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 "No good deed goes unpunished."

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PostSubject: "No good deed goes unpunished."   Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:57 pm

January 10 2008 at 10:06AM

By Louise Flanagan

That's the comment from an Internet blogger after the Eastern Cape
department of health hurriedly removed an off-beat error message from
its website.

The message - also known as a 404 message - said the page could not be
found because it was on holiday, on strike or had performed an illegal
operation, and so had been promoted to vice-president.

"You can only find it if you make a mistake," said website designer
Trevor Lewis of Groupnet Digital Media in Port Elizabeth, who wrote the
message as a joke more than two years ago.

Lewis said he was surprised by all the fuss. The department had told him to remove the message.

When The Star reported on the message on Tuesday, traffic to the
website jumped, resulting in Lewis's computer server - which hosts the
website - crashing four times in one day. "I'm glad it hit the front
page but my server's not happy about it," he said.

Health department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said he had referred the
matter to department authorities. "It's not what we stand for," he said
of the message.

Comments on the message were posted on three different blogs.

"Earth calling Manto!!!! She must 'fix' this problem pronto!!!! And no, garlic or peeled lemon will not do," said one blogger.

"Thanks for the laugh," said another.

The new error message states: "Sorry the page you are looking for cannot be found, has moved or has been deleted."

    • This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on January 10, 2008

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