PraxIS November 2002                    ISSN 1649-2374

Contents: ICT & eWork, Developing countries, SoftTest Ireland, UK and the euro

This issue on the web at


Systems Modelling Ltd.: Managing reality in Information Systems - strategies for success


   Conference: "ICT and eWork @ work in Ireland" Nov 18-19
   Internet access for developing countries
   Warning on "greeting card" scam

Software Testing

  SoftTest Ireland conference December 16

Euro and the UK

   Report on euro-related speaking engagements in the UK
   Economic arguments - pro and con

On the lighter side 

   A use for AOL CDs

13 Web links in this newsletter
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Comments are always welcome!

Thanks for your interest,

Patrick O'Beirne

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Conference: "ICT and eWork @ work in Ireland"

Ormonde Hotel Conference Centre, Kilkenny, November 18-19

->Using practical technology to Accelerate Regional and National Development

An important two-day National conference for the economic and social future of Ireland and in particular the South-East region - takes place at the Ormonde Hotel, Kilkenny on Monday, November 18th and Tuesday, November 19th, 2002.

The ICT and eWork @ work in Ireland conference will focus on national and regional development through the practical application of technology and new methods of working - giving real life case studies drawn from National, regional and International sources.

The conference is a joint project of the South-East Regional Authority (SERA) under their South East Information Society Strategy (SEISS); Telework Ireland and the Irish Internet Association, with the active support of Enterprise Ireland; the eWork Action Forum and the stakeholder organisations of the South-East Regional Authority. The conference programme and full booking details are available on:  South East Information Society Strategy  irish Internet Association  Teleworkers association

Internet access for developing countries

I was involved in the software end of the Trinet project of the Informatics Development Institute

This system uses low-earth-orbiting satellites (LEOSAT) such as the Portuguese POSAT to store and forward emails from very low-cost ground terminals. It costs far less than conventional satellite communications.

This project has been concluded and I shall be attending the RTD Conference in Heysel, Brussels, on Nov 12 & 13 to meet other interested parties. If you are likely to be there, drop me an email.

Warning on "greeting card" scam

I don't believe any of my readers would fall for this, but please pass this alert on to others who are not so experienced. This alert is from 

Please be aware that there is a mass-mailing Greeting Card e-mail scam currently active on the Internet. It is being operated by a company called Permissioned Media Inc., based in Panama.

The e-mail will appear in your inbox and will ask you to click upon a link to view the greeting card you have been sent. The link is not necessarily related to a greeting card site, and after clicking on it, will state that software needs to be installed on your machine for you to view the greeting card. Within the terms and conditions of the license it states that by agreeing to the installation of the software, you are also agreeing that a copy of the greeting card e-mail can be sent to everyone in your address book. If you accept the terms of the licence agreement, it will send a copy of the e-mail to the contacts in your address book.


Software Testing

SoftTest Ireland Testing Seminar

Monday 16 December 2002  13:00-18:00 Holiday Inn, Pearse Street, Dublin
Paul Gerrard,  Technical Director, Systeme Evolutif Limited : "Risk-based Testing"
Mark Fewster, Grove Consultants: "Low cost approaches to improving Test Automation"
Birds of a Feather Session
Panel Q&A Session
Mulled Wine & Networking opportunity



EURO and the UK

My recent speaking engagements in the UK

On Oct 15 & 16, I chaired two Sapiens euro seminars; here is a ZDNet report on the London event:,,t480-s2124318,00.html

I am also presenting at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance Accountants (CIPFA) events in November. 

There is a growing  interest in the UK from larger companies who realise that because of their size, they would be disadvantaged if they waited for the "starting whistle" of the decision to join EMU. They are already performing "no-regrets" work such as data cleanup and code neutralisation which are good practice regardless of the outcome.

I am available to provide companies with in-house workshops on the impact of the euro on IT systems:

... and also to provide specific testing skills on the ability of systems to provide correct and comprehensible conversions:

By the way, my euro information website is one of those selected for inclusion in the European Commission archive "the memory of the euro".


Economic arguments - pro and con

Jay Levin of Wayne State University, author of "A Guide to the Euro" (pub. Houghton Mifflin, 2002), pointed this paper out to me: a rebuttal to "The Economic Case Against the Euro" published by the No Campaign in 2001 and which may be found at 

The paper was published yesterday by Britain in Europe and may be downloaded from: 

Jay Levin comments: "These two companion papers represent an outstanding summary of the economic case for and against the UK adopting the euro. Those wishing to look at all the arguments will find them evaluated here in a very readable form."

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Simply send your comments to FEEDBACK (at) SYSMOD (dot) COM

Thank you! Patrick O'Beirne, Editor

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On the lighter side

The TUC is giving away free tickets for people to see a comedy show about one man's experiences working for during the dotcom boom.

Mike Daisey's 21 Dog Years Doing Time @ promises to reveal the real and funny story of from a worker's perspective - slavishly long hours "fuelled by caffeine, fanaticism for the dotcom cause and illicit daytrading from office desks made out of doors".

A use for AOL CDs

From, an idea for those AOL CDs you get sent in the post:

"The problem with those that resent receiving these objects is that they think they are means by which AOL attracts customers. This is of course complete nonsense. It is not well known by those who spend their lives in offices with computers that AOL has long been secretly infiltrated by dedicated vegetable gardeners.

"If McKenna and Lieberman were not so cut off from the natural world in some wired apartment building somewhere, they would know that AOL CDs hung on strings from poles or fruit tree branches make very fine bird scarers for keeping pigeons and other pests away from soft fruit, cabbages and other brassicas. The coruscating light refracted by the fine grooves on the CD produces a swirl of spots of coloured light that upset avian pests.

"The discs are of course very environmentally friendly and avoid the use of pesticides, traps, poisons and other traditional pre-computer methods. I can always use more AOL CDs to see me through the growing season. By the way, for all the slagging off of AOL by nerdy types, I find AOL very reliable. I am a very satisfied AOL customer and have been since their inception."


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"Praxis" means model or example, from the Greek verb "to do". The name is chosen to reflect our focus on practical solutions to IS problems, avoiding hype. If you like acronyms, think of it as "Patrick's reports and analysis across Information Systems".


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This newsletter is prepared in good faith and the information has been taken from observation and other sources believed to be reliable. Systems Modelling Ltd. (SML) does not represent expressly or by implication the accuracy, truthfulness or reliability of any information provided. It is a condition of use that users accept that SML has no liability for any errors, inaccuracies or omissions. The information is not intended to constitute legal or professional advice. You should consult a professional at Systems Modelling Ltd. directly for advice that is specifically tailored to your particular circumstances.

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