Re: Options are always good
Anything's better than Office (i assume you meant MS Office) if you don't have the cash lying about to buy/rent a fully licensed copy of MS Office.
603 posts • joined 10 Aug 2009
My wife trained as a Secondary School teacher after her degree. She spent a year on how to teach and how to use the equipment she would be expected to use when she taught (science teacher, so complicated stuff).
I worked at a University Lab where this year's PhD students became next year's lecturers, without any teaching training other than what they remembered from being lectured at by the last lot (who had been trained "on the job" same as them...)
Oh, did you know our infection control nurse? When she complained that her email "was full", the office manager solved the problem by emptying her trash folder. Cue screams of anguish and a sheepish call to Computer Services (who did restore the stuff, but kept it for a week without giving it back)
I'd like to think that IC nurse (who knew nothing) and office manager (who thought she knew everything) learned a lesson, but realistically I had to accept that they didn't.
When I first got my IT support job (sole computer literate person in a diagnostic Microbiology lab with a university component), I was asked to give our Honours students a brief talk on how to use a computer and especially Word for Windows. (at the time, we had three Windows 3.11 pcs for the use of 6 students and some staff).
I chose instead to do a talk on file handling and how not to lose your work when you take a floppy out of the drive before Word was ready to let you.
I decided to do this after I checked the pcs after a couple of weeks of a new term and found all sorts of crap on the root of C:, in spite of everyone having a network login and storage space to themselves. I also had to separate two guys fighting over a machine which had somebody's files on root.
The ones who paid attention never came to me with corrupted files on floppy, the guys who fell asleep -- well...
"...Providing better working conditions for nurses, giving them the pay rise they deserve,..."
Providing better working conditions for nurses etc, giving them the pay rise they deserve,
Fixed that, by the way, I agree and also upvoted you.
[disclaimer: I worked in a lab for 48 years -- yes I am old, why?]
Connecting a lump of diagnostic equipment in a medical lab to it's associated computer and a second computer that fed the signals to a database for storage (don't ask me why it needed two, you'd have to ask the manufacturer (to protect the innocent, they weren't called Costello...)) was carried out using an octopus of cables with identical connectors on the ends, some of which were serial (small RS232) for the PCs, some were propriety to fit the sockets on the analyser. They were identified with these little shrink tabs on each end which was frickin useless when you were crawling behind this thing (space is always tight in a Microbiology lab which was designed before we progressed beyond Pasteur and into the machine age) to determine which plug goes into which socket. Phone support from the company tried their best, but each installation in the country had a unique set of connections depending on Lab systems and other ancillaries... Took me three days per machine. (we had three analysers)
Then just before I retired, they added a new technological identification system that required yet another PC and connection, two of which had dual serial cards and one had a USB-serial converter...
And don't ask me what IT services said when I explained the need for yet another node point...for three analysers...
Two things stick out from your post.
First, it is impossible to run anything with just the specialist staff. The NHS NEEDS cleaners, porters, secretaries IT staff, Lab support workers etc. These are the lowest paid of the staff budget and either have a high turnover, or rely on the dedication and good will of the workers (which is not any less from ancillary staff than clinically facing staff)
Second, I agree about the cost of high-level administrators, but the sad truth is that good administrators cost money, and the best ones we had were wooed away to industry or other NHS Trusts for a higher salary than they were currently getting. The catchphrase is "if you want industry-quality administration, you have to pay industry salaries"
Everyone else (except Doctors, who opted out), are on standard payscales (used to be Agenda For Change, don't know what they are now.)
--> me putting on my Howie (https://www.workinstyle.com/howie-lab-coat.html) coat (in the days when I wore one...)
My first job (in 1971) was in a diagnostic Microbiology Lab, based in a University building basement. The edges of the benches all had little burn marks where the fags had been carefully left on the bench and burned down, yes, even the faeces bench...
One consultant Bacteriologist used to carry an ashtray into the lab with him.
--> Doctor Green smoking his pipe.
Pale Moon didn't break your extensions. Mozilla massively changed the extension protocol and some of the extension maintainers didn't want to support XUL and the new firefox eco system.
Feel free to fork your favourite extension so they still work in Pale Moon though.
Also see https://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=23697
As an ex-labtech/it support guy for the NHS, I assumed the article meant Diagnostic Pathology Lab rather than a business.
If so (I'm making a lot of assumptions here, I know) then the regular report was probably the Cancer Registry.
If you work in NHS diagnostic pathology and someone asks for help with that particular report database, then you give it gladly...
Altruism rules OK!
I once spent an interesting journey in the back of a wooden framed Morris Traveller a friend was restoring. She (the driver) had rallied extensively round the Scottish Borders and had trained Him (the navigator) to shout out the direction and degree of upcoming turns at a predetermined distance.
This makes for the most invigorating(?) journey through Angus country roads I've ever had.
[Note for anyone who's never driven in Angus: the roads are routinely twisty, and if you see a sign indicating a bend ahead, they really, really mean it! (see selected icon)]
The Amstrad CPCs played Elite very well, even including a handy bug involving approaching a station at high velocity then hitting hyperspace at just the right moment resulted in a docking computer-free dock.
(IIRC it was a long time ago (and in a galaxy...))
Nostalgia buffs can also experience the thrill of manual docking in Oolite...
BSFA members will of course remember Bob Shaw's innovative suggestion that they should use the pee as a reaction fluid. Harnessing the fluid-multiplying effects of beer, his ship the Urin-8 had a bar at one end and reaction propellant tanks at the other...
(he also speculated on Scottie's reaction to Kirk needing more power from the engines...)
"The guy's here with the new analyser and he needs a network connection"
"Well we'll need a node livened by IT, that usually take a couple of days if they're not busy rolling out COVID testing gear"
"Could you not phone Denise and ask her nicely?"
"I could've if you'd asked me yesterday, or last week would've been better. When did you know we were getting this?"
I cured a glitchy CRT (the picture wobbled at about 50Hz) by nipping into the lab next door (after hours) and moving a lab waterbath (which have a big stirrer inside driven by -obviously- an electric motor) from the adjoining wall to other wall.
(Note: after hours because the inhabitants of the lab had refused to move the bloody thing when asked...)
Next day -
Did you move that waterbath?
I think MyPal (a Pale Moon fork) is frowned on by the people who forked Firefox into Pale Moon due to not adhering to the Open Source licensing that Pale Moon uses.
TL;DR I can't be bothered looking it up, but they're arguing about it somewhere.
NB: Pale Moon does everything I need it to, but beware! Redditors don't like it...
As the only IT support with the necessary Lab experience to manage the IT effectively, I gave the department 2 years notice that I was thinking of retiring and a year to say I was going and that they should maybe give me back the one enthusiastic staff member who was at all interested in doing dual IT and Microbiology. (he had been taken away when the Lab Manager went off sick and the deputy (who hated "they computer thingys") grabbed my apprentice back.)
This was ignored by the Lab Manager.
A month before I went, the clinical director stopped me in the corridor and asked who was to replace me. I shrugged and said that she'd have to ask the Lab Manager about that, but that I knew that the others in my lab team (in a different discipline, but also tasked with IT) would help out where necessary.
Cue large explosion in the management team.
I did leave a textfile with hints...
"The Aldi-Lidl Islay malts are guid."
I must have got a duff one then. After finishing off the bottle (not in one sitting!!) I hated it so much that I didn't mind paying for a genuine Laphroaig to take the taste away.
I did get a nice and cheap 12 year old Islay malt from Tesco some years back, but that batch is long gone (rumoured to have been found in a warehouse and sold to Tesco) and their current cheapo Islay malt tastes like a cheapo Islay malt...
I would hope that any intelligent person who is planning to work anywhere else would self-censor on social media. I'm not involved in interviewing potential staff anymore, but I know I would think twice about employing someone who was shouting profanity about their current employer on a regular basis.
Ah, the Amiga power supply! Happy memories. One of ours died, so after making sure that a PC power supply would supply the right set of voltages (if wired up correctly), I nipped down to Computer Services at work and "rescued" a condemned (because of old age) PC from their stonehenge of machines that they kept meaning to get rid of...
Once I got it home, I discovered that this predated modular power supplies and the gubbins was just plonked in the case as a set of components that needed the whole case to work... It was the weekend, the kids wanted their Amiga back and so I just shrugged and persevered. The wiring went beautifully, but I had to tie an old PC desktop case (with nothing in it except power supply) to the back of the desk with a bit of plastic clothesline I had lying about.
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