Readers weigh in on . . .

Re: Rogers Wireless hatches GSM plan with $1.4B Fido bid (Sept. 20)

I get very irritated when cellular phone companies such as Rogers make statements like “”(Ted Rogers) is now

the largest player in Canada. GSM is the largest standard in Europe. He’s the only one who has it here.”” Anyone who has ever travelled outside North America with their single-digital-mode GSM phone has found out the hard way that Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) is anything but a “”Global”” system. It turns out that North American GSM is different from every other GSM in the world. For your North American phone to work in Europe, you need a tri-mode phone.

I wish Rogers and any other cellular phone companies making similar statements would include the condition that not all their GSM phones work around the world. It was based on these very statements that I bought a Rogers GSM telephone to find out that it doesn’t work in Europe.

Mick Lord

Re: Hospitals test Web-based patient record system (Sept. 14)

I read your report on the Web-based patient record system and would like to report that I have recently experience the efficiency of online patient information through the Huronia Midland and Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, where I was operated in Midland and Therapy and bone scan was done at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, the efficiency of dealing with information via online was remarkable.

Andre Desroches

Re: Hospitals test Web-based patient record system (Sept. 14)

This is one of the best articles that I have read in quite some time. The system described in this article sounds absolutely fantastic!

There is far too much politicking, or should I say “”children squabbling,”” over the issues related to Health Care and what to do about them. The particular system that is referred to in this article is nothing short of software engineering at its best! I say this because, being familiar with the planning, design, development and everything else that goes into a system of this magnitude, is nothing short of miraculous, given the cost estimates.

Chuck Fraser
Senior Analyst
A&M Computer Solutions

Re: A fork in the code (Sept. 14)

Forks should not be seen as always being a bad thing. They are where innovation and experimentation come from, and thus are needed if we are to improve the state of the art. In Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) it is also an accountability mechanism: if projects leaders are not doing their job, the threat of a fork and the community moving out from under that leadership is there. It is an important part of the democracy-like system that FLOSS works under.

I’ve also never understood the logic of how Microsoft benefits from the confusion around forks. It is true that there are many competing/complimentary brands of Linux that sometimes have files in different locations, or different versions of libraries, but portability issues are minor and these issues primarily exist only for binary-only software packages. For open source applications there is a community of people to ensure that compatibility is always kept as the software and Linux standards advance.

Microsoft also has multiple incompatible versions of Windows. I suspect that even a “”security patch”” for a single one of these versions (SP2 for XP) has caused ISVs more headaches than the multiple flavours of Linux. Just because there is one brand name doesn’t mean that everything is compatible. In the case of Linux there is motivation for mainstream distributions to standardize, whereas for Microsoft they have an economic incentive (imperative) towards incompatibilities and driving customers to purchase yet another incompatible version.

Russell McOrmond

Re: When we were Web developers (Sept. 8)

I am a web developer, and this entails many skills as an IT professional. The HTML language never received the fanfare of C or C++ and was thought of as a Mickey Mouse programming language. I somehow think the SHRC had its nose up in the air when it came to web development. I have been creating web content for some five years now and it demands being a techie and being creative. Was the SHRC confused to the point where it cannot make a proper judgement, or did it think you were only a graphic artist or a web developer? This is very shallow thinking and foresight. Mr. Swinwood thinks you can describe a web site in 10 minutes over the phone and that is it.

How short-sighted (and insulting) can he be? And he runs the SHRC.

The core set of skills really needed for web development are: programming, graphic design, database development and creation, and the big one, people skills. This usually involves a team; no one can do it all by themselves. I learned the team concept and practiced it when it still wasn’t accepted. I have never ignored something because it was ahead of its time.

When I develop for someone, the first 10 minutes is getting to know them, what ideas they have for their site. This does not even touch cost, time frame, etc. Hopefully the workshops will open the eyes of Mr. Swinwood and the SHRC. Recognition and a good pay rate are the rewards for learned craft and hard work. Maybe now we will get what we deserved a long time ago.

Michael MacDonald

As a co-founder of a Canadian technology company serving the North American market I have to stay abreast of news via our American editorial counterparts. But, nothing pleases me more than to read my daily dose of Canadian content delivered through exceptional writing and commentary.

I must say, you are clearly my favorite technology editor and your non-sugar coated way of laying out the actual IT situation people face each business day is very refreshing. I think it is because you often get past the headline and relate the story to what people actually feel, not what they are supposed to feel.

I enjoy your pieces on topics such as capitalizing the word Internet right down to corporate executives and their personal habits (anything Sun Microsystems/Schwartz/McNealy related puts a smile on my face). You really put the people aspect back into technology. We make IT, IT doesn’t make us.

So thanks again for the breath of fresh air. Keep up your exceptional editorials.

Jason Billingsley
Vice-president Marketing
Ekkon Technologies

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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