Saturday, 26 March 2011

Lesson Two - Buying a droid with confidence

Set the scene - You are Luke. You live with your Uncle Owen on Tatooine. Some Jawas have just pulled up out front in what can only be described as a steam-punk version of Noah's Ark and they want to sell you a droid or two. Got it?

Regardless of the answer, we know that this business arrangement of purchasing items of unknown origin, with no questions asked is commonplace on Tatooine (and certain places on Earth for that matter), and it is decidedly suspect.  So what could be done about it?

There are three pieces of information you really should demand in this situation. Whether you are buying a droid, a speeder, the Millenium Falcon or a DVD player from a shifty looking bloke at the local trash and treasure market.

  • Service history documentation - Before you go sticking your spanner into a droid you should know who was there first and just what they got up to in there.
  • The Manuals - We all know people like Luke that can pull things apart and put them back together with no parts left over. For the rest of us a good exploded diagram is a real boon. Unless your Droid is made by Ikea.
  • Proof of ownership - The last thing you want is to have invested time and effort cleaning and fixing a Droid only to discover he is the property of old Ben Kenobi. Caveat Emptor my friends...

A legitimate dealer would have all this information on file and they would provide it on request because they understand their reputation rests on that.  They also ask for it when buying something to protect that reputation.

This applies to organisational data as well. Reputation is established on the ability to accurately capture, store and retrieve data in a timely manner. What would you trust? The report that has all the audit history from an EDRMS or the word document someone remembered was somewhere on a shared drive?

There's another lesson in this for all of us. Sterilise your tech before you dispose of it! Wipe the data to make sure your personal information does not fall into the wrong hands when passed on. If you can't do that then don't get rid of it in the first place.

What do you call someone from Tatooine anyway? Are they Tatooinese? Tatooinians? Discuss.

Next time - Lesson Three - Why Genealogy is important or"My dad was a good guy right?"

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