Re: Screened out (June 3)

I followed your article with interest. I’m a father of four kids who wrote his first program in high school on punch cards, and now analyze parallel computer

architectures.

It’s not whether video games, computers, TV, MP3 players or whatever are good or bad. It’s not whether IT managers have the time to do the proper requirements analysis. The issue is, do we take time to think, and make decisions that suit the context? More importantly with our kids, are we teaching them to think, to be discerning, and to make wise choices and intelligent use of the resources at hand.

We seem to be so concerned with entertaining our kids, and keeping our staff busy. What about teaching people how to think, do critical analysis? How much time did we spend in high school studying the great thinkers of human history? How much time in university? I studied engineering, yet what did I learn about the life of Isaac Newton? How did he become such a great thinker?

A computer is a tool, it can be used for good or bad, to feed your brain or entertain it. I can use a hammer to build, repair, or destroy; it’s all in how you choose to live your life. Do I want to use a computer to entertain me, inform me, or use it to communicate for good or evil, or use it to build something?

That brings us back to your church facing closure. The purpose of the church is not to entertain us, although it can do that. The purpose of the church is not to feed the poor, although it can do that. The purpose of the church is not to provide a sense of community, although it can do that. The purpose of the church is to teach the heart and mind the truth. The purpose of the church is to engage the heart and mind in answering the greatest questions of humanity – who are we and who is God? Only when we understand this can we make intelligent choices on how to live our life. I shudder to think of the generation that arises that is not concerned about these things. We cannot blame IT for that.

We as parents carry this responsibility. Do we take them to church? Do we teach them to think for themselves? Do we teach them to take responsibility for their actions? Do we show them by our actions what is important in life? Do we use the education system as our tool, or to abdicate our responsibility to teach them? Do we use computer/TV/etc. as a tool for learning or an electronic baby sitter?

C. Ron Van Holst


Re: The best technology nobody’s making (June 2)

Some points for you to ponder:

Eye, eye: Nice idea, I’d buy one.

Board game: I like my keyboard tray, but I don’t like the 10-12 in. of movement I have to do to get to my mouse from my keyboard. The insert to pgdn and arrow key block combined with the numeric keypad make for a long trip not to mention offsetting the keyboard from the middle of my cubicle world. While I enjoy the insert to pgdn and arrow key block I miss my old IBM PC AT keyboard, which by the way had function keys on the left side of QWERTY.

Mouse-over: Mmm, what to do when my mouse rings? Ignore, and risk computing without a mouse, not me. Could work for some though.

Photo evidence: As soon as I get home I push all my photos to my computer, pull that SD card out of the camera and pop it right into the laptop with the built in reader — super. Then for I haul out the S-Video cable and connect up the big screen TV to the laptop and voila — slide show is a go.

Stephen Alexander


Re: EDS defends its role in Ontario Justice IT debacle (June 1)

It was with shock and confusion that I became aware of a grossly inaccurate and unsubstantiated characterization made recently in the itbusiness.ca article entitled “EDS defends its role in Ontario Justice IT debacle “ by Sarah Lysecki. In it, the author labels Nova Scotia’s integrated justice information system initiative as a “failure.” As I will describe, nothing could be further from the truth, and I can only conclude that the author did nothing to substantiate the source of this characterization. On behalf of the many talented people who brought our system to reality, allow me to set the record straight.

Nova Scotia recently completed an implementation of its justice information system, known as the Justice Enterprise Information Network (JEIN). Unlike many justice systems that are merely linkages of separate applications, JEIN is a truly integrated, single application that offers class-leading functionality, including court and corrections case management, offender tracking, victim services, fines recording and processing, and public prosecutions features. All components of JEIN have been successfully implemented with customised access both within the Justice Department and to external entities like the police, public prosecution service, judiciary, and even the registry of motor vehicles.

JEIN’s success has generated considerable attention nationally. As a matter of fact, one other Canadian province has already begun implementation of the core JEIN application for themselves, and other provinces have expressed their potential interest. JEIN’s value has also been recognized on the federal level for its contribution to Canada’s national justice information system and as our jurisdiction’s response to the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Indeed, JEIN is successful from many perspectives, including technical design, functionality, inter-jurisdictional sharing, and federal-provincial partnerships. In the context of these facts, you can understand our reaction to your article, which, unfortunately, reflects very poorly on your journalistic integrity.

David T. Deveau, P.Eng.
Executive Director Information Management
NS Department of Justice


Re: I think, therefore I download (May 31)

I was just reading your article and it brought to mind a book I recently read by Greg Iles called The Footprints of God. The gist of the book is basically the US government creates a supercomputer and a way of using a super-MRI to scan someone’s brain and download the contents. The computer of course then tries to take over the world, etc., etc. A pretty good read, and some scary concepts.

R.S. (Rob) Rodford
Manager, Application Access Administration
RBC Financial Group


Re: Project management hell? Big deal (May 24)

This poker card playing gambling thing has really, really penetrated, when an IT columnist waxes metaphors I’m still not to sure about. Although I do know it ties in some how to all the online gabling I’ve seen, the casino’s all over the place, the TV card playing late at night, the whole resurgence of Las Vegas thing.

Just what or where or who or why even is all this gambling coming from any way?

I’ll have to find out now. Any ideas, seeing as you’ve made me realize I need to further understand a cultural phenomenon?

Erich Bertussi
Founding Director
Somacomputers.com Inc.

Editor’s note: The prevailing wisdom is that hidden cameras during tournament play have made the game more interesting to watch on TV. Also, Internet poker has proliferated widely in recent years. A common expression in poker is, all you need to play is a chip and a chair. Now, not even that.


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