Comnetix redux

Stuff I remembered about Comnetix after publishing the last article:

  • We decided to get a 1-800 number for Boston police officers to call if
    they were having technical problems with our system. We tried during one meeting
    to come up with an easy-to-remember number — 1-800-CALL-BOB was our first
    choice (Bob was a retired RCMP officer and our head salescritter). A couple of
    suggestions, 1-800-DUMB-COP and 1-800-NO-DONUT, were nixed by management.
    We eventually got a number that didn’t correspond to any words.
  • On reflection, I think calling Joan (the VP) useless was a little
    unfair. She had zero technical knowledge, and occasionally asked some dumb
    questions, but it wasn’t her job — she did HR and accounting stuff. I didn’t
    much like her personally, but I did get paid every month, so maybe she was
    really good at what she did. Joan, if you’re reading this, my apologies.
  • One of the guys I worked with at Comnetix (Henri) is the brother
    of one of the guys I work with at Sybase (Jack).
  • One of the guys I worked with at Comnetix (Greg) left Comnetix about a year
    before I did and came to work for Sybase, though in the Mississauga office.
    His brother (Tim) used to work at Watcom (which eventually became Sybase).
  • Security in the Boston Police Department headquarters was a joke. I routinely
    just walked in the front door and either upstairs to where the IT people were,
    or downstairs to the server room, and the officer by the front door didn’t
    even look up. The code to by the door lock to the server room was ‘154’,
    which was the address of the building (154 Berkeley Street). I’m safe in
    posting this since the BPD headquarters has since moved to a brand new building,
    presumably with better security.
  • We also had a system in at the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (i.e.
    the Boston subway / bus cops) — they were far more concerned
    with security than BPD.
  • We went to a restaurant in Boston for dinner one night, and one of the
    guys asked for vinegar for his french fries. The waiter looked at him weird,
    then went away and came back with balsamic vinegar. Americans just
    don’t get it.

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