Bottom of shit. Gotten to.

The answer from the Post-Gazette’s brilliant Dennis Roddy:

I have prodded the powers that be, inadvertently awakening several of them, and now have been given the reason for our balky web site. The answer is Band Width. I’m not sure what Band Width is. I had always assumed it was, say, putting Kid Rock next to Jimmy Sapienza. But whatever it is, we don’t have enough and they are, as I write, going to the Band Width aisle at Costco to scoop up boxes of the stuff and attach it to the top of our computer, right next to the air intake and in front of the rear spoiler.

Band Width. Talk to this Woy guy you’re always talking about with palpably less trilling than you do about Matt Lamanna, and ask him what Band Width is and how I can install some on my 94 Saturn wagon to make it go faster.

A 94 Saturn wagon with extra bandwidth versus a 92 Ford Escort with extra motherboard.

Which would win?

My money’s on the motherboard.





28 Comments

  1. Bram R
    October 17, 2008 2:12 pm

    This is funny. For literally two seconds, I had bumped you down from “The Others” on some silly officious technicality. Then I surfed over and checked out the last two posts, and was like, no this is insane.



  2. pittgirl
    October 17, 2008 2:28 pm

    Well, now I’m curious as to what the “silly officious technicality” was.



  3. Pensgirl
    October 17, 2008 2:58 pm

    Bandwidth. But it’s a guess.



  4. Pinto Alegre
    October 17, 2008 4:16 pm

    Bandwith? Um….sounds to me like the PG needs to pony up and get new servers or move their site to a hosting facility that can actually handle the traffic. It’s unacceptable that a major media web site has such lack response when people try to use their site. C’mon PG…the Trib doesn’t have these problems!!!



  5. Gunnlino
    October 17, 2008 7:02 pm

    Pay attention to Bram R he knows everything.



  6. Bram R
    October 17, 2008 11:12 pm

    Thanks, G

    Baby — it was “you’re not newsy enough”. That and I wanted to keep it to 8 and I don’t feel like I can drop p-lez down. But you’re newsy enough [dread lord] and dag nabbit, you need a wider audience no matter what the audience you enjoy now.

    See you at podcamp. Not that I’ll recognize you.



  7. Angie :-)
    October 17, 2008 11:31 pm

    That is hilarious. It is truly Bottom of shit. Gotten to. I love this site



  8. unsatisfied
    October 18, 2008 11:36 am

    it’s not so much the servers as it is the network that gets the info from the servers out to the internet. that’s from where bandwidth issues come.

    or, something…..



  9. unsatisfied
    October 18, 2008 11:59 am

    actually, there is something else that bothers me more about the PG site than the bandwidth:

    misspellings and poor grammar.

    consider this about sidney crosby:

    “He enters the Penguins’ game against Toronto tonight at 7:08 at Mellon Arena needing one goal to have 100 in the NHL, while his next assist will be his 200th. And if he happens to record one of each, he will have an 300 career points.”

    I know that it’s a minor thing. but, this is a major newspaper organization. and, I know that I could find dozens of other examples on that site.

    perhaps mr. roddy or someone at the PG could explain….



  10. Dennis Roddy
    October 18, 2008 6:56 pm

    Unsatisified, happy to explain. I did a little digging around and discovered that the Post-Gazette is written by people. I googled the term on the Internets and discovered that people make mistakes. A lot of them. Sometimes they invade countries for no good reason. Sometimes they write “an” in front of “300.” Occasionally, they shoot each other in the head by mistake. There seems to be no clear pattern.

    I also discovered that, as the newspaper market tightens and revenues dry up, a smaller number of people are required to do an increasing amount of work. This, apparently, leads to mistakes that are not caught by copy editors, either because the copy editors are overworked or are now working at McDonald’s. At least they’re now working for a Fortune 500 company.

    So, expect more mistakes in the Post-Gazette and, likely, any other venue in which words are strung together. Sometimes it will be an extaneous preposition. Other times it will be a misplaced apostrophe. Possibly, it will be a failure to capitalize a name such as, say, Mr. Roddy. These things are painful to some and as common and ineradicable as Elizabethan English but, I assure you, are not the most unkindest cut of all.



  11. Bram R
    October 18, 2008 8:19 pm

    Now I understand why DR and CH share such an affinity for one another’s work. That was uncanny.



  12. Ms. Mon
    October 19, 2008 12:53 am

    I’m glad to see your Phoenix has risen from the asses, Dennis.



  13. Crisfield Yinzer
    October 19, 2008 5:38 pm

    P-G online response time still seriously stinks worse than any other newspaper website I peruse on a regular basis, and I peruse many.

    If “I’ll bet this P-G page won’t load on the first click” were a drinking game, expatriate yinzers from sea to shining sea would be dropping dead from alcohol poisoning even as I type. Cyril Wecht would eventually figure out what was going on.



  14. Dennis Roddy
    October 19, 2008 7:21 pm

    Crisfield Yinzer: If I thought for one minute that the PG web site’s failure to load would require that I take a shot of whiskey, I would run to the third floor right now and dump a bucket of tar in our mainframe. Priorities are, after all, priorities.

    Who says you can’t get good ideas online?



  15. cmcmcl
    October 19, 2008 7:37 pm

    and then there’s the PG website’s search engine! Someone at the PG ought to do a search to find out what a search engine does.
    I can take an exact phrase from an article in the hard copy PG and put it into the PG search engine and come up with ZERO results. talk about UNintuitive!
    The whole website is a bit “bulky” though it has improved over the earlier days when it was downright contrary.
    and I won’t even mention how I have been trying for 2 years and 5 months to get our delivery person to toss the paper onto my (not very long) driveway so that I don’t have to walk to the curb to pick it up. I get promises – then nothing ever changes. Oh whoops, I said that I wouldn’t even mention that!



  16. Dennis Roddy
    October 19, 2008 8:08 pm

    cmcmcl,

    You do not understand the sophistication of our search engine. You say you are entering an exact phrase form a hard copy of the PG and getting no results, and imagine this is proof that the search engine is unintuitive. Rubbish. It is more than intuitive — it is downright prescient. Clearly, it understands that you already have a hard copy and can find what you’re looking for in your freaking hand. So why waste bandwidth?

    As for your concerns about walking to the curb which, if it is anywhere in the vicinity of your admittedly not-very-long driveway, you could do standing on your head, allow me to offer an option that would give you extraordinary service. Place an Obama sign in your front yard and then subscribe to the Trib. They’ll tie your paper to a brick and throw it through your front window, saving you the trip outside.

    Any other service related questions on which I can be of service?



  17. Joe K.
    October 19, 2008 8:34 pm

    The PG’s website design that they did about a year ago has been a disaster. It’s harder to navigate than it used to be and there’s the slowness issue. They fixed something that wasn’t broke.



  18. Bob
    October 20, 2008 8:49 am

    Dennis: I would imagine that if cmcmcl put a McCain poster on his front lawn the odds are good that the PG editorial board would offer to deliver the paper with a brick as well.



  19. Dennis Roddy
    October 20, 2008 10:25 am

    Bob, you are grievously wrong on twin levels.

    First and foremost, bricks cost money. The Post-Gazette has none, whilst the Trib is in a happy, Babylonian captivity to a man whose forebears long ago drilled a bottomless money well. It is our hope here to capture a leprechaun and a party has been dispatched to County Clare with a GPS unit and butterfly net. I’ll keep you posted.

    The second error is your assumption that our carriers read our editorial page and are aware of our endorsement. For through-the-window delivery of your PG, put up a Dallas Cowboys banner.



  20. Summer
    October 20, 2008 10:53 am

    Mr. Roddy, you made me smile this morning. Thank you, sir. I’m not off to do the jobs that four staffers used to do.



  21. Pinto Alegre
    October 20, 2008 11:37 am

    Reading your comments in this posting along with your regular writing is the reason that I love reading the PG so much. That and the way that you say “Raja”. :)



  22. Mrs. Pitsberger
    October 20, 2008 2:23 pm

    Dennis Roddy, you are my hero.



  23. Bram R
    October 20, 2008 2:47 pm

    Yes, bring back the Audio Journal!



  24. Dennis Roddy
    October 20, 2008 3:36 pm

    People were listening to the audio journal? Go figure.

    I did a recent episode, centered on my bus ride from Pittsburgh to New York a month ago. I know you can find it through iTunes.

    It’s surprisingly labor intensive and nobody seemed to be making an effort to line up a sponsor for the thing, and I was using a lot of my own time for it because they did not reduce the work load when I took it on.

    If there’s really an audience out there for it, hell, I’ll bring it back. E-mail me at droddy@post-gazette.com and lemme know what subjects you’d like.

    While you’re at it, send me your home addresses so I can mail it to you on audio cassette. I hear that’s faster than our site.



  25. A-nony-muse
    October 20, 2008 4:23 pm

    Limited bandwidth cannot be the explanation for those damn, incessant, unpredictable creases in all the wrong places of the articles I am trying to read in the hard copy PG (thus saving bandwidth for the rest of you). They bedevil me every morning. May the leprechaun search be fruitful and bring us new printing presses!



  26. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    October 20, 2008 5:41 pm

    Mr. Roddy — the leprechaun is in County Galway, no wonder the PG can’t find it. As for the speed of the Post-Gazette webpage loading, it must be something happening only on desktop machines or east of the Mississippi. I have problems trying to load the page here at work — it’s research, that series on higher ed costs totally relates to my job in the education field here in Oregon — but the page just whizzes up on my newly purchased laptop in seconds.



  27. Erin
    October 21, 2008 9:06 am

    Mr. Roddy,
    I understand human error…but on more than one occasion I’ve seen typos and spelling errors in the print version of the paper. Errors that spellcheck would have caught. That’s really unacceptable.

    I’m a fan of the PG and read it every day, but come on.



  28. Dennis Roddy
    October 21, 2008 10:19 am

    Erin, spellcheck in Word, or Pages or even Corel would catch most of those spelling errors. Our dilemma is that we use a combination word-processing, page-design, typesetting program. I forget its name, but I’d probably misspell it anyway.

    The program presumably does contain a spellcheck function, but there are two problems.

    The first problem is that, as programs go, it’s designed mostly to ease the work of the technical guys, and has a useless — virtually non-existent — thesaurus and a reasonably eclectic spellcheck function. That’s why I have taken to writing my stories in Word, then pasting the text into the newsroom system.

    The second problem is the number of odd words that crop up in each story, be they names, places or foreign phrases. This leaves much of our copy so underscored with squiggly, red lines that an actual spelling error can slide by uncaught on the assumption that it’s another reference to a town in Belarus or the Prime Minister of Iceland.

    It would be interesting to know our error rate in nuts-and-bolts stuff such as spelling, typos and punctuation groaners. If some graduate student out there would like to undertake a study, it would be edifying. But you’ll have to hurry. In another five years I doubt there’ll be a print edition to look at.

    Lastly, I am grateful to hear that you are a fan of the Post-Gazette. God knows, we need some.

    Now, on a more important topic: where the hell is “What They’re Really Thinking”? And should that question mark have been inside or outside the quotation mark?