Thursday, 11 October 2012

When two is sometimes better than one.

Most people will have noticed that certain parts of the body are duplicated for example most of us have two arms, two legs, two kidneys, two lungs while other bits are not for example most people only have one heart. An obvious conclusion is that this might provide a degree of redundancy so that if part of you were injured for example a broken limb then the other part would allow you to function.

This process is applied to other intelligent systems for example in aircraft where instead of having one electrical system to ignite the cylinders there is a second in case the first fails. You will notice we say in intelligent systems.

A recent IT incident led us to conclude that NHS IT is not intelligent for it does not believe in redundancy although we suspect a lot of it could benefit from large scale redundancy.

Take the acquisition of a virus on a computer. The initial NHS IT response is to blame the user and make them feel guilty while the IT person ignores the fact that the local Soviet turns their firewalls off overnight. This is to allow their techies access to bugger up the system overnight so it never works in the morning. A legitimate call you might think apart from the fact that for 12 hours a day your system is exposed to any hacker or malcreant who wishes you harm.

Using their virus scanner is often a waste of time, for when you start it it often will say your virus definitions are from 2008 and you need to update but you cannot do so. The local IT gurus employ a system that periodically comes in the top 2 in PC magazines but it has additional enhanced benefits like if you change between screens on your clinical system it runs a virus scan which disables the machine until you disable the virus scanner something that no IT techie ever believes happens and they blame the user again.

Now the normal NHS IT techie will run their own version of the virus scanner and if that does not work simply replace the whole machine but when this occurs at home and it is your own hard earned dosh that is not working you might try a bit harder than an NHS techie.

The virus concerned came via NHS email and was not detected using the principal virus scanners on our valve driven super colossus of a computer hidden deep in the cellar of the infamous café Michelle. Various techniques were deployed by the Resistance techies to detect it but eventually a freebie spyware scanner detected and removed 4 instances of this particular virus from our super colossus which was restored to full functionality after just one scan by a freebie.

We sometimes have had to deploy the same methods to restore our work computers to functionality ourselves. So sometimes 2 is better than 1?

Praise be to the Party for ensuring that in computing we all pay over the odds for Party sponsored "protection" when sometimes a freebie will do better. Sounds a bit like the NHS and what is going on at the moment?


1 comment:

GrumpyRN said...

Now now, you should not be nasty to the IT people. Don't you realise that every time Microsoft releases a new product they have to relearn it all? Whereas you learned all you need to know about the human body years ago in medical school and the body has not changed since then. This was actually said to me by an IT person.