Digressions and Diatribes

by Kort E Patterson

If you thought landing a man on the moon was expensive, it was cheap compared to getting onto the information superhighway. A new report says that the cost of constructing the information superhighway will be $40 to $50 billion dollars. Most of the cost will go to re-cabling American homes. Analysts say that the heavy debt burden created by the huge costs may make the using the information highway very expensive.

Computer Chronicles, PBS Broadcast, August 14, 1994

You can fool some of the people all of the time, or all of the people some of the time - either way will keep you in power through the next elections.

Benny Hill

I was intending to conjure up another of my infamous rambling diatribes full of vinegar and vitriol for this pre-election issue, but time constraints frustrated my latest egregious abuse of editorial privilege. I'll have to catch up next time....

For the last 2 years I've been working on 2 concurrent computer software projects that have both reached commercial release stage in the last month. It's like having twins. As the intellectual parent of these darling little tykes, I can't resist the temptation to tell you about them. Like any gushing mother/grandmother, I have a whole stack of baby photo's (screen prints), but (fortunately for you) I won't be able to show them to you in the limited space of this column....

The first project is a major upgrade of the existing Inspection Network incorporating annotated graphics in inspection reports. (Annotated graphics are pictures with tagged points of interest, title, caption, framing, shading, etc. - The creature is learning to draw!) Overall Technology Inc. operates the Inspection Network and will handle the commercial aspects of the new version.

The second project is the "Issues" computer aided negotiation system. Issues is a new concept in computer software that I hope will be just the first in a long line of products in the "computer aided human relations" field.

While I can boast of writing all of the code for Issues, the project was actually a joint effort between myself and the principals of Deschutes Software Inc. (1-800-831-3982). Ken Cox of Deschutes originally proposed the project and has been its chief champion all along. His converging timelines have brought him and his family both a new "digital child" and a new "organic child" (their third) at roughly the same time. It will be interesting to see which new addition costs him the most lost sleep.

As Port of Call was going to press, I received a hot news flash. Deschutes Software Inc. made its first sale of Issues. The company that bought the first system was a large firm engaged in genetic engineering. Operating at the cutting edge of technology, the company is staffed with high powered people with highly developed egos to match. The management is expecting Issues to help get past all the ego conflicts and solve their underlying operations and personnel problems quickly and efficiently. For some reason, the company management would rather have their valuable employees concentrating on making scientific progress instead of stirring the caldron of office politics.

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