Twenty years ago before there was anything called LinkedIn, NASA launched a school bus-sized plutonium-powered wonder called Cassini to explore Saturn: its moons and rings and designed it to eventually to crash into the planet when its power supply was expended.
It took 7 years to get there, itself an amazing feat. For 13 years it operated flawlessly and sent us thousands of truly amazing photos, some of the best can be seen here.
And right on schedule, it plunged to burn up in Saturn’s noxious atmosphere never to be heard or seen again. Good bye old reliable.
Ah, technology of the 1990s at its finest!
These days I teach LinkedIn, another tech achievement, but it’s often not as consistent or intrepid as Cassini.
The other day in prepping on site before a presentation I attempted to log into my LinkedIn account and use two-step verification, only to be unable to log in. Each code they texted me failed to work and expired before I could finish keying it in. Yikes! Trying not to be too obvious, I relied exclusively on my slides (sometimes even projecting slides is a tech challenge!) and did without live access to LinkedIn.
No one knew except me and I vowed to check on it the next day. Knowing these things happen–not being able to log in, a section missing completely when it was there the day before, or not working properly making me unable to make edits in some section–I presume the gnomes in LinkedIn were playing with the code and keeping me out while they doctored the service.
The good news is that it almost always works fine the next day, as was the two-step authentication situation. Not just exactly at the time I need it!
And while I get used to offering the explanation/excuse “they must be playing with it today and I swear it worked yesterday!,” I do find it exasperating to have to worry a bit if the section I want to display will work, or be there at all at any time.
I even participate in a chat group of other LinkedIn evangelists who lament the same things over and over again happen to them… so perhaps a newly underemployed NASA scientist or two, fresh off the Cassini project, can add continuous quality control to LinkedIn.