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Published in: on February 1, 2009 at 12:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Week’s holiday, thoughts on computers

I’ve been very lazy about blogging for a while so I’d better get my finger(s) out and write something. We’ve had the week off,hence the change in the weather. Not having to go to work makes me realise how much I’m looking forward to retiring! I can’t say I’ve actually done anything this week apart from some taxi-ing. Jen’s car decided to die on her and , as she had exams, I was pressed into service driving backwards and forwards to Henley. The garage initially thought they could repair the car, but after a couple of days they decided it would need a reconditioned engine which would cost more than the car was worth. Jenny was very sad because she loved her car, named Pierre. He was a Corsa, special euro 1998 job apparently. Having lost all her clothes etc because of the sinking of the Sea Diamond, losing her car made her even more fed up.

On Thursday, I go in touch with the chap who had sold us two cars before and he had a Daewoo Matisse available,so we bought it! We took delivery of it on Thursday, just like that. It’s a nice little car, hopefully it’ll last her a long time. On Friday we sorted out the tax and confirmed the insurance. So, you see, I seem to have spent a lot of time on car related business.

Apache had another scan but there isn’t much going on in there so she’s got to be scanned again in a week to see if she’s coming into season again. Apparently the Royal Veterinary College have been in touch with our vet to see how Apache is as she is an unusual case. I fear she is going to be an expensive case too!

I was wondering what all these clever people who’s Twitters I read would have been if there weren’t any computers to work on. Would they have been physicists or mathematicians?

It would have been my Dad’s birthday today. He was a physicist. I know he would have loved all the modern technology. Computers were in their infancy in “his day”. I remember him taking me to ICI to see the computers. They were in a huge room in enormous cabinets with reel to reel. They produced vast quantities of paper and it was quite exciting to be given some to draw on.

When I used to work in a surgery in Slough we were doing a drug trial and we were given a small computer to put data on. The idea was that the patients could put their own details on it. Trouble was , it was a bear of very little brain and we had to get our practice manager’s son in to tweak some more space on it!

After a while we got a computer at the surgery.The software wasn’t that brilliant and the helpline was unhelpful. Hang on, hang on, hang on and then, “We’re very busy, go away!”

I think it was a con when they said that the system wouldn’t be able to cope with the year 2000. (All that panic and expense , it turned out that the only problem was that you had to put 199whatever in full but you could put 00, 01 or 02.) We had to have new everything and that was a right mess. We received all the hardware but the driver who brought it refused to carry it upstairs. A couple of patients stole a computer but the practice manager (not the one with the geek son), ran down the road after them and demanded that they give it back and they did!

As for installation, that was a cock up too. An engineer was off sick and so we missed our day.A lady came to install the software but she ended up doing the computer installation, climbing under desks with her mobile clamped to her ear whilst instructions were given to her. At one point , engineers were given accommodation miles away because no one at their company had bothered to work out where Slough was!

Not long after this we were all made redundant as the surgery was sold off for redevelopment. I never got to grips with that system but by then, I was already working at my husband’s surgery where we had EMIS installed which is infinitely better because it is software designed by a doctor, not an accountant.

Recently, the health authority for East Berkshire has become Berkshire East and all the surgeries have had their systems changed , I think to Vision. My GP has always used that system but I think EMIS is better. What a colossal waste of money, that’s the sort of thing that eats up the money in the NHS. Perhaps I won’t get started on that now!

Published in: on May 12, 2007 at 5:28 pm  Leave a Comment