The case of the 500-mile email

Date November 25, 2008

This is a great story about someone who had a user who couldn't email anyone over 500 miles away.

This is why being a sysadmin can drive people crazy.

  • Anonymous

    LOL, nice! At that campus, they obey the laws of physics.

  • Don

    As they would say over at, the real WTF here is that the sysadmin left his binary in a place that standard patching tools could overwrite it.
    Granted, this took place a long time ago when that was sometimes considered a "good practice". But, people still do it because they think it makes things cleaner.

    That is a bad assumption for two reasons.

    First, you end up like this poor guy and have a serious headache of a problem, or something much worse. At least in this case he got a very amusing story out of it.

    Second, doing this creates a system that is non-obvious and not discoverable, both things sysadmins should avoid like the plague. These are the issues that drive us to drink...although that can be its own reward at times.

    This is just a long winded way of saying that /usr/local is there for a reason and sooner or later we should all learn that reason.