Thursday, August 24, 2006

Jack's Back

Kevorkian came back today. Two months later he managed to figure out how to get around all of our safety measures (MD5 hash included) and get $OurBigApp version 3.6f Configurator to install on top of 3.6h. His solution included changing registry keys, changing version files, changing, calculating an MD5 hash, moving hundreds of files to different directories and changing scripts.

"It works now so this must be supported. Please confirm."

That my desk is not a pile of splinters but only sports a my-head-shaped dent in front of my keyboard is a tribute to the quality of German wood laminate production. Can anyone out there spare a couple Vicodin?

The rest of my workload today includes problems with database settings, IE flipping and tripping out, and that damned 918899 "security" roll-up. I did have one interesting ticket that no one wanted because it was a political hot potato. I first sent the response to management, just in case. I've burned myself before with very correct -- and politically/corporately incorrect -- answers to questions like these. They liked it despite the utter lack of typical corporate sterility which I replaced with a writing style that should unruffle a few of this guy's feathers. He wrote some seriously loaded questions like,

We are planning an upgrade to $YourBigApp 4.3.5 from 4.1.9.h ... it now seems that this patch will require a further patch to 4.3.5.c...
It's not two patches. First there's a big upgrade from 4.1 to 4.3, then a single patch set. That's normal, dude.

No doubt we will see more of this in the coming months, with Vista, IE7, etc.
No doubt. If those damned haX0rz would quit picking on Win-ders, MS would quit patching and so would we. They're keeping a lot of people employed.

Or do you simply blame Microsoft…?!
This was the tough one and it took me three long paragraphs to dance my way around the issue without coming out and saying, "Well, yes. It's their shitty OS and browser. It's their lack of security by design. It's their shitty monopolistic behaviour. We're just trying to keep up."

In reality, the blame should fall squarely on Microsoft. We're only guilty of writing software for a platform which more than 90% of our customers' users have on their computers.

Lucky me! I'm Duty Monkey today! Kill me please Feast your eyes on the ticket that just came in:

$YourBigApp don't work after $YourBigApp Database Server installation.

And? It sure as fuck didn't work before the DB server was installed!
x-posted from HuSi.


Anonymous Anonymous pulled out a crayon and scribbled:

I agree about the 918899 sentiments. It seems to have drawn every retarded cousin out of the basement. We've known for months it will break $BigApp and the $OtherBigApp from $MegaCorp when the we're-not-joking-this-time compatibility patch finally expires. But we occasionally still see emails floating around asking for approval for a system change to deploy the security hotfix and everyone knows the app is not patched yet. Wtf?

Anyway, not sure why anyone would have issues administering the app. We have it, and it seems fairly solid to me. Except that it uses IE on the front end, which in hindsight was probably a design decision by a sadist or someone that hates humanity. (German?)

To compare the app with some of the other crap out there, consider some of the other apps we have. For North America and few other places, we use a $MegaCorp accounting app. But the majority of international uses a different accounting app.

Naturally. Why not? Life is too easy when you only have one accounting system. The decision probably had something to do with the fact that in the not too distant past, we actually had ledgers in Excel. Our IT expenditures for 2005 were about $.3 Billion.

The international users and stakeholders are enomored with OtherApp. It's easy to use, and the company has locations in many countries and regions, and provides acceptable support or partners with an outfit that can provide local support.

We've had the app five years. I discovered recently the app is not unicode-compliant. And I'm apparently the only one who was aware of this. Worked great until some asian country decided to create a requirement for something or other to be displayed/printed in their local language instead of US English.

"Development say our app is unicode. Work fine on our desktop, must be a problem on your system." And why does it work fine on their desktop? Because they changed the Windows OS setting for "Language For Non-Unicode Programs".

So now we have to get yet another piece of software that creates a separate universe for $ShitApp so that we can change the "Language For Non-Unicode Programs" setting on the servers on which it runs.

25 August, 2006 18:53  

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In compliance with $MegaCorp's general policies as well as my desire to
continue living under a roof and not the sky or a bus shelter, I add this:

The views expressed on this blog are my own and
do not necessarily reflect the views of $MegaCorp, even if every
single one of my cow-orkers who has discovered this blog agrees with me
and would also like to see the implementation of Root Cause: 17-Fuckwit.