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August 2009 Archives

When we asked you guys to nominate your favorite sysadmins to our pageant, we didn't expect the tsunami of entries that followed. Among the 1,000-plus nominees: a sysadmin who repaired a broken Slurpee machine that got in the way of refreshment after a hard day, one who braved raw sewage in waders and a respirator, one who brought in bacon-chocolate-chip cookies and made mojitos, one who launched himself onto a server rack to shield it against a leak in the ceiling, and one who defended her email server by redirecting junk mail from one spammer to another (not an approach we necessarily condone...at least, not in public where our lawyers can see).

sysadmin-kingandqueen.jpgIn breaks from refactoring large swaths of the ThinkGeek website source code to get it ready for this week's big re-launch, when we probably should have been sleeping, we codemonkeys read every one of your submissions and narrowed it down to a handful for the whole office to vote on. Then we wrote a little ballot-counting script using many a sysadmin's best friend, Perl. Its surprisingly verbose output (we didn't even use -v!) is as follows:

In recognition of his stamina, humility, and dedication, ThinkGeek's 2009 SysAdmin Pageant SysKing: His Most Excellent Majesty Keith Schincke of Dickinson, Texas (nominated by his wife, Sandra Schincke).

SysKing Keith's qualities of character were best exemplified when Hurricane Ike struck Houston last year. He and his family endured a week without power or hot water so that he could brave the receding floodwaters by car and then, when the roads became unpassable, by bicycle, to secure and power up the servers at NASA's Johnson Space Center.

In honor of her forbearance, diplomatic ability, and mettle, ThinkGeek's 2009 SysAdmin Pageant SysQueen: Her Most Gracious Majesty Ginger Spencer of Inglewood, California (nominated by coworker Jay Gerber)

SysQueen Ginger's qualities of character were shown on many occasions, from bridging relations between far-flung and sometimes adversarial regional offices, to waiting hours in the dark without any promise from the power company for the moment power would be restored so she could bring systems up as soon as possible, to arranging her IT manager's first interruption-free vacation in 20 years by coordinating staff to change escalation procedures.

Congratulations to our SysKing and SysQueen! Live long and prosper, Your Majesties!

ThinkGeek will be 10 glorious years old on August 13, 2009, and we figured what better way to celebrate than to surprise you with a new website. But we're too excited to not spill the beans. So, um, here's your preview:

Keep your eyes peeled next week for the Official Launch o' Awesome. We hope you'll like it!