A BYTE OF KNOWLEDGE

Dear Computer Expert,

I am 20 years old and of the “computer generation” whose lives are supposed to revolve around computers. Unlike most people my age, I don’t like computers! I understand that they are supposed to male life easier, but they make my life hell (and it’s not because of OE [operator error]). Some of my reasons why the computer is my enemy is the fact that business and schools have involved them in so many task that one cannot get a job done without dealing with a computer.

As a student at IPFW, most everything at school is web-based. If you want to register for classes, you have to do it online from a computer. The drawbacks are with everything online; there is no physical documentation on what is done online. I have lost information from trying to work on the IPFW website. I’ve since learned it is important to print every page, but even then a webpage isn’t printable. I use this paper work as proof that certain transactions that I have done.

Another thing that annoys me about computers is that most don’t have a back-up system. If a computer or server goes down, no work can be done. Not just with IPFW, but with my job in a warehouse.

I’m not totally prejudice towards computers; they don’t need to be eliminated. I just think that there should be some sort of paper work system for the times when the computers don’t work. But perhaps we are at a point of no return. Otherwise a lot of information could be lost for good, without any proof that it ever existed.

-JJ

 

JJ,

I feel your pain. It’s quite common to hear stories of computers losing information, and going down at the least convenient time.

Obviously we are moving more and more to a paperless office, and we rely on computers to store, and calculate vital information. Is this a good idea? And as we get closer and closer to a paperless office, we are coming to a point of no return, where the old way will become the extinct way.

I cannot argue with you because in a way I agree with what you say. A business moves towards a more computerized system because they are promised ease of use, faster productivity and cheaper operating costs. The problem is that business has hired the cheapest computer geeks he can find to build his computerized network solution. These geeks build a system that works and delivers it, and go on with their day. It happens way too often. These systems fail to deliver any productivity at all if they are down, or not working for the employee that works on them.

In computer systems that don’t deliver what they are promised I label as an “Immature Solution.” These computers are not mature enough to sufficiently complete their assigned task. This can be from poor software design, poor implementation, poor training, or incompatible hardware and software. When a computer system can deal with a problem with accuracy, speed, and efficiency then it has come close to fulfilling their job. With some added automation, and self-intelligence included in the business or school computer system, only then can it promise better productivity.

On the other hand I like the word “accountability”. A computer system doesn’t have to be accountable if it screws up. If it does screw up it must be OE. But in many cases, OE doesn’t mean the operator. It means the designer or geek that created the program in the first place. So your answer to your problem isn’t you. Don’t be mad at the computer. Be mad at the geek that built the computer solution, be mad at the boss or administrator that hired that geek. The geek is the problem.

The Waynedale News Staff
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Rob Jackson IV

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