Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Here’s to more software powerful user workstations

Instead of stripping down user workstations as some on this list have suggested, we ought to increase the software power of our user workstations. Why not include more tools than just the MS Office applications (like better graphics software- not just paint- to start with)? What do you think?

Name With-held
Friday, February 14, 2003

More power to this idea! I had to download The Gimp at work to do some of the little stuff I was asked to do by my non-technical manager and wished I had a little more power.

I don’t understand why someone in a previous thread wanted to get rid of Access.

Our office manager built a database to hold the information that our office used to keep on scads of paper. I built an Access database to hold the little daily things I do in preparation for writing my portion of my yearly employee review- it makes these little notes quick and painless to write. I threw together a quickie Excel spreadsheet to keep track of the AS400 support calls (name & ext of support person). There are tons of these types of things being created every day and it is a good thing.

I can’t imagine what drives Crusty to think that the data in Access is some kind of holy grail. Our *real* business data is virtually inaccessible to the average power user on the AS400. I know I could get unauthorized data off the 400, but I don’t need Access to do that and that’s a different subject.

Most of the data in Access databases on desktops in most companies isn’t worth all the worry. Most companies in the US are not IBM, Microsoft sized companies. Most of these companies are small with a few to a few hundred employees and don’t have the CIA’s need for secrecy or security.

Our receptionist keeps track of her packages (US mail, FedEx, UPS, etc) through one of these little databases.  Why give people like her grief?

I would wager most of the data in Access databases in these companies is harmless.

Some who have posted before would be very happy to return to the “green screen” days of supercomputers and dumb terminals. I say: Long live the non-normalized database used to record office supplies orders and the like.

WNC
Friday, February 14, 2003

"I don’t understand why someone in a previous thread wanted to get rid of Access."

You're correct about that.

I tend to think most of the flack I got on this forum about that was because many here are devlopers of desktop apps and don't like to see centralized management. 

Without centralized management, desktop developers can sell to workgroups etc easier.  Nothing wrong with that, but when a company gets over say 50 seats and more than one geographical location, centralized management is about the only way to keep your sanity.

And yes, not all data is top secret.

Crusty Admin
Friday, February 14, 2003

Depends whether they want it supported or not. Is the IT department supposed to hold everyones hand when their pet Northwind goes down?


Friday, February 14, 2003

"Long live the non-normalized database used to record office supplies orders and the like."

One day you'll learn
        

Fred
Friday, February 14, 2003

Well written, WNC.

Regarding IT:  Just establish a policy that user-installed software is not supported by IT.  Easy enough.

I would like to see a richer set of software on my PC, as a standard.  It's incredibly annoying to take screenshots without something like Photoshop.  Why not install a free alternative on all desktops, standard?

If I were running IT in such an environment, I'd establish a policy that IT will only support all this extra software if it breaks; no tutorials or hand-holding.  And if I were a user in this environment, I'd be content with that policy.

Brent P. Newhall
Friday, February 14, 2003

My brother works at a company that has a policy allowing you to install non-approved software on your machine. But if it screws up your machine, and IT has to fix it, they'll charge your department a hefty fee ($500?).  Tends to make people think twice before installing random software.

Bobaroo
Saturday, February 15, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home