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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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  #61  
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Keith-369 Keith-369 is offline
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Re: Age-Related Difficulties

In these days of austerity, cutbacks and frugality, our council over the last month or so has announced -

1 - £1m to be spent upgrading a depot which is primarily used to store its vehicle fleet .... whilst it announces it is looking for an alternative site to .... yes, store its vehicle fleet!
2 - £6m to be spent on demolishing a school so that .... it can build a new school on the site!
3 - £1.5m on an 'I.T. refresh' mainly because they are still running desktops and laptops running Win7. Why can't they just do the free update like everyone else has done, including myself. The machines are not used for gaming, they are basically just used for word processing and the like. Any old machine can do that.
4 - £3m on a vehicle fleet upgrade, regardless of whether the vehicles are good, bad, old or new.

What
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Re: Age-Related Difficulties

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Originally Posted by Harold Gough View Post
My wife finally got her prescription today. They had not phoned, as promised, to say they were ready. On checking, there were some pills missing.
As I mentioned before - look into Pharmacy2u!

https://www.pharmacy2u.co.uk/

Jim
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  #63  
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Re: Age-Related Difficulties

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Originally Posted by Keith-369 View Post
In these days of austerity, cutbacks and frugality, our council over the last month or so has announced -

1 - £1m to be spent upgrading a depot which is primarily used to store its vehicle fleet .... whilst it announces it is looking for an alternative site to .... yes, store its vehicle fleet!
2 - £6m to be spent on demolishing a school so that .... it can build a new school on the site!
3 - £1.5m on an 'I.T. refresh' mainly because they are still running desktops and laptops running Win7. Why can't they just do the free update like everyone else has done, including myself. The machines are not used for gaming, they are basically just used for word processing and the like. Any old machine can do that.
4 - £3m on a vehicle fleet upgrade, regardless of whether the vehicles are good, bad, old or new.

What

May I ask what flavour of council this is, or is that a silly question?
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  #64  
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Re: Age-Related Difficulties

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Originally Posted by Keith-369 View Post
In these days of austerity, cutbacks and frugality, our council over the last month or so has announced -

1 - £1m to be spent upgrading a depot which is primarily used to store its vehicle fleet .... whilst it announces it is looking for an alternative site to .... yes, store its vehicle fleet!
2 - £6m to be spent on demolishing a school so that .... it can build a new school on the site!
3 - £1.5m on an 'I.T. refresh' mainly because they are still running desktops and laptops running Win7. Why can't they just do the free update like everyone else has done, including myself. The machines are not used for gaming, they are basically just used for word processing and the like. Any old machine can do that.
4 - £3m on a vehicle fleet upgrade, regardless of whether the vehicles are good, bad, old or new.

What
The IT refresh isnít as simple as it might otherwise sound. Microsoft Licensing is a hugely complex beast for government / local government, to the point where even a Microsoft employee working with the public sector often donít know the various inís and outís.
Windows 7, there is no real excuse as a past project called ĎGovernment Connectí from about 10 years ago should have got a halfway decent IT Dept on the road to much better management of updates and security. We made huge leaps as a direct result of the project.
The free Windows 10 upgrade simply wasnít an option for corporate licensing (or maybe that was duff info from our MS licensing expert)
Many people forget that corporate office computing is a whole different beast from home stuff, you can be stuck with certain versions of, say, the Office suite simply because one critical application needs that version. You canít switch to Linux just like that, believe me, we looked. Youíd also be horrified to learn what some organisations pay MS for licensing. We had about 500 licences and were spending upwards of £80k EVERY year for MS licences. As I left, MS were talking of removing all the discounts (seriously! That cost included some massive discounts) and the cost was looking to go up to around £150K per year!!
Weíre were a small district council, around 500 users, so I dread to think what a County Council would be paying.
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Re: Age-Related Difficulties

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Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
May I ask what flavour of council this is, or is that a silly question?
Labour through and through.

There is a VERY old saying in this town that 'If Labour put a monkey up, they'd vote it in' .... and it's true. They are so secure in this town that they do whatever they want and always get away with it and get re-elected again and again.
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  #66  
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Re: Age-Related Difficulties

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Originally Posted by TimP View Post
The IT refresh isnít as simple as it might otherwise sound. Microsoft Licensing is a hugely complex beast for government / local government, to the point where even a Microsoft employee working with the public sector often donít know the various inís and outís.
Windows 7, there is no real excuse as a past project called ĎGovernment Connectí from about 10 years ago should have got a halfway decent IT Dept on the road to much better management of updates and security. We made huge leaps as a direct result of the project.
The free Windows 10 upgrade simply wasnít an option for corporate licensing (or maybe that was duff info from our MS licensing expert)
Many people forget that corporate office computing is a whole different beast from home stuff, you can be stuck with certain versions of, say, the Office suite simply because one critical application needs that version. You canít switch to Linux just like that, believe me, we looked. Youíd also be horrified to learn what some organisations pay MS for licensing. We had about 500 licences and were spending upwards of £80k EVERY year for MS licences. As I left, MS were talking of removing all the discounts (seriously! That cost included some massive discounts) and the cost was looking to go up to around £150K per year!!
Weíre were a small district council, around 500 users, so I dread to think what a County Council would be paying.
Thanks, Tim. Yes, I appreciate the difficulties but as you say, if they had any sort of IT team, it would have been sorted long ago.

Why they have to buy in and replace machines I don't know. The vast majority are used for word processing and the use of various 'made for purpose' (and I say that VERY lightly) programs. The simplest of machines will do the job.

However, IT has to look as though it's doing a grand job so once in a while they put the scarums up the pants of those who are paid to know but don't have a clue and get loadsa dosh to do these things.
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Re: Age-Related Difficulties

When I left, actually rewind a year as I left due to expensive changes, 90% of the workforce were using virtual desktops, running on 5 or more yr old thin clients. About a dozen people, mostly engineers using AutoCad and the like we’re given small Intel NUC boxes with 16 GB of ram and small SSDs.
As I was leaving and having no influence on new kit, they were staring to get Surface Pro’s for people who claimed to be ‘agile’. Once people realised they could get a shiny new laptop by being agile the demand went through the roof. They spent a fortune to save, overspent by £750K on the website alone (overspent, not total spend) all to the tune of ‘transformation’. If this is going on at every district and county council then the expense and waste is staggering. The money pished away to contractors and ‘adviser’ companies is nothing short of scandalous too.
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  #68  
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Re: Age-Related Difficulties

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Originally Posted by TimP View Post
The IT refresh isn’t as simple as it might otherwise sound. Microsoft Licensing is a hugely complex beast for government / local government, to the point where even a Microsoft employee working with the public sector often don’t know the various in’s and out’s.
Windows 7, there is no real excuse as a past project called ‘Government Connect’ from about 10 years ago should have got a halfway decent IT Dept on the road to much better management of updates and security. We made huge leaps as a direct result of the project.
The free Windows 10 upgrade simply wasn’t an option for corporate licensing (or maybe that was duff info from our MS licensing expert)
Many people forget that corporate office computing is a whole different beast from home stuff, you can be stuck with certain versions of, say, the Office suite simply because one critical application needs that version. You can’t switch to Linux just like that, believe me, we looked. You’d also be horrified to learn what some organisations pay MS for licensing. We had about 500 licences and were spending upwards of £80k EVERY year for MS licences. As I left, MS were talking of removing all the discounts (seriously! That cost included some massive discounts) and the cost was looking to go up to around £150K per year!!
We’re were a small district council, around 500 users, so I dread to think what a County Council would be paying.

Imagine the savings if a council moved the majority of its administration staff across to Raspberry Pi's running Rasbian Linux. Rasbian comes Free and includes Libre Office which is almost identical to MS Office and it can open and write Office files. There would be no licensing costs and even if they used the top end RPi with SSD's the cost of each one would be less than £100. All it needs is to have some knowledgeable sysadmin to make sure the network works OK.
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Re: Age-Related Difficulties

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All it needs is to have some knowledgeable sysadmin to make sure the network works OK.
In many Councils, sadly that is probably the biggest stumbling block to overcome. They seem to rarely employ "Qualified Experts" on the workforce maybe because the remuneration offered to them falls way below what is expected, preferring to pay massive salaries to unqualified Management instead.

Jax
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Re: Age-Related Difficulties

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Originally Posted by Jax View Post
In many Councils, sadly that is probably the biggest stumbling block to overcome. They seem to rarely employ "Qualified Experts" on the workforce maybe because the remuneration offered to them falls way below what is expected, preferring to pay massive salaries to unqualified Management instead.

Jax
I think you have hit the nail on the head. The use of IT consultants in the public sector is ridiculous. Its become accepted as the norm and huge amounts of money are being wasted. There is almost a closed shop of "approved" consultants that simply make sure their gravy train continues. If you pay peanuts for your own experts then guess what you get?
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Re: Age-Related Difficulties

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Originally Posted by wornish View Post
I think you have hit the nail on the head. The use of IT consultants in the public sector is ridiculous. Its become accepted as the norm and huge amounts of money are being wasted. There is almost a closed shop of "approved" consultants that simply make sure their gravy train continues. If you pay peanuts for your own experts then guess what you get?
In the local council I have knowledge of, the majority of " Managers " had no formal qualifications relating to their positions. The person in charge of road and street layout and planning made a massive error resulting in a cost of hundreds thousands of pounds and the newly completed work having to be ripped up and re done. This, despite being told and warned by his underlings that his plans breached EU rules. As always, nothing happened to him and as far as I know he is still in the same management position. The person in charge of IT and council security is an ex painter and decorator. Within councils it's not a matter of what you know and how qualified you are but simply a matter of Who You Know


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  #72  
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Re: Age-Related Difficulties

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Originally Posted by Jax View Post
In many Councils, sadly that is probably the biggest stumbling block to overcome. They seem to rarely employ "Qualified Experts" on the workforce maybe because the remuneration offered to them falls way below what is expected, preferring to pay massive salaries to unqualified Management instead.

Jax
Unfortunately, much of the I.T. staff actually become to think they are 'experts'.
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Re: Age-Related Difficulties

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Unfortunately, much of the I.T. staff actually become to think they are 'experts'.
That is not a syndrome only found in Councils, it covers most walks of life. Having exceeded my allotted span of 3 score and ten, I am now rapidly becoming an expert in medicines and medical procedures some of which involves strange forms of photography

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  #74  
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Re: Age-Related Difficulties

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That is not a syndrome only found in Councils, it covers most walks of life. Having exceeded my allotted span of 3 score and ten, I am now rapidly becoming an expert in medicines and medical procedures some of which involves strange forms of photography

Jax
After three score years and ten, you are entitled to.

I'm talking about the youngsters who have come out of Uni with a degree in computer science but very little common sense and knowledge of the day to day workings of I.T departments in big business or councils and after a year or so changing faulty meeces , leads, hard drives etc. think they are the mutts nuts.
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  #75  
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Re: Age-Related Difficulties

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Originally Posted by wornish View Post
Imagine the savings if a council moved the majority of its administration staff across to Raspberry Pi's running Rasbian Linux. Rasbian comes Free and includes Libre Office which is almost identical to MS Office and it can open and write Office files. There would be no licensing costs and even if they used the top end RPi with SSD's the cost of each one would be less than £100. All it needs is to have some knowledgeable sysadmin to make sure the network works OK.
Nice thought but not likely to happen. So many enterprise applications rely on Windows and Office. Licensing thatís free for an individual usually isnít free for an organisation. Livre Office almost certainly wonít support necessary links and plug-ins needed for corporate apps. It only takes one mission critical program needing Windows and your utopian idea is scuppered.
This has been looked at many times over the years, including within the organisation I worked for.
You need to be able to support it for years to come, with people sourced from wherever, not by hobbyists. Donít forget, as an example, Benefits recipients need to be able to rely on the systems working to pay their benefits (donít get me started!).
Security needs to be paramount, data needs enterprise grade backups.
Believe me, we looked, we quickly realised it wasnít practically possible and quickly moved on. Enterprise IT isnít just scaled up home computing (unfortunately!)
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