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(Guardian)   Why hasn't the paperless office become a thing? Because all it takes is one person in a thousand to print this article out and the paper industry is safe for another year   ( theguardian.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, paper, Mohawk paper company, paper industry, fourth-going-on-fifth-generation paper company, EarthChoice® Office Paper, paper industry colleague, National Paper Trade, office copy paper  
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1368 clicks; posted to Business » on 30 Dec 2017 at 11:16 AM (28 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-12-30 08:25:39 AM  
Because there's still a bunch of shiat that needs signed, initialed, stamped or sealed and electronic solutions to those are by definition more complicated than printing out those documents.
 
2017-12-30 08:36:50 AM  
An old boss of mine insisted on a paper copy of the day's news clips, so we literally had interns clicking every link in the morning ema and printing them out.
The worst was when he was on vacation in Europe and still demanded the clips - one hotel charged us $10 a PAGE to fax a hundred-plus-page daily document.
That was the same year our Christmas "bonus" was a print of his family portrait.
Yes, he was a sociopath
 
2017-12-30 09:02:41 AM  
I tried to make my company go paperless, but fighting entrenched habits was too much effort, so we abandoned it. I must say, though, that even I still sometimes print things off if I need to work from it as reference, because ... alt-tabbing is annoying.
 
2017-12-30 09:03:51 AM  
Because having paper copies of important documents means you can still locate them when the IT department can't figure out why the servers are down for the fourth time in a week?
 
2017-12-30 09:05:23 AM  
I sit through so many meetings that have printed agendas and it's a goddam waste.
 
2017-12-30 09:11:07 AM  

naughtyrev: I sit through so many meetings that have printed agendas and it's a goddam waste.


At least you have agendas
 
2017-12-30 09:35:16 AM  
Too many people want things signed. And refuse to accept any electronic method.

I got to work at a place where some mostly daily reports had to be signed in triplicate. But that wasn't enough because you couldn't be sure of the order. So you had the main document, and copies showing each signature as it went on the page.

These were then filed and never looked at.
 
2017-12-30 09:37:22 AM  

Pocket Ninja: Because having paper copies of important documents means you can still locate them when the IT department can't figure out why the servers are down for the fourth time in a week?


Our IT department will only do business via phone call. No emails. Emails can be saved to prove promises unkept.
 
2017-12-30 09:51:39 AM  
I'm just old enough to have seen the old-time office: The boss, depending on how high up, either dictated a letter to his secretary, or he called in a girl from the steno pool.

She typed the letter, and then, depending on how important it was, he either signed it and it got mailed, or sent it up the chain for approval. If he needed a copy, she used carbon paper. The whole process used only a few pieces of paper.

I have had one position where I had a secretary. She was old school (and at least 20 years older than me), took dictation using short hand on a spiral steno pad. I frankly didn't know how to make the best use of her talents and abilities.

Enter the personal computer, and relatively cheap, fast printers. But you had (still have) old people who were used to paper and liked the familiarity. Now, you could send the document around (initially on a disk) and everyone could print a copy. Email made it worse. Paperless? We kill more trees than we ever did.

I'm old enough that it has taken me time to get used to reading things on a screen, and there are times that I still just want paper. Especially when my eyes are tired. It's also easier to flip around in a document than scroll around and find stuff.
 
2017-12-30 09:54:01 AM  

Voiceofreason01: Because there's still a bunch of shiat that needs signed, initialed, stamped or sealed and electronic solutions to those are by definition more complicated than printing out those documents.


I bought a house this year, and used both Docusign and signing in person -- a lot. Docusign was simpler, once you got past the initial setup, but scary because you go through so fast and don't have the inclination to read anything.

Signing a big stack of papers in person is just torture, but you can at least take your time and ask questions of the person you're signing in front of.
 
2017-12-30 09:55:00 AM  

Mr. Coffee Nerves: An old boss of mine insisted on a paper copy of the day's news clips, so we literally had interns clicking every link in the morning ema and printing them out.
The worst was when he was on vacation in Europe and still demanded the clips - one hotel charged us $10 a PAGE to fax a hundred-plus-page daily document.
That was the same year our Christmas "bonus" was a print of his family portrait.
Yes, he was a sociopath


And now he's President?
 
2017-12-30 10:12:29 AM  
Because people lie.

It's a lot harder to change a paper copy, especially a secure paper copy. Ask anyone who's ever had to deal with voting irregularities.
 
2017-12-30 10:15:13 AM  

Unobtanium: I'm just old enough to have seen the old-time office: The boss, depending on how high up, either dictated a letter to his secretary, or he called in a girl from the steno pool.

She typed the letter, and then, depending on how important it was, he either signed it and it got mailed, or sent it up the chain for approval. If he needed a copy, she used carbon paper. The whole process used only a few pieces of paper.

I have had one position where I had a secretary. She was old school (and at least 20 years older than me), took dictation using short hand on a spiral steno pad. I frankly didn't know how to make the best use of her talents and abilities.

Enter the personal computer, and relatively cheap, fast printers. But you had (still have) old people who were used to paper and liked the familiarity. Now, you could send the document around (initially on a disk) and everyone could print a copy. Email made it worse. Paperless? We kill more trees than we ever did.

I'm old enough that it has taken me time to get used to reading things on a screen, and there are times that I still just want paper. Especially when my eyes are tired. It's also easier to flip around in a document than scroll around and find stuff.


As someone who still occasionally takes notes in Gregg, I can relate. The thing is, paper is a tool, just as a computer is a tool. I use both, as appropriate to the situation. Paper works great for a number of reasons, and in places where computers simply do not - and vice versa.
 
2017-12-30 11:09:28 AM  
Or you work in contracting for the federal government and have to print documents you are required to FAX to the Defense Contract Management Agency.

I have a buddy who was once an aide to some general at the Pentagon. He'd show up early make the coffee, etc., and print out the general's emails for him to read. (late 90s)
 
2017-12-30 11:28:55 AM  
Because people who work in offices don't want to buy office supplies?
 
2017-12-30 11:29:36 AM  

Mr. Coffee Nerves: Pocket Ninja: Because having paper copies of important documents means you can still locate them when the IT department can't figure out why the servers are down for the fourth time in a week?

Our IT department will only do business via phone call. No emails. Emails can be saved to prove promises unkept.


Ours has anonymous mailboxes, so you can't pin the inaction on an individual.

Phone calls? Pffft, who you gonna call? They all hide behind the anonymous collective.
 
2017-12-30 11:32:05 AM  
vanisland.files.wordpress.comView Full Size
 
2017-12-30 11:40:34 AM  
Sometimes I need to print something out and keep it for handy reference. Or as a reminder that I have to take care of some task. We recycle all paper, so I don't feel too bad about it.
 
2017-12-30 11:48:16 AM  

phamwaa: Mr. Coffee Nerves: Pocket Ninja: Because having paper copies of important documents means you can still locate them when the IT department can't figure out why the servers are down for the fourth time in a week?

Our IT department will only do business via phone call. No emails. Emails can be saved to prove promises unkept.

Ours has anonymous mailboxes, so you can't pin the inaction on an individual.

Phone calls? Pffft, who you gonna call? They all hide behind the anonymous collective.


Ours is more blatant. They actually play Candy Crush in front of you and then say, "I'm sorry, that's technically impossible." Then go back to Candy Crush.

/two days later I have it done, because it was important enough to do it.
 
2017-12-30 11:58:27 AM  
The "paperless office" hasn't been viable until *very* recently. People need at least 2, preferably 3, monitors of decent size to provide sufficient real estate to have reference material in one area with e-mails and other communications in another, and the active work in the central focus. I've got 3 monitors in the office; at home I have 5 total screens split between a couple computers.

E-signatures have become more commonplace as well. That required changes to laws and judicial confirmation that these were equivalent to 'real' signatures. For some of my work signatures, we use a certificate that's flashed to our badges.

I've noticed in the office that boxes of paper generally last longer than they did before (around 2-3 times longer). We may never see most companies achieve *zero* paper use, but it's likely to see more dramatic reductions over the next decade and I suspect some companies will find a way to operate without a printer at all. If you're a hotdog cart operator using Square, you might already be there depending on how you run the back office.
 
2017-12-30 12:01:08 PM  

roostercube: For some of my work signatures, we use a certificate that's flashed to our badges.


...OK, that's cool. Could you provide more info as to what tech/methodologies you're using?
 
2017-12-30 12:07:46 PM  

Gubbo: Too many people want things signed. And refuse to accept any electronic method.

I got to work at a place where some mostly daily reports had to be signed in triplicate. But that wasn't enough because you couldn't be sure of the order. So you had the main document, and copies showing each signature as it went on the page.

These were then filed and never looked at.


I've been fighting "we've always done it that way" for 25 years (IT).  One example was a process I inherited while working as a Federal contractor which involved generating one report that was around 100 pages (duplex) that required managerial review, while the other was probably seven or eight REAMS and also duplex.  The SOP for the process stated to print the giant report and "just look at it".  I asked what purpose the report served, and the (idiot) training me said, "I dunno.  So-and-so always ran this process, so if it says to print the report then you should print the report."  Screw that.  I asked the manger why we were wasting paper, ink, and my time to run over to the print shop for something no one used and was shoved in a drawer.  The manager agreed with me whereas the idiot argued against it but could not give a compelling reason why the report should be printed.  I landed a final blow by stating the disk file could be retained for a month and referenced if needed.  Worse case the report could be recreated at a later date if a compelling need arose for it.  I left 10 years later with no one ever having inquired about said report.
 
2017-12-30 12:10:37 PM  

FormlessOne: roostercube: For some of my work signatures, we use a certificate that's flashed to our badges.

...OK, that's cool. Could you provide more info as to what tech/methodologies you're using?


Most smart-card tech has that built in. The DoD uses it all the time now.
 
2017-12-30 12:16:03 PM  
I review documents for a living and while I could go through and highlight things in Acrobat, I like printing them and doing it manually.  At least I do two per page and double sided.
 
2017-12-30 12:24:23 PM  

Voiceofreason01: Because there's still a bunch of shiat that needs signed, initialed, stamped or sealed and electronic solutions to those are by definition more complicated than printing out those documents.


tl;dr: We're all still living in the nineteen nineties.

PGP for emails has been around since 1981; I'd be surprised if more than half a dozen here tell me they use it often.  Browsers have provided secure banking since last century, and private messaging (though not necessarily secure) has also been around since last century.  Biometric data and strong encryption is, dare I say it, normal in this, the 21st century.

Arguments that it's more complicated miss the point; sure it is, but it's all doable.  *But* it's like chip-and-PIN security for credit cards, out of reach for the technologically backward* and for those simply unable to justify it on grounds of cost.

*Yes, I'm looking at you, USA

/hmmm... sounds a bit unfocused, teeny bit ranty, I should edit before pressing the but
 
2017-12-30 12:25:19 PM  

ajgeek: FormlessOne: roostercube: For some of my work signatures, we use a certificate that's flashed to our badges.

...OK, that's cool. Could you provide more info as to what tech/methodologies you're using?

Most smart-card tech has that built in. The DoD uses it all the time now.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commo​n​_Access_Card

There's commercial cards that hold PKI certificates as well. Heck, maybe that's partly what's embedded in the newer credit card chips. A long while ago, when chips were first introduced, my AMEX could be used with a card reader and had some form of certificates that could be employed for.... tasks like authorizing specific transactions or signing contracts, I guess. That never really caught on.
 
2017-12-30 12:25:31 PM  

ajgeek: FormlessOne: roostercube: For some of my work signatures, we use a certificate that's flashed to our badges.

...OK, that's cool. Could you provide more info as to what tech/methodologies you're using?

Most smart-card tech has that built in. The DoD uses it all the time now.


The same ones that were hacked a while back?
https://www.wired.com/2011/06/rsa-rep​l​aces-securid-tokens/
 
2017-12-30 12:26:37 PM  

Mr. Coffee Nerves: An old boss of mine insisted on a paper copy of the day's news clips, so we literally had interns clicking every link in the morning ema and printing them out.
The worst was when he was on vacation in Europe and still demanded the clips - one hotel charged us $10 a PAGE to fax a hundred-plus-page daily document.
That was the same year our Christmas "bonus" was a print of his family portrait.
Yes, he was a sociopath


Jeez. My boss gives us potatoes for bonuses, but at least a potato has some value.
 
2017-12-30 12:29:52 PM  

sirrerun: Voiceofreason01: Because there's still a bunch of shiat that needs signed, initialed, stamped or sealed and electronic solutions to those are by definition more complicated than printing out those documents.

I bought a house this year, and used both Docusign and signing in person -- a lot. Docusign was simpler, once you got past the initial setup, but scary because you go through so fast and don't have the inclination to read anything.

Signing a big stack of papers in person is just torture, but you can at least take your time and ask questions of the person you're signing in front of.


Banks are increasingly moving towards e-sign systems and there's already a legal/regulatory framework to support electronically signed documents for loans but those systems tend to be finicky and very expensive which is why smaller banks rarely use e-sign.
 
2017-12-30 12:32:48 PM  
I do my part but its really hard to keep up on email when they insist on putting the shredder so far away from the printer.
 
2017-12-30 12:37:01 PM  
The same ones that were hacked a while back?
https://www.wired.com/2011/06/rsa-repl​aces-securid-tokens/


Utterly and completely different from that one (6-digit OTP second factor vs. public-key signatures, apples and oranges).  Not that PKI smartcards have been perfect either (https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/04/​es​tonia-freezes-resident-id-cards-securi​ty-flaw).

Still, far, far saner than believing *anything* based on handwritten signatures.  Can we put signatures in the bin with alchemy, phrenology, astrology and the like, yet??  Because, seriously, that's how stupid signatures are.
 
2017-12-30 12:40:20 PM  

bazbt3: Voiceofreason01: Because there's still a bunch of shiat that needs signed, initialed, stamped or sealed and electronic solutions to those are by definition more complicated than printing out those documents.

tl;dr: We're all still living in the nineteen nineties.

PGP for emails has been around since 1981; I'd be surprised if more than half a dozen here tell me they use it often.  Browsers have provided secure banking since last century, and private messaging (though not necessarily secure) has also been around since last century.  Biometric data and strong encryption is, dare I say it, normal in this, the 21st century.

Arguments that it's more complicated miss the point; sure it is, but it's all doable.  *But* it's like chip-and-PIN security for credit cards, out of reach for the technologically backward* and for those simply unable to justify it on grounds of cost.

*Yes, I'm looking at you, USA

/hmmm... sounds a bit unfocused, teeny bit ranty, I should edit before pressing the but


Ooh, Ooh! I know what Pretty Good Privacy is! It's mandatory training that we know about it, but never actually implement it in any of our IT solutions!

/Did you know the DoD has no college requirements for about 80% of its IT related jobs?
//But requires a Bachelor's Degree for a GS-07 engineer. It's the only field that requires a bachelor's for 07 work.
///I get so damned excited when I get to whip out any of my now ridiculously obsolete IT knowledge.
 
2017-12-30 12:41:53 PM  

TedCruz'sCrazyDad: ajgeek: FormlessOne: roostercube: For some of my work signatures, we use a certificate that's flashed to our badges.

...OK, that's cool. Could you provide more info as to what tech/methodologies you're using?

Most smart-card tech has that built in. The DoD uses it all the time now.

The same ones that were hacked a while back?
https://www.wired.com/2011/06/rsa-repl​aces-securid-tokens/


No.

The badges use keys 2048 bits long (IIRC) with public/private keys. Those SecureID tokens, by definition, have to be fully modeled in SW because the server needs to predict which 6-digit code was shown on the token, and then verify it against what's been entered. If you can obtain the 'secret' to that token, you have everything. With public/private keys, the server only needs access to the public key, which it already has stored. The private keys stay, more or less, private (though I'm pretty certain my company retains a copy for audit purposes and legal compliance issues).
 
2017-12-30 12:43:41 PM  
Quit it, Kevin!
 
2017-12-30 12:44:33 PM  
Last year I used an ATM for another bank.  The transaction said "completed" but I wasn't given the money I had requested.  It was however removed from my account.
I called the number on the machine associated with the bank whose ATM I had used.  They told me I would have to contact my own bank - so I called them.  First part of the story is dealing with a new hire at the bank's help desk.  I was given the wrong information about how this would be resolved (they said it would take 24 hours and it would credit back to my account).  24 hours later there was no credit so I called again.  I was then told that in the case of using a 3rd party ATM, the transaction can take up to 2 weeks to resolve.  I asked why.  They said they had to fax the 3rd party bank for them to look into it.  I then questioned why bank transactions in this day and age take split seconds to pass between banks, where checks deposited one day can be debited to a 3rd party bank overnight but when there is a problem they have to resort to a fax to advise the other bank there was an issue they need to look into.  I then asked why they could not just email the bank or call them. They could not answer that question.
Needless to say, the issue was resolved in 6 weeks.  Everything seems to be electronic when things work.  When they don't, people resort back to paper and faxes.
 
2017-12-30 12:46:49 PM  
If you want a paperless office then get rid of the paper. Easy as that. Don't buy stacks of paper, a big ass printer, and then complain about offices not being paperless. People won't learn to go paperless with all of that stuff at their disposal.
 
2017-12-30 12:47:59 PM  

ajgeek: FormlessOne: roostercube: For some of my work signatures, we use a certificate that's flashed to our badges.

...OK, that's cool. Could you provide more info as to what tech/methodologies you're using?

Most smart-card tech has that built in. The DoD uses it all the time now.


I used to write ISO-7816 apps - certificates themselves are indeed commonly added, but using them for things other than auth/auth is relatively new (at least to me.) I'm keen to find out what middleware & methods are being used for that, if possible (or, if you can point me at some of it, I'd be grateful.)
 
2017-12-30 12:49:39 PM  

roostercube: ajgeek: FormlessOne: roostercube: For some of my work signatures, we use a certificate that's flashed to our badges.

...OK, that's cool. Could you provide more info as to what tech/methodologies you're using?

Most smart-card tech has that built in. The DoD uses it all the time now.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common​_Access_Card

There's commercial cards that hold PKI certificates as well. Heck, maybe that's partly what's embedded in the newer credit card chips. A long while ago, when chips were first introduced, my AMEX could be used with a card reader and had some form of certificates that could be employed for.... tasks like authorizing specific transactions or signing contracts, I guess. That never really caught on.


Exactly - when I was working on such, usage was kind of limited to one-off apps (like our now-ancient product line.) I'll check out the article - if you know of anything else at which you can point me, I'd be grateful.
 
2017-12-30 12:49:39 PM  
I have no desire to contribute to the paperless office.  This isn't some quest to be "politically difficult," but knowing how I best retain information, a paperless office does not work for me.  While I will use outlook, I still use a paper calendar, because if I do not write something down, it does not exist (ie: I may or may not remember that 9:30 meeting set for Friday) however if I write something down, I do not forget.

It does not surprise me that research is showing people who take notes longhand tend to retain the information better than people who only use laptops (computer type machines) https://www.scientificameri​can.com/art​icle/a-learning-secret-don-t-take-note​s-with-a-laptop/

Talk to me about paper reduction and I am all ears, the concept of paperless was something that was never going to be, but like the Jetson's flying car, it sounded cool and futuristic.
 
2017-12-30 12:52:32 PM  
From that Wikipedia article:

A CAC works in virtually all modern computer operating systems. Besides the reader, drivers and middleware are also required in order to read and process a CAC. The only approved Microsoft Windows middleware for CAC is ActivClient-available only to authorized DoD personnel. Other non-Windows alternatives include LPS-Public-a non-hard drive based solution.
This is the part about which I was curious - I'll have to go on an Easter egg hunt to catch up, I think, for private-sector options & methodologies.
 
2017-12-30 12:56:25 PM  

FormlessOne: From that Wikipedia article:

A CAC works in virtually all modern computer operating systems. Besides the reader, drivers and middleware are also required in order to read and process a CAC. The only approved Microsoft Windows middleware for CAC is ActivClient-available only to authorized DoD personnel. Other non-Windows alternatives include LPS-Public-a non-hard drive based solution.
This is the part about which I was curious - I'll have to go on an Easter egg hunt to catch up, I think, for private-sector options & methodologies.


Good luck to you. I'm too out of date on the nuts and bolts to be of any further assistance to you. I am, however, dead certain a private sector variant exists as I've had contractors talk to me about it. My job took me other directions though, so...
 
2017-12-30 01:03:07 PM  

bingethinker: Sometimes I need to print something out and keep it for handy reference. Or as a reminder that I have to take care of some task. We recycle all paper, so I don't feel too bad about it.


As an Accounting Manager and Controller I always loathed and hated reused paper. Almost as bad as paperclips* for confusing the facts of a situation. Dovetailed nicely with using the back sides of paper to add to the confusion. Example: department printer prints copies of electronic vendor invoices to paper for filing (because reasons). Then some idiot loads used single-side-printed paper into the paper tray. Now we have vendor invoices with vendor info on the front side and another vendor's obsolete (paid) info on the reverse. Work overflow? Hire some temps. Want to guess what happens when temps handle a file like that?

An errant paperclip once almost screwed up an SEC filing for a $4.5B acquisition I was party to. A critically important single piece of paper got accidentally snagged to the rear of a 25 page paper-clipped document. We finally found that paper at 4:13 am of the day the filing was due, after hand-examining every single page, front and back, of 14 banker's boxes of financial records. Twice. That's when my Senior Accountant began drinking, a senior VP was admitted to ER with heart palpitations, and I began attending anger management courses.

DON'T FARKING USE FARKING PAPERCLIPS! STAPLES ARE YOUR ACCOUNTING FRIEND!
 
2017-12-30 01:03:14 PM  

Voiceofreason01: Because there's still a bunch of shiat that needs signed, initialed, stamped or sealed and electronic solutions to those are by definition more complicated than printing out those documents.


Yep. We print a lot at work. Our previous CEO had a vision of  a "paperless office", but his 'vision' consisted of him saying this and then arguing about whether the desks in the new location should have a drawer unit with them.

In reality, we make clothing, and a lot of it is uniforms for assorted sports teams. Our printing department needs to print the rosters out and verify names/numbers/colors are correct. Later in the process, our shipping/QC department needs to do the same thing. We could go electronic and use tablets, but those tend to break when dropped, lose charge at inopportune times, and walk out the door when people aren't looking. On top of that, our developers have to work to integrate the tablets into the system so that our work flow software will allow folks to pull up this information and utilize it efficiently.

These are all goals that can be reached, but it's not as simple as saying "let's do it", and then moving on the very next day, as our previous CEO seemed to think.

And that doesn't even begin to cover the stuff you mentioned. Hell, some people just function better by doing editing markups and taking general notes on a printed out spreadsheet or Word document.
 
2017-12-30 01:04:36 PM  

ajgeek: bazbt3: Voiceofreason01: Because there's still a bunch of shiat that needs signed, initialed, stamped or sealed and electronic solutions to those are by definition more complicated than printing out those documents.

tl;dr: We're all still living in the nineteen nineties.

PGP for emails has been around since 1981; I'd be surprised if more than half a dozen here tell me they use it often.  Browsers have provided secure banking since last century, and private messaging (though not necessarily secure) has also been around since last century.  Biometric data and strong encryption is, dare I say it, normal in this, the 21st century.

Arguments that it's more complicated miss the point; sure it is, but it's all doable.  *But* it's like chip-and-PIN security for credit cards, out of reach for the technologically backward* and for those simply unable to justify it on grounds of cost.

*Yes, I'm looking at you, USA

/hmmm... sounds a bit unfocused, teeny bit ranty, I should edit before pressing the but

Ooh, Ooh! I know what Pretty Good Privacy is! It's mandatory training that we know about it, but never actually implement it in any of our IT solutions!

/Did you know the DoD has no college requirements for about 80% of its IT related jobs?
//But requires a Bachelor's Degree for a GS-07 engineer. It's the only field that requires a bachelor's for 07 work.
///I get so damned excited when I get to whip out any of my now ridiculously obsolete IT knowledge.


Thanks for confirming my suspicions/biases/prejudices. :)
 
2017-12-30 01:06:35 PM  

Pocket Ninja: Because having paper copies of important documents means you can still locate them when the IT department can't figure out why the servers are down for the fourth time in a week?


I work in an IT department, and our servers/network enjoy an actual, real 99.9% uptime (yes, we actually TRACK it, like a good IT department should).  Our HR department, on the other hand, still has people that demand we pay for typewriter ribbon out of the IT budget because it's a "necessary IT expense".  And as much as I wish I could say these things are electric, no, they're using mechanical typewriters.  There is no valid reason (no documents require them in any way) other than old people don't like change.
 
2017-12-30 01:13:12 PM  
FormlessOne:
This is the part about which I was curious - I'll have to go on an Easter egg hunt to catch up, I think, for private-sector options & methodologies.

If you want a catch-up on technologies, I'd suggest getting a YubiKey 4 or Neo.  $40-50.  For a little piece of plastic (USB form factor), there are a bunch of crypto technologies on it.

Like a good smartcard, the crypto happens on the device's microprocessor, so your private keys are never accessible to your PC.

A) I have my workplace S/MIME (mail signing/encryption) certificates on it.

B) I have PGP keys on it. Not that I know anyone to send PGP messages to, but I use a password manager based on PGP (passwordstore.org), so that requires my Yubikey. I also have my SSH private key on it (via PGP/GPG).

C) it also covers the newer U2F second-factor auth that Google, Facebook, and others are trying to grow

Get into everything it can do, and you'll learn a bunch.
 
2017-12-30 01:13:17 PM  

Russ1642: If you want a paperless office then get rid of the paper. Easy as that. Don't buy stacks of paper, a big ass printer, and then complain about offices not being paperless. People won't learn to go paperless with all of that stuff at their disposal.


This.

I've been using computers since 1981*, working on them since the mid-90s. What strategies would you recommend to change my and my colleagues' habits, especially the arse who sits next to me and regularly accidentally** screenshots stuff to the printer and...

*I'm, er... 'respected' by IT***
**he'd rather complain about it to me than ask IT to remove the button from the software config.
***tolerated
 
2017-12-30 01:16:52 PM  

djones101: Pocket Ninja: Because having paper copies of important documents means you can still locate them when the IT department can't figure out why the servers are down for the fourth time in a week?

I work in an IT department, and our servers/network enjoy an actual, real 99.9% uptime (yes, we actually TRACK it, like a good IT department should).  Our HR department, on the other hand, still has people that demand we pay for typewriter ribbon out of the IT budget because it's a "necessary IT expense".  And as much as I wish I could say these things are electric, no, they're using mechanical typewriters.  There is no valid reason (no documents require them in any way) other than old people don't like change.


THIS.

/all this thread is showing me is that people work for companies with horrible IT departments
 
2017-12-30 01:21:49 PM  

gingerjet: djones101: Pocket Ninja: Because having paper copies of important documents means you can still locate them when the IT department can't figure out why the servers are down for the fourth time in a week?

I work in an IT department, and our servers/network enjoy an actual, real 99.9% uptime (yes, we actually TRACK it, like a good IT department should).  Our HR department, on the other hand, still has people that demand we pay for typewriter ribbon out of the IT budget because it's a "necessary IT expense".  And as much as I wish I could say these things are electric, no, they're using mechanical typewriters.  There is no valid reason (no documents require them in any way) other than old people don't like change.

THIS.

/all this thread is showing me is that people work for companies with horrible IT departments


Or, perhaps, the expectations of what IT departments *should* do is unrealistic?

/I couldn't do it, I don't have the patience for the kinds of questions I need to ask in order to keep my software and that I administer working correctly
 
2017-12-30 01:30:48 PM  

gingerjet: djones101: Pocket Ninja: Because having paper copies of important documents means you can still locate them when the IT department can't figure out why the servers are down for the fourth time in a week?

I work in an IT department, and our servers/network enjoy an actual, real 99.9% uptime (yes, we actually TRACK it, like a good IT department should).  Our HR department, on the other hand, still has people that demand we pay for typewriter ribbon out of the IT budget because it's a "necessary IT expense".  And as much as I wish I could say these things are electric, no, they're using mechanical typewriters.  There is no valid reason (no documents require them in any way) other than old people don't like change.

THIS.

/all this thread is showing me is that people work for companies with horrible IT departments


IT departments would love to incorporate many functions and features that would make an organization operate with greater efficiency; however, managers of other departments don't see it that way and whine to upper management.  That's when IT gets quashed, until something major happens and causes the company to lose time and/or money.
 
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