Matthew Eanor, former member of staff, Learning Development Centre
Ah, CitySpace – such fond memories I have of you. I remember how much of my time you ate up as I tried to fit our esoteric undergrad and postgrad programme structures into your inflexible module system. I remember the annual processions of students we had to lead to IT support because you refused to recognise their user names and passwords. I remember how much you used to tease us every year by leading us to think that you had successfully backed up and archived modules, only to inexplicably fail to reinstate them when needed, no matter how much we pleaded. You were touted as robust – you had probably more servers to run on than the rest of the university put together – but all we saw was one node after another in the cluster topple like (expensive) digital dominoes. I remember how I tried to make you more likeable by writing programmes to help with those jobs you found too difficult to do quickly. I know you struggled with things like creating more than one student account at a time or running reports that didn’t timeout. I remember being baffled as to why your Web Services were so strangely incomplete – you had APIs for the mailbox, calendar, and file system, yet inexplicably none for the more useful discussion boards – and you were never able to tell me why. I remember how I tried to help you play nicely with the other systems like SITS and WebSphere but you always sulked and never shared your data. I have often wondered why you never settled in the way we had hoped but I think now I have realised what the problem was. You just didn’t like us and wanted us to know it.