LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

I can find no mention of any testing of anything other than Pentium-based CPUs. You
really should correct this and examine CPUs based on PowerPC processors.


Apple Macintosh computers are faster, easier and cheaper to set up and maintain, more
secure from hacking and have fewer risks of viruses.


They are also capable of running office applications as well as other applications and
can share information with computers besides the ones with Intel Corp. chips and Microsoft
Windows.


Daniel Q. O’Leary
Engineering specialist
Lockheed Martin Corp.
Fort Worth, Texas


Regarding “Software glitches leave Navy Smart Ship dead in the water” [GCN, July 13, Page 1]: More and more, we hear about problems
in the scalability of Microsoft Corp. products. Yet more and more, we hear that government
departments are moving to the very Microsoft products with scalability problems.


Although it is cute to say that this is typical government behavior, as a taxpayer I am
quite concerned over the huge waste of my tax dollars going to support clearly unworkable
solutions simply because they’re supported by Microsoft.


Furthermore, support from Microsoft is not what it used to be. More often than not, if
you discover a flaw in its software, you’ll be politely instructed that it’ll be
fixed in the next release—never mind that it may be a mission-critical problem for
you and your organization.


The information technology professionals in government have become so comfortable with
Microsoft solutions that they totally ignore other, perhaps more effective, solutions. I
realize that it is an unfortunate fact of human nature to minimize one’s workload,
but educating oneself in alternative platforms would serve one’s constituencies
better.


Sure, it’s easy to keep using Microsoft software, while your organization’s
computing options get narrower and narrower until you have a Microsoft master solution to
your problems … [and] you can no longer switch.


A future with a mix of operating systems and platform-independent Internet applications
each targeted at effectively addressing particular technical problems would be a whole lot
more interesting.


Malcolm Duncan
Associate director
Bio Media Center for Instructional Computing
Purdue University
West Lafayette, Ind.


In regard to Robert Gellman’s column, “Clean up Net files before they are
demanded” [GCN, July 13, Page 21]: Thank you from all
of the records managers and Freedom of Information Act officers in government.


This issue is at the heart of efforts to get both users and the Senior Executive
Service to realize that records management, network management and FOIA are inextricably
intertwined. The National Archives and Records Administration and the rest of the General
Records Schedule 20 records experts will be hard-pressed to develop a schedule for Web
pages, cache files, history files and even cookies that will be acceptable to the lawyers
and senior management.


However, I don’t think that enterprising reporters will have to hurry to make
their requests. The wheels of federal government grind slowly, and it won’t be able
to get a coordinated policy out faster than reporters can write requests. Thanks for a
great article.


Ken Haller
Tampa, Fla.





 

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