A friend of mine mentioned a book that’s been making the rounds a LISA and other groups of skilled sysadmins. The Practice of System and Network Administration. So I looked it up on Amazon and ended up ordering myself a copy. I must admit, I’m very impressed with what I’ve found so far. The book is full of those rare gems of wisdom that sysadmins collect over the years. In what I’ve read it really seems to do justice to passing on knowledge of the soft side of being a systems administrator.
The first chapter has several lists of things every sysadmin should have or know, or points to follow to assess and survive specific situations. One of the points that I found quite useful was in dealing with getting your tools back after you’ve loaned them out. The most common thing, of course, is loaning out a screw driver. The suggestion of this book was to keep several screw driver sets handy and just give that person their own set rather than loan out your own tools to be lost. Don’t accept the set back either.
This really struck home because I spent all of what I think of as my junior sysadmin years with a $10 Black and Decker screw driver kit. Its a great kit with 80% of what you need to have for cheap. I normally see them on display in Home Depot quite a bit. I’ve never seen a ratcheting screw driver kit that would do better for the cash.
So, that begs the question: What do I use for a screw driver today? My choice is the Husky Pro ratcheting screw driver. It comes with very few (although good quality) bits, but I’ve collected my own set of bits. (By some extra philup #2 bits while your at Home Depot.) The screw driver itself feels really comfortable and easy to use. The ratchet controls wont accidentally flip to another setting. It has a long shaft not often found on a ratcheting driver that makes it easy to work with screws inside a dense rack of equipment and wires. It is magnetic which is handy, and contrary to common belief will not harm computer componets unless you are working with a floppy disk or tape cartridge. When I just need a normal phillups #2 I also have a few drivers from Klein Tools.