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AFRIK-IT  April 1998

AFRIK-IT April 1998

Subject:

Re: Y2K and UK's 10 million quid

From:

"Watermeyer, Henry" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Fri, 3 Apr 1998 11:01:00 +200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (89 lines)

=Priority:       normal
=Date sent:      Thu, 2 Apr 1998 16:03:07 BST
=Send reply to:  "African Network of IT Experts and Professionals (ANITEP) List"
=                <[log in to unmask]>
=From:           Dr Richard Heeks <[log in to unmask]>
=Organization:   ESS
=Subject:        Y2K and UK's 10 million quid
=To:             [log in to unmask]

=As I recall around 70% of all aid money never leaves the donor's
=shores, and this 10 million is unlikely to be any different.  I'm busy
=brushing up my Cobol so I can be on the first plane out.  I can see
=the headlines now: "Brave consultants rush to save Africa in mercy
=mission".  Mind you, that would involve revealing to the British
=public that there are computers in Africa, which would rather spoil
=their stereotypes.

Just dont tell the Americans !!!


=
=Why not, instead, treat this as an opportunity, not a problem; scrap
=all those mainframe systems that produce MIS reports that no-one
=reads, and spend the 10 million on some PC systems that do something
=useful.  Just hang on a minute while I brush up my Visual Basic....

Contrary to popular, amongst pc bigots any way, mainframes tend to be
used where the number of people working on the same data set is be
more than one, the data is large and needs to secured and the
volumes, sometimes of reports but often of vital things like
documents, letters, etc are way beyond the capacity of pcs.

In my shop I have three systems programmers, including the dba and
the manager running an IBM type mainframe with one integrated system,
four key sections, and more than 1000 terminals running on an ANA
network supported by the same group. The number of terminals is
growing despite the proliferation of pcs because they work and
provide access to what people have to do, and the wonderful
complexity of the latest offerings from Redmont.

By contrast we have more than 35 people keeping just the Novell and
Unix servers running on a tcp/ip network based on high speed
Cabletron switches, Novell MPRs, etc and only 2800 or so
worksatations on the network.

Both are necessary and we could not work with either as the sole
platform but dont knock mainframes.

Oh and by the way to get the "Open Systems" including workstations
year 2000 complient will cost around US$ 1.6 million and the
mainframe less than US$ 0.5 at current exchange rates.

Maybe the UK would do better spending their money on the
mainframes !!!  (grin)

Henry Watermeyer

=
=Richard
=
=---------------------------------------------------------------------
=Dr Richard Heeks
=Lecturer, Information Systems & Development
=Institute for Development Policy & Management
=University of Manchester
=Precinct Centre
=Manchester  M13 9GH
=U.K.
=Phone: +44-161-275-2870
=Fax: +44-161-273-8829
=Email: [log in to unmask]
=IDPM Web: http://www.man.ac.uk/idpm
=---------------------------------------------------------------------
=---------------------------------------------------------------------

      CITTE 98 at url http://www.unisa.ac.za/events/citte98/

=====================================================================
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Henry C Watermeyer                         'Phone +27-11-716-3260/8000
Director - Computer 7 Network services     Fax    +27-11-339-1225
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
P/Bag 3, Wits 2050, South Africa           mobile +27-(0)82-800-8862
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