GBU

Good

Fast-food chain’s new restocking system uses faxed orders that are fed into a handwriting-recognition system. And it tests out fine — until it hits the real world. “When the orders show up at the store, managers find that instead of 30 cases of hamburgers, they have 30 cases of scrub pads,” says IT. “And 60 cases of fries didn’t show up at all because the system did not recognise the numbers.” Everyone is working overtime to correct the mistakes. And the new system? IT reports, “It’s been temporarily put on hold.”

Bad

If your mobile telephone rings, you had better answer it because it just might be a message from God. Yep it’s more important than a call from the CEO and is a new text message service launched last week that allows mobile phone users to receive bible passages direct to their handsets. The service was developed by religious group Church Resources, whose chief executive Father Michael Kelly said mobile phones offer an immediate and very personal way of engaging with people. However, it is only available to those on the Telstra network.

Ugly

Software upgrades can be bad enough at times without the additional help of a freak storm. Victoria’s triple-O emergency call service initially delayed its upgrade due to a storm warning, but after receiving new advice from the weather bureau that all was OK went ahead with the project only to confront an extreme thunderstorm. Despite employing additional staff to cope with mother nature’s wrath it was too late to unload what had started and reinstall the old system so 000 callers were left waiting up to 41 minutes in the height of the storm. Emergency services commissioner Bruce Esplin said all attempts were in place to make sure it was done responsibly and without risk to public safety or degradation of call times, but the “level of help was higher than could have possibly been predicted”. “I think the issue is simply the sheer size and scale of the event; it was unprecedented and by our analysis of all the data it was five to six times greater than any extreme event call-taking volume ever created before,” he said. The number of calls on that night were 17 times the average for that time of day and Esplin attributed the software upgrade problems to a “freak weather event”. That’s the best excuse I have heard yet!

E-mails to Sandra_Rossi@idg.com.au

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