The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, May 24, 2000

“No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!”

Oh, now that just sucks.

I'm trying to get some software I wrote released under the GPL. The software in question, developed under and for Unix, is owned by a company that no longer uses said software, being that they switched completely over from Unix to Windows NT. I've been slowly working on this for several months now. Not continuously, but as I remember to do so.

The code has an interesting history. It's a library of code I developed over a period of several years working with Armigeron Information Services, Inc. It became part of the property the above company bought when they bought us out a few years ago, but since we left, the above company has since changed to NT and the library has pretty much languished in obscurity ever since.

I was working with a friend of mine at the company who was in charge of the IT department there. He was willing to sign off on the code, but my friend Chuck, who sold the code in the first place, wants the president of said company to sign off on it.

Last week we sent a letter to the president outlining what I want to do and asking them to assign the rights back to me (or at least allow me to GPL the code and release it). I haven't heard back from them and just now decided to call my friend to see what's going on.


Not remembering the number of the company, I decide to check their website. What do I see?


(Oh, did I mention I'm using Lynx? It's faster than loading up Netscape). Fine. I click the link.


MAP: http://www.————.com/#imagemap

1. http://www.————.com/index1.html

Fine. I click on the first link, knowing that Macromedia does NOT make a plug-in for Lynx.


That's it. Completely useless. All I'm trying to do is find their @#$@#$@# phone number and there is NO way to navigate that site without the proper plug-in.


So I find the number the old fasioned way, I looked it up in the phone book.


“Hello, the Such-n-Such Corporation. How may I help you?” inquires the receptionist.

“Yes, may I speak to So-n-So please?”

“I'm sorry, but So-n-So no longer works here,” said the receptionist. “Is there someone else that can help you?”

“ … ” I was without speech. Granted this is someone I don't normally hang out with on a day-to-day or even a month-to-month basis, but I wasn't expecting this at all.


“Ahhhh … oh … ummm … no, that's quite alright. Thank you,” and I hung up.

Great. Now what?

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