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Misconfigured Webserver, Threats to Call FBI 564

the_harlequin writes "The Register is reporting that a city manager threatened to call the FBI over a misconfigured webserver. From the article: "The heartland turned vicious this week when an Oklahoma town threatened to call in the FBI because its web site was hacked by Linux maker CentOS. Problem is CentOS didn't hack Tuttle's web site at all. The city's hosting provider had simply botched a web server." "
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Misconfigured Webserver, Threats to Call FBI

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  • If you don't remove this inflamitory comment I'm calling the FBI!
  • by Mattygfunk1 ( 596840 ) * on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:25AM (#15002451)
    "Get this web site off my home page!!!!! It is blocking access to my website!!!!~!," Taylor responded, clearly excited about the situation and sensing that Bin Laden was near.

    He forgot the 1s but the tilda was creative.

    • by iapetus ( 24050 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:28AM (#15002475) Homepage
      Indeed. Basmati rice [] always adds that personal (if slightly bizarre) touch to an e-mail.

      The tilde was quite creative too. :P
    • Re:!!!!~11111!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Vengeance ( 46019 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:28AM (#15002477)
      The guy is a real piece of work. I liked this:

      "I am computer literate! I have 22 years in computer systems engineering and operation. Now, can you tell me how to remove 'your software' that you acknowledge you provided free of charge? I consider this 'hacking.'"

      22 years in systems engineering, but he hasn't got a clue as to how web sites operate. This guy epitomizes problems we all see every day: Incompetents who don't recognize their own incompetence. Then he compounds it by being an arrogant bastard and an overbearing, threatening weenie to boot.


      And these are the kinds of jackasses we ELECT to have power over us.
      • Hopefully, the fact that he 'welcomes' the publicity will do enough to enough to damage his career and teach him not to be such an arrogant gob-shite in the future....

      • Re:!!!!~11111!!! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by avdp ( 22065 ) *
        Well, probably 22 years on the mainframe a few decades ago. He doesn't know a thing about anything that isn't green and black and/or involve punch cards. I see a lot of those around where I work, although most of them are smart enough to know their skills are outdated, and don't pretend to know these new(er) technologies. Not this guy apparently.
        • In my experience, they tend to be pretty sharp (as they figured out mainframes Back in the Day) and able to recognize holes in their knowledge/experience.
        • Well, probably 22 years on the mainframe a few decades ago....I see a lot of those around where I work

          I second this ! I was forced to take a windows XP administration class here in New York City, and there were a couple of
          those grizzled old dudes in my class. The funny part is the two oldest most grizzled dudes were admins at the NYPD.
          Turns out they mostly supported a bunch of wierd legacy servers and DB's.
      • And these are the kinds of jackasses we ELECT to have power over us.

        Most City Managers are not elected by the people. They handle the "administrative" tasks of government and are appoointed by the city council. So this particular "jackass" was not elected.
      • The tendency of the average person to believe he or she is better-than-average is known as the "above-average effect," and it flies in the face of logic... by definition, it is impossible for a majority of people to be above average. The more incompetent someone is in a particular area, the less qualified that person is to assess anyone's skill in that space, including their own. Here is the summary of the study. []
        • by jsight ( 8987 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:57AM (#15002717) Homepage

          by definition, it is impossible for a majority of people to be above average.

          No, it's not.
          • Well -- I'm glad to hear you say that, because it annoys me when people say what the parent said -- but, of course, it depends on the definition.

            It is perfectly possible for the majority of people to be above the mean [average] or modal [average] but impossible for the majority to be above the median [average].

            • by dougmc ( 70836 ) <> on Monday March 27, 2006 @11:34AM (#15003031) Homepage
              It is perfectly possible for the majority of people to be above the mean [average] or modal [average] but impossible for the majority to be above the median [average].
              Average usually refers to mean [], as you're probably aware, but you're also right that people tend to be pretty loose with the definition.

              In any event, my favorite example for when talking about this sort of thing is this --

              Most people have more than the average number of legs.
              ... and it's not just most, but probably around 98%.

              In case an explanation is required (it shouldn't be, but some need one), most people have two legs. A few people have one or zero legs, but nobody that I'm aware of has three legs (we'll leave that joke alone) so the average (mean) number of legs that people have is 1.98 or so, and most people have more legs than that. The median and the mode are both 2, but the average is 1.98 or so.

              Ultimately, not everything has a nice Gaussian distribution [].

              And as for `incompetent, and unaware of it', I'd consider those results to be pretty much common sense, or at least they mirror my experiences. One thing I've learned over the years is that it's not always about what you know -- it's also about what you do when you don't know (know how to look it up!) and most importantly, to know when you don't know. It's true that most of the really smart people I know know lots of things, but they also know what they don't know.

              As for Jerry Taylor, I can understand him not understanding the message he found on the web page. Yes, it's there in relatively plain English, but people do make mistakes. But really, if somebody responds to you politely and points out that they're not to blame and that somebody else is, perhaps you should at least consider that they might be telling the truth and check into that before continuing the tirade. And his `apology' (I use the term lightly here) at the end (the site is down, but I read it earlier ... it was `it's unfortunate that it took all these accusations to get to the truth' or something like that) ... if there was ever any doubt before, it tells us a lot about how Jerry responds to people who point out his mistakes. Jerry may have welcomed the publicity then, but I doubt he does now. I wonder if he even has a job anymore.

        • By definition, it's impossible for more than half to be above [i]median[/i]. It's quite easy for more than half to be above average. For example, suppose there's one sample of 1, and 49 samples of 2. Average is 99/50 == 1.98; 49/50 == 98% are above average.
      • by amliebsch ( 724858 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @11:15AM (#15002858) Journal
        This guy epitomizes problems we all see every day: Incompetents who don't recognize their own incompetence.

        I doubt we all visit Slashdot every day.

      • Re:!!!!~11111!!! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hey! ( 33014 )
        One day old Master Huang and one of his disciples were buying tea at the herb shop. The master noticed the clerk had made a mistake in adding up the bill and corrected him.

        "Master," said the disciple, "truly your skill in calculation is supreme. You are indeed most 'abacus literate'."

        "Nonsense!" replied the master,"Those with skill in such things do not bandy such ignorant terms. They simply practice the calculations most useful to them. The shopkeeper is well served by performing sums; the tax collect
      • by Shawn is an Asshole ( 845769 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @01:22PM (#15003910)
        This guy sounds like many of the people I work with...

        (over the phone)
        User: My password doesn't work!
        Me: Is the capslock on?
        User: No.
        Me: Are you sure? Please check and make sure it isn't on.
        User: It's not on.
        Me: I'll be right over
        /me drives over
        /me looks at keyboard
        Me: You're capslock is on.
        /me turns it off
        /user logs in successfully

        Or this:

        (over the phone)
        User: The server is down. Come over here and fix it.
        Me: Let me check
        /me ssh's in and checks the servers. Nothing wrong. Ping user's computer. Nothing wrong.
        Me: Everything looks fine.
        User: No it's not. The server is down.
        Me: Can you be more specific? What can't you access?
        User: The server. Fix it.
        Me: I'll be right over.
        /me drives over
        User: See, it won't come up. Fix it.

        (The problem? The user is trying to access some website that isn't responding. Somehow I'm responsible for every server on the Internet...) /me wants a new job.
        • by Coyote ( 9900 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @02:15PM (#15004331)
          Alrighty then, allow me to recount my fav Stupid User story, which took place in (where else?) Oklahoma:

          I was contracted to help a new guy learn the ropes in his new job as "engineer." One day he called and complained that his mouse didn't work. I asked a few questions to get a hint what it was or wasn't doing, expecting it to be unplugged, dirty or just plain broke. Nothing seemed to be wrong with it, and I finally asked, "OK, what is it doing that makes you say it's not working?" He answered, "It just doesn't work right."

          I offered to make the hour drive at my usual rate, and he agreed. I went to his office and asked him to show me what was wrong. He was holding the mouse SIDEWAYS, so every time he moved it, the cursor went 90 degrees from the direction he wanted, and he said, "See? It doesn't work right."

          I thought to myself, "Hunh, I didn't think to ask THAT one, so much for the 'intuitive interface," turned the mouse, said "Now try it."

          Yes, it does sound too bizarre to be true, but remember... it was in Oklahoma.

          • by killjoe ( 766577 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @03:48PM (#15005105)
            True story.

            User: My computer won't come on.
            me: Did you plug it in?
            User: Yes.
            Me: What happens when you turn on the computer.
            User: It makes a weird sound
            Me: I better come over and take a look.

            I go over and turn the monitor on for her. The weird sound was the hard drive turning on and the initial beep.
          • by Macgrrl ( 762836 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @08:16PM (#15007427)

            some of my favourite - it really happened to me - IT customer service stories.

            I spent a year or so working in a retail computer outlet in a large discout chain (I blame Apple for this, it was during their flirtation with selling Apples through non-reseller chains). It was during the same period that IBM compatibles changed from 5.25" to 3.5" floppy drives. I had a customer come in and buy a new 3.5" drive one afternoon. The following day they came back with the drive asking for a replacement, as it was clearly faulty. They complained that they had installed in into thier computer and tried to use their exisiting disks in it and none had worked. After further enquiy, it turned out that they had found their 5.25" disks had not fitted in the drive, so they had cut them down with a pair of scissors to make them fit, having done so, they found the new drive incapable to read them.

            Same place, different customer. Came in wanting a warranty replacement on their new keyboard, it was giving erratic multi-keystroke responses. The keyboard was bent with a tire track across it.

            Same place, yet another customer. Sold them a new PC with a fax modem as one of the items on the component list. The following weekend they came back into the store to find me. They had a question, could I perhaps show them on the floor demonstration unit where to load the fax paper.

            Same place (I hated the place with a vengence), different customer. Came in with their brand new Apple Powerbook demanading a warranty replacement. It was a PB 180 (I think) with the grey rectangular power brick adaptor. The computer had shorted out and they demended that Apple replace it. The AC adaptor no longer had the block transformer on the end of the cable, instread it had a standard 3 pin plug on the end. When asked why this was the case, they said that the block had not fitted to the powerpoint on thier skirting board, so they had cut it off (the transformer) and installed the new plug on the end of the cable. They could now understand why I refused to process the claim as a warranty issue.

            Different place, different customer. Was asked to do an insurance assessment on repairing a computer which had been sprayed with a chemical fire extinguisher some weeks earlier, it had not been cleaned in the interim...

            I've got dozens more, but they're my favourites. So glad I don't do retail any more.

          • In my case, I was working in field service for a small factory automation manufacturer (this was nearly 20 years ago, now). We get a call that a customer is having a problem with their system failing the security check at start-up.

            At that time, our software was copy-protected by means of a parallel port dongle that absolutely would NOT work correctly if there was a printer daisy-chained off the dongle, and the printer was turned off. Because this was an entirely predictable failure mode, the error message r
        • by __aaxwdb6741 ( 884633 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @03:49PM (#15005106) Journal
          Oh, dude.
          Untill the end of December '05 I worked for this small company. My boss was one of those people who think they are absolutely never wrong, and bend their own statements if they are proved definitively wrong. He knows absolutely nothing about computers. Once, this happened:

          Him: I have a virus. Why do I have virus? You're the worst IT-man this company has ever had.
          Me: You dont have a virus. That's impossible per definition. Wanna bet $100? /me heads over to laptop. Does a full virus scan, finds nothing.
          Me: So, uh. Where is the virus?
          Him: [enters a website URL. Clicks a link, get's a website that says "YOU HAVE A VIRUS!" /me D'ohs

          At least I got $100...
    • The comic-sans on his website [] is hilarious as well.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    This page cannot be displayed due to an internal error. If you are the administrator of this site, please visit the Xoops Troubleshooting Page for assistance. Error [Xoops]: Unable to connect to database in file class/database/databasefactory.php line 34
  • Overheard at the city council meeting:

    "Someone unplugged my keyboard- Call the FBI Alice!!!"
  • by ralphart ( 70342 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:27AM (#15002465)
    This just confirms what we Texans have known for years...(ducking for cover).
  • oh man.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by mattpointblank ( 936343 ) <mattpointblank&gmail,com> on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:27AM (#15002470) Homepage
    Haha, I love how each of the Manager's replies show a complete ignorance of the previous, helpful message from the CentOS tech. I had a similar situation trying to explain to my uncle (who I was building a site for) about how SMTP works and why mail forwarding only worked before we changed his nameservers (since he only bought domain names and not hosting). I spent a painstaking 20 minutes explaining it in layman's terms, only for him to pause then say, "My email isn't working". The CentOS guy should get a medal for keeping so calm here.
  • by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:28AM (#15002486)
    That's nothing. Over the years I've been the victim of some ruthless Native American terrorist organization that always seems to hack my webpage within minutes of installing the server.
  • by dildo ( 250211 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:29AM (#15002490)
    For some reason, this reminds me of the time that a woman called my branch of the company and said: "We're all out of paper over here... could you fax some over?"

  • HAX (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bega ( 684994 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:29AM (#15002495) Homepage Journal
    "Get this web site off my home page!!!!! It is blocking access to my website!!!!~!," Taylor responded, clearly excited about the situation and sensing that Bin Laden was near.
    how do you remove a web site off of a home page? pls email me telling how this can be done, my home site was just hacked by apple :(
    • my home site was just hacked by apple

      Yeah, well mine was once hacked by vicious Apache Indians!


  • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:30AM (#15002497) complain about a DDOS attack. Behold, the power of Slashdot!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:30AM (#15002507)
    The Department of Records [] must have the name of the website wrong and confused it with Buttle instead of Tuttle, we will correct it as soon as possible. In the mean time, we do not apologize for disrupting your webserver, and we will not reimburse you one penny nor will we fix the damage caused.
  • Hacked... (Score:2, Funny)

    by WED Fan ( 911325 )
    My computer is routinely hacked by Microsoft, should I call. It happens at least once a month, sometimes weekly. I have another one that is hacked by commies, I know they are commies, they use GPL.
  • by gbulmash ( 688770 ) * <> on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:31AM (#15002516) Homepage Journal
    Funniest bit is where the city manager says: "I have no fear of the media, in fact I welcome this publicity."

    After reading through the exchange on the CentOS site [], I think he's going to regret making that statement. Normally, a dunderhead bureaucrat like this would try to sue or claim these e-mails shouldn't have been made public, but with this little statement on file...

    I'd call the guy a "dumbass", but he's not necessarily stupid, just ignorant and bullheaded. Of course, ignorant and bullheaded do a very good impersonation of stupid when combined.

    - Greg

  • I have contacted the City's network administrator wnd he has done nothing to install your CentOS software. I have contacted our Internet provider and they know nothing about your software. I am computer literate! I have 22 years in computer systems engineering and operation.

    Hmm... 22 years as a manager, maybe. As if that counted for anything. Then, to make matters worse, he talked to a 'network administrator', who thanks to MS always refering to windows admins as 'network administrators' is a just a wi
    • "I have contacted our Internet provider and they know nothing about your software."

      Well, in his defense I would have gone rather "WTF?" too if I found that on my webpage, called the ISP and they claimed to not know anything about it. Though I would probably have asked them to pull up my page and from there on out it should have resolved itself. But seriously, this can't be the first lame phonecall they've gotten over the "this site not here yet" page.
      • here's the difference. You would of called the ISP. he called CentOS, because the default Apache install page for CentOS and the default webpage has a link back CentOS.

        That's like the default Apache install page on a Mac contains a link to and The default page on IIS contains a link to

        if you saw an error page that IIS and a link to MSFT would you call MSFT, and Yell at them for Hacking your website?

        If my homepage failed to appear I too would call the ISP. He called the co
  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:35AM (#15002544)
    Some people might accuse them of overeacting. But if you had Osama Bin Laden breathing down *YOUR* neck every day, you'd be pretty nervous too.


  • Isn't it gratifying and re-assuring to know that we have public officials who are intelligent and qualified enough to read an error page, and then savvy enough to: a) look up the company's web site, and then b) effectively and efficiently manage the problem to the satisfaction of all parties involved. We should bestow him with praises.

    Rest assured people of Oklahoma, your IT is in good hands!
  • It seems it becomes our new way of life. We have no idea what we're doing, we have no idea what people are supposed to do, we have no idea who's to blame, but when in doubt, SUE! The more the other party knows, the higher your chances to succeed, because it seems the current creed in justice is that if you're clued, you should know what you do, while when you're clueless, you can't be held responsible for your actions.

    Quite what we're currently facing in the area of viri and trojans. Your computer can be th
  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) * on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:42AM (#15002597)
    ...but, alas, they do not have email!

    Can you imagine? []
  • The PHB in question (Score:5, Informative)

    by sethadam1 ( 530629 ) * <adam.firsttube@com> on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:53AM (#15002686) Homepage
    The PHB in question is the city manager. According to him: "My door is always open and I answer all calls."

    So... here's his info: City Manager Jerry A. Taylor [], and his email address: [mailto].

    Note that I am not "exposing" anything, all of this info comes directly from the publically available website.

    PS. I can't believe we fried but not
  • Yelling!!!! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:54AM (#15002693)
    If you noticed on his bio at the website - he was a manager for E-Systems. This is the way E-Systems managers manage - the yell about everything - get absolutely nothing done but yelling - but yell they do - until someone comes along and fixes it for them. He is classic E-Systems - everyone in the defense industry know about them - and has had to put up with their management technique. Finally the rest of you can start to deal with them too...
  • Haha. I just clicked on the "its web site" link for the story on CentOS and got this:

    This page cannot be displayed due to an internal error.

    If you are the administrator of this site, please visit the Xoops Troubleshooting Page for assistance.

    Error [Xoops]: Unable to connect to database in file class/database/databasefactory.php line 34

    I hereby nominate March 27 as the International Misconfiguration Day!
    Hmm, time to book tickets for the parade of Microsoft admins, maybe. :-/

  • Tuttle? (Score:5, Funny)

    by microcars ( 708223 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:56AM (#15002712) Homepage
    its a mistake, it was supposed to read BUTTLE....
  • by daputz ( 255605 ) * on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:56AM (#15002714) Homepage

    Subject: Need your help in entertaining the tech community

    I understand that you have 22 years of experience computer systems engineering and operation are are computer literate. I need your help in entertaining the Internet technical community.

    I think it would be hilarious if we loaded the default page on on a web server for the city (one with instructions on how to fix the problem) and then complained about it to the the maker of the operating system. Yuk, yuk! We can even (get this) whine that all the computers in the building show the same default page when you surf to the site. Bwaaahhhaaahhhaaa! Then (I can hardly contain myself) let's accuse the poor saps of hacking our server and threaten to call the FBI!!! Teeehhheeehhheeee!

    Oh, oh, my sides hurt. This is going to be great. You setup the server and I'll.... Oh, I'm just reading slashdot and see that you already done it. Well, I guess you thought of it before me. Good one.
  • comic sans (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BenjyD ( 316700 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @10:59AM (#15002730)
    The guy's website [] provides further proof for the "low IQ and use of Comic Sans" correlation.
  • as of 0957 EST, City Of Tuttle [] is still showing an apache test page...
  • by smelroy ( 40796 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @11:01AM (#15002745) Homepage
    CentOS should send the city a bill for their tech support time. After all, they wasted the time of a primary developer whose time could be spent much better. Of course the chance of the bill getting paid is slim to none but it is the thought that counts, right? I hope Johnny Hughes found the man's ignorance as funny as I do and was not overly annoyed with the knucklehead.
  • by ( 551216 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @11:03AM (#15002761) Homepage
    Hi there,
    have you seen this one?
    The world seems to be laughing about your city administration... ryid=127 []

  • Local coffee supplier Perk You! announced the discovery that for several weeks containers labeled "Caffeinated" had mistakenly been filled with DEcaffeinated coffee, but the error was caught and corrected earlier in the week and the correct product "should have already begun showing up in mugs all across the county" according to a company spokesman. Inquiries into exactly which of the company's customers may have been affected by the error went unanswered.

  • by dustwun ( 662589 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @11:06AM (#15002781) Homepage
    While the general response is to call for his incompetent head on a plate (not undeserved), we as a community should be making an effort to be polite to this idiot. If we want to continue the march of linux, we need to be prepared to deal with incompetence and people like this in a warm fashion, and mock them later with dignity and respect. If all he gets are threats, harrassing calls etc, he's going to assume that all linux people are alike, and that we're all terrorists and hackers. Please, if you're going to email/call/mock him, do so with dignity and respect as a member of the community. Don't prove him right by getting on his level. We're all better than him, so act like it.
    • by IgnoramusMaximus ( 692000 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @04:03PM (#15005221)
      Not a chance.

      If that man was merely deficient in his understanding of the situation, I would cringe at the state of civic appointments but would heed your advice and remain civil and polite towards him, as I would in most cases in my professional dealings, preserving the decorum of the conversation. That is because such decorum is what makes inter-personal interactions civil, friendly and as a result allows us to correct someone's gaps in education without insulting him.

      Unfortunately, Mr. Butthead chose to go ape at the first opportunity, displaying his obtuse arrogance and ample ill will, not to mention lack of any decorum to the point that any pretense of civility never existed. Add to this the insulting and egomaniac "apology", which seeks to blame everyone else for his wretched personality, combine this with his civil-servant status, and we have a situation where civic action, publicity and frankly, total destruction of his credibility in the public's eye is the only decent course of action.

      Although it is frequently not so, this case has nothing to do with our, Linux users's, attitudes and everything to do with his.

  • by loconet ( 415875 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @11:15AM (#15002866) Homepage
    Here is a recent picture of our hero, Jerry [], and here is a picture of him [] during his earlier years.
  • by tuttle ( 973 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @11:30AM (#15002996)
    My website looks just fine.
  • by FellowConspirator ( 882908 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @11:42AM (#15003117)
    How's he ever going to learn if we just make fun of him? I, for one, sent him a CentOS DVD and a kind note supporting him in his time of public embarrassment.

    Come to think of it, why doesn't every one do that?
  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdfl[ ]com ['at.' in gap]> on Monday March 27, 2006 @11:47AM (#15003165) Journal
    There is an interesting juxtaposition caused in the appearance of these two sentences side by side that I find somewhat revealing.
    "I am computer literate! I have 22 years in computer systems engineering and operation."

    It occurs to me that very few people who have had 22 years of computer systems experience would merely refer to themselves as "computer literate". It would be more likely that such a person with the claimed amount of experience would have asserted instead that he "knows what he's talking about", followed by the proclaimation announcing his years of experience. "Computer literate", ironically, is generally only used as a self-label by people who still don't *REALLY* know how their computer works. At least as far as I've seen.

    I expect, more likely, that has had had 22 years of experience of MANAGEMENT in the field, but not the actual hands-on stuff.

    (Threats of calling the FBI aside, he reminds me for some reason of the pointy-haired boss guy in Dilbert).

  • by jefu ( 53450 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @11:59AM (#15003269) Homepage Journal
    For the person actually responsible for having actually set things up with the default apache page on the web server.

    With luck they will not be someone who reports to this fool, but one way or another they'll probably feel the heat more than necessary. There are few things more frightening in a workplace than a fool who is shown up to be a fool. His retribution is likely to be epic.

  • by Schraegstrichpunkt ( 931443 ) * on Monday March 27, 2006 @12:26PM (#15003509) Homepage
    I am computer literate!

    Um, sir, I don't think 'computer literacy' refers merely to the ability to read text on computers...

  • by dheltzel ( 558802 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @01:13PM (#15003851)
    I have to give the guy a lot of credit for being helpful. If it were me, I'm afraid I would have said "OK, OK, we'll get it off there in the next update cycle", then blacklisted his email address and let him figure it out himself.

    Then I would have posted it on slashdot while the error page was still up for additional comic relief :)
  • by Khopesh ( 112447 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @02:11PM (#15004296) Homepage Journal
    The thttpd (a lightweight Apache alternative) author has a similar story, but with more stupidity involved (see email history in link): thttpd author's "Attack of the Repo Men" []
  • by Anonymous Custard ( 587661 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @02:16PM (#15004341) Homepage Journal
    After the first miscommunication over email, pick up the damn phone. Could have cleared this up in 5 minutes, no matter how idiotic the customer.
  • by wgadmin ( 814923 ) on Monday March 27, 2006 @04:32PM (#15005459)
    Dear Mayor Lonnie Paxton:

    I am writing to formally complain about the abusive behavior of Mr. Jerry A. Taylor, one of your highest profile City Managers. As of this morning's publication of an Information Technology news service titled Slashdot (see links below), I can assure you that he (and, by association, your town of Tuttle, Oklahoma) is the topic of derisive conversations throughout the entire computing systems world. Quite frankly, Mr. Taylor's alleged "22 years in computer systems engineering and operation," his unwillingness to consider the advice of professional peers, his inability to comprehend simple systems documentation, and his hair-trigger willingness to contact the FBI whenever your town suffers WEB server configuration issues, cast great doubts in regard to both Tuttle's IT infrastructure, as well as your town's slogan: "The Place Where People Grow Up - Friendly!" This is very bad publicity, Mr. Paxton. Until this morning, it's true that hardly anyone outside of Oklahoma knew where Tuttle even was. However, now millions of people know about Tuttle for all the wrong reasons. As a consequence, I am only half joking when I state that I would hardly be surprised to see your town spoofed without mercy on an upcoming episode of The Daily Show, for example. This is THAT big an issue.

    In any event, I must commend the representative from, Mr. Johnny Hughes. Time and time again, as Mr. Taylor become increasingly impossible to deal with, as Mr. Taylor's words became more and more threatening (at one point, Mr. Taylor went so far as to report that "I have no fear of the media, in fact I welcome this publicity" - a statement which I believe he will soon regret, if he doesn't already), Mr. Hughes remained both patient and calm and did everything he could -- and I can't state this with enough emphasis, even though this was clearly neither an issue with, nor Mr. Hughes -- to help resolve Mr. Taylor's problem.

    I use CentOS on a daily basis and I am positively grateful for the philanthropic efforts of this superhuman organization. I am extremely disappointed with your office because Mr. Hughes clearly did not deserve Mr. Taylor's unmindful harassment. To resolve this injustice, at the very least, I encourage you to prevail upon Mr. Taylor to publicly acknowledge an admission of discourtesy toward both and Mr. Hughes himself, accompanied by a written expression of regret. Your town should consider itself fortunate that, to date, has not issued you an invoice for payment of software technical support.

    Thanks very much for your attention. I sincerely wish that we could be communicating under much more favorable conditions.

    For your reference, here are some links referred to earlier:
    Original story posted on Slashdot: 135221 []

    What is Slashdot and how large is it's following in the world: []

    CentOS's coverage of the abuse: []

    What CentOS is: p?id=2 []

    What LINUX is: []

    Yours Sincerely,

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."