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.

Monday, November 22, 2004

“Yes, you are the only one who understands this stuff … ”

“There is … broken image,” she said. Granted, English is not her first language.

“I'm not seeing any broken images,” I said. Not only did we move her site to a new server, but it has a new domain name. Lots of breakage because of this insipid control panel software we're using to administer the servers and you have to do things its way. Yes, you can kind-of work around it at the command line (as I have) but admitting that (shhh) breaks the warentee on using the control panel and of course things like database names are based off the domain name. Lot's of breakage today, but the database issue was resolved earlier, and that's not the current problem. The current problem is a still broken image. The previous broken images were due to permissions problems (which is odd, given that rsync preserves permissions, at least in my experience it has, but hey, something could have gone wrong in moving the site from the old server to the new one) but that was fixed.

“But … see there … to the right the [mumble]?”

“I don't see any missing images,” I said.

“To the left right … I mean upper right corner, the [mumble]?”

“The what?”


Ah, the bride. In the upper right corner. “I'm seeing that image.”

“Yes … below that … broken image.”

Oh wait … the page is just a tad wider than my window. I scroll right, and yes indeed, there is an image. “Oh,” I said. “There it is.”


“Okay,” I say, now more talking to myself, “properties … ”


This is now our fifth or sixth conversation today. And it has come painfully clear to me that this person does not understand websites, which I might be able to live with.

But she's not a realtor trying to understand this web … thingy … stuff … a-ma-bob; she's a resellor of websites. Who barely understands how this stuff works.

“Oh, I'm must mumbling to myself,” I said, dreading that I might have to explain my web browser will display the properties of an image from a webpage. I continue probing. Okay, the broken image is top-new.jpg. I then start looking through the server, cursing under my breath because of cut-n-paste, which works differently between Windows and X-Windows. To make matter worse, putty, the terminal program I use under Windows, handles cut-n-paste not as Windows, but as X-Windows. Makes me wish I was hiking Mount Everest; at least then my only concern would be hypothermia.

Eventually, I'm able to track down the problem. “The webpage is referencing top dash new dot jay peg,” I said. “The file on the server is actually called top dash menu dash new dot jay peg.”

“So the file didn't copy?”

“No, it did. It's just that the name of the file doesn't match in the webpage.”

“Thought you said you copied files?”

“I did,” I said. “It's there—”

“But it's not showing up.”

Am I the only one that understands this stuff? “It's a typo—”

“So I'll have my people look into it,” she says.

“Okay,” I said, not convinced she even knows what I said.

I'm dreading the next phone call …

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