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© March 2006 Anthony Lawrence

If you haven't yet read the hilarious story of Jerry A. Taylor of Tuttle Oklahoma, pop over and read it now.

The funniest part of it is Jerry's insistence that he isn't a computer n00b:

I am computer literate! I have 22 years in computer systems
engineering and operation.

Of course anyone who is even half-way savvy can't read that without a chuckle.

Yet Jerry's sin was really more of unwarranted escalation - flying off the handle - rather than lack of knowledge. It actually is possible to know quite a bit about computer subjects without knowing a darn thing about Apache. Yes, it is a bit unusual to be apparently responsible for websites and still lack that knowledge, but it is possible.

And I do have to agree with Jerry that CentOS's initial responses were unhelpful. I'd also say that their tone helped pour gasoline on a fire that was putting up plenty of flame already. Yes, Jerry A. Taylor is the one who made an ass of himself, but he had a little help along the way.

It's quite possible that Jerry will lose his job over this. Maybe that's reasonable: I don't know how much he should know about Tuttle's websites. But it's also possible that he isn't the jackass these exchanges portray him as: he might in fact be a competent, highly overworked person who went astray because of a small gap in his knowledge. Every single one of us has such gaps, and every one of us has gotten angry for the wrong reasons at least once in our lives (if you haven't, you are probably just not old enough yet).

No doubt Jerry jokes will bounce around the web for weeks and years. I hope he survives and has the capacity to laugh at himself rather than descending into misery.

A lesson for everyone: you may not be as literate as you think you are.

Got something to add? Send me email.

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Sun Mar 26 16:29:25 2006: 1823   BigDumbDInosaur

It's still funny, tho! <Grin>

Sun Mar 26 21:24:36 2006: 1824   TonyLawrence

Yeah, it is. I just hope the guy doesn't end up in a deep mess because of it. He could be an old mainframe guy with a lot of real knowledge and just hasn't kept up with the open source world..

Mon Mar 27 14:03:31 2006: 1827   BigDumbDinosaur

If there's a lesson to be learned from all of this it is one should be sure to put ones brain in gear before engaging ones mouth.

Tue Mar 28 17:31:42 2006: 1830   JosephANagyJr

I don't think the CentOS guy put any gas on the flame. Jerry was being a complete tard. No person or company is under any obligation to help people who present as morons.

Wed Mar 29 17:09:53 2006: 1832   BigDumbDInosaur

No person or company is under any obligation to help people who present as morons.

Johnny Hughes is under no obligation to help anyone, moron or not. That he went through the trouble to identify the true source of the "problem" and offer advice to Jerry Taylor on what to do about it is, in my opinion, going above and beyond the call. My patience with Jerry Taylor's bellicose behaviour would have been considerably less than that exhibited by Johnny Hughes -- you can bet on it!

BTW, I had never heard of CentOS before Tony posted this article. Having seen...er...read about how Johnny Hughes had exercised commendable restraint in dealing with this political hack (I just LOVE politicians -- the whole lot of them should be shot into space, starting with Sen. Ted Kennedy) I've since taken the time to visit the CentOS website and read up on it. As time permits, I plan to do a CentOS installation on one of our mules here to play around with it.

Wed Mar 29 17:16:25 2006: 1833   TonyLawrence

I'll have to disagree with both as to the value of our MA senator and the CENTOS response.

But I'll agree that you should be looking at CENTOS - we have mentioned it here before this.

Thu Mar 30 08:39:37 2006: 1835   anonymous

CentOS is some good stuff.

They also keep very up to date themselves. Redhat has to be helping them out almost.. or maybe they keep a few copies of Redhat paid up themselves since it seemed like the same day that Redhat released it's 'service pack'-type thingy CentOS released their 4.3 version.

Thu Mar 30 15:47:40 2006: 1837   BigDumbDinosaur

But I'll agree that you should be looking at CENTOS - we have mentioned it here before this.

I don't recall seeing anything about CentOS here, although anyone who spends more than five minutes on this site will quickly realize there is an overwhelming amount of information to be sifted through -- a huge forest that tends, on occasion, to obscure individual trees. <Smile>

Regarding Johnny Hughes' response to Jerry Taylor, I fail to see how anyone could fault the former for how he reacted when accosted by the latter. Taylor wasn't polite, hurled idle threats where none were warranted, didn't give Hughes any useful information that might have helped him figure out what was going on, and, most damning in my dinosaurish opinion, didn't apologize for his crass behavior. In other words, he acted like a politician (and like Ted Kennedy did following the death of Mary Jo Kepechne).

As I said before, none of us is under any obligation to help anyone unless we have signed a contract and/or taken money in agreement to doing so. That Hughes voluntarily took the time to figure out Taylor's problem shows him to be the better man. Just my opinion.

Mon Apr 24 06:17:02 2006: 1959   anonymous

It is so scary that a seasoned and experienced computer expert like Mr Jerry Taylor, with 22 years of experience (count 'em, boy) is being completely and utterly fooled by something as simple as CentOS. Therefore, I cannot believe this story and I can only conclude that you have made this whole episode up.



ps - further discussion by me on this topic will probably include unsavoury comments on Mr Taylor, so I shall refrain :)

Mon Apr 24 15:06:26 2006: 1961   BigDumbDInosaur

...I can only conclude that you have made this whole episode up.

It was not made up. The entire exchange between Jerry A. Taylor and Johnny Hughes did happen. Sometimes the truth is far stranger than any fiction.

Mon Apr 24 14:17:34 2006: 1962   TonyLawrence

Oh, never mind. I did make it up.

The hard part was hacking the Centos site to post the fake email exchanges..

Mon Apr 24 15:05:43 2006: 1963   BigDumbDinosaur

The hard part was hacking the Centos site...

...and not leaving any tracks in the process.

Mon Apr 24 18:58:34 2006: 1964   bruceg2004

I had read about this on another site, and could not stop laughing. Yes, the truth is sometimes very funny. How could you make this stuff up? I feel bad for the CentOS guys.

- Bruce


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