Good Business Practice Assume Your Customer is Smart

July 29th, 2009 has a saying: "We don't assume you are stupid."

Its a good statement, because I believe that there are many systems administrators who run into problems with vendor systems administrators who assume that I have no clue what I'm talking about. It makes it difficult to resolve the situation, and it doesn't have to be that way.

Years ago I found humor in the Dreamhost support request form that gave options such as "I'm a newbie", "I know what I'm talking about", and "I don't mean to brag, but I probably know more about this than you do". Beyond the humor - its very helpful information!

I like's statement, but their actions are even more of a plus. In my experience, they've assumed that I'm smart, and I appreciate that. I am good at troubleshooting - like today, why wouldn't my recently installed varnish package start? I tried running it manually and received the following error:

myprgmracct:~# varnishd "-a :80 \
             -T localhost:6082 \
             -f /etc/varnish/default.vcl \
             -s file,/var/lib/varnish/,1G"
getaddrinfo(): Name or service not known
Aha! I remembered seeing no localhost entry in /etc/hosts. No problem - I added it: " localhost" and it started without issue.

It would probably be a good idea to include this entry as a default as many distros do. Just a suggestion.

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