I came across a reference in an InfoWorld column by Robert Cringeley, Okie calls cops, Dell's Ditty flops, to an amusing exchange between the city manager for Tuttle, Oklahoma and a CentOS developer, today. The server on which the Tuttle website resided crashed. It was rebuilt by the city's hosting provider, but the server was not configured properly afterwards to display the city's webpage, leading to a default page being displayed instead of the city's homepage.
The city manager, Jerry Taylor, who claims to have twenty-two years in computer systems engineering and operations, but appears to know very little about webservers or operating systems, saw the default Apache webpage one would see on a webserver running the CentOS operating system and contacted a CentOS developer, Johnny Hughes. But, with absolutely no understanding of what he was seeing, he demanded that the CentOS software be removed from his website.
In one email message sent to CenOS he railed "Who gave you permission to invade my website and block me and anyone else from accessing it??? Please remove your software immediately before I report it to government officials!! I am the City Manager of Tuttle, Oklahoma." Mr Hughes tried to explain the situation to him, but Mr. Taylor was apparently incapable of understanding the explanations and replied by threatening to sic the FBI on CentOS. Mr. Hughes took the time to research the problem instead of just ignoring the city manager at that point and did eventually get the city manager to contact his hosting provider. But even then, the city manager did not seem to understand, or at least appreciate, that Mr. Hughes had made an extra effort to solve the city's website problem for the city. Instead he still stated he did not regret threatening Hughes with FBI action, since he believes that was what prompted Hughes to start treating him seriously.
The city has a article on the issue at City manager misunderstanding prompts international response and even has a link to the email transcript of the exchange, which Mr. Hughes posted after getting exasperated with the city manager's behavior and threats. Comments on the article in the city's paper are available in a forum for the paper.
- Okie calls cops, Dell's Ditty flops
- City manager misunderstanding prompts international response
OR ... why every city council needs at least one geek
Transcript of the email exchange