In IT there is the concept of a workaround (I am sure there are many other walks of like that have them). This is when whatever it is you want to do won’t work the way it should, so you have to use some canny (often hacky) method to achieve your goal. You could liken it to a diversion.

Hannah has been using the PatientLine system in hospital. The concept is great, a good use of technology to deliver TV and internet to every bed. It is very expensive (and the company is losing money) and, in Hannah’s case, it’s broken. The TV works, but the handset that has the keyboard doesn’t talk to the system, so the internet doesn’t work. Apparently it needs someone from ‘national’ to come and fix it. She had a go at them down the phone about it and requested some kind of reduction, given the lesser service and the fact she has been in hospital for a while and will be a little longer. They said they would send the local manager to sort something out, but the weiner hasn’t turned up.

So I thought of a workaround, which was to get a USB TV receiver for Hannah’s laptop. We wandered into PC World and looked at the prices. In the end I was put off by the fact that all the receivers are USB 2 and Hannah’s laptop is a bit slow and is probably USB 1.1. We could have bought a PCIMIA USB 2 card, but that would have been an extra £30 on top of £30-50 for the TV receiver. At that cost, we decided against. Of course, if someone wants to persuade me of the genius of PC-based digital TV, I could be swayed.


One Response to “Workaround”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Happy Father’s Day, Kieron! Glad babe’s still “inside”! How about a cheapo, small, portable DVD player (I think you can get them from Currys or Halfords) … and then Hannah could watch or re-watch all the films that she won’t have time to see once babe debuts? Has to be better than daytime TV! Alternatively a visit to a fishmonger would provide a satisfying way of slapping the Patientline representative with a wet haddock! It’s “Uncle” Joshy’s 10th birthday today; “Grandpa” Jack is in Germany, but we all send our love to you! WSM xxx

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