37 Harry Potter Spells for Sysadmins
“Yer a wizard, Harry”
When Harry heard this for the first time, he had a really tough time believing it. I’m taking the liberty to assume that you’re in a similar state after reading the title. I don’t know about you but I’m still waiting for my Hogwarts letter.
I believe in magic. Not the kind that you learn at Hogwarts but what we’ve witnessed in the past few decades, thanks to technology. If you could go back 30 years in a time machine and tell someone, “With a push of a button, I can send someone your photograph in a second”, be prepared to hear, “Wow! It’s like magic!”
Technology has made our lives so much easier. But not everyone who benefits from technology actually manages it. For us to benefit from technology the way we do, there’s someone out there who is ensuring that the technology actually works. Sysadmins.
In an attempt to honour you, I’ve imagined a world where you could just order a wand from Ollivanders and start casting these spells to make your day easier.
Here are 37 spells that sysadmins could potentially find useful:
Accio – Summons an object towards the caster
You’re being called into a meeting room to connect the laptop to the TV. You go there and you realise that the presenter has a Macbook and the TV has an HDMI cable. You could just say ‘Accio Lightning to HDMI Adapter’ to summon it from the inventory.
Alohomora – Unlocks doors and other objects
You’re in the office on Monday morning and you realised that you’ve locked yourself out of the administrator account. Alohomora will get you right back in.
Arresto Momentum – Decreases the velocity of a moving target
You’ve just given a brand new Microsoft Surface to a new employee. As the employee is walking back to her desk, you see the laptop slip out of her hands. Arresto Momentum will save you and the new employee a lot of trouble.
Colloportus – Locks doors and all things that can be locked
You’ve just rebuilt the schema on an important production database. Colloportus on the DB will ensure that no one can ‘accidentally’ drop a table.
Diffindo – Used to precisely cut or tear objects
You’ve just been tasked with rewiring the CAT5 cables on the first floor. There are about 40 desktops on the floor. You’re just looking at all those wires and wondering how you’re going to cut them into 40 parts. Diffindo should do the trick.
Engorgio – : Causes the target to swell in size
There’s been a major upgrade to a critical application and you realise that the hard disk instance is almost out of space. Engorgio on the hard disk should keep you going for a few more months.
Episkey – Used to heal relatively minor injuries, such as broken bones and cartilage
Arthur just walked into the IT team. He sat on their external HDD and it broke. He needs it immediately (of course) for a big presentation in the afternoon. Episkey on the HDD will do the trick.
Evanesco – Vanishes the target
It’s a Friday evening. There’s been a major release. Everything is crashing. Production bugs and major incidents all over the place. Evanesco will make it all
disappear, leaving you with a peaceful weekend.
Expecto Patronum – defensive spell; can also send messages to other witches or wizards
You’re just about to share some financial data with the head of sales. You don’t trust your SSL. Think of the last goal you scored in FIFA 20 and say Expecto Patronum. Your message will be delivered securely.
Geminio – Duplicates the target
Developers called, they want to deploy directly into production. When you resisted, they countered with ‘chaos monkey’. “Geminio” on the production instance should duplicate it and you can ask the developers to deploy there instead.
Imperio – places the victim completely under the caster’s control
There have been 35 exchanges on ticket ID #394. You’ve resolved the issue but Dolores won’t let you close the ticket. Your metrics are looking bad. Walk up to her desk, say “Imperio” and get her to close the ticket. If she tries to reopen the ticket after the curse wears off, show her the audit trail and ask her to raise a new ticket instead.
P.S Unforgivable curse, you could get into trouble.
P.P.S While you’re at it, get her to write ‘I must leave a CSAT survey’, repeatedly
Impervius – Makes an object repel water
It’s the 10th time that Peter has walked in with a drenched laptop. Not anymore! You walk up to everyone’s desk and cast “Impervius” on every tech device you can find.
Incarcerous – Ties up the target with ropes conjured from thin air
The inventory cupboard is a mess, there are spare wires everywhere. You’ve been tasked with neatly organising them. You say ‘Incarcerous’ and watch as those USB, HDMI, and LAN cables neatly arrange themselves.
Legilimens – Allows the caster to delve into the mind of the victim, allowing the caster to see memories
Seamus walks up to you with a broken laptop. When you ask him what happened, he says “I don’t know. It was working yesterday”. Cast “Legilimens” for RCA.
Locomotor – Allows a witch or wizard to levitate a target a few inches off the ground and then move said object in any given direction
HR just sent you an email saying that 20 people are joining today. All of them need Macbook Pros, the real heavy ones. Locomotor will ensure that you don’t have to carry all the laptops with you. The laptops will just go the respective desks.
Morsmordre – Conjures the Dark Mark, which is the sign of the Death Eaters
You’ve been working hard on your new secret project. You don’t want anyone to steal your idea but you also need to eat. Cast Morsmorde above your desk so that no one dares to come near it.
Muffliato – Prevents others from hearing nearby conversations by filling people’s ears with an unidentifiable buzzing
Parvati walked up to you with her laptop saying that she has login issues. You ask her to login and you realise she’s about to recite her password. Quickly cast Muffliato because, well, security reasons.
Obliviate – Erases specific memories
You’re trying to erase all the temporary files but the search is taking ages. Obliviate should just erase those files specifically. A good replacement for Shift + Delete.
Papyrus Reparo – Mends torn pieces of paper
Neville walks up to your desk with torn pieces of paper and says “I wrote all my passwords on this sticky note but someone tore it up”. Sighing, you Papyrus Reparo it.
Peskipiksi Pesternomi – The one time it was used, it had absolutely no effect
A senior employee has called you in to fix their desktop. Classic blue screen error. You know that simply turning it off and on again would do the trick but you want to impress them. You turn it off, say Peskipiksi Pesternomi and turn it back on. They’re impressed.
Prior Incantato – Forces a wand to show an ’echo’ of the last spell it performed
There has been a major bug in the server over the weekend. Everything was fine when you left the office on Friday. When you ask the people who worked over the weekend, they say they don’t know. You walk up to the server, scratching your head, and say Prior Incantato and watch in horror as you see the config files being modified.
Quietus – Makes a target sound quieter
Molly walks up to you and says that her laptop is too noisy. Upon closer inspection, it’s the fan. Quietus will solve the issue.
Reverte – Returns objects to their original positions or states
You’re watching in shock as the recent ‘standard’ change you deployed has crashed the production server. Oops. Thankfully you remembered to write down Reverte as part of your rollback plan.
Relashio – Forces the target to release its grip on whatever it is holding
You’re trying to update the database to reflect the latest naming convention but the DBA is currently accessing it for ‘maintenance purposes’. Relashio will release their hold on it, leaving you free to do what you need to do.
Rennervate – Awakens an unconscious victim
Lee walks up to you and says, “My laptop just won’t boot up”. You take a close look at it, try holding down the power button but no luck. Rennervate will work like a charm.
Reparifarge – Used to reverse incomplete transformations
You’re sitting back, sipping coffee, and watching the latest change being deployed. Halfway through it, you suddenly realise that you mixed up the timezone and the change window isn’t for another four hours. Oops! Reparifarge will help you here.
Reparo – Seamlessly repairs broken objects
You’re just doing your job. You want a lot of free time to work on your book.
“Reparo” will come in handy when you don’t have to spend time fixing all those broken things.
Repello Muggletum – Keeps Muggles away from wizarding places by causing them to remember important meetings they missed
You’re working on an important upgrade and you want some uninterrupted time. Repello Muggletum will give you time and ensure that no one taps you on the shoulder and asks, “Hi, can you help me clear the paper jam?”
Revelio – Reveals secrets about a person or object
You’re trying to implement a BYOD policy and you’re getting resistance from Lucius. He insists that you make some changes to the policy. Intrigued, you cast Revelio on his device. What happens next will blow your mind.
Scourgify – Cleans objects
You’re at your desk, playing the dinosaur game and sipping coffee. You’re just about to beat your own high score and BAM! You knock the coffee cup all over your keyboard. (Yes, it can happen to sysadmins too). Scourgify should clean it right up.
Silencio – Makes something silent.
Cedric brings his laptop and it’s blaring. Upon closer inspection, you realise that he can’t figure out which Chrome tab is responsible for the noise. He can’t close the tab because the laptop froze (Well, that’s what you get for using Chrome). Silencio will give you the quiet environment you need to fix the issue.
Sonorus – Makes the target sound louder
You’ve been sending emails to the entire office about the new security patch upgrade. You check the status report and nothing. No one’s updated it. There’s only one way to make sure you’re heard. You point to your throat, say Sonorus and start broadcasting upgrade instructions to the entire office.
Specialis Revelio – Reveals spells cast on objects or potions
Your boss just told you that they’re losing a lot of money because of Shadow IT. You want to understand if employees are using unauthorised applications. Specialis Revelio will reveal anything you need to know.
Spongify – Softens objects, making them rubbery and bouncy
Fred sits four seats away. He’s just raised a service request for a wireless mouse and says he’s too lazy to get up. Simply cast Spongify on the wireless mouse and toss it over to him.
Tergeo – Siphons liquid and cleans objects
You’re trying to install a new application on James’ laptop but you can’t see anything. You try cleaning it with your sleeve but it’s not effective. “Tergeo” should give you the visibility you need.
Vermillious – Jet of red sparks that can be used to signal during an emergency
It’s a peaceful Friday evening and everyone’s getting ready to go home. Ah, not so fast! There has been a major incident, but how do you get everyone’s attention? Vermillious should give everyone the signal and let them know that they’re not going home.
Wingardium Leviosa – Makes objects fly, or levitate
You’re in the server room and trying to look at the labels on Server-394. But it’s not the top rack and out of reach. You pull out your phone, open the camera app, and cast Wingardium Leviosa. You watch it levitate to the top rack just to take the right picture.
Well, did I miss anything? Or do you have better uses of these spells for #sysadmins? Let me know!
P.S Want to bring magic into a sysadmins life? Send them a thank you e-card!
Blog Cover Image by Srinivasan Dhotre
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