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The curse of automation — 7 Comments

  1. I worked in an overseas unit of a large US company back in the 80s. We were required to submit a monthly operations report to HQ which took one and a half work days to print with someone standing by swapping floppies in an IBM AT desktop.

    i decided one month to omit the largest, most useless part of the report and waited for the flak. Nothing happened. Three months later I took out another piece with the same result. By the end of the year we stopped sending it and no one ever complained. I was often tempted to ask why no one was noticing our shrinking report, but was afraid to ask in case it had to be reinstated

    • Those reports are produced simply because they can be produced.  “Oh look!  We can correlate the number of paperclips used with the monthly production figures, cross referenced by the office temperature.  Let’s do it!”.  I doubt anyone actually reads them [unless they want to prove their own little pet theories].

  2. They’ll design massive computers to analyse all the tedious analysts, bean counters and supervisors. The computer printout will blankly state: fire the goddam lotI’m going home for my tea.

  3. As a trainee comp op back in the 80s we used to play a game of star trek on a honey well mainframe. (evening shift)  No screen, it used a line printer after every move to show your quadrant position in the universe. Went through boxes of the stuff!

    • Hah!  I haven’t heard of that game before.  I used to mess around with Colossal Cave but never managed to get through the maze of tunnels bit.

      XYZZY.

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