During my time working in tech support for a practice software developer following university, it became very apparent just how poorly understood basic computing technology was at the time. Early print editions of Pulse+IT spoke very much about these themes, with practical articles about scanners, monitors, printers, RAID and UPS all garnering lots of interest.
Eleven and a bit years later, computer hardware is rarely even talked about as an issue, with improvements to processing power, memory and storage capacity, and battery life having been so steady over the past decade that it is unlikely that your shiny new device is the limiting factor in your workflows.
By far the most read story this week on Pulse+IT was the sudden resignation of NT Health CIO Stephen Moo, which has come hot on the heels of the similarly unexpected exit from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services of its CIO, Andrew Saunders.
We first heard about Mr Moo's departure through an official email that was sent to us by a valuable source, but neither they nor we were prepared for the revelations in the NT News story that first broke the news on Monday.
We love it when we are perusing what are normally quite boring or opaque documents about health IT and we suddenly stumble across a hidden gem, like the mention in a recent tender for ACT Health that there were file types in a clinical information system that “frankly seem made up”, or in a Hansard transcript of the Senate inquiry into the Medicare number breach in which the RACGP's Rob Hosking used the infamous cone of silence from TV show Get Smart as a metaphor for making security so tight that nothing works anymore.
We couldn't make that hearing last Friday but the transcript makes for interesting reading and Computerworld covered it nicely in two stories, including a report on Dr Hosking's Maxwell Smartism. Reading the Hansard, we must admit we were a bit bemused by one witness who seemed to be recommending that because the My Health Record and the Department of Human Service's HPOS system can't be made 150 per cent secure they should be decommissioned and we should all carry our health information around on a smart card like they do in Germany.