Pardon the Rant

I was about to post about the big decision on Monday about Red Light Cameras, but I am once again stopped in my tracks by the Town of Chapel Hill's website, which is so haphazardly cobbled together that instead of seeing the front page I am seeing this:

You don't have permission to access / on this server.

What the heck is going on? Can someone (Terri?, Paul?) tell me why there isn't room in Chapel Hill's multi-million-dollar town budget for one qualified, full-time webmaster and a consultant to redesign the site and make it useable?



Besides a more informative website, are there any other suggestions you, as citizens, think the town should consider for using information technology?

True, proper behavior has never been a Whiplash Family Value and ethical confusion or rejection has long been our hallmark.

Still even a Whiplash is confused by the twisty little turns of your constant claim of the high grounds (coffee mixed with pot?). This seems like someone saying over and over "it's not about money" when of course it is. Or more in your own area, someone who once said "I am not a crook" and of course he was.

I am referring to the attack letter in today's Herald which is not yet online and I used to start the fire this morning.

Sorry not to have it on hand. It sounded so much like your courageous postings here filtered through the Whiplash Negative-phone.

Mr. "No Courage" Whiplash, I see two letters in today's CHH, one on public schools by a Michael Oechsle, and another on Carolina North by a Donna Bozarth. As I know neither person, why do you assume that I have some connection to eith letter? I can't help how things sound to you, but when I have something to offer I put my name on it.

Whiplash is the name and getting the last word is the game.

'Sokay. I just have a soft spot for space stuff.


Please, Mr. "No Courage" Whiplash, can you tell us what letters you are talking about? As to your question, I would not expect you to understand the concept of the "high ground."

Fred, I may not agree with your position on not using one's own name, and I've told you that personally, but to return to town after an extended absence and read some of the stuff posted here is just amazing. And yes, Will, that was a cheap shot.

Just been enjoying an uplifting postive letter to the editor in the Herald from one of your little CAN buddies, Fred.

Lots of name calling and ad hominem-ing going on there. Do you guys have different rules here and there?

Still trying to figure out your fixation on the high ground. Only one CAN foot there? And the other?

WHY are you people ragging on the Mars rover? We're supposed to be talking about the website. And in DEFENSE of the rover--ofcourse it moves slowly--it's DESIGNED to move slowly and methodically. They can't have the thing zipping around up there like a remote control race car--the lag time for instructions is too great. If it went really quickly it might run into a crevasse or a rock or something--and wouldn't have time to take the kind of pictures it has been sending back --nor collect the samples.


Sorry for the OT rant Ruby.


I too like the Rover. It was confused, but it was rebooted and is happy again, I hear. I hope so. I think it was jealous that people would be coming to Mars instead of just robots.

Perhaps the Town and the Rover are both slow by design ;->

I appologize to all robots and all towns.

Paul, I thoroughly enjoyed your comparison of the Town's technological capabilities to those of an impaired spacecraft on Mars.



Indeed, an impaired spacecraft on Mars that at best moves slower than a tortoise.

Will, when the Town page come back up you can review who voted for the cameras in the first vote, but I think you already know. The four that you now imply are under the control of the vendor/vendor's rep all voted for it the first time. Who were their constituent when they voted then?

That cheap shop is not in keeping with your normal occupation of the high ground.

It would be nice if the site didn't occasionally end up pointing to the invalid

This happens most often when referring to previous meeting minutes.

BTW, if you want to contact those council members in support of the RLCs, I suggest you

send an email to their most important constituent,, I'm sure they'll

pass the message on.

I stand corrected Netcraft shows

that the Town server is running Apache on a Sun hosted with PSI is the alias of according to traceroute and nslookup.

PSI has many other servers up so I now suspect that the problem is in the way the pages and/or server is configured. Possibly someone updated the Town home page very very recently -- maybe about the snow ;->

The easiest way to send a blanket e-mail to all council members is

just be aware that that message goes to Cal Horton first and he distributes it so there may be some delay.

Sorry - link above is outdated - list is old. Will try to find an updated one elsewhere and repost.

I donno what Webserver the Town is using, but I'm am pretty sure it's not Apache. Looks like either a configuration problem in the server or the server is down partially. If it's a configuration problem, then some one made untested Friday or Saturday change. If the server is in some confused state, like the Mars Rover, then the server and/or firewall software needs a reboot.

I suspect that they are running the Microsoft Firewall/Server package. Infamously unrobust.

Anyhow, someone with authority should poke it. Ideally they should have remote management for days like this.

Until the town site is back up - if you want the email addresses of our mayor and town council members to voice your opposition to the proposal to discontinue the red light camera program - you can find them at:

Ruby, they should put you in charge. This site works beautifully and it's not even your real job (even though you do a really good job with it).

Ruby--The website is a big issue in the Tech Advisory Committee. Right now many departments contract out for their websites, but I am hopeful that we can bring a more integrated communications plan into play for next year. Clearly the town server has a serious problem this weekend!


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