Tuesday, August 22, 2006


REC: "Why are you hitting yourselves in the head with a hammer?"
Evil Overlords: "Because it feels so good when we stop."

REC:"So when are you going to stop?"

You might think that after being burned badly by Microsoft once we'd have learned something. You would be fairly certain we'd have learned something after being burned again. You'd be shocked to think we'd allow it to happen a third time.

We're being deluged with tickets after this, our fourth round of Microsoft Doesn't Use Lube When They Bend You Over the Table with their release of KB 918899.

I tried. I really tried. I sent urgent requests a month ago to get the people who run our Knowledge Base site to put up a splash screen with a warning: Do Not Install the MS 918899 Security Roll-up nor any of its MS06-040 through MS06-051 component packages until after you've updated $OurBigApp to patch xyz! They declined.

I reminded them of the fun we had when SQL Server 7 SP3 was released. "Meh."
I recalled the joys of the MS JVM being disabled. "Tsk."
I mused wistfully about the tens of thousands of users cut off by XP SP2. "Eh."

As I clawed through the corporate chain of command hell I nagged my managers, product marketers, other people's managers and even an executive. The responses never changed. My managers sent notes supporting me back to the Knowledge Base people and they grew ever more weary of my very existence despite the piles of content I regularly send their way.

"We already have a Notification. And they must've seen something about it by now."

Not if they haven't been having any problems in the last six months. While the idea that a company could actually use $OurBigApp and not submit a ticket during an entire six-month window does seem rather implausible, it actually happens. It happens with really big companies. The kinds of really big companies which have 15,000 users all on at the same time. Or off if that fucking Microsoft patch is installed before they patch $OurBigApp.

That notice about the Notification is in teensy-weensy text on a screen everyone ignores and clicks past because it's utterly useless. Except this time.

"REC, we've told you for the last time we are not going to put up this splash screen." Unfortunately they didn't CC: that it to the upper managers who might've learned more about my great powers of predicting the future.

On August 8 Microsoft released the patch.
On August 9 I was a very busy mutt.
On August 10 the two-thirds of a really big company's 15,000 users who have Windows XP SP2 played a lot of solitaire and minesweeper.

Maybe, just maybe it's time to stop hammering your heads, you fuckwits.
x-posted from HuSi.


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