Monday, 24 January 2011


A new box office server has been causing sleepless nights. Essentially what happens is this; the network team is required to run certain bits of equipment that comply with government security regulations. This has all come about since those few data losses government suffered a couple of years ago. A few hundred millions are then thrown at replacing bits of computer equipment around the country. Our box office, which was on a two year old server needed to be changed pronto, or we would be switched off. OK, so we buy a new server, move the software to it and hey presto. That really is all there is to it. However, 14 people, about four companies, acquirers, banks and sundry other individuals become involved and you very quickly understand why government IT projects grow to huge costs and over runs. What also happens is that this army of people begin to use me as the conduit for speaking to everybody else. And of course, they have their own language too. Thousands of emails seem to buzz between us all, cc, bcc, in triplicate, most of them establishing for the sender the position of NOT being responsible for doing something or other. In such circumstances, it isn't very long before my propensity to shout and swear comes to the fore. There is one distinct blessing amid the thousand and one elements of producing opera; it is, almost entirely, a human process. Today the transfer of software finally happens (I think) but there are other elements to complete before we can make a transaction through the bank. And the bank work at their own pace too. Doesn't matter a jot that we own them either.