Managing Data and Software


Before looking into data and software management, let us find out what is disturbing Mr. Croft of Croft Constructions. He and his employees seem to be having problems using computers in their office. The problems are related to managing data and software. Here are the problems as described by them.

Croft: On Thursday, I employed Sally, and decided to put her to work on the computer immediately. As Betty was using one of the machines, I asked her to use the other. This machine did not have MS Word. So I took out the original diskettes and began to load MS Word. To my dismay, I found that the diskettes were corrupted. I called up my software dealer and got another copy the next day. This meant a day wasted for Sally.

Betty: Mr. Croft wanted a list of clients based in New York. I had been updating the database file on both machines and could not remember which machine I had worked on last. As a result, I had to manually check the files. A waste of time and effort. Further, Mr. Croft does not want information about his clients falling into unauthorized hands. I keep files containing client information only on floppy disks, which means unloading and loading the diskettes each time I want to update the files,

Sally: As I was typing a letter for Mr. Croft, I found the message, Your PC is now STONED!', displayed on the screen. As I did not know what it was, I ignored it. Later Mr. Croft discovered that it was a virus. We had to do a major cleaning operation to get rid of the infection.

The above situation highlights some common problems of data and software maintenance. These problems can be easily rectified by maintaining multiple copies of data and software, hiding files containing confidential information and protecting files from viruses. These and related issues will form the contents of this session.