Before the internet...



  • I was responsible for the X.25 network joining our worldwide affiliates together.  An application developer came t me one day and asked "Is it possible for us to do a test to see how my application performs when the user is in a different country to the mainframe?"

    "Yes" I replied, "I can set up a loopback in Amsterdam, you can connect via Amsterdam back to the application on our mainframe here in Brussels."
    "But, wouldn't that be TWO international boundaries we'd be crossing?  Not really representative of a user in another country accessing us directly?"
    "Well I don't think that would make a lot of difference.  but we can call a user in Amsterdam and ask them to do your tests against our mainframe here."
    "No, I'd like to do the tests myself."
    "Well we can send your application to Amsterdam and have it installed it there.  Then you an access if from here and that will be one international boundary crossing."
    "That sounds like a lot of work."
    "Or, you could travel to Amsterdam and access the application on our mainframe here?"
    "No, I don't want to travel."
    "Well if you want exactly one international boundary crossed in the test then either you or the instance of the application are going to have to be in another country."
    "Is there no other way?"
    "No.  It's called topology."

    The developer wandered away looking puzzled.  I then realised my boss had been listening in to this conversation.  He came up to me and said "If I was the customer in that interchange, I don't think I'd feel that I'd been well served."



  •  I think the problem there lies not in your answers, but in the way you phrased your final response. If you spat out a condescending, four-word zinger to a customer, I imagine the customer would be rightly pissed off - whether or not his request was reasonable.

     Next time, try, "Unfortunately not - if there were anything else to do I'd suggest it, but it's just not possible. If you'd like, I can help you get your app installed in Amsterdam - that's probably the most practical way."

     What you said was, essentially, "You're a moron. Piss off." If I was your boss, I'd have phrased things differently, but the basic issue is the same - just because someone else is being foolish doesn't mean you have to be a dick.



  •  I think his real question was "Is there a way to simulate an international boundary between 2 computers that are both physically located in this building?"  And the answer is, yes it can be simulated, but since it's a simulation of the international boundary, you won't really know for sure how your app reacts until you actually cross an international boundary.

    (And I would've phrased the end of that conversation very differently also)



  •  I'm with spike_tt on this one. The author laid out the situation elaborately. And the mathematical reason why there is no other way is indeed topology. If the developer were smart enough to understand what "topology" means he would have figured things out for himself in the first place. Sounds like a good way to bring a hopeless conversation to an end.

     You can not reply to this post; it's called isomorphism.



  • Apparently you didn't learn your lesson the first time this happened to you.



  • @jnz said:

    Apparently you didn't learn your lesson the first time this happened to you.

    Oh snap.

     



  • The x.25 application is magically going to know when you cross an international boundary twice (instead of crossing an international boundary once)?  The distances are not that great, are they?

    Could you have simulated the same distance as Amsterdam to Brussels, completely within your own country?  (I can't tell without consulting a map.)

     Instead of saying "topology", which was 100% corrrect, I might have said "if you don't want to travel and don't want to install the application remotely, then, once the data crosses a boundary to get OUT of this country, it has to cross the same boundary again to get back in".



  •  The guy deserved it. He should understand simple geography.



  • @jnz said:

    Apparently you didn't learn your lesson the first time this happened to you.

     

    FTW



  • @jnz said:

    Apparently you didn't learn your lesson the first time this happened to you.

    Oooh, that explains why this story sounded so familiar. Actually, didn't this story make it to the front page?



  • @AndyCanfield said:

     You can not reply to this post; it's called isomorphism.

    Bs pbhefr V pna. Vg'f pnyyrq EBG-guvegrra.



  • @DWalker59 said:

    The x.25 application is magically going to know when you cross an international boundary twice (instead of crossing an international boundary once)?  The distances are not that great, are they?
     

    You are missing the point. When a data packet crosses the border, it has to stop for the customs, show its id, and then might get inspected, before it can continue its journey. Who knows what might happen to a packet if it gets bounced back and is inspected again?

    Anyway, instead of saying "topology", he could have said "Seven Bridges of Königsberg", but since the client was not interested in crossing seven boundaries...



  • I recommend the book "How to win friends and influence people" by Dale Carnegie it will really help you with your social skills.



  • @Dudehole said:

    I recommend the book "How to win friends and influence people" by Dale Carnegie it will really help you with your social skills.
     

    i got it as a present ... it didn't help ... 



  • @PeriSoft said:

    What you said was, essentially, "You're a moron. Piss off."
    Which in this case was exactly what needed to be said.

     



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @PeriSoft said:

    What you said was, essentially, "You're a moron. Piss off."
    Which in this case was exactly what needed to be said.

     

     

    Given that it made the guy and his boss think he's an asshole, I'd say it was exactly NOT what needed to be said. It's called 'cutting off your nose to spite your face' - apparently a concept a large percentage of arrogant IT types fail to grasp.


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