IT hindsight 20/20

15 years reviewed: Mark Brennan.

Mark Brennan


Title: Management services assistant

Employer: Taranaki Harbours Board

Job duties: Cobol programming, Informix database and forms maintenance and general helpdesk

IT environment: Three Zilog (21, 11 and 12) mini computers running Unix, accessed by 25 VDUs. Applications included Shortlands financials and payroll, Uniplex office and Informix database and internally developed forms and reports. Two Apple Mac Pluses and one Mac SE used for polishing up reports, graphs and engineering work


Title: Management services executive

Employer: Westgate Port Taranaki

Job duties: Management of information and communication systems

IT environment: One Sequent S5000/SE30 Unix server running Oracle Financials and in-house-developed forms and reports. Four Compaq servers, one used as an Oracle applications server with the others running as file and print, mail and internet/email scanning. Fifty PCs running Microsoft Office software and other standalone and industry-specific programs

The most significant industry event of the past 15 years:

Microsoft's Windows and Office applications uptake

The most significant technology development of the past 15 years:

Internet and web browser

One technology you thought would make it but didn't:


One technology you thought wouldn't make it but did:

Microsoft's new product registration enforcement

Worst technology decision you made in the past 15 years:

Buying all same model and brand PCs running basically same Windows software and having problems, which couldn't be identified, being related to the brand and model

Best technology decision you made in the past 15 years:

Staying with Sequent hardware running Unix

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