Anti-Unix site returns – on MySQL?

Back door puzzle


The Microsoft/Unisys promotional site wehavethewayout.com, which has added so much gaiety to our lives in recent days, has returned.

Gone is the striking artwork of a naked man, tarred with purple paint and feathered with pages torn from a Solaris sysadmin's manual, leaping from a tall tower onto a Unisys ES7000.

(Actually we made that up, but as we pointed out yesterday the real artwork for the campaign was only slightly less bizarre).

In its place is a sober page inviting users to download some white papers, submit their contact information or join Unisys' eCommunity pages. On Unisys' site you can still see some of the painting imagery in teaser ads about the site.

Although the downtime was caused by moving the site to a Windows/IIS combination, wehavethewayout.com still doesn't pass the "eat your own dogfood" test, it seems.

The Unisys community pages, ironically enough, are driven by Java.

But is the site itself entirely clean? The server yesterday revealed that some interesting ports were left open. The most interesting of which is port 3306, which is used by MySQL and Postgres. Since wehavethewayout.com was a BSD/Apache combination, it was almost certainly running an open source database, too. While Unisys has switched the front-end server to Windows IIS, the most likely explanation for keeping this port open is that the back-end still interfaces to a MySQL database. MySQL is cross platform, and there's a Windows version too. This would certainly make for a rapid port, as it doesn't require a rewrite of the cgi scripts.

We'll bring you official confirmation when we hear it.

Meanwhile, non-Windows systems continue to plague Redmond. A reader sends us this link to an anecdote from AS/400 architect Frank Soltis. Microsoft ran its accounting systems on the venerable IBM system for years, leasing the systems to a contractor to give itself plausible deniability on the dogfood question. During the AntiTrust case, Microsoft claimed it could not produce computer reports of its sales ledger, claiming the billion-dollar software monopoly kept only "paper" records. Perhaps this explains why.

For the record, can we just add that few subjects are as tedious or overrated as ideological purity? We know that Sun executives use Wintel laptops, for example. Unisys itself has a fine history of supporting Unix systems, and the ES7000 is but a part of its offering.

And the very phrase "eating your own dogfood" doesn't so much suggest consistency, as desperation. Isn't eating pet food something you only do out of utter starvation? Such as when you've trapped yourself in your apartment for a month, or have had prolonged exposure to British pub cuisine? ®

Related Story

Microsoft's anti-Unix campaign backfires

Related Links

www.wehavethewayout.com
www.wehavethewayin.com


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