Request For Permssion For Full System Upgrade

From the Story Arc: Red And Blue

Next Story in the Arc: Bop-A-Mole by Belladonna Aura (Thursday, June 16, 2005)

(posted Saturday, May 21, 2005)

REQUEST FOR PERMISSION TO UPGRADE DOCUMENT PRODUCTION

Author: Belladonna Aura

Commissars: I have in hand a pile of software and hardware upgrades for your PCs, the purpose of which is to enable you to generate whacking big reports and fill in interminable documents with a few lines and some mouse-clicks. I’d like permission to install this stuff on your PCs and wire your PCs into an office-wide LAN attached to a server. Commissar Bestial Boy has already given permission for it to go on his, but I think it would be of benefit to all of you , because paper-shuffling, however much the bureaucrats like it, is not what we’re about here.

Short form: this stuff will get you out from behind the desk and into the street again.

Here’s the technobabble: my old buddy from Las Vegas, Josh Karey, aka Captain Hackatron, put together a series of programs based on my requests. This is what is called Intelligent Architecture, as opposed to Artificial Intelligence; it makes a few decisions based on decision-trees but requires a bit of direction from you.

What you’ll see: when you need to write a report, you’ll get a screen asking you what kind. Pick that, and it will give you another list of options. Say you’re doing a routine patrol or training report for all the members of the YC (pay attention, Commissar Untermensch). You pick that. It will give you the roster. Pick a name. It will ask where the patrol was, and if it was routine. If yes, it will go to the Paragon Police database, grab the arrest report from there, and plug it in. If no, it will ask you to write a few lines, then get the arrest report. You do this for each YC member, it will ask you if there is anything more you want to add, you can do that or not, click finish, and it will generate a full report that looks as good as---and will have more pages---than the ones you’re filing now.

For filling out forms, all you will have to do will be to have Waitron read the form and download it to the system for filling in. The system will take all the information called for out of the existing database and produce a completely filled-in form except for those items it can’t find a database entry for; it will put the completed or nearly-completed form on your screen, highlight anything that needs to be filled in, and when you hit “complete” it will print it for you. For instance---the home-schooling reports for Shuma and Shen.. It will fill in their personal details, pick up the week’s grades and course-schedule from the tutor, and plug all that stuff in for you.

For reports back to China or Russia things will be a little different---in that I will have to scan a lot of your old reports to get things you have written before into a systemic database. I’ll organize them into “categories” based on what they are about, probably breaking them down by paragraph. If your reports are anything like stuff I used to have to log as a paramedic, you basically say the same thing over and over with some rephrasing. Well, with this system, you can go to the database, pick paragraphs based on what you want to say, and it will build what looks like a handwritten report out of all that old data. You’ll have the option to pick paragraphs yourself or let the system take one randomly from that category. You’ll also have the option, which I recommend, to hand-type at least one paragraph at the beginning of the report. The only thing you will need to fill in will be individual names.

Here’s what I need:

ONE: Permission to install this stuff.
TWO: Permission to pull Waitron off of patrols. She’s going to be my scanner and my interpreter as well as my tech assistant; she reads Russian and Chinese, it looks like a bad Boggle game to me. She’s also going to help me set up the new server and LAN.
THREE: half a day alone in each of your offices setting up your desktop and linking it to the new server.
FOUR: half a day with Waitron putting the LAN and server together with the internet link. I went with cable-modem, the YC already has cable in the rec room and the cost is pretty good.
FIVE: one day with Waitron putting the forms and personnel database together.
SIX: access to as many of your old reports as you are willing to share.
SEVEN: an unknown number of days putting the “special reports” database together. I don’t anticipate more than a week; it will probably go faster than that once Waitron’s AI learns how I am categorizing a paragraph. In the beginning it will probably be slow, by the end, she’ll be uplinking it to the right category as fast as she can scan it.

Whoever of you thinks he has the technical expertise (yes, I’m talking to you, Petrograd) to check this software for back doors or other security holes has my blessing, but I’ll be putting in firewalls, three of them---which, may I observe, you did NOT have before---and some good ICE to keep the snoops out. Vic has had a look-see at what you already had, and, in Commie Cowgirl’s parlance, “The horse is nyet in barn, is too late to look for lock” so far as any snooping that has already happened. Actually Vic said something a lot ruder about unnatural congress with a dog, but that’s neither here nor there. If you WILL insist on going to unsecured Websites, at least go use a standalone PC I am going to set up in what would have been Red’s secretary’s office if she was decadent enough to have one. It will have no connection to the server or the Lan, and you can go research depraved capitalistic sites full of devushkas in lingerie---purely as a matter of protecting the more vulnerable members of the collective, of course!---as much as you like without compromising the system. Or get a laptop of your own, and I’ll set up a second wireless Lan without access to the server and you can go wherever you like in the building to do your private surfing.

Once installed, Waitron will be your technogeek---your onsite expert. She has gone through this stuff already and says she can handle it, and she has Josh’s number in case anything unexpected comes up.

I think that about wraps it up. Just need your go-ahead.

Belladonna Aura
Tovarisch