The Pain Of Silicon Dependency

In a conversation the other day, two of us lamented — and glorified — the advent of the computer age.  We spoke about the introduction of one of the industry’s first personal computers — from Radio Shack, as well as others who are now faint memories.  We talked about chip speeds, memory, and hard and “floppy” disk storage which were measured in numbers now considered archaic.  We spoke about how much has changed in a generation and how it has affected inter-personal communications.  Although in my mind, the true change is our society’s overwhelming dependence on silicon chips — whatever their flavor.

Our dependency really came to roost the other day when we discovered that a virus had infiltrated past all of our anti-virus software and was playing havoc on our server.  Files were being locked and not being recognized by our Microsoft Office software.  The virus (Ransomware) was an extremely malignant one and per our IT providers had recently entered the digital matrix and being replicated across hundreds of platforms. For three days our office has came to a stand-still.  Fortunately our MS Outlook was hosted in the Cloud and was not affected; thus, our phones and tablets helped us function.

Now we have another issue to discuss — should we continue to host our own server and have to deal with degrading software and the threat of viruses or do we move into the Cloud where software is upgraded regularly and systems are much more closely monitored, but what happens if the Cloud gets hacked?

These are topics we never thought about twenty + years ago when our concerns were focused on disk storage and chip speeds for our office toys.  We’ve gone from novelty to technology which is integral to everything we do.  Phone calls.  Automobiles.  GPS. And yes, printing presses.  It’s definitely “can’t” live with and can’t live without” technology.

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