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It's L-i-n-u-x, that is an Operating System
This is really just sad. Yes, this kind of thing happens more often than you might think, and it is way so many geeks are cynics.

Tags: , ,
I am: sad sad
Current Media: office buzz

solipsistnation From: solipsistnation Date: March 24th, 2006 09:44 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)

Nice to see that www.cityoftuttle.org is still broken, too.

pdelahanty From: pdelahanty Date: March 24th, 2006 09:48 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
I went to the Tuttle Times web site to see if anyone had posted about it on their forum.
phpBB : Critical Error

Error creating new session

I'm glad I don't live in Tuttle, OK.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: March 24th, 2006 09:51 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
I considered using their contact us page to send them the link. :-)
pdelahanty From: pdelahanty Date: March 24th, 2006 10:15 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
I wouldn't be surprised if the contact form didn't actually work. It definitely doesn't do any sort of data validation. It's perfectly happy submitting blank data. Give it a whirl!
chiieddy From: chiieddy Date: March 24th, 2006 09:58 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Did you notice the logo at http://www.tuttle-ok.gov/?

Where People Grow - Friendly
roninspoon From: roninspoon Date: March 24th, 2006 10:30 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
That's comedy gold right there.
mackys From: mackys Date: March 25th, 2006 12:53 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
An absolute riot.

I gotta say, I would have let him file the FBi complaint. Then I would have made sure it went to court so I could get all this guy's ranting and raving on the public record. The judge would probably hold me in contempt because I would laugh so hard all the way through the trial, but it would be so worth it. What a maroon!! ;D
osmium_ocelot From: osmium_ocelot Date: March 25th, 2006 12:32 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
I think you'd appreciate this exchange that took place way back in my highschool woodshop class :

Shop Teacher D'Orlando : "Christine, go get me a phillips screwdriver for this."
:::Christine goes to the other side of the room and searches the peg board frantically for a couple of minutes then comes back:::
Christine : "I can't. They're all Stanleys."

To her credit, Christine was smart enough to realize that she knew nothing about tools and was taking shop so she'd learn about them. But still... that one is gonna stick with me till my dying days.
cos From: cos Date: March 25th, 2006 12:43 am (UTC) (Direct Link)

To be fair, I don't think all the fault lies on the city manager... just 90% of it :)
When I read that exchange, I was composing in my head much better emails they could've written to him. Clearer, simpler, more professional. But I was also doubting that it would've made a difference, because that guy's basic deficiency is that he wasn't reading for comprehension.

As catness says, when dealing with someone like that, "it's really really when you want to be the one to be exact, and show them up for being clueless in your best professional manner. The fault in comprehension should ALL be his."
dasubergeek From: dasubergeek Date: March 25th, 2006 03:14 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Yeah, I linked it too, but the problem is bad communications on BOTH sides. The City Manager is clearly an overreacting dufus, but substitute "malware" for "operating system" in that exchange and you'll see where the CM is coming from.

Also, dude, it's a town of 3,100 people in Oklahoma. I lived in a small town in Iowa and I can all but guarantee you the "IT guy" in that town is a high-school student with a copy of Dreamweaver or whatever.

The right thing to do would have been to call the guy (how hard could it be to find the city manager in a town of 3,100 people?) and talk him down... but then, it's much more amusing when you can post it and have your technorati colleagues snigger over how stupid people are.
(Deleted comment)
dasubergeek From: dasubergeek Date: March 25th, 2006 04:16 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
I'd agree with you, except that the CentOS guy replied to the first e-mail with snottiness of his own. If you return fire for fire, why would you expect the next e-mail to be calm and rational? The part where you then chest-butt the CM into meek submission and he calls the person who actually can fix it is a Comic Book Guy fantasy.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say you probably live in a good-sized city or a reasonably-sized suburb thereof, in which your manager (or mayor and council) are full-time.

It's not like that in small towns. If it's anything like where I used to live, the City Manager is a farmer or otherwise fully-employed individual who spends two to four hours a week doing City business and gets paid an additional couple of thousand dollars a year for it. Yes, officially he's a government official but that doesn't mean he is prepared for an IT crisis.

As for why he should pick up the phone and spend his own money to give free support on a free product, it's simple. Public relations. You want your distro to become more popular? Here's how it would have played out:

CentOS guy calls City Manager, talks him off the ledge, promises to follow-up with a two-minute e-mail about what causes this that the City Manager can forward to whomever it is. (Remember, at this point we don't know that it's Vidia, because this was after the first or second e-mail.)

City Manager finds out who does the website and gets it taken care of.

City Manager talks to other government officials -- city managers, mayors, councilmembers, state ag extension people, etc. -- and eventually they start talking about Websites and things like that (it's a popular topic at the once-a-year meeting these folks go to).

City Manager says, "You know, we had a website problem in March, I wrote an e-mail and this guy from a company called CentOS called and talked me through it, in English."

(Yes, I'm aware that the CM doesn't know what CentOS is or that it has nothing at all to do with the issue, which is httpd.conf being screwed up.)

Other City Managers go, "Hm... nice." They go back, maybe a couple of them are from bigger cities and have IT Staff With Clue. They talk to the IT staff, when it's time to pick a distro for something, they at least consider CentOS.

Was the CM a jackass? Yup. Was the misunderstanding 80% his fault? Yup. Was he entirely to blame? No.
dasubergeek From: dasubergeek Date: March 25th, 2006 04:18 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Oh, and evidently the developer doesn't get TOO many frantic pleas for assistance with unfounded accusations in it, because he decided to spend the 20 minutes or so writing about it... if it were commonplace, he wouldn't have written what he did.