Monthly Archives: March 2013

Automation overkill?

AT&T calls. Dropped.Back in 2008 I switched my wireless service from Verizon to AT&T because I wanted an iPhone 3G. Then during my 2nd 2-year contract deal, Verizon was finally able to offer iPhones on their network. Given how crappy my AT&T 3G service was in downtown Chicago and on my train ride home through the west side. I’m in the middle of the 3rd largest city in the country, how the fsck was I still getting dropped calls?! Or faster service over AT&T’s Edge connection than over their 3G connection in the train stations?!

Anyway, so finally in February of this year I made the jump back to Verizon when it came time to upgrade to a shiny new iPhone 5. The process was smooth and painless. Then a few weeks later I got a check in the mail from AT&T. Turns out I had a credit left on my account.

Now I’m all for getting every dime of money I’m owed, especially when a company is crediting me. And on the one hand I appreciate AT&T’s thoroughness, but I can’t help but think this may have been some automated process overkill:

We're in the money!

That is not a joke. I received a check for the one penny credit left on my account with AT&T. Again, I’m happy they want to give me ALL the money I’m owed, but I can’t help wonder the cost and general resources required for them to print that check/mailing, and for the USPS to deliver it to my doorstep from whatever AT&T corporate office.

I have to assume this was just some automated program/system that noticed my account was closed and there was a credit on it, so it authorized some other system to print me out a check and have someone mail it out.¬†Not to toot my own horn, but this whole situation made me think of an article I wrote for the windows devops site my friend and I run about applying¬†software development best practices to devops and how automation may seem like a good idea at first, but when left unchecked, it can lead to overly complicated and sometimes completely unnecessary situations like mailing some guy a check for $0.01. I dunno, I guess I’d rather have that penny than AT&T, but Jesus Rollerblading Christ was it really worth that effort on their part?

DevOps on Windows, Windows DevOps, Windows Sysadmin

In no way affiliated with MicrosoftHere’s yet another shameless plug: this time it’s for a niche site I’ve been working on with a buddy of mine. We’re hoping to teach the world about our awesome philosophies and practices about our flavor of DevOps, in a Windows environment. Windows DevOps. Yep.

The site is called DevOps on Windows. If you’re a Windows applications developer, a Windows sysadmin, a Devopeler, or if you’re just interested in quality technology practices in general, then check it out. We have several articles up already with plenty more in the pipeline that we’ll be releasing over the next few weeks.

To quote from our About page:

To us, DevOps is the idea that software should be simple to operate. Deployments should be routine, not terrifying. Configuration should require a few clicks, not a thousand-line shell script. Problems should be easy to spot, not buried in a log file.


Our focus is on applying DevOps in a small- or medium-scale Windows enterprise environment. We want to make it clear that DevOps is not just for the Facebooks of the world, it can be the right answer for your organization as well.

So yeah, stop by the site, give it a read, let us know what you think in the comments!

Archives are back online and comment spam tastes bad

Shitter's fullHoly crappers. All of the archives from the previous incarnation of have been brought into the current site, except for all the junk I posted between 2002 and 2006 (because it was hard enough bringing the current posts up to speed, heh). So now I can focus on all new bland content!

Incidentally, does anyone else running WordPress get this much comment spam? Fortunately none of the comments make it to the live/public site, but good gravy are there a lot of them. I’ve gotten into the habit of just periodically shit-canning these spam comments to my site’s internal spam folder, but if you know of an accurate, more automated solution for dealing with comment spam on WordPress, please let me know!

Oh and here’s a shameless plug: How are you feeling? How is the world feeling? Find out now on MoodClimate!