Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Someone has to be accountable for this

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  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Russell Brown,

    You’re saying that Rodney Hide was sent back from the future to engineer an IT spend of sufficient scale as to trigger a singularity and eventually bring into being an aware and self-interested computer entity which would become humanity’s master?

    Might be time to break out the Vista DVDs.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3913 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Yeah, don’t hold your breath. It didn’t lead the paper yesterday and there’s no follow-up today.

    It’s only half a billion dollars, after all.

    Compare and contrast with the amount of coverage "Government ministers cost us between $300 and $2000 when they handed back their own drive cars to fix dings and scratches" got on TV a few weeks ago.

    I think whichever 6pm news show I was watching spent more of their graphics budget on putting each minister inside a little car on TV zooming across the screen, than the actual "expenses scandal" cost the taxpayer.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6217 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to stever@cs.waikato.ac.nz,

    this MUST be the beginning of the end for them?

    I doubt it. Us talking is not enough. Media won't drive this on their own.

    Strong and coherent political opposition is required, and in this instance those who could have led some of it are now around the top table focused on trying to make things work. And their colleagues nationally have been missing in action so long it's only a 50/50 proposition that they even remember how to perform that role.

    Re-reading that previous thread Russell linked to, it was interesting seeing us saying much the same thing a year ago. Look around - what has changed?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Rob at Te Standard writes about this matter:

    Auckland ratepayers are going to be stuck with a huge bill for the Nats’ failure to properly cost the Supercity merger process. Specifically in this case, the cost of merging the IT systems.

    Planning for the Supercity merger was a shambles. There were many warnings here at The Standard about the un-costed aspects of the process, including mine (back when I was a guest poster) on the failure to plan for the costs of merging the various Council IT systems.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Compare and contrast with the amount of coverage “Government ministers cost us between $300 and $2000 when they handed back their own drive cars to fix dings and scratches” got on TV a few weeks ago

    I know. I know.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Compare and contrast with the amount of coverage "Government ministers cost us between $300 and $2000 when they handed back their own drive cars to fix dings and scratches" got on TV a few weeks ago.

    I guess most journos (and their audience) understand dinged cars so it's just easier, eh.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    So, apart from NZH, where is the media coverage of this story?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to 3410,

    So, apart from NZH, where is the media coverage of this story?

    Not much so far. Nothing on Stuff at all, no show on TV1 and TV3. Even Google has mostly drawn a blank outside of the blogosphere.

    EDIT: There's a side article in The Aucklander, but it's not headline stuff.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Sacha,

    I guess most journos (and their audience) understand dinged cars so it’s just easier, eh.

    Honestly? I find IT cost overruns a lot easier to understand than bothering to fix "dings and scratches".

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Just to note that the thread may be a bit confusing now.

    The shit has hit the fan for one person who's commented and I've removed the comments in question for that person's sake.

    I can't help but feel that this says something about the nature of this whole sorry business.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I can’t help but feel that this says something about the nature of this whole sorry business.

    Yep, dammed if you do, dammed if you don't. So I thought I'd email Phil Twyford. A young man who has been trying since day one to help Aucklanders understand what they are in for and, who has been ridiculed in the House for trying from day one by the opposition. I think he is interested as to who should be accountable.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6320 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    who has been ridiculed in the House for trying from day one by the opposition

    Uh, Twyford is a member of said opposition.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Sorry, I meant his opposition :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6320 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Sacha,

    Glad you keep an eye on me Sacha, ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6320 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    tis a team sport, after all :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    I meant his opposition

    The government, then (though some would argue you were right the first time)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Sacha,

    The government, then

    I cant admit that, I wont, I wont I tell you :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6320 posts Report Reply

  • Roger Lacey,

    You would think this is one subject that John Campbell would get his teeth into for weeks. The current silence around it is spooky, if one were into conspiracy theories you could almost think that TV3's recent government bail-out is being held over them to keep schutm.
    There needs to be a name and shame of all the people involved in the mess. Not just making Rodney a scapegoat but outing the overpaid corporate trough snuffling numpties of the ATA and their public purse sucking consultant leeches.

    Whatakataka Bay Surf Club… • Since Apr 2008 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Roger Lacey,

    *innnteresting viewpoint- be happy to see counter viewpoints-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Kiwiiano, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Don't knock Win 98 until you know what it's running on and what it's asked to do. It's apparently amazingly fast on modern gear that is designed to shovel vast videos etc around but when it's just crunching numbers can be so fast that users accuse it of having crashed when there's no apparent response after they hit [enter]. In fact it has completed the calculations between when they hit the key and looked up at the screen and they are staring impatiently at the result, not the data entry.
    It's age also means most of the bugs have been beaten out of it plus the Black hats are no longer interested.

    ChCh • Since Nov 2006 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    There needs to be a name and shame of all the people involved in the mess. Not just making Rodney a scapegoat but outing the overpaid corporate trough snuffling numpties of the ATA and their public purse sucking consultant leeches.

    If this whole affair does explode in peoples' faces, it could potentially be as big as the Fitzgerald Inquiry.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Kiwiiano,

    It’s age also means most of the bugs have been beaten out of it plus the Black hats are no longer interested.

    Then how about we go back to '95? Or, hey, DOS, while we're at it? By that argument, they must be practically miraculous on "modern gear". Except...oh, wait, '98 doesn't support most modern hardware, because it can't interface with half of it. And if they "beat out all the bugs", why did Microsoft bother switching to the NT architecture for all the following versions of Windows?

    I will concede that there may be specific situations where '98 is useful - if you have legacy software that's incompatible with later versions of Windows, fine. But that's what virtualisation is for. A local government body running all its systems using a OS over a decade old is just shoddy, insecure, and says pretty bad things about their foresight.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Then how about we go back to ’95? Or, hey, DOS, while we’re at it? By that argument, they must be practically miraculous on “modern gear”.

    Actually, they do. Some progs have difficulty with how fast DOS runs, as they’re built with I/O delays to allow for the OS to catch up. I know a few musicians who still have a DOS machine to run MIDI applications that they prefer to more modern stuff. I run a DOS VM on my iMac (with a USB floppy drive) so that I can still access data from the early 90’s that I haven’t migrated yet. And a 3.1 VM, and a 98 VM ;-)

    Except…oh, wait, ’98 doesn’t support most modern hardware, because it can’t interface with half of it.

    More a marketing decision than a technical one. Once new versions of Windows appeared, manufacturers stopped making drivers for the old versions. It might pose a problem if you were to retrofit, but not if you’ve never migrated past 98.

    And if they “beat out all the bugs”, why did Microsoft bother switching to the NT architecture for all the following versions of Windows?

    Because one thing 98 was atrocious at was networking – very flaky and inherent in its design. It was a home OS after all and wasn’t meant for major networking. NT was designed for large scale businesses as MS were making a charge at a portable OS (by portable, I mean across platforms rather than the current trend of putting an OS on a USB key) that was easy to network and create enterprise-level systems.

    Also, 98 was limited by being primarily 16bit, which constrained the amount of memory you could have in a system, the size of files you could store and the size of disks you could connect.

    I will concede that there may be specific situations where ’98 is useful – if you have legacy software that’s incompatible with later versions of Windows, fine. But that’s what virtualisation is for.

    Yes, but that’s only one aspect. Part of the drive to upgrade systems is to cope with new software that gets rewritten to take advantage of new hardware, that is enhanced to push new software blah blah blah. If you don’t need heavy duty processing, you don’t need heavy duty equipment.

    A local government body running all its systems using a OS over a decade old is just shoddy, insecure, and says pretty bad things about their foresight.

    That’s not a clever generalization. Any system can be made secure and new doesn’t always equal better. What is says is more about the budget they had available and how they chose to spend it, but I’m sure the ratepayers of Papakura weren’t too unhappy that their rates weren’t being spent on unnecessary computer upgrades.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2189 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Gracewood,

    And I'm also confused by what the experts are saying here - is half a billion dollars a reasonable price? I get that large scale software implementations are harder than they seem but, really, half a billion?

    No, it's not a reasonable price.

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to nzlemming,

    If you're going to say things like that, Cassandra, you'd better post more often.

    Yeah, nice first post. Did anyone say "Don't be such a Cassandra" about it all, Cassandra?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8615 posts Report Reply

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