Surrounded by Microsoft

by Shijaz Abdulla on 14.07.2006 at 19:55
I wake up to the strident, yet tranquil ring that I’ve grown accustomed to over the past year. The very same sound that has brought me, many a mornings, from the dark depths of sleep to the hazy frontier between darkness and consciousness – and from there on, to consciousness itself.

I open my sleep embittered eyes to strenuously take a peek at the blinding light of the LCD screen of my PDA. I push a button to make it stop the noise that has brought me back into the real world. For a moment I forget the fact that a pocket device running Windows was lying there at my bedside the whole night just to wake me up. Yes, a Microsoft device was the first thing I hear and see in the beginning of each day.

I praise my God for giving me the chance to see yet another sunrise. Wearily I get up and get ready for another day at work. I come back to my PDA and it sorted out everything that I’m supposed to do for the day – my appointments, my tasks, anniversaries, birthdays, what I should be doing, and even what I should be thinking about today. It’s all listed out neatly in a page called the “Today page”.

I quickly boot up my laptop running Windows XP and check my personal mail using Outlook; not even thinking once that the server too is running Windows.

I drive to work, I get a call on my trusted Microsoft-powered device regarding a task I will be doing that day. I reach the office and very soon I’m within the range of my corporate wireless network – that invisible space that defines my network – my data is in the air, but I can’t feel it anywhere.

My device picks up the wireless ambience surrounding it quickly recognizes that it’s on “home ground”. The Microsoft Exchange e-mail server immediately synchronizes all my latest appointments, tasks, phone numbers, email addresses and email with my Windows-powered handheld device. I watch the LCD screen as it all happens in a matter of seconds.

I sit down at my Windows workstation and unlock it. I read my corporate mail on Microsoft Outlook. One of my clients has reported an error with his Microsoft ISA firewall. A sales guy has asked for a proposal for deploying new infrastructure using Microsoft Server technologies. I prioritize and enter the new tasks in my Outlook and immediately, the server syncs the info with my Windows mobile device. I hurriedly leave the office to the client who reported the problem.

While I’m driving to the client’s office, he calls me up twice – once to make sure that I’m coming and again to find out what he can do while I’m on my way. Upon reaching, I am welcomed with a sense of relief and anxiety and quickly ushered to their data center.

I work on the Microsoft-powered server and check the logs and diagnostics. I spend several minutes trying to make the Microsoft product work the way I want it to, the way my client wants it to, the way my clients business would benefit from it, the way my employers business would in turn be benefited, and the way that would keep my daily bread coming on my table.

I find a resolution on Microsoft website and this involved contacting Microsoft Product Support for a hotfix. I immediately call the Microsoft Support Center, and ask for the hotfix. They send it to me on my corporate email.

Once again I log into my corporate email using Microsoft Outlook Web Access. Now I can access my office mail over the web, sitting at my client’s office. I quickly download the fix and apply it on the server and restart it. All is well and the server returns to normal operation. I take a sign-off from the client and take leave.

On the way back, I plug in my Windows Media synchronized portable music device into my car stereo and listen to the tunes.

I reach the office, my Windows Mobile device, which was unreasonably silent for a few hours suddenly recites the call for the Duhr prayer. Its time for my second prayer for the day. I take time out and complete my duties with the Lord.

It’s soon time for lunch, I lock my workstation, and leave for lunch. After lunch, I spend more hours in the office, sifting through the logs that I have collected from the Microsoft servers at an airport to check if the servers are running in good shape. I need to give monthly reports to the client based on my analysis of his server logs.

The Windows Mobile device would alert me whenever someone tried to call me, whenever sent me an SMS, to remind me of my tasks, and meetings, or if it was time for my prayer.

Finally its quitting time, I synchronize my device again “over the air” to make sure it has got the latest of what would be my schedule for the next day. I hibernate Windows on my laptop and pack up to go home.

I reach home, and have dinner and relax for a while. Then I go online and chat with my friends on Windows Live Messenger.

And then I go to sleep, taking care not to be too far from the Windows Mobile device which would wake me to yet another day of excitement!

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