Everyday Computing, Features

Countdown

By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant
By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant

ON Tuesday last week, the Water and Sewerage Company began a 24-hour shut-down of the water supply to the north of the island. For those receiving water from the John Compton Dam, zero-hour had arrived. We then had a race against the clock, especially since we were told that the return of the water could take up to 48 hours, because of details such as the length of the supply line, and location above sea level.

Despite that temporary inconvenience of a lack of water flowing in our taps, we should be thankful that we have a generally reliable water supply. Hopefully, after the remedial work, there should no longer be complaints of “pinholes, cricket-ball sized holes, and every other size of hole in these pipes” (as noted in earlier article “Rusty Software?”, of 11th July 2015).

We should also be thankful that we were given sufficient notice to fill our tanks, buckets and bath-tubs. Presumably you were well-prepared for this outage and were able to cope. What was your reaction to the interruption in the water supply? Did you adjust your behaviour to reflect the reduction in the water supply? Did you act as though the water would have returned as promised? Did you even notice a difference?

Modern computer systems have built-in timers. You probably take this for granted, because those timers usually trigger background tasks such as:
* Checking for new email messages;
* Performing a virus scan;
* Making a backup of your files;
* Other scheduled tasks that you specify.

Countdown timers are very useful, and help us to perform some actions. For example, the timer on a microwave oven stops cooking your food, and the sleep timer on your TV causes it to power-off and save energy. If these timers did not operate as expected, you would notice.

Here are some time-based events that you may be anticipating:
* A Friday, to start the weekend;
* Your birthday or anniversary to celebrate;
* Relief at the end of the hurricane season.

Depending on your own list of upcoming events, you may find yourself getting anxious if you don’t yet have a well-rehearsed plan, or a well-stocked tank. That might be a sign that some preparation is needed.

To share your timely views, contact the author at: www.datashore.net or via The Voice.
About the Author
Dr.Lyndell St. Ville is an ICT Consultant based in Saint Lucia. His areas of interest include systems analysis, design and development.

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