December 6, 2007


When Mac OS X Leopard came around it broke the software used ( by Pharos) to print to the CMU public printers. So Brandon Sherman and I developed a workaround (actually it was three workarounds, one in CUPS, one in UNIX, and one in the standard GUI). The steps to the GUI workaround, and a program I developed to automate these steps, were subsequently published to my website.
I then emailed CMU Computing Services to let them know of our work. For a month I received no substantial reply, so when I updated my program with additional features, I emailed them again. This is the email I got back:

Thank you for the information. Your prior solution was noted and passed on for consideration. However, because it involved a custom application that Cluster Services does not control, there are security concerns. A method not requiring a custom app would be preferred.

We have followed up with Pharos and have been informed that they had a working version for the beta but when the full release came out, this broke their code. They are working on a fix.

William Richter
Cluster Services Technical Coordinator
Cyert Hall, Carnegie Mellon University
Considering Pharos has had more than a month to fix their bugs, I'm pretty sure they should be considered unreliable anyway. I also didn't like the implication about my ethics, for although I can understand I certain amount of distrust (as I was later told is the case), I am a student who has put work into helping his peers, not an evil script kiddie.
But what really got my goat was that CMU Computer Services, as of today, posted a set of Leopard print setup instructions almost identical to our own! Check it out for yourself. Ours is at and their's is at No citation at all (though hopefully they'll fix it by the time you read it)! If I did that on a paper I'd be in serious trouble, so I'm taking no prisoners.
Writing this, I have just gotten out of talking with Mr. Righter, who claims he didn't put up the webpage, but he is going to pass my contact info on to someone who can talk to me. ARRRRG!

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