Software Distribution

My OS/2 experience allowed me to land a gig with a regional bank doing Software Distribution (and installation) over their private banking network. This was sometime in 1996 and the Internet was not yet widely used or secured.

The bank had an IBM mainframe and we ran a package called “Distribution Manager.” It allowed us create packages of software with the software’s automatic installation routines. All of the IBM Software used “response” files that allowed us to do silent installations. Packages could be bundled into Groups and Groups into Profiles. This allowed us to do updates that included many Packages, with only 1 selected Profile.

We were able to remotely install and configure all of the software on all of the systems in the banks branches. Each branch had 1 large server that controlled local PC’s and provided a gateway for Distribution Manager. It was a pretty complex set up and worked very well.

We maintained a “Golden” image for each region’s servers and we could remotely rebuild the server when drives eventually failed. At one point I created a disk duplication system that used an external Compaq RAID controller and a Linux floppy disk that had the dd and tee commands. We could blast 8 copies at a time.

I took a brief contracting gig where I was supposed to doing Software Distribution for a large energy company. On my first day I was informed that my boss and team mate were both out for a week. It got worse from there. After 6 months of nothing to do, I took a programming gig for a Credit Union. Programming Windows software makes my physically ill. I went back to the bank after 1 year.

I bounced around some roles at the bank as a DBA and Team Lead.

Politics in some places it brutal, so I went to work for myself… sort of.


Grease Monkey ~~ GM

About Grease Monkey

Computer nerd since the 80's. Data nerd since the 90's. Generic nerd for a lifetime.
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