I've (mostly) moved on from my assignment to our Telecommunications support duties. Most days I'm back to my usual special project work and network/field support assignments. My past week's duties included (among other things):
Cartography Development: make a hand-drawn regional map with ZIP Code overlay.
.....tools used: Inkscape vector program, mapping software, ZCTA Zip Code Overlay (Google mashup! This is really cool!)
Support Desk: answer the phones and troubleshoot standard network/pc issues.
Equipment Procurement: research and submit proposal for state-wide fax-sever application and hardware deployment.
.....reference sites: NT Fax FAQ, Brooktrout High Performance Intelligent Fax Boards
Image Deployment: Create, test and deploy an updated bootable workstation image to field staff.
.....tools used: Microsoft Sysprep tool, bootable image disk creation.
Bootable Utility Disk: Update, develop and deploy a multi-platform dual-use bootable CD and DVD workstation and utility disk.
.....tools used: -- more on that later!
Field Response: troubleshoot, update software and configurations, and remove virus/malware.
I still have to provide "mentoring" support and backup coverage to the newly rotated IT team-members sitting on the telecom support desk, but it is very nice not being in that mix on a daily basis.
I've gotten pretty comfortable getting into the pbx switches and doing re-programming, but it just isn't my primary interest. There are other things (see above) that I'm just better at.
Retro-Thing had a link to the Internet Archives video of the 1951 production of "The Nation at Your Fingertips": How direct long distance dialing made the U.S. a smaller place, and how instantaneous direct communication between Americans without operator assistance became possible.
The video is about 10min long and well worth the time to view. It is really interesting to watch. Imagine the time in our country when having just 80 area codes for the US and Canada was more than could be considered. We take so much for granted today.
I wish I had this earlier, I could have made it a mandatory training orientation video for the telecom team replacements.
High Quality stream of The Nation at Your Fingertips
Got to love this stuff!