An interview was arranged with Mr.
Mark Glasse, the system administrator, in his office. It proceeded as follows: Q: How long have you been working here, Mr. Glasse? A: Its been around four years since I started wok for the school. Q: How many times has the system been updated since you started work? A: We’ve updated thrice so far. Q: What changes had been made during these updates?A: Well, once we had to increase our disk space to around 10 GB to cope with increased student information on Health Cards, as was required by a new Government law. Another time we had to modify our input procedure, it being too manual, with almost unnecessary paperwork involved, so we had to purchase new input devices. And there was also the time when we had to call in a professional security company to install anti-hacking programs when our database was actually hacked into.Q: What input devices do you work with? How is output shown? A: I use a keyboard, a mouse, a web-camera and a scanner as input devices.
Output is displayed on a monitor, or on a plotter as is appropriate. And, of course, I often have to print out some files using a laser printer. Q: And your system configuration? A: I use a Pentium 2, 333 MHz Processor, with 32 MB RAM, 4 GB hard disk with Windows 98 as my operating system. I also have other software such as MS Visual Studio and MS Office 2000 installed on my computer.Q: Mr.
Glasse, what is the general procedure that you follow if you were asked to, for example, update a file? A: First of all, I would have to get an approved notice from someone in an authoritative position, for example the Headmistress, or the Head Administrator. This note would be attached to a Modification Form showing details of the file that needs to be updated. The authorization slip has to be filed into a drawer in my desk, and I just have to access the file using the code given on the Form and change the required fields.I have the Menu on my Desktop, Mrs. Stakich and I are the only ones who know the Password so I’ve never thought about changing it, once in the records I go to the Search Command to call up the file in question, and make the changes required. On exiting the database, I go have to fill out another form, a Proof Form, as it is known as, to acknowledge my action. This form then returns to the top-level to the individual who initially authorized it.Q: How often do errors occur using this procedure? A: As you can see, the system is designed in such a way that carrying out the procedure makes it prone to errors.
We’re still lucky to have a few students and teachers, basically small files is what I mean to say, which do not have to be updated too often, so they aren’t too many mistakes. Even if there are, they can easily be located and corrected due to the small size of our database.Q: OK, now what about the plus points of this system? For example, is it easy to use? Is it efficient? Do you feel that you yourself are performing at an optimum level with this system? A: Ill have to think this question over. Yes, for sure it is easy to use. I just have to type in an identifier code for each record, and the particular record is searched for and displayed. Its that simple. I don’t think its efficient though.
As the number of files increases the system takes longer and longer to search the database to produce the results I was looking for. It only follows that I myself feel I am under-performing at my job, as some time will definitely be wasted in waiting for results.Q: Are you satisfied with the system performing only these functions? A: Yes, I am. I would like it to be faster though, and even up-to-date, technologically speaking. Q: Thank you, Mr.
Glasse, for your cooperation. You’ve been a great help. A: The pleasure was all mine. Analysis of the Interview: This interview was more enlightening than the one with Mrs. Stakich, for we were able to focus on the technical side of the school’s database system.Certain glaring shortcomings of the current system came to light, such as a very limited database size, as indicated by the system being upgraded the first time. This further tells us that the system itself, with all its components, is out-of-date.
In such a state, it may also be incompatible with other systems, should it be desired to connect to these for data exchange purposes. Another significant weakness is the fact that the third upgrade was for security reasons, which means that the Password Protection was initially low.Mr.
Glasse also said that it takes longer to search for a required field if there are many records – this is only fair, but there aren’t too many records right now, so we can expect the system to have some sort of linear search function in operation, unsuitable for large databases. The program, although performing just a few main functions, is slow, again pointing to its near obsoleteness. Its low productivity has an effect on the human element involved, as Mr. Glasse himself feels as if he has not fully achieved his full potential.Lack of motivation could cause further falls in productivity.
The system also has standard input devices (mouse and keyboard), as well as standard output devices (printer, scanner and plotter), needed to process data and produce the desired results. The system also runs on a fairly fast processor, as given by the computer’s configuration. However it is unlikely that the system uses any of the other software packages (apart from the Windows 98 operating system) so these, as powerful as they are, aren’t being utilized.