August 21st, 2006


spacefem hates on IT (again)

I can't sleep, hopefully ranting about my LJ topic of the year will help.

Wichita State uses this system called Blackboard where teachers can post stuff to their classes. it's pretty awful. full of weird hidden things nobody uses, and there's no simple way to tell when something new is posted, if a teacher wants to hide something in a folder and not post a special announcement in it, and you're too busy to dig, it's gone forever, and if there's an e-mail notification thing somewhere i haven't found it. But that's beside the point.

Thursday, the first day of classes, Blackboard was down. BAD time for it to die on us... it's where you get the sylabus, the first assignment, instructions on what to bring to the first day of class, if applicable.

So today I log in and there's this notice apologizing for the system outage, and explaining that they had "9000 login attempts in three hours." Okay, so that brings me to my pet peeve... computer people who try to make "people used it" into an excuse. This is not the first year we've had blackboard. This is not the first year Wichita State has had 14,000 students and 500 some professors who started classes on the same day.

it also bears a striking resemblence to my sad $50 non-refundable lesson in crappy web hosting from hostgator, the lovely company who gave me the boot a day after I transferred websites over for "violating terms of service" when they claimed I overused a server (they put 800 sites on any given server, and I wasn't sharing properly, I guess.)

Them: You had almost 200MB of data transfer in an hour.
Me: Yeah, well, that's why I signed up for the 100GB per month plan.
Them: You can't expect to use that much of a server's resources, these aren't dedicated servers
Me: Then why do you offer a 100GB per month plan?

When it comes to computers, I expect to eat my cake.

I build airplanes for a living, and before we deliver an airplane to anybody, we fly the crap out of it, and then we give the customer the exact specifications on how much weight it can hold, how far it can go on so much fuel, when it needs maintenance, and if some part or box or whatever dies on somebody's airplane, we have to do analysis to record exactly why the part failed, and it can't be, "because it was on an airplane". we know it was on an airplane, and we know airplanes vibrate and go through temperature changes and have antennas that transmit all sorts of crazy things, that's not news, and it's not an excuse for failure. sometimes we have to admit that we didn't plan something right and there's a flaw in the design and we fix it... we don't tell people to fly less.