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NHS software attack

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Re: NHS software attack

Postby atticus » Sat May 13, 2017 10:00 am

A1: Are you sure the taxpayer is paying for the software that has not been renewed.

A2: all areas of government activity are suffering from budget cuts.
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Re: NHS software attack

Postby Hairyloon » Sat May 13, 2017 10:22 am

atticus wrote:A1: Are you sure the taxpayer is paying for the software that has not been renewed...

Are you sure that none of the software they are still paying for is not obsolete? Do no taxpayer funded institutions use Windows 2000 or Vista?

A2: all areas of government activity are suffering from budget cuts

All the more reason to use free software where appropriate.
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Re: NHS software attack

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Sat May 13, 2017 10:30 am

There's no such thing as free software.
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Re: NHS software attack

Postby atticus » Sat May 13, 2017 10:33 am

Free software rarely comes with warranty or support. Is this what government really should be using? Imagine yourself as the minister defending that decision to John Humphrys.
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Re: NHS software attack

Postby Hairyloon » Sat May 13, 2017 10:33 am

Smouldering Stoat wrote:There's no such thing as free software.

You're thinking of lunch.
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Re: NHS software attack

Postby Hairyloon » Sat May 13, 2017 10:38 am

atticus wrote:Free software rarely comes with warranty or support. Is this what government really should be using?

Then go with the rare ones: for example.

Imagine yourself as the minister defending that decision to John Humphrys.

Should I imagine myself as a Conservative Minister or a Labour one? Either would be a massive stretch, but the defence would start with how any millions of pounds we saved and the advantages for education.
You would need to clarify what went wrong such that it needed defending if you want to further that line of discussion.
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Re: NHS software attack

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Sat May 13, 2017 10:41 am

It doesn't come with support. People don't know how to use it so productivity drops: that's a cost. There are fewer people who can use and maintain it, so market forces mean that they can sell their services for a higher price.

That's the trouble with free software: it's just so damned expensive.
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Re: NHS software attack

Postby Hairyloon » Sat May 13, 2017 10:45 am

Smouldering Stoat wrote:It doesn't come with support.

Yes it does. What support are you after that you think it doesn't have.

People don't know how to use it so productivity drops: that's a cost...

That is similar to saying that ministers all have to drive Bentleys because they don't know how to drive fiestas. The user interfaces are generally very similar.

There are fewer people who can use and maintain it, so market forces mean that they can sell their services for a higher price.

That is poppycock. Any IT professional worth a damn probably uses Linux for preference anyway.
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Re: NHS software attack

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Sat May 13, 2017 11:40 am

Of course it doesn't come with the same support. I've got a warranty from Microsoft and if I've got a problem I can ring them up. We have proprietary systems at work which we've chosen specifically because their suppliers can offer 24 hour support.

Yes, the user interfaces of free and open-source software may be essentially similar. But people don't use software because of the interface: they use it because it's reliable and will do what they want predictably. At the moment Open Office and Libre Office don't do that - if you switch between them and MS products they'll behave unpredictably. Hell, they don't always deal with their own files properly all the time. And even if they could, just a few minutes a day of lower productivity per user adds up to a lot in big organisations. Honestly, the world runs on Word and Excel for good reasons, and not because we're all stupid.

I have three stepsons who work in IT - one for the Police and two in financial services - and none of them would touch linux with a bargepole. I've used it myself in the past to their universal derision. It's buggy, littered with unpatched exploits, and - again - productivity falls because people are unfamiliar with it. There's not so much malware but that's largely because so few people use it.
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Re: NHS software attack

Postby Hairyloon » Sat May 13, 2017 11:50 am

Smouldering Stoat wrote:At the moment Open Office and Libre Office don't do that - if you switch between them and MS products they'll behave unpredictably. Hell, they don't always deal with their own files properly all the time.


I have had that exact experience with MS Office: I concede that they may have sorted that out by now.
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