EYEFUL TOWER: Musings

Chankardians: A Noble Lineage?

by  Sam C. Chan
 

November 2005

In addition to Chankardian Maxims & Quotes [currently totaling at 86], featured at Eyeful Tower, there are also various Chankardian theories and analysis. This is the anecdotal tale of the name's origins. IT pros will get the most out of this, as there's a serious domain security tip. "Civilians" can safely ignore those details and still enjoy the ironies and humour.

So you've been noticing several mentioning of the Chankardian school of thought, the "ancient" philosophy (or so you assume). Are you a bit puzzled? Let me start by telling you, it's a fictitious name. I'd call it an "administrative label" in scientific terms. It's used for convenience, and humorous effects.

The legend of Chankardians...

When I first met Vicky, her favorite stuff toy (what we call stuffed animal here in the U.S.) was Thumper (the rabbit). She even sent me my very own, and it became a full-fledge member of the household.

It started out as an inside joke. It went something like: Did you do that? Nope, did you? Nope!  Hmm... Must be Thumper then. Or, after meeting some particularly timid company: Whew!  She's as chatty as Thumper (who is mute). While giving our take on a certain gadget: The keys are so big, even Thumper can type on it!  (he has cute fat mitten paws, no disjointed fingers.)  We've also been known to substitute the politically incorrect references of "airhead" with allusion to Thumper, who has recycled cotton for brain. You get the idea... Of course, in all seriousness, it amounts to a large heap of fecal matter, all in the name of good clean fun.

We have 12 systems running here at Bravo HQ, with an elaborate hierarchy of subnets, and  all sorts of O.S. and software packages. All  systems not particularly belonging to me or Vicky, are registered to Thumper. Back when I registered the newly installed SBS Server 2003, I spontaneously came up with "Thumper Chankard"―a perfect morph of our surnames. He's "our poor monstrous offspring, neither Brito nor Chino."  Oops... Just leaked out yet another inside joke! He'll be getting junk mail and credit card offers any day now.

When I was training Vicky on all the collaboration features of Outlook and Exchange server, Thumper served as a convenient user to play out all the scenarios of meeting invite, shared calendars, permissions granting, delegation (send on behalf of). By the time we were done, the budding novelist inside us had come up with a hilarious series of intricate events. Naturally, playing with Thumper does not risk confusion. We generally don't take any appointments with him too seriously.

Thumper, being a bona fide domain user, is officially listed in the Active Directory, and member of Intern security group, which has clearance lower than the Staff security group. Per security principles, one always authenticate at lowest level possible, and escalate as required. While we're on-site at clients and need to grab a tech reference, or jump on our SharePoint server, we'd routinely login as Thumper. Clients often noticed that and get a chuckle out of it.

Cute ice-breakers aside... In the unlikely event that the station we borrowed happens to be  compromised (by key loggers), only the intern-level account was compromised, with harmless restricted access. The same disciplined precautions are taken at time of system build. At no times were actual staff- or admin-level credentials utilized on client systems, thereby mitigating the risk of inadvertent, inappropriate credential caching. KEREN ANN:  I always try to not remember, rather than to forget... The corporate "family jewel" is safeguarded behind layers of barriers.

As you can see, Thumper Chankard has assumed a life of its own, and is well entrenched in our daily lives, professional or private. And, yes indeed, I have named my school of thought (which is entirely serious)  in honor of a toy rabbit. Guilty as charged. Some day I will act my age. I know, I should be committed!

In closing, it's interesting to note what I manage to pull off by mentioning Chankardians in a straight face. There are 4 typical reactions:

  • Inquisitive mind...   Huh? The what-dians?
  • Indifference:   Whatever.
  • Where in the world did you learn that nonsense from?
  • Pretend to know it:   Oh yeah. Uh-huh...

 

See also:

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