The Website Is Down is a rarely updated web series of videos that feature the System Administrator, Derrick, and a Sales Associate, Chip, at a fictional company named Plastroltech. The videos feature a combination of Derrick dealing with the tech problems that pop up at Plastroltech in the laziest manner possible, and Chip often creating those problems by being the computer user from every IT Tech Support's nightmares.The first episode, made in 2008, was actually a mashup of several real-life IT horror stories rolled up into one, with actors recreating the circumstances of those stories. Currently there are four main episodes, one half episode that is to be continued in a future release, and one short to celebrate the first episode winning a webby.Videos of The Website Is Down:
Episode One - Sales Guy VS Web Dude — Chip calls Derrick to explain that the company website is down and gets him to reboot the server. When it turns out the website was working in the first place, Derrick has to navigate a complicated maze of explaining his actions and getting the website working again while also helping Chip with his problems before his sales call.
Special Webby Episode — Chip wins a webby for the video of his sales call and shows it off to Derrick.
Episode Two - Excel Hell — Chip downloads a 'MILF on MILF action' program that ends up being a virus which unleashes an endless stream of popups on his computer. Meanwhile, his sale to BoZargs is held up by problems adding to his spreadsheet, and he has to call Derrick during lunch for application support.
Episode Three - Remain Calm — Chip can't get his computer to work and ends up breaking it into multiple pieces and has to explain his plight to an IT Support Representative on the phone.
Episode Four - Sales Demolition — Derrick gets charged with changing Nancy's VPN username after she gets married so she can run a sales meeting, but accidentally resets every password in the entire enterprise and is forced to find a way to sidestep blame.
Episode Four and a Half - Chip the Sysadmin — Chip, fired from Plastroltech for the virus attack in 'Sales Demolition' has a job as a sysadmin at another company now. Confronted with the problem of getting new email addresses for his client's new hires, he gives Derrick a call to try to figure it out.
The series has its own website, and all the episodes have been posted multiple times on youtube.
Derrick, somewhat. He's very capable of performing his tasks as a System Administrator, but avoids responsibility whenever he can and is constantly shown to be playing video games when he should be working.
Chip is a subversion; he seems to think that he falls under this category, but is instead stupid and lazy.
Darryl may be even better example than Derrick. He quickly figured what happened in episode 4, he easily saw through Derrick's lies and collected the evidence forcing him to confess. He even suggested a solution that would punish Derrick for his mistake, but give upper management an explanation they can understand (Irving couldn't understand the truth) and that wouldn't hurt Derrick. Yet his network is a mess and disaster-prone server is allowed to work.
In the first episode the website is brought down and doesn't restart. In the fourth Irving's Skipy status is still "How many of these idiots do I have to fire to get my website back up?"
"Poop pyramid", a spyware thinly disguised as a game, is advertised in #2. In #4.5 Chip is playing it.
At the end of the third episode Chip is taken down by a security guard and beaten with a baton. In the fourth episode Chip has a cast on his right arm.
Frame-Up: Derrick remotely shuts down all the laptops in Plastroltech to cover up resetting every password in the enterprise, and blames it on a virus that was in Chip's computer. Chip certainly deserved to get fired, but ironically the straw that broke the camel's back ends up being something Chip was framed for.
Funny Background Event: Dozens. The videos are all screen captures of either Derrick's computer or Chip's computer (or iPhone) except for episode three, so we get to see everything on the screens.
The majority come in the form of Freeze-Frame Bonus. If there's any text on the screen, it's usually too long to read wholly in the split second it stays visible. Not Unreadably Fast Text, but close.
Derrick's homepage is monster.com. No big surprise given the things he has to deal with at Plastroltech from Chip.
Chip's to-do list at work includes beating level 14 of a video game and flirting with a recent hire.
In episode two, Chip shows his desktop a few times while working. His icons have been restored in alphabetical order, but he never bothered (more likely, doesn't know how to) change the desktop background, so his desktop is an unreadable mess of his new desktop overlaid onto his old desktop. He's apparently trying to slowly get his old desktop back by dragging the icons back to where they are on the background image as he needs them.
Chip has several unread emails in his Outlook. Among them are Nancy threatening to fire him over a bad sales quarter, his ex-wife Linda trying to get him to honor his responsibilities as a father, Nancy asking if he's beaten Minesweeper yet, payroll notifying him of deductions from his paycheck for child support, Nancy demanding he clean his mess in the kitchen in the sales department and some sergeant (probably police) refusing to believe him.
Plastroltech's help desk ticket system expired in the 1980s. Also, there are nearly 70,000 unanswered tickets, all marked very urgent with no tickets of any other severity.
Chip likes vegetable porn. No details are given.
The company that developed Plastroltech's single sign-on server is in bankruptcy court and receiving death threats. Also, it's currently a one-man company — all the ex-employees are suing.
When searching for solution for password reset Webdude keeps running into angry rants about Plastroltech, famous for its false advertising, vaporware and shovelware. Also the company is featured on the front cover of a "journal of horrible software", and hires spammers. invoked
List of security services handled by the single sign-on server is mostly nonsensical names like "Smart Ass Card", "Identity mis-management" or "Elbereth".
Hoist by His Own Petard: Plastroltech gets a virus epidemic. The virus displays ads for multiple questionable companies, including Plastroltech. Though it's possible that Chip personally placed this ad and nobody else knows.
Derrick avoids responsibility and work whenever possible, often doing a poor job and misleading people so he can get back to playing video games as soon as possible. He gets Chip fired by framing him for a virus attack on the company to cover up his own mistake (although Chip certainly deserved to be fired for other reasons).
Chip probably has him beat though. It's implied that he's a a poor father and quite possibly knocked a girl up and had to go to court over the child support payments. Has zero regard for professionalism and proper conduct at Plastroltech. His unread email messages paint the picture of a man in the middle of quite a few nasty situations at the workplace.
Never My Fault: Sort of. Derrick attempts to shirk responsibility whenever he can and blatantly lies in order to get out of situations that would negatively implicate him. He knows that it's his fault, but he'd never admit it to anyone else.
Told Irving he didn't take down the website when he did just minutes before, then immediately admitted he did (pretending he misspoke) when Irving says others said he did take it down.
Told he didn't receive the email saying to never take the website down due to difficulty getting it back up even as he looks right at it in his inbox, then quickly goes into Irving's email account and deletes that message from his outbox so it looks like he never sent it. Would have faced termination from Plastroltech in all likelyhood had Irving been able to prove he sent the email.
Blames Chip for the website and the exchange server being taken down, which is partially true but would have not been an issue if he had gone through proper diagnostics with Chip first.
Clicks the 'Recompute Base Encryption Hash' button while in the single sign-on server, then does some quick research and finds out that the consequences are disastrous. Daryl calls and asks if he clicked it, and Derrick plays dumb until Daryl makes it clear that it had to be him.
Implicates Chip in a virus attack that takes down the company to cover-up him accidentally locking everyone's account in the entire company by clicking the wrong button. Ironically, this is what gets Chip fired, although he certainly deserved to be for dozens of other reasons. Admittance of guilt would have certainly lead to Derrick getting fired, and Daryl implies that fake virus attacks are commonplace in IT and key to keeping your job in the industry. Mildly subverted in that Derrick initially told Irving what actually happened, but Irving didn't understand him and then Derrick made up the virus.
No OSHA Compliance: A virtual example. In the single sign-on server at Plastroltech, there are four buttons on the bottom right. 'Okay', 'Cancel', 'Clear' and 'Apply'. Right above these four buttons is a massive 'Recompute Base Encryption Hash' button. If you click on this, you get a single confirmation window, and if you select 'OK' there you start an extremely long process that can't be cancelled and ends with every single password in the entire company getting reset, which can only be fixed by someone manually re-resetting them at every box. This is the virtual equivalent of putting the company restroom at the end of a thousand-foot long tightrope positioned over a ten thousand foot drop.
Read the Fine Print: Usually as footnotes. In all cases the fine print is clearly visible, it's there for viewers to see, after all. You may need to pause the videos to read it.
Skipy calls itself a FREE sevice. The footnote adds: "That's 'Free' as in 'Freedom'. It still costs $39/month."note R.M.Stallman, a free software ideologist frequently calls free/"libre"/open source programs "'free' as in 'freedom'", contrasting them with "'free' as in 'free beer'" freeware. The difference is that free software is distributed in source form or with sources and has few restrictions on use and modification, while freeware costs nothing, but may have any restrictions on use and usually prohibits modification and reverse-engineering. (To muddle the question: free software normally costs nothing too; in both cases third parties are allowed to resell them at any price; in both cases the owners and third parties may provide paid services.) None of that applies to Skipy, which is a paid service, not a program. Even if its client and server are free software, calling it a free service is incorrect.
A pop-up ad offers "free clip art pron" for $10/minute, free exclusive VIP section for $20/minute.
Another pop-up ad: "Free* not really free sexy lady-z!!!"
Real Life Writes the Plot: The actors who portray Derrick and Nancy got married to each other in real life before episode four, so episode four had Nancy get married in the web series (not to Derrick). The actress playing Nancy got pregnant before episode 4.5, which is worked into the events of episode four and a half.
Running Gag: With the exception of episode three (which was filmed in the style of a security camera rather than a screen capture) every episode contains at least one person playing a video game when they claim to be working.
Episode One - Derrick is playing Halo and tells Chip he's working. Chip is playing multiple Windows games (Solitaire, Freecell, etc) and claims that it's his 'work' when Derrick starts closing it out.
Bonus Webby Episode - Derrick says that he's busy fighting off a spam attack when he's playing NetHack.
Episode Two - Chip claims to be working when Ricky calls him, but was actually playing Wolfenstein 3D.
Episode Four - Derrick plays NetHack while on a conference call for a sales meeting, claims to be resetting Chip's computer password even as he's playing the game.
Episode Four and a half - Chip is playing You Have To Burn The Rope on his iPhone when he's supposed to be doing work for his client getting email addresses.
Self-Destruct Mechanism: big grey button "Recompute Base Encryption Key Hash", very easy to press by accident. For paranoid sysadmins who prefer to disable their network and spend a week resetting passwords every time they think the system has been compromised.
Shown Their Work: The web series as a whole. Each video is incredibly detailed and a lot of work goes into making them believable. Most of the videos are computer screen captures, with dozens of things running at once at any given time, and all of them fit into the context of the video. Any indications given by the videos that they're scripted, and not actual tech support calls, are given intentionally by the ridiculousness of the scenarios and the hope of the viewer that people aren't really this stupid. Also, the tech-speak in the videos is all appropriate and displays an actual knowledge of IT.
Surrounded by Idiots: Is it any wonder that Derrick has clearly stopped caring about his work at Plastroltech beyond the bare minimum it takes to not get fired given the tech savvy of the people he constantly has to help?
An email that Irving sent to the company shortly before the events of episode one indicates that the Plastroltech employees were forwarding a chain email around.
In episode four, the combined efforts of Chip, Irving and Nancy take several minutes to get a projector plugged into a laptop, even though Derrick is on the phone with them, telling them the one step they need to take to get it to work.
The fact that Derrick is able to blame a fake virus attack when he accidentally recomputes the encryption for everyone's password AND pin the event on Chip to get him fired proves that either Plastroltech is full of idiots, or anyone who knew something else had happened would rather see Chip get fired than Derrick.
Talking to Himself: Derrick and 3 other sysadmins in the fourth episode are voiced by Josh Weinberg. The voices are pitch-shifted and accelerated/decelerated to sound distinctly different.
Doesn't know the difference between the company website being down and his internet running slowly.
Believes that, when having computer problems, you have to reboot the computer three times (in fairness, Derrick told him this to prevent being bothered so often, but he still believed it).
Computer password is just the letter 'a'.
Leaves several dozen windows running on his computer at once (including inappropriate websites and solitaire and freecell games) and doesn't understand that this would cause computer slowdown.
Still gets onto the internet via AOL, not aware of any other way to get online, then saying that he has four thousand free AOL hours, even though Plastroltech has a Corporate OC 3 that provides unlimited broadband. Even after being told this, he asks if there's any way you can transfer AOL hours to broadband hours.
Has left his desktop icons in the arrangement of the words 'fuk u!' with a diagram of a penis, which a co-worker did to him 'eight or nine years' ago. Never changed it because he got used to it, also probably because he doesn't know how to.
Panics and throws a fit when Derrick rearranges his desktop icons because he won't be able to find anything, even though the icons are now listed in alphabetical order.
Believes Derrick has fixed his desktop when he sets his desktop background to a picture of the previous icon arrangement and shrinks the actual icons down into the corner, even though Derrick himself is telling him that it's just a picture.
Immediately downloads and runs an email attachment a co-worker sent him when told that it was a 'MILF on MILF action' program, then when the co-worker tells him that the program was actually a virus, claims that the program is working for him because the installation window had a single picture of an elderly woman.
Acts unprofessionally while talking with a potential client, including announcing his Minesweeper achievement.
Opens a PowerPoint file that has a spreadsheet in it and believes that he is using excel, is completely befuddled when he's unable to add a new row to the spreadsheet, loses the sale because of it and has to bother Derrick for several minutes during his lunch break to figure the problem out. Chip's list of sales tips and hints mentions to not call tech support if there's a problem with the spreadsheet, as they will assume he's using excel, and that sales does things differently.
Starts bashing in keyboard, then kicking the computer, when it's not responding.
Throws a piece of his computer at Nancy in anger when she approaches him asking what's wrong, leading to him being tackled by security at the conclusion of episode three.
Is completely irrational and useless during the phone conversation with IT until the support man manages to talk him down.
Forgets his computer password and has Derrick reset it for him (while not too bad on its own, according to episode one his password was just 'a').
Throws a laptop down on a table when it isn't working with a projector.
Keeps messing with the screen projector for the sales presentation, unplugging it underneath the table and pulling the cord out, when Derrick had already pointed out that the issue was the laptop wasn't even plugged in to the projector.
Tries to look up Nancy's skirt while plugging the projector in, getting kicked in the face and getting a bloody nose for his troubles.
After getting fired from Plastroltech, gets a job with another company as a System Administrator, even though no one is less qualified for such a job.
Pretends that he knows how to generate new email addresses for new employees for his client, then attempts to bribe Derrick to do it for him by taking pictures of girls at the coffee shop he is currently at.
Attempts to get an upskirt picture of one of the women at the coffee shop to bribe Derrick with, who turns out to be a pregnant Nancy, and has to run away.