This story took place in 1994. After being the de facto network administrator in my previous job, I now had the official title with a new job.
I was taking care of a small prepress group, which had a file server running Novell NetWare 3.11. There were about 20 users; about two-thirds used Macintoshes running System 7, and the rest used PCs running DOS/Windows 3.1. I had never touched a Mac before, so supporting them was new to me.
[ The tech inferno is not buried deep within the earth -- it's just down the hall. Do the nine circles of IT hell sound familiar? | Follow Off the Record on Twitter for tech's war stories, career takes, and off-the-wall news. ]
The file server had 5GB of space on it, and it was packed full. My predecessor had ordered a replacement file server, one with 10GB of storage -- laughable today, but quite respectable at the time. I couldn't wait to set it up and get it running.
My predecessor had set the old server up with five 1GB volumes, each corresponding to the type of project the group was working on. This meant the Mac users had to mount five volumes each time they logged in, and the PC users were mapped to five or more drive letters. Also, they were constantly having to move data around, as the volumes were always full.
I sat down with the principles and proposed a different setup: The data would be in one large volume, with a top-level directory for each of the five groups. That way, they would only have to mount one volume or map one drive letter, and they wouldn't have any artificial limits on size for the different project types.
They liked the idea, so off I went, congratulating myself on being so much smarter than my predecessor.
I got the server configured and over a weekend copied the data from the old server to the new server. I logged in from both Windows and Macintosh machines and as various users to make sure permissions were set correctly and everything looked good.
I was in early on Monday morning, excitedly waiting for feedback from the users. Everyone seemed to like the new layout, and I was as happy as could be.