Everyday Computing, Features

Action In Concert

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

THE Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival 2016 has gotten off to a good start. It should not come as a surprise, because of the amount of effort, planning, and coordination that goes into the hosting of this long-running event. Kudos to all those involved in preparing for this event. Every action by each person or agency must be coordinated, working towards a common goal. Otherwise, disjointed action could easily cause problems. What is also interesting is how such events are viewed by the public, who are not involved in organising the event. Despite the complexities of those events, their evaluation is remarkably simpler.

When you think about a computing system, you probably think about the entire product, since, on their own, the keyboard and mouse are useless. The same thinking applies to the monitor, the CPU, and the other components. Technicians who fix computer systems and people who answer support calls, could share some interesting stories with you. Because the average person regards the entire computer system as a black box, then when any part fails, the whole system is at fault. Here are some phrases that you might still hear being used to report a fault on a computer system:

* “It’s not printing;”
* “It does not connect;”
* “It won’t come on;”
* “It’s not working.”

How simple is that? Either the person can do their work, or the system has failed them and they report that it does not work! The task of the technician is to understand what the confusingly simple complaint actually refers to, and then to resolve it. Whether it involves adding paper to the printer, changing a cable, or rebooting the computer, it does not matter. The complicated functioning of an interconnected system, has been reduced to whether it is working, or it is not working.

So, for those involved in arranging the Jazz &Arts Festival, the ordinary person may judge the success of the event on whether:
* The show started on time;
* There was adequate security; or
* The performers were lively.

Basically, everything must work in a coordinated manner for the patrons to have a good time. It might seem unfair to distill the success of the entire event, to a few simple questions, but if we all needed to be highly technical to evaluate complicated systems, then the world might look rather different. Thank goodness for small mercies.

You may share your views and 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. He builds capacity and advises on data management, systems analysis, and system development.

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