I just received an email from the university saying that the server for faculty and student webpages has been compromised. The message goes on to say it was due to a Microsoft bug and that “pages were defaced, indicating they were hacked.” This one email shows two serious problems. The first is that University Computing Services doesn’t even know enough to say the server was “vandalized by a cracker.” Instead, they misuse the word hacker. It is one thing when an average person makes this mistake, but it is a sign of incompetence when it comes from an IT department. The second problem is that they are using a gaming operating system on a server, instead of a proper server OS. But hey, what do you expect from a university that wastes money Blackboard (which makes even MS look good), instead of using one of the many superior open source alternatives. There is good news though. Yesterday I learned that my undergrad university’s IT department is replacing some of their Windows servers with Unix. (The CSE department has always had Unix/Linux servers.)