Wednesday, 5 August 2009

How did we get so Dependant?

Yesterday was truly a terrible day for me. I got into work at the usual time, but no sooner had I got through the door than those in early were telling me that they couldn’t log onto the network. So, like a good little boy, I checked on the server before doing anything else. Lo and behold, it was down. Nothing to worry about, it’s happened before. Just need to restart it, right?

Wrong.

I switched it off and back on again but it froze on a blank screen just before the “loading Windows” logo appeared. Okay, something wrong. Let’s start it in safe mode. No joy. It loaded four files then froze again.

Bugger. Time to call in the support.

Anyway, the short version of what followed was that it took us four hours to get the damn thing up and running again. FOUR HOURS!

And the worst thing is that in that time, none of the staff could get any work done. Oh, one or two had meetings with clients and the fee earners could work on files and dictate letters, and there was filing to be done but that didn’t take long. So most of them were sat around not doing much for most of the four hours. And that’s because so much of what we do in the 21st century is completely dependant on computers. More and more industries are finding that, not just computers but also the internet, are becoming fundamental to their business.

So when you suddenly find you have no computers, you’re screwed.

Oh, there are ways to cope, back up servers and what have you, but really, are small firms like us expected to be able to afford that sort of thing? I mean, a server is hugely expensive as it is so two of them…?

It’s scary how the world has changed and many of us have just accepted it. The change has been rapid. The things you can do now were unthinkable ten or twenty years ago. And yet, many of us seem to have not even taken the time to notice how much things have changed. We have just accepted it.

So, I wonder, how much will the world change in the next ten or twenty years? Who knows? But it’s an exciting and scary thought at the same time.

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