This week at the Asylum has been a bit weird (And I mean weirder than normal) We’ve had two customers fighting to be crowned “The King of Idiots.” Now you would not think that was a title anyone would actively seek out, but I swear the two nominated contestants must have been. There is no other explanation for the level of stupidity involved.

Contestant 1: (We shall call them Santa & the Elves)

For several weeks now Santa has been emailing our Support department asking for some DNS changes to be made for their domain name. And every week they have been informed the changes were done weeks ago.  This finally got escalated to me to look at, and I inform them that the changes have all be done.

I get an email from Santa saying that where www is working and pointing at the correct IP, the domain name by itself is not pointing at the right IP so could an A record be created. So I point out www is a CNAME that points at the domain. so whatever IP www goes to is the one the domain name by itself goes too. *Repeat four Times*.  Since Santa is getting nowhere with emails, he decided to phone me up and explain again how www goes to the right place, and can we point the domain to the same place as www. This time as well as explaining it all to him, I logged onto our primary NameServer and emailed him the actual zonefile for his domain to show him where things went.

Santa then asked would I mind talking to his head IT elf, I agreed so the IT elf phoned and used the same words as Santa. I explained again, and the elf came up with this solution. “If we change the www from a cname to an a record it may work?” I had to check I had heard him right and that his plan was for me to change the one he claimed worked, and set it up exactly as the one he claimed did not work?

Santa then decided we need a conference call with all the elves, and some clever dwarfs who were walking past at the time. In this call they suggested that since www worked when it was just an alias for the domain, that couldn’t we leave it pointing to the domain, and change the domain to point to the www? I believe they could tell by the sound of *BANG* *BANG* as my head banged against my desk, that maybe that would not work.

It was during this conference call while their head IT Elf was muttering that the DNS was all wrong, and his load balancer was not working because of it, which in turn stopped their certificate from working. As soon as I heard cert, I stopped them to ask was this about a SSL cert? (Which it was). They had got one www.domain, only when they went to domain it was giving warnings. And they believed if they could just get the DNS & load balancer working right, this problem would be resolved.

I had to explain what DNS and URL’s were, to several people who were IT professionals, with claimed experience in hosting, networks, dns, etc..

Contestant 2: (We shall call the Seaman)

I was asked in my role of Linux Sys.Admin to help the Seaman with any problems he had moving the hosting of a website over too us. Now there should have been no problems really since the Seaman is a professional web developer.

Now, His entry was a late one, and only lasted one day, as opposed to Contestants 1’s weeks. Yet on that one day he managed to phone up for help over a dozen times, heres a few of the problems he had.

P: FTP will not let me connect to the server.

S: Spell FTP correctly, and it will work

P: It says it can not load the file, but the files there

S: You realise Linux is case sensitive right?

P: I can not write collected email addresses to a file

S: Make the file writable and not read only.

S2: Errr why are you using a flat file, you have a MySQL DB with that account?

I’ve not decided on the winner YET. I’m leaning towards Contestant 2. Mainly because “How do you spell FTP wrong?” come on, its three letters, and you say the three letters when saying the word F T P?