Readers weigh in on . . .

I’m an subscriber and like your articles in general. Unfortunately I don’t always have time to read all of them. I usually pick one or two that attract my attention and surprisingly, I always find myself reading Shane Schick’s articles. And let me tell you that I enjoy reading

them a lot.

So I just wanted to tell you that I love your style and the topics you write about in general.

Jihane Merhi

Re: The autonomic and the unemployed (May 22)

The findings of the Software Human Resource Council (SHRC) should not come as a surprise. The gradual replacement of people by machines and software has been going on for quite some time now. A logical extension of this is increased automation in non-traditional areas, including database maintenance.

While I agree completely with Faye West (Alberta Research Council) when she says that future business will be built by new technology graduates rather than those “”who are only experienced,”” I also think it is time for IT professionals to focus more on the business than the technology.

Faye West is right on the mark when she says, “”The overall understanding of systems and systems architectures doesn’t really change. The tools change.”” This also means that IT professionals, who often focus far too much on what the technology can do, must learn to focus better on the business and what the business needs to do, and then determine how technology can help the business achieve its objectives. We have to stop thinking of ourselves simply as “”IT professionals”” and start thinking of ourselves as “”business professionals”” who specialize in technology application and deployment.

Trond Frantzen
Senior partner and president
Power Plus Systems Corp.

Re: The autonomic and the unemployed (May 22)

Nice article but how about augmenting it with some advice on how IT workers should prepare for the future?

Earl Cooper

Re: Are you EVER going to upgrade? (May 21)

As a person who joined the Internet in 1994 I am not surprised that the salad days of upgrading have ended. What other products (besides cars) become redundant as soon as you purchase them?

It’s about time dribbleware stopped. The major suppliers of software and hardware should take a look at their products and ask the simple question: Is my product solid or is it being rushed to market to make a quick buck? Many of us consumers are fed up and have spoken with our feet, i.e. we don’t buy crap.

David M. Dorey

Re: Are you EVER going to upgrade? (May 21)

I am not pleased by the attitude of Compugen Inc. president Harry Zarek and others in this article. We the consumers decide when a new computer purchase is necessary. We no longer fear not having the latest and greatest CPU on our desk. As long as we do backups of our data, there is no fear associated with computer crashes. My consulting experience is that a client replaces a computer only when it does not work at all. There is no motivation to get a bigger and faster CPU otherwise.

The reason for the market plateau is that computers are no longer exciting. They are now well known commodity items. Buying a computer is like buying a photocopier or a telephone system. They are purchased when the old one does not work or does not meet business requirements. Computer makers will have to work by the same rules as other manufacturers. If you wish to sell more then increase quality, lower price and offer added value such as warranties and service. Dell seems to understand the concept.

TW (Tom) Burger

Re: Are you EVER going to upgrade? (May 21)

Business requirements will drive upgrades, not the OEMs or the channel. Companies are struggling to make profits. If technology is not going to add to the bottom line directly — and within the first fiscal year of implementation — it is a very hard sell, especially in these times of economic uncertainty.

John Curtis
System support coordinator
Dana Canada Corp.

Re: Are you EVER going to upgrade? (May 21)

This article is more interesting for what it leaves out than what it includes.

For one thing, it doesn’t bother probing why people aren’t upgrading. One reason is that technology has hit a plateau. Of course, a 2.5 Ghz machine with a wider bus is faster than a three-year-old machine, but much of that gain is eaten up by increased software demands. And, anyway, a three-year-old machine’s performance is still more than adequate for regular office use. Moreover, there’s not much reason in the software to upgrade. New features that are also useful are much rarer than they were a decade ago, and new versions require more tweaking to work. The old ones are at least known.

For another, the push to force customers to upgrade is probably another source of resistance. Withdrawing support isn’t much of a threat either when companies have long ago figured out how to get NT 4.0 to do what they want.

Finally, the mention of security is a total non-sequitur. It implies that newer equipment or operating systems are somehow more secure. Yet, aside from a few minor changes, there’s no reason to believe that newer means more secure in any sense. In fact, new equipment or new code means that the security-conscious have to do more work to look for weaknesses.

Bruce Byfield

Re: Are you EVER going to upgrade? (May 21)

What is the life of hardware? How fast is fast enough? What average percent of CPU utilization should be expected before updating is required? Almost all of the machines on our network idle.

We migrate our workstations from engineering and CAD down to accounting and then to warehouse. The biggest problem after three years is cooling fans. We keep an ATX power supply and keyboard in stock all the time. By the time the employee gets a fresh cup of java and stops at the restroom, they are back up and running. We also back up the entire network completely every night and virus scan/check every Friday night.

Blair A. Stunder
Arctic Manufacturing Ltd.

Re: Spam battle hinges on awareness: Symantec (May 20)

Simply make it a crime to receive any funds for any product advertised by unsolicited bulk e-mail. Then set up sting operations using an e-mail account. Once an unsolicited ad is in that box, make a purchase, follow the money, and fine the recipient company a significant (read: painful) amount for every e-mail ad they’ve sent.

Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), formerly known as Bill C-6, requires that organizations may only use information for the purpose for which it was collected, unless consent is received from the individual. It seems to me that unsolicited e-mail contravenes the act.

Robb Golds

Re: CIRA outraged over racial profiling accusations (May 16)

The few experiences I have had with CIRA just amaze me. How can a group of bureaucrats completely screw up something so simple so quickly and make it so expensive? I am not surprised they have been accused of prejudice, but I would be surprised if the accusations were true. Frankly, between CIRA’s pomposity, declared self-importance and spouting of meaningless gobbledegook I doubt they have time to do anything on purpose.

Just my opinion.

Michael Mills

Letters to the editor must include the writer’s name and company name along with an e-mail address or other contact information. All letters become the property of Editors reserve the right to edit submissions for length and content.

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