email messages to friends, and began plans to have a company BBQ on that day.

That was the first SysAdminDay, July 2000.

Held the last Friday in July, SysAdmin Day now draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to its website, and is a chance for thousands of sysadmins, IT, and network professionals all around the world to be recognized for their long hours, hard work and dedication.

What is a system administrator?
Well, look at the title. Administrator of systems. A system adminsitrator takes care of systems.

Now, most people read "system" to mean an individual computer, and think that all a sysadmin does is clean viruses off your computer and replace your monitor. That's not wrong — but it is only one page of the whole story.

A real computing system is larger. Very few computers work just on their own anymore; when you use the web, play a game online, share files with a friend, or send email, you're using a complex and intricate collection of computers, networks and software that come together to do the job you're asking.

A sysadmin manages these systems — they figure out how to bring storage from one server, processing from another, backups from a third and networking from a fourth computer all together, working seamlessly. For you.

It's not an easy task. Your sysadmins need to understand in depth computing protocols. They often have to know something about programming, something about hardware, a lot about software — and even more about the people using their system.

A sysadmin is a professional, with complex skills, ethical challenges, and a daunting job. Many, if not most, people find computers difficult to use, and sometimes they're unreliable. Being a sysadmin doesn't absolve someone of dealing with unreliable computers. Oh, one can dream of such a day, but the opposite is true; no one sees more dead computers in a day than a sysadmin. No one sees them doing truly baffling things, and no one has more stories of computers failing, acting possessed, or even catching on fire.

Enjoy some sysadmin humor:

Advice to employees on the proper use of the System Administrator's valuable time

So have you thanked your sysadmin lately?