10 December 2007

Wanted: Stable Web Hosting

I finally have my appointment at the questura to get fingerprinted & whatnot for my permesso renewal tomorrow. I was neatly informed of this via SMS, which was a pleasant "Hey, nifty!" moment, seeing as the online webportal for seeing at what point your renewal request was at has gone tits up at various times.

I should note that the tits up moments were usually panic inducing errors that said "Invalid User Number" or the like. Calling the info line during those times got one a busy signal 9 times out of ten, and I usually resorted to Googling & scanning various expat forums to see if there was news of problems. So the SMS and the corresponding entry on the webportal was cheering in the thought that maybe the tech problems were getting sorted out.

Today I was putting together all the various copies of docs that I need to take with me tomorrow. Since the registered letter informing me of the appointment has yet to arrive, my plan was to print out the webportal notification to show alongside the SMS.

Good ol' Murphy's Law: the portal has been tits up all day. And this time, tits up means TITS UP. Nothing was coming up, and a traceroute showed an unreachable destination in the Poste's servers. Oh joy.

I just now managed to pull the site up, and I've gotta laugh.

The immediate, facile snark would incorporate Microsoft (the portal is ASP), the Poste and 'recipe for disaster'. But really? I get the feeling that the massive infrastructure needed for this 'new' procedure was either poorly thought out, executed poorly, not tested enough, or all of the above. And when one of those options happens, somebody's going to be frantically patching holes 'till the cows come home. You'd almost feel sorry for whomever's doing the patching, until you think about how much money the government's tossing at tech. (article is in Italian by noted comic-cum-activist Beppe Grillo)

Surely there's enough money somewhere in there to buy a few more hard disks for the webservers, n'est pas?