% fortune -ae paul murphy

FEMA's IE Requirement

Senator Susan Collins (R, Maine, 202-224-2523) and Senator Joe Liebermann (D, Connecticut, (202 224-4041) just announced their plan to investigate FEMA's New Orleans response. Great, but there's a minor detail about FEMA every American reader of this blog should get on the phone about.

Here's the complete text of what appears to have been a letter to Macintouch.com

[Gary Mullins] My 90-year old mother sat out Katrina in her brother's home next door in Diamondhead, MS, about eight miles from the Mississippi coast where the hurricane's eye hit. They survived without injury but with massive destruction to their homes, and my mother has lost most of her possesions. I brought her to my home in California yesterday and this morning went to the FEMA website to register to start the assistance process. To my dismay, our Federal emergency agency requires Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, and only IE 6, to use the website for disaster assistance. I don't want to be political about this, but this smacks of a serious leadership failure that the use of the Internet is reserved for only the Windows community. I will reserve my opinion of the administration for the op-ed pages, but I want to vent my dismay about this to the rest of the Mac community. I hope other Mac users let their political reps, newspapers and other media know of this marginalization. [...]

[Todd Del Priore] FEMA's website for disaster registration requires:

In order to use this site, you must have JavaScript Enabled and Internet Explorer version 6. Download it from Microsoft or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to register."

I tried the latest Safari, IE and Firefox, none work. Heaven help all the Mac users in the South... assuming they have power.

The people who take constituency and other calls don't usually care what you say - but they count people complaining about specific issues and bring it to the boss's attention if that number gets big enough. So here's an easily fixed problem - that's Susan Collins at 202-224-2523 and Joe Liebermann at 202 224 4041.

So while you Americans go get that bit of looniness fixed, I'll contemplate an Air Canada electronic ticket I just got that requires Acrobat Reader 6 but is hardwired not to allow font substitution -meaning that if you don't have Microsoft's Verdana fonts installed, you can't read the ticket.

Paul Murphy wrote and published The Unix Guide to Defenestration. Murphy is a 25-year veteran of the I.T. consulting industry, specializing in Unix and Unix-related management issues.