GCN column is required reading

Walter R. Houser’s column, “Microsoft’s vigilance makes it king of the
desktop” [GCN, June 29, Page 24], is right on track
and should be required reading at the Defense Information Systems Agency. Even with the
closing of the Ada Joint Program Office, the community ignoring DISA’s demand for
Open Systems Interconnection over TCP/IP, the agency’s vision that everything is
going to Unix, the millions spent on Sun Microsystems Inc. Sparc 5s that never left the
box and a litany of other problems, you’d think that someone would ask who is running
the asylum.

With the Defense Information Infrastructure’s Common Operating Environment being
Microsoft Windows NT, it’s d'j' vu all over again.

Brian Jones
Corporate partner
National Transportation Research Center
Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Regarding Stephen M. Ryan’s column, “Successful IT planning goes well beyond
2000’’ [GCN, June 29, Page 24]: I agree with the
main point you are trying to get across, that government should plan for the society to
be, and that this should be a primary purpose of good government.

In the first sentence, he said that the attention to year 2000 software repair issues
is overhyped. At the least, this is a controversial statement, and you say nothing further
in your article to back it up. Because this statement isn’t germane to the article
and introduces a controversial topic, it might better have been reserved for a future
piece about 2000 issues.

Ryan wrote, “Government truly has a duty and the vision to shape tomorrow, not
simply let it appear.” Earlier in the column, Ryan quoted Rick Sloan’s
recommendation that agencies find several strategic thinkers to create possible
alternative futures. From this, it doesn’t appear that the government has the vision
currently to shape tomorrow, and it would seem that this is the point of his column.

Fred Larkin
Systems engineer
Computer Associates International Inc.
Reston, Va.


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