The devil is in the detail…and the kernel too!

Nigel has this great post:

Where he is commenting on a regurgapost from Slashdot to a Computerworld article titled “'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source”! Whoop, here we go again!

FM! Here is yet another poor excuse for news! I mean, it’s becoming more prevalent, so called professional reporters and writers with no “on the ground” knowledge or experience, hunt down a small snippet of truth, then twist it un-recognisably into “fact”. So let’s look at Rodney’s article, to get a feeling for the “Nightmare”…

First line or the article starts off with a beauty:

  • “IT managers who want to deploy an open source solution but are worried about company politics should go ahead and do it without asking, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) Japan IT manager Mark Uemura.”

LOL, way to go Mark! You should take that kind of wisdom out to the consulting arm of PWC and see how it pans out. But that’s a cheap shot, so let’s keep going forward…

  • "PricewaterhouseCoopers is a Windows shop but we were forced to use open source," he said. "I inherited a real nightmare with servers going up and down. There were e-mail outages and on top of that there was a bad relationship between our users and IT."

Not sure what servers going up and down has to do with Windows, as software has a hard dependency on metal, so if you’re server is running in a poor data centre environment for example, and the CPU is overheating, then everything from OS/2 Warp to Windows for Workgroups is going to go “up and down”. Hmm, I’d like to read an article which actually explores the why a little more. Next statement cracks the case though:

  • Speaking at this year's AUUG conference in Sydney, Uemura said PWC chose OpenBSD, an operating system he is comfortable with, because of its "security, stability, and cost".

Well, that’s a gimme! Off course if you’re comfortable with something, and know it in and out, then there is a high percentage that you will implement it correctly, and it will work. For example, I make great turkey and potato chip sandwiches, but my salmon and cream cheese ones suck, so if I go into a shop where the lunch special is salmon and cream cheese, and no one likes em, what do you think I’m going to lead with to win the war?

Finally, the cherry on top:

  • "So we had to put an OpenBSD firewall in front of Checkpoint," he said. "We saved seven salaries worth over one year. It was so dramatic they gave me a big raise and I was promoted from system administrator to IT manager. And because of the savings we get more productivity out of old hardware."

Oh marvellous, Mark got a big raise! So what is Computerworld’s message to the industry? “Don’t ask anyone, deploy Open Source, save lots of money, and get a big raise and promotion!”. Please! If perpetuating the “Microsoft versus OSS war” wasn’t enough (grow up IT news orgs, as if anyone really thinks that way anymore), they insult our intelligence with the concept that life should be so simple. Urghh, as I’ve said before, IT news is going down the path of ACA and Today Tonight.

Comments (3)

  1. Ben walters says:

    At lest when the computer news finally does get to the level of ACA or Today Tonight then we can look forward to stories like

    "Bill an every day IT manager lost 70kg in one week and we share the secrets of his success right here on A Computer Affair"

    Or even better "Mary a System Administrator gave power user access to James. Then James infected the network with viruses, then left the company who’s left to clean up find out on Today To Network"

  2. The Computerworld article was stinky, and slashdot just made it worse. Read Ueruma’s own comments on this mess at

    for a better understanding of what really went on.

  3. davidlem says:

    Hi Darrin,

    Mate, I just read Mark’s response, and it disappoints me that people still talk to IT web journos. They have lowered the bar on reporting, and continue to entice people to have their 15 seconds, only to end up over the bars. I hope people start to realise that this is more than a trend, and that next time they get that call to chat to one of these "journalists", that they consider the possible outcomes, such as poor representation and pestilent reporting.

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