Re: Installation - Configuration

Subject: Re: Installation - Configuration
From: "Edgar D' Souza" <edgar -dot- b -dot- dsouza -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 12:47:09 +0530

On 4/7/06, Edina Monsoon <edina_monsoon_2005 -at- yahoo -dot- co -dot- uk> wrote:
> Hi all,
> Thank you ever so much for your inputs. Can you please
> elaborate the *system administration* bit in this
> context?

Well, continuing the earlier metaphor, an AC technician who came out
to do maintenance on your AC would probably be the equivalent of a sys
admin. The technician might clean filters, check and top up
refrigerant levels and various other things that you, as a user, would
and should not do.

For a single software package - let's say MS Office - it's pretty easy
for a user to install/uninstall/repair/add and remove components of
the office suite. However, it's less common to find users messing
around with the operating system and doing routine maintenance tasks
or troubleshooting. There /are/ users who do this, and they're usually
called "power users" :-)
However, the majority of end-users leave stuff like this to competent
persons - system administrators - who're trained to perform these
tasks and are paid to do them.

Thus far, I've implicitly been talking about desktops. Let's shift
focus a little and look at servers instead. These are usually
high-powered systems, more complex than your ordinary desktop, and
they require trained and experienced people to handle them. A Windows
or UNIX server system would normally hold user account details, and
files and data belonging to anywhere from a few dozen to several
hundred people.

For reasons of security, and in the interests of safety and proper
functioning, end-users are NOT allowed to configure servers or change
options and settings on them. This is the role of a system

One way of looking at system administration is as a specialized kind
of maintenance required to keep important systems functioning
properly; it is different from configuration as I typified it earlier
because while most configuration can be done by end-users, sys admins
are *required* to do system administration. Just like how you, as an
end-user of an AC are warned NOT to open it up - "there are no
user-serviceable parts inside this cover!" This is for your safety as
well as the continued and proper functioning of the AC system :-)

Well, several dozen words and I don't know if I'm even making the
differences between these terms clear to you. Was that any help? There
are many senior writers on this list, who have a few hundred times my
writing skills, experience and knowledge. If this wasn't good enough,
just holler! :-)

Take care,

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Re: Installation - Configuration: From: Edina Monsoon

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