This web page is titled "Favorites" because it contains links that
emphasize both the GOOD and the BAD examples of Information Technology implementation.
(Written 2001-04-07) ComputerWorld October 30, 2000 issue has the first of a two-part
series titled "TOP 10 DISASTERS". Some of the horror stories that are in my
entry of 2000-07-22 made the top ten list and some of them are new to my knowledge. There
is also a list of stories that are "Dishonorable Mentions". Almost all of these
stories are ones for which there is a public record as a consequence of law suits. For
every horror story that involves litigation there must be a thousand others that didn't
make it to the courts. Two common themes are that nobody seems to learn from their
mistakes and you are never to big to fail miserably.
(Written 2000-07-22) ComputerWorld "The Newspaper for IT Leaders" is an
excellent source of true stories of how some of the biggest names in the Information
Technology business have made a miserable expensive mess of the business of some of the
biggest non-IT companies in the World. See the November 1, 1999 issue to learn how IBM
botched a $112 millon ERP project at Hershey Foods Corp. And in the same issue
learn why Deloitte & Touche was sued by W. L. Gore & Associates Inc., maker of the
waterprof fabric GoreTex, for $10 million. See the November 8, 1999 issue to learn how
Deloitte & Touche caused the same kind of problems for Whirlpool Corp. In that article
Whirlpool's management gets 50% of the credit for making the wrong decisions. The mistakes
are not all made by the IT people. See the artilce I wrote elsewhere on this web site. See
the October 25, 1999 issue to learn why Philadelphia Public Schools were printing payroll
checks for dead and retired teachers but many of the ones that were alive and
well and working were not getting paid.See the December 13, 1999 issue to learn about the
United Way of America terminating a $12 million contract with Cap Gemini of America Inc.
and about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filing suite on October 15, 1999 against Cap Gemini
after terminating a 10-year $75 million outsourcing deal with Cap Gemini. Cap Gemini
counter sued for $5.3 million for services rendered.
(Written: 1999-12-07) One of the components of Reliability Functionality is Event Logging.
There was an article in the August 1999 issue of Visual Basic Programmer's Journal titled:
"Track Those Errors -- Create a logging system that lets you analyze your app and
identify errors." Author: Chris Barlow. It's rated in the table of contents as
BEGINNER level programming but I think it is a little higher than that. I down loaded the
code and used the test application to try out the technique. It works very well. The
technique uses a severity level variable to control the amount of logging that occurs. In
the example the severity level is hard coded but you could easily change that to be stored
in an application INI file and settable from a user preferences option on the application
menu. The technique could be easily adapted to work in other language environments. I use
it in my VB projects unless there is a conflict or project management says don't use it.
From the home page, click on Locator+ (the right most option on the menu bar). Type
VBPJ0899 into the text box to specify what you want to down load. You first need to
register for free on DevX. You will get a zip file of all the articles in this issue that
is a collection of zip files for each article. You want "Getting Started" as
listed in the Read.me file that shows up after the 1st UnZip. (Update 2000-07-22) I used a
modified (I made it even simpler) version of the above described technique in the
PowerBuilder project the I did for Premcor (see Professional Experience). It worked great!
(Written: 1999-12-07) The December 6, 1999 issue of BusinessWeek has an article titled
"SOFTWARE HELL: IS THERE A WAY OUT?" This article catalogs the most publicly
visible dramatic effect of poorly implemented Information Technology. It's greatest value
is that hyperbole is sometimes the best way to illustrate a point.
(Written: 2000-07-22) IBM has announced its intention of porting all the software
products that it now sells to run on Windows NT Server to also run on Linux. This means
that you could purchase an IBM Netfinity Server with Linux as the Operating System
and DB2 Universal Database as the SQL Server engine. You can get the whole package from a
single vendor like you used to be able to do from IBM. That means no finger pointing
between vendors since it all came from one vendor. The cost will be less, by $3,000 or
more depending on how many users you have, because you will not have to pay Microsoft per
seat license to connect to the LAN Network Operating System. You will be able to support
as many users as your hardware will handle without additional licensing fees. Maybe? There
may be a per seat license fee for DB2. I am still researching that. Free technical support
is available for 90 days after purchase. Also, the June 2000 issue of Network Computing
features "Linux: Looming Large In the Enterprise." See the following URLs for
more information. For the Linux article go to the networkcomputing URL. At the bottom of
the home page there is a list of links by name. Pick "Article Index". On the
next web page pick "The Features Index". On the next web page pick the article
"The Linux Challenge June 26, 2000". The bottom of the 1st article web page
shows that there are 9 web pages to this article with a link to the NEXT page. It is a
The above does not mean that I am biased against Microsoft. I am not. It is a well
known fact that Linux does not benefit from multiprocessor PC hardware and Windows NT and
Windows 2000 Servers do. Assuming you buy good name brand hardware, hardware incompatibly
with Windows is almost never an issue. With Linux it sometimes is an issue. Given the
current low cost of hardware and the need for faster response time, a four (4) CPU Server
with Windows NT Server or Windows 2000 Server and Microsoft SQL Server engine may be a
better deal. If you are interested, I can do a comparative analysis on these two
alternatives for you.
(Written: 2000-08-14) More information can be found about IBM's plans for Linux by
going to URL http://www.computerworld.com Do an
advanced search on the words "linux" and "mainframe". Both words must
be in the title and use lower case characters. Make the date range July 1, 2000 to
present. You will get at least 3 hits; more if more articles are written between now and
the time you do your search. All articles found should be pertinant.