Frustramigation

Frustramigation is a rather endearing word-that’s-not-a-word My gf uses it, and she’s a copy editor, so I figure I can get away with it. It rather describes the day. Although, I think it’s more frustramigation with myself than anything else.

I have been on a mini-crusade to educate the masses against the use of FTP for some time. And today on the campus System Admin/Support list (appropriately named the “nag”) – I had an opening from one of my colleagues who suggested the use of an FTP client for some kind of file transfer (in lieu of emailing the files). An opening to put out my $1.02 about the problems with FTP (usernames, passwords, and data transferred in the clear) again, and a plea to my colleagues to stop recommending its use (that didn’t mean kill the existing service, it meant start recommending alternatives – which we’ve been doing for a while ).

Go ahead – search ncsu.edu for “FTP”. A whole lot of implicit recommendations to use it. Search engr.ncsu.edu or eos.ncsu.edu. (hopefully you won’t find much there encouraging its use).

What followed was a somewhat devolving exchange where all I did was likely come across as a raving idealist (at best). I tend to carry out complaints in public forums, mostly as an involvement activity – because as I said:

_ I was holding this discussion in public view because it deserves at least a modicum of public attention, not some backroom one on one or few on few discussion between a small part of two of several dozen computing groups on campus._

But I think that just serves to confuse the issue, because all it devolves too is me and some other group arguing semantics on tangential items – mostly because I start waxing philosophic and causing the tangential threads – and given my sometime deserved track record for causing stirs – I think I just again sound like a raving madman. Or as I mentioned a few days ago in a rather prescient moment, – like I’m just against something, rather than for something.

The real underlying reason I try to have those conversations in public was along the lines of what I wrote in one of the notes:

There is a significant and ongoing vicious cycle of (at least some of) our service offerings on campus – created by a disconnect between those creating/managing/maintaining a service, those supporting the service, and those using a service. The service providers think we still have to keep offering the service because “the users depend on it”. The service supporters keep telling users to use the service because “that’s what our providers told us we have” and the users keep using it because that’s what the “support staff told them to use.” Given enough time and distance and the lack of a ongoing feedback loop between those three? Eventually “the users depend on it” and “that’s what we were told we provide” and “that’s what we are told to use” become self-referential – the discussions aren’t actually taking place, but each little group keeps telling each other that because their peer in the same group said it, and of course it’s bad form to ask any questions – like “why the heck are we still doing that?” or “where exactly did you hear that at?”

Which of courses has nothing to do with FTP.

Oh well, I keep telling myself that I’ll eventually learn.

We’ll just kill off FTP in Engineering. The rest of campus will eventually catch up (or we’ll be burned at the stake for cutting off the service).

But at least those NCAA brackets will be encrypted.