Ah memories! It's the mid-1980s, and this company's engineering department has its own computer: a 20-year-old General Electric model with all of 16KB of donut core memory. "The maintenance agreement was up for its five-year renewal, and our manager was astounded by the figures he saw," says IT who was there. "He told the salesman, 'You're quoting $US150,000 a year, plus parts. For that kind of money, I can buy a new PDP-11!' The salesman replied, 'I wish you would.' The new computer was up and running two months later."


A user calls IT and asks to have some reports reprinted. "These lists are printed once a quarter and consist of 10,000 pages, with an average of two pages per client," says IT who fields the call and orders the reprinting. "The lists are also on our intranet as PDF files. Two days later, I saw that user in the hall pushing a cart filled with paper. Aren't those the lists I got for you two days ago? I asked. "Yes," he responded, "but I only need the lists of a single client. I'm bringing these to the shredder."


It's the early 1990s, and this Cobol developer skips lunches and works late nights and weekends to finish 18 similar reports that one department says are needed urgently. A few weeks later, IT asks a user how the reports are performing. "The user told me they only wanted a couple of the reports, but they had asked for all 18 because they were undecided which would be the most useful," says stunned IT. "They were running two of them and mothballed the other 16, never to be used again."

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