Boss installed software from behind the Iron Curtain, techies ended up Putin things back together

On-Call Welcome once again, comrades, to On-Call, The Register’s celebration of the tech proletariat’s struggles with oppression by bourgeois bosses – and the eventual triumph of the workers!

That reason for that burst of revolutionary language will hopefully become apparent in this week’s tale, which features a reader we’ll Regomize as “Winston Smith” – an archaeologist by trade who found himself dragged into IT.

“In the early 1990s, I and a partner were the designated ‘computer guys’ for a small ‘cultural resource’ firm in central California,” Smith explained. “In said role, we were responsible for setting up a peer-to-peer network when the business moved to new space. We did everything from pulling the cable, to installing the hardware and software on the various computers in the offices.”

“We set up a print server and made sure that things worked and were updated. We also made magical gestures over computers when the electrons suddenly refused to work for certain employees. We installed antivirus software and sternly insisted that it not be overridden, and to call us if it complained.”

Winston and his comrade even assembled all the computers. The boss, however, was allowed to buy a more powerful off-the-shelf machine.

In return for the efforts outlined above, Winston and his colleague were offered the occasional junket to visit other archaeologists and explain how technology like geographical information systems could enhance their work.

But the boss liked junkets, too, and stole the best of them.

Including one that ventured behind the then-tattered

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