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Introduction

Lots o' computers

Basically, I grew up networking, starting with 2400 baud modems and Token Ring. By the time I was eleven, I was copying documents from paper files to electronic and networking the local ward offices (Chicago Democratic Machine). And by the time I was old enough to vote I felt like I had done it all...

...which left me completely unprepared when I was hired to create a network for a film post-production company.

They say everybody in the entertainment industry winds up in Hollywood sooner or later. I never did, so I suppose everybody else must eventually wind-up in Park City, Utah, the site of the Sundance Film Festival. I had worked on a post-production project that eventually wound-up on a Trauma Films DVD, so I had come down to watch the debut. Since I was never adverse to making a little money while on vacation, I responded to an ad by one of the numerous production companies that spring up in that part of the mountains every year.

Although I had little experience in the field of large-scale network multimedia, I got the job largely because every other network engineer in town had been snapped-up by the big production companies who had already decided to sign a number of the independent films to distribution contracts and were constructing temporary facilities to help with the promotion of these films.

By this point, I already had a good six years worth of professional experience under my belt, working on networks as large as that of the United Postal Service. But it only took one glance across the room to tell me that this would be a very different gig indeed. The building resembled nothing more closely than a giant, empty airport hanger that a bunch of set designers had already been hard at work in disguising to look like something out of the movie Studio 54… or perhaps Rolling Stone Magazine circa 1969.

The post production crews already had their workstations rolling on pallets carried by forklifts. Power was on and the PR and accounting departments were more or less up and running on a series of couches and tables where everyone was working from laptops and already eyeing me as they complained about the lack of Internet access. Network Storage units were being wheeled in one by one and as soon as I had signed my contract, the forklift operators began walking up to me asking where everything should go.

“Where” indeed?

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