I know this is bad, but so are telemarketers

I knew I shouldn’t have as soon as the caller id on the office phone showed 00000000000…

But I answered the phone, and gave my customary work phone greeting I’ve had for 8 years: “This is Jason.”

pause, other end picks up, I know it’s a computer-based dialer on the other side. The voice is nice enough, “Can I speak to Jason Young?”

Me, knowing what this is, kicks into rude mode: “Yes, unless you are a telemarketer”


Me, “Guess that means you are”

They hang up. How rude

I sooooooooooo need the Rubber Chicken

So I have been extraordinarily aggressive on keeping the rails and related ruby gems updated on our servers. I mean updates the same day or the next of when they are released. It’s part of trying to be bleeding edge in our deployment and because, well, I’m pedantic about that. (I have a VersionTracker subscription and keep every software package on my machine updated weekly, and keep fink and darwin ports packages updated weekly, whether it needs it or not).

That aggressiveness almost killed me today.

This morning I updated mongrel to the latest bug fix release on a production rails box. And without paying attention to the clock, 10 minutes before a major demo of our internal FAQ tool, I tried to update Rails to the latest security/bug fix. I mean, even I had been paying attention to the clock, every last one of these have been seamless so far.

The keyword is “so far.”

gem apparently got foobar’d at some point and kept issuing a syntax error on every install or update operation. the error text kicked out had something to do with mongrel – so I thought the mongrel update caused the problem. So I remove the last version of mongrel.

Nope. So the I remove mongrel. and try to install.

Nope, still some kind of gem syntax error. I look at the clock, it’s 12:55pm. Everyone’s at lunch right?

Then it dawned on me.

There’s a demo at 1pm. A major demo of the FAQ tool. I just broke the FAQ tool.


Think, Jay, Think. Okay, I’ll im the boss, shell into a working box, and copy the Mongrel gem over to the broken box that I can’t install mongrel on via gem itself. oh for the love of all that is my sanity, I hope that works

For the first time in my career that I can remember, my hands are shaking. I’ve pulled more all-nighters at work than I ever did in College. I’ve broken, fixed, broken, fixed hundreds, maybe even thousands of computers and applications. I do have a propensity for panic. But I don’t remember ever having my hands shake.

It worked. Downtime maybe 2 minutes.

And Gem works now.

Goodbye Cult of Mac

Goodbye Cult of Mac.

I really liked your blog and liked your writers.

But whatever stupid change you made to your feed on June 19th? Yeah, I’m out. Because not-only did you stop with the full feeds – there’s not even an excerpt.

I mostly understand the full-feeds thing. You need to sell advertising. I get that. I’m cool with that. I subscribe to Wired, and I actually look at the ads sometimes because I completely fit the advertiser’s demographic (which is different than most of the other stuff I read).

But it’s absolutely completely ridiculous to just have a feed with article titles. There’s no teaser, no hint, no anything to encourage me to visit your site.

Back in the day, Usenet writers would indicate that you’d been put in the killfile for the newsreader with a plonk – so guess what, Cult of Mac?


Update: My gut tells me it’s a screw up between them and feedburner. The other feeds for wired usually have excerpts, and many of the their blog feeds are still full-feeds. Man, I hope that’s what it is, because having the audacity to post title-only feeds is a one-way ticket to ticking off your readers.

(I also probably insulted Leander Kahney by mailing this post to them directly and saying I hope he and Pete Mortensen let their editors know about this. Whoops. Leander is Wired News’ managing editor. sorry)


Jay’s System Administration Rule #4192

_ Every server crash should be a personal affront to your personhood_

This, of course, means war on the RAC virtual media setting.

When I get a maintenance window.

And If I don’t forget about it.

Jay’s Greatest Hits

I’m trying to clear out my podunk .Mac website, and pulled over my horrendous collection of bad parody songs I’ve written into WordPress pages tonight. So without further ado, or even a stray nonny-nonny – I give you Jay’s Greatest Hits:

One of the many reasons I am marrying her

Brown-eyed Girl: but do tell him he’s not allowed to get us matching his n hers MySQL books
Brown-eyed Girl: 😉
JAY: 🙂
JAY: laughter
JAY: su –
JAY: whoops, wrong window
JAY: ha – I just tried to IM you a unix command
Brown-eyed Girl: nice
JAY: I tried to take “superuser” in the IM window with you
Brown-eyed Girl: hahaha
Brown-eyed Girl: i have no idea what the hell that means but it sounds funny
Brown-eyed Girl: ACCESS DENIED
JAY: heh
JAY: this is so getting blogged

This is serious

Tim Berners-Lee: Net Neutrality: This is Serious

The most cogent and clear definition yet of Net Neutrality I’ve read yet:

“Net neutrality is this:

‘If I pay to connect to the Net with a certain quality of service, and you pay to connect with that or greater quality of service, then we can communicate at that level.’

That’s all. Its up to the ISPs to make sure they interoperate so that that happens.

Net Neutrality is NOT asking for the internet for free.

Net Neutrality is NOT saying that one shouldn’t pay more money for high quality of service. We always have, and we always will.”

There’s multiple clear, concise statements here. So Read the article You’ll be glad you did.