[H-GEN] In office scheduling program...
ajdraper at uq.net.au
Thu Jun 1 18:37:18 EDT 2000
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> One day I'd like someone to take me through the logic that shows
> intuitiveness is (the best|the only|a reasonable) measure of
> the ease of use and general worthiness of any given piece of software.
In response to this, from a management perspective, a business would
adopt an inferior product if it required less staff training and
offered the features desired or close to it (more or less).
In my line of work, people still deal in pen and paper. They are
mostly the sorts of people who can't/won't program their VCR too.
For me to train staff myself is too costly, and I can't afford to pay
someone else to do it. They need to be capable of working it out for
themselves with only a little bit of initial assistance, such that
they are able to perform the bulk of their work. The merit value of a
software application is the time cost in its use. Sure, MS Office 2000
almost needs a supercomputer and a personal loan to buy and run it,
but it lets almost any dribbling idiot perform "real" work quickly.
With that in mind, there needs to be a structured logic present within
the user interface that allows people to guess where the feature
lives. That's why intuition is important in "productivity" (read
office administration) applications. I don't want to see a linux app
with dogs or paperclips. People can learn a logical system fairly
rapidly, but it needs to be quick to operate if they will stick to
Where I will be working, I want to introduce some office automation
and new initiatives aimed primarily at making my job easier -
especially in relation to appointing and in tracking outstanding or
I want to take my appointment book on the road too. Check what I'll be
doing tomorrow, next week, next year from the comfort and privacy of
home. Change or add things at home, then sync it with the server. MS
products offer much of that functionality, but I don't want to use it
from personal preference. Lotus has a similar windows based product.
Again, we're talking about a small business. We don't need
functionality to support hundreds, and can't afford to pay that
StarOffice 5.1 looks nice, is easy to use and has multiplatform
support. Ok, so it's not "free" free software, but I don't mind that
much on that issue. It is relatively cheap too for the bundle with the
schedule server. I just want to hear if it does the job or is there
something better out there.
I have just started to fiddle a little with postgres, and this may
turn out to be a decent solution for the guts of a calendar server
backend... although this is probably serious overkill, and involves a
lot of work to integrate this, and me learning sql and a programming
language also. Time is the main issue for me.
Let's bring these things into the public, argue, debate and maybe
we'll get some interest going and might even create a new solution, or
discover a perfect one is already out there.
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