Thursday, November 22, 2007

Slipped Disc

It could happen to any of us and so I have a touch of sympathy for Her Majesties Britannic Government when it transpires that they could not keep on eye on the wonderful Information Technology that we all rely upon.
Take my own case, for instance. Now I am the first to admit that my office is a little less extensive than that of the department in question, measuring some 14 by 12, much of which is taken up by a grand piano. And here, if I might digress, I would put in a good word for grand pianos in general as opposed to the more modest upright. You can store a lot more documents and assorted bric a brac on a grand and, if they had had one, that's probably where the missing discs would be. Works for us.
Also my staff, including me but excluding the dogs, amounts to two, making it difficult to put the blame on a junior employee if anything goes missing.
But missing they go. Especially computer discs.
Here the problem is that they all tend to look alike, a bit like some oriental nations.
“Have you seen the XYZ disc?” I ask.
“No, what does it look like?”
“Oh, usual sort of thing. Round, silvery with a hole in the middle.”
“No, I mean what was it called?”
“Well, actually, it didn't have a name. I couldn't find the marker pen.”
And so we go off on a merry chase, checking on drink coasters where they often seem to wind up.
In some ways we are more ahead of the game than the government department in question. Instead of putting any password on a slip of paper inside the package when we send a disc anywhere, we don't bother. Any self respecting geek could crack it anyway.
And this week we had a crisis due to a loss of information, not I suppose strictly comparable to that facing the Prime Minister and Chancellor but domestically serious enough.
The disc containing our Christmas card list has gone walkabout.
Now we are unable to tell whether this is still on the grand piano or has fallen into the hands of international criminals.
So if your Christmas card from us this year comes from somewhere with a funny postmark, alert Interpol.
And, unless the disc shows up, you might not be getting one at all from us.


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