Even dirtier IT jobs: The muck stops here

More dirty tech deeds, done dirt cheap

Dirty IT Job No. 2: IT mortician

Wanted: Morbidly minded individual sought to gather up dead or discarded electronic equipment and perform last rites; excavation and embalming experience preferred.

In every organization there's always somebody who has to go in and deal with the dead parts of IT -- whether they're reclaiming infrastructure from companies that are no longer in business or simply disposing of machines that are too old to use, even if they're not quite dead yet.

As with disconnect/reconnect specialist, the job can be literally dirty, says Dimension Data's Lawrence Imeish. "This stuff can be pretty disgusting," he says. "You're dealing with years of dust, grime, and neglect. A guy gets back from one of these jobs, you'd think he worked in a coal mine."

Sooner or later, someone will demand you take possession of their "extremely valuable collections of IBM AT look-alikes, Pentium-1 knockoffs, and 'does 386 sound familiar?' artifacts from the Mesozoic era," says Bill Horne, a systems architect with William Warren Consulting.

Horne says he patiently explains that the best resting place for such systems is a local charity that will take them off the company's hands without charging a recycling fee, but most clients remain unconvinced.

"You'll be rewarded with angry demands to remove them that very minute, no matter what you thought your plans were for that day," he says. "The rear surfaces of at least one machine will be razor-sharp, and that's the machine you will make the mistake of grabbing as it starts to fall off the shelf where it was balanced precariously for centuries."

Worse, every machine will have at least one virus on it, and the software will be unsalvageable. "The best you'll be able to do is get a couple of 'free' Windows ME serial numbers," says Horne. "But you'll have to resign yourself to your fate, put bandages on your hands, wipe the blood off the face plates, flatten the hard drives, and deliver them to the Disabled Veterans' collection point."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags engineersdata crisisIT jobsmalware

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Tynan

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?