Wednesday, 26 April 2006

Wish list of an ideal technical working environment

Here is a wish list for information worker like me.

Screen estate
Current situation: I am using two monitors attached to my laptop running XP, another monitor for my miniMac and a fourth one connected to Ubuntu.
Improvement I would like: I can move documents between my two monitors on XP quite easily, but need to go through the network if I want to move documents between system. [status: clumsy yes] --> I would like to have clip board ACROSS computer so that I can cut and paste a selection from one document in one system to another. [status: not yet]--> one set of keyboard and mouse for all three systems. [status: use ]
Reason: We have limited short-term memory. Our productivity will significantly increased by having information available within visual range. see also The Virtues of a Second Screen

Network Connectivity
Current situation: Work stations connected either via wireless or wired Ethernet. They are connected to my servers via wired Ethernet. I am also connected to Internet via two board band ISPs.
Improvement I would like: Auto-switching and load balancing between the ISPs. [status: solution existed - need my own IP address instead of those supplied by ISP in order to load balance and auto ISP switching] --> Higher connection speed [status: in progress]
Reason:ISPs in Australia are not reliable enough. I have had both connections down at the same time before! I am thinking of adding a connection to Internet via other means such as wireless board band.

Current situation: Voice over IP using skype, IM, web cam on my XP; landline and mobile to telephone network, a dedicated fax line
Improvement I would like: Integrated
Reason: If these are converged into one set, is would be more cost effective.

Power supply
Current situation: Servers with UPS protection up to 30 minutes, XP laptop with battery, no protection for miniMac and Ubuntu
Improvement I would like: UPS for all
Reason: :-)

Data backup
Current situation: manual if I can remember
Improvement I would like: automatic realtime off-site backup --> reduntant disks in all system
Reason: Backup is necessary, but human nature is just not the best fit for routine jobs like that.

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