[volunteers] Mailman Web pages (but not Mailman SMTP) has been screwed up

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Nov 22 00:44:16 PST 2007


Hello.  I was told that Paul forwarded / replied to my posting to Google
Groups over _here_, a mailing list I actually stopped reading when Paul
prohibited discussion here of his secret plan, blew away everything the 
Web Team had been working on for over a year, said any discussion had to
be in private mail and confidential, and basically brought back the bad
old days of secrecy and undocumented, abitrary rules.

My confidence in the Reiber administration having waned for those
reasons, I shifted to primarily emphasising work for other groups -- and
normally don't monitor this list.


> You make it look like I blew off my responsibilities for two days. 

Well, frankly you did that and a bit more:  Because you claimed that
you'd be visiting Via.net on Monday evening or Tuesday morning to
investigate, neither Mark nor anyone else took up the task to go
instead.  And then the same thing happened when you belatedly said
mid-Tuesday, Oops, I didn't go; so I'll get there this afternoon.  
Which, as has been pointed out, but you're (acting as if you're) not
getting, neatly dissuaded others from taking over that task.

Everyone gets busy with real life, which is not a problem, but you and
Mark are the only SVLUG folk on Via.net's roster to admit, so it would
have sufficed to call me or Mark or Lisa or probably several other
people:  (In the case of anyone but Mark, you'd also have to call
Via.net and say "Please let this guy in, to see our server.)  You have
all our cellular numbers. 

> I get people telling me the president's job is [...]

Missing the point completely:  Nobody sensible says you should do
everything.  In fact, that's absurd.  What I imagine you _should_ want
to do is let other people take care of things, make sure they have
access, and then get out of their way.  In this case, you didn't do
that; you said "I'm on it" -- but weren't, _and_ didn't call on others
to fill in, nor even keep anybody informed.  You never once even popped
into the IRC channel, even.  Practically the entire membership was 
in a total information void, knowing only that we'd dropped off without
a trace, with no explanation.


> I've stopped no-one from implementing ANYTHING.

Oh really?  You cancelled the Linode migration, and took the donated VA
Linux box and -- without telling or consulting anyone -- put it in a
member's house.  (It just suddenly vanished off ping, one day.)

> I don't know what "ongoing server migration plan" volunteers (who?)
> were working on [...]

Well, you have an unbelievably lousy memory, since it was the subject of
a great many briefings starting with the beginning of your
administration, and including the Web Team dinner at Black Angus.

> Go buy and install a new server tomorrow, and we'll all thank you.

You know, I'm done for now with donating hardware to SVLUG.  Remember
all those SCSI hard drives I donated for the VA Linux model 2230 + JBOD
from my tested and known-good collection?  You soon thereafter claimed
that several drives were "dead", and I kept politely asking to examine
them, since my experience is that many people declare perfectly fine
SCSI drives dead in error.  You kept promising to bring them over, and
then appearing and saying "Oh, shoot, I forgot them again."  So, I said,
"For gosh sakes, Paul, when you get home, put them into your _car_
already, so you won't forget them next time."  

But you never bothered to do that.  So, I've considered pouring more
sand down that particular rat hole, and on reflection have decided to
hold off.  Once burned, twice shy.

> But just sitting there and pointing out the problems [...]

_You_ caused those problems.  Avoidably.  As the saying goes, "Lead,
follow, or get out of the way."

> You make it sound like the "we" above is a paying customer.    You
> know better than to honestly say we could be offline for weeks -
> Mark's got backups, and worst case, we could fire up a new SVLUG
> server using Google's services or any of a number of other sponsor
> servers, in a matter of days, if not hours.

I see no evidence that you can so much a fire up a _barbecue_, Paul.  
You're the guy who sauntered over with the current box that we pulled 
from Alvin's, over to Via.net, and then sat there chewing up my cellular
time for about _two hours_ because you couldn't figure out how to set
the IP address, default route, and DNS resolver IP and wanted to be
walked through it over the telephone.  And _yesterday_, your idea of 
"fixing" the server problem was to _reboot_ it, collect no data, and
then wander off.

And, your working theory for what had happened was that the server had
lost power -- which is the only thing we knew it could _not_ be, since
it was occasionally responding to ping.  And your idea of explaining 
the brief DNS difference was that I needed to "refresh my browser
cache".

Yes, I can _easily_ imagine your blowing off server downtime for weeks.

> You also seem to be saying that you knew the machine was down for the
> entire two days, yet didn't once email me at paul at reiber.org to let
> me know?

Wow, what a completely crooked question!  I'm referring, of course, to
the two days of downtime from the time _you_ posted to Google Groups
about that.

> Also - I'm not your answer man. 

What you are, typically, is the guy who interferes in others who
actually _do_ know what the hell they're doing.  And promises that he's
on little things like our one and only server being down, but then blows
it off and sees fit to mention that fact only later.


> I don't use IRC much.  Deal with that. 

So much for bothering to keep the members informed via the only public
forum that was working (other than your Google Group that only nine
people knew about).

> Neither one of you guys considered going over to via.net as a
> reasonable first course of action?

What part of "Via.net wouldn't admit people not on the customer list"
are you still not getting?  What part of "Oh, damn, I guess I screwed up 
by saying I was visiting there but not going or letting people know, and
so making it unlikely that anyone else would realise I was dropping the
ball" still eludes you?

When you said you were going there, people's first reaction is not
likely to be "Oh, I should assume he's _not_ going there, and should 
go myself".  (On the other hand, maybe that reaction will now change.)

> You see, the current static website's not all that useful (sans
> information about, say, this week's events

You tanked to the gills again, or what?   The Events box has the
scheduled SVLUG events for two months out, and the SVLUG News box's 
headliner item is a low-key note about the downtime.  That's the 
_front page_, Paul.  First thing I did.

> but your "exact replica" wasn't doing mailman, was it?

I said "exact replica _of the production Web pages_", to refresh your
memory.

Indeed, it would have taken one more day to get Mailman and Exim4 also
going -- but, in the meantime, members no longer were left completely in
the dark, the way _you_ left them, and we had our complete Web presence
back.

> I'm sorry, but from my perspective it created more problems than it
> solved, plain and simple.

Your "perspective" is that of a rather incompetent -- can't even re-IP 
a Linux box -- technopeasant embarrassed over having been shown up by
someone who showed leadership to get our site back online at a time when
_your_ idea of handling server downtime was to ignore it for two days.

> So who really cares if some of our members think we "dropped into a
> black hole"?

Obviously not you.  Folks, that's the Reiber administration in a
nutshell.

> Virtualization and MoinMoin (and probably using Untangle as well) is
> all right around the corner.

Since you've frozen out the entire rest of SVLUG's volunteer population,
and basically alienated everyone else who used to help, I'll be waiting
for you to leave office, at which time we'll attempt to reverse all the
damage you've done.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have higher priorities.  Much.





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