Groan.

Jul. 3rd, 2003 12:59 pm
swestrup: (Default)
I'm awake. I wasn't planning to be up before, say 2:00 pm, but I just got a nasty phone call, and I'm not likely to get back to sleep now. Well, the person himself was quite friendly, the information provided was what was nasty.

You see, I was given a week to write a website and was told that MCI had generously donated space on a server. Great. Are there any technical docs for the website? Nope. So, I set up a testbed at home and write up the website. Test uploads to the hosting site never run, and it takes a day (or more) per attempt to find out what is wrong. I'm told something different each time.

EVENTUALLY I discover that they only support Perl up to V5.005, while I've written the site for V5.6+ It will take a week (at least) to recode everything, so we're now hosed. Well, one of the Managers at MCI very graciously offers to let us use his home machine, and redirects MCI's routing to said machine. So, we do a port to THAT machine (which DOES support V5.6) and eventually get everything up and running. We went live and the site is now being used.

Yesterday, I got an automated customer-survey questionnaire from MCI. I strongly considered not filling it in, since I had nothing nice to say about MCI, and we hadn't been paying for the service we weren't getting. Finally, I decided that in the interest of their OTHER customers, I should let them know how disappointed I was with the service. Frankly, fixing just a few minor things (like providing technical docs) would greatly improve their service.

Hence the phone call this morning. It turns out that our helpful Manager is head of Quality Assurance for the division of MCI we were working with. Thus, my complaint went straight to HIM, and he's now pissed at us because its gone on his record or something.

Sigh. Need I say that his attitude to constructive criticism is, in itself, a problem? I've done QA work myself. I know how to handle complaints. Taking them personally and getting pissed off is not a reasonable plan. It results in being angry all the time.

Anyway, now I don't know if we're going to be able to continue to use the website, which is currently operational. Nor do I know if the various mailing lists that MCI set up for us (which have worked flawlessly) will continue to operate.

What's worse is that the man on the phone was the head of the TorCon3 group that I wrote the website for. He's already overworked and overstressed and I've just made his life harder. Whats even more worse, he knows about our troubles with MCI and agrees with me, and not with the Manager (who turns out to be a friend of his, ... yet more complications).

And here I was starting to feel good about myself. The website is currently only a shadow of what I was aiming for (due to time constraints) but I've been receiving lots of positive feedback. People I admire have been telling me they admire my work. Now its all beginning to seem futile.
swestrup: (Default)
or at least very stupid, I will once again post that everything is going swimmingly with the website. Yesterday when I posted that, it caused me to get nasty e-mail from two different sources which kept me up half the night unable to sleep, and resulted in me being alseep this afternoon when I needed to be awake, and it is still the most likely explanation that my new cgi-bin files STILL have not been uploaded to the website after two days.

Yay me!

Jun. 18th, 2003 01:18 am
swestrup: (Default)
I'm beginning to feel that I'm on top of this whole fsking worldcon website project. I have, if not mastered http, html, javascript, CSS1-2, cgi, perl and dtd, and least gotten to the point that they are familiar and I have a good idea of what it is I'm doing.

I also managed (with more than a little difficulty) to summon up the courage to phone up the people at mci and ask why my scripts weren't running. Not only did I manage to get a coherent and reasonable answer, but I was given a propper developers account and everything, so that I have offical people to talk to if something goes wrong.

So, 98% of the code is written. Everything, in fact, except for the final crucial last step of actually producing the output that is the whole reason behind this project. I have one day left before we go live and, I figure, about 1/2 days work left.

I actually feel like I'm on top of things. Come the weekend though, I'm gonna wanna REST.

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