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Communication 101: Vague Upgrade Notice
11-15-2001, 04:11 PM
Post: #11
Communication 101: Vague Upgrade Notice
Yeah, a full-fledged ticketing system would be optimal, but until DH gets that up and running (they've said they're working on it? thinking about it?), a form will hopefully get the information out better, and save them time in the process.

Now I'd better shut up and get to work on it.

<g>

...Bob W.
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11-16-2001, 02:12 AM
Post: #12
Communication 101: Vague Upgrade Notice
i don't really feel the need to get sucked further into this argument. my position is this: we were simply trying to be nice and mention the possiblity that there might be some downtime. in reality if we hadn't said anything in the first place, it's likely that very few people would have noticed at all.

we mentioned a time of '30 minutes' since that's the maximum time we expected. in reality, the actual downtime on almost all machines was around 3 or 4 minutes.

the changes that we were making benefit our customers more than anything else; we're making everything so that we can remotely power-cycle machines and get a serial connection to machines (also remotely).

i am not always the most tactful of people, but I do care a great deal about our customers and our company. I work hard to fix problems, but there are always a lot of problems to fix. I try to prioritize, and frankly, the 3 minutes of downtime (or even the 30 minutes of downtime) will be worth it in the long run since it will result in a great reduction of future downtime. pretty much everyone on the admin team puts in way over 40 hours a week, with weekends on call, late night / overnight shifts, constant pager duty (with about 300 messages or more per day), phone calls in the middle of the night, and constant threats to our already pathetic social lives. So it's fair to say that we're sometimes a bit grumpy. so yes, it's understandable that some other people in the company are a bit nicer.... they're not the ones waking up in the middle of the night when your server goes down.

It's simply not possible for us to predict what machine we'll have to unplug when, nor are we able to access anything except a text console at the data center. That means that we're at the mercy of other people to actually make announcements. This ended up resulting in some communication problems.

Honestly, though, i'd much rather have a company that's working to reduce downtime than one that is good about announcing their downtime. We make an effort to make our announcements as detailed as possible, but there are cases where it's simply not possible or practical to do so. We were trying to do the right thing; in the future I'm just not going to announce minor downtimes like this since it seems to cause so much controversy.

Personally, I try to be results oriented. There are a number of customers who respect this and treat me and my time with respect, and I appreciate this and work my hardest to fix their problems. I can at times be short with people, but a good amount of the time I actually FIX their problem. I enjoy challenges, and I've certainly gone far out of my way for many customers. I'm certainly far from perfect; I make mistakes all the time (that's the only way to learn really).

I don't think it's at all fair to say that i have a BOFH attitude... however bob - what did you say your username was?? i think i can fix that 'over quota' problem you were having..... *devilish grin*

Muawahhhhhhh.
[oh yes the admin in the comments above is me in case anyone was wondering]

[also note that i've spent a 9 hour day in the data center today]

[also note that i had spent a 10 hour day in the data center before writing my initial message to bob_w]

[further note that both of these days were fueled by too much coffee and not enough sleep]
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11-16-2001, 02:50 AM
Post: #13
Communication 101: Vague Upgrade Notice
a postscript.... please don't take my previous comments to mean that the rest of the dreamhost team _doesn't_ work long / strange hours, or doesn't put up with a lot of the same stuff that the admin team does.

in a small company such as ours, pretty much everyone has to pitch in and help out with all kinds of work, and almost everyone has to put up with some (or most) of the things i mentioned regardless of their job title.

also i noticed in an earlier post the implication that we don't think that the users need to know information that we're somehow privy to. the announcement that went out had about as much information as we knew regarding which machines, approximate downtime etc. sometimes it's not possible to predict these things absolutely. while we may have accidentally omitted a detail or two, the omission was not because we think our users can't understand it.

that said, we do need to balance the need to satisfy some peoples' insatiable curiosity with the need to keep it simple for many (most) of our customers.

there is some information that's simply not relevant to most users that was omited. this isn't taken out because we think our customers are stupid; however i don't see a point in giving information that has the potential to confuse more people than it enlightens. a lot of the language we'd have to use would be confusing not because it's technical, but because it involves a knowledge of the way _our_ system works specifically that most / all of our users don't have.

in any event, i don't really feel the need to continue this discussion further, nor do i think further discussion will be constructive.
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11-16-2001, 03:18 AM
Post: #14
Communication 101: Vague Upgrade Notice
You're doing a great job, Will! I appreciate everything you have done for me personally, and am thankful for your continuing support.

Keep up the good work. If I was anywhere near you, I'd go out and buy you a beer :-)

Wil
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11-16-2001, 04:06 AM
Post: #15
Communication 101: Vague Upgrade Notice
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11-16-2001, 04:12 AM
Post: #16
Communication 101: Vague Upgrade Notice
I have to step in here and say that you're out of line there Bob. No need for personal remarks or criticism.

This thread isn't achieving anything, and the best thing anyone could do would be to close it.
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11-16-2001, 02:14 PM
Post: #17
Communication 101: Vague Upgrade Notice
I'm not going to close the thread, but it seems like everything that can be said has been already. Bob's position has been passed on to the Admin team, and our position has been made similarly clear.

I think everyone knows where everyone else stands - I'm not sure there's anything left to learn.

- Jeff @ DreamHost
- DH Discussion Forum Admin
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11-16-2001, 04:11 PM
Post: #18
Communication 101: Vague Upgrade Notice
you said the magic word! (beer) i'll certainly let you buy me one if i'm in your neck of the woods as long as i can buy you one back for patiently answering so many questions on the discussion board and being an all around nice guy.
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11-16-2001, 05:54 PM
Post: #19
Communication 101: Vague Upgrade Notice
Yeah, I'm the bad guy now.

*sigh*

Will, I stand by every point I made in my deleted and previous posts, but...

I do apologize for being so rough on you.

I should know better than to reply to a thread like this immediately after reading.

I'm just hoping that you'll come to understand that communication and technical excellence aren't mutually exclusive. And if you don't arrive at that conclusion, I'll just have to learn to live with less information than I'm used to getting from a host.

Thanks for being willing to post in the forums. I hope this won't discourage you and others from continuing to do that.

If you have a favorite local beer hall that sells gift certificates, let me know, and I'll send you one.

<g>

...Bob W.
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