Timing isn't everything -- it's the only thing

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This database admin pilot fish works for a local government IT shop where everyone wears several hats -- and one of hers is asset inventory system guru.

"A member of the workstation imaging team came to me with a problem: The new tablets being built on the bench just were not being found by the inventory system," says fish. "No matter how often the builder ran the network discovery program, the tablets were never found until after they were removed from the bench and delivered to the users.

"I asked them to leave a tablet running and make sure it didn't go to sleep or shut down while I ran discovery. Sure enough, it didn't work. The name didn't show up in the newly discovered list.

"I asked for the IP, as well as the name. Pinging from the discovery server didn't get a response. Was there a subnet problem? My PC, on the same subnet, couldn't get a ping response either.

"In desperation, I asked if the firewall had been changed to allow response to a ping request.

"No, came the reply -- the firewall was only adjusted when the tablet was handed to the user.

"It was difficult to keep a straight face while explaining that network discovery depends on pings to locate equipment -- so the firewall tweak needed to be done much earlier in the build process."

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