07-01 Contents: Risk Management Resources, WiFi ICS, Euro-13, EU-27, Spreadsheet shrinking
ISSN 1649-2374 This issue online at http://www.sysmod.com/praxis/prax0701.htm [Previous] [Index]
|Systems Modelling Ltd.: Managing reality in Information Systems - strategies for success|
IN THIS ISSUE
|1) Risk & Security
Resource websites on risk management
The risk of not reading flight reservations closely
|2) IT Tech
Wireless Internet Connection Sharing
Slovenia joins the Euro zone
Bulgaria and Romania join the EU
Data processing optimization
|5) Off Topic
Robert Fisk on the Middle East
|11 Web links in this newsletter
About this newsletter and Archives
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I wish all my readers success in their endeavours in 2007.
Dan Swanson posted his year end list to various mail lists. To subscribe to his list, visit
His links include such staples as:
http://csrc.nist.gov/ Computer Security Resource Center of the National Institute of Science and Technology, USA. In December 2006 alone, they released:
- Security control baseline annexes for Special Publication 800-53, Revision 1, Recommended Security Controls for Federal Information Systems.
- A white paper entitled Managing Enterprise Risk in Today’s World of Sophisticated Threats: A Framework for Developing Broad-Based, Cost-Effective Information Security Programs
- Special Publication 800-53, Revision 1, Recommended Security Controls for Federal Information Systems. This publication provides the first major update for the security controls selection and specification guidance since February 2005.
The Risk Management and Governance (RMG) Board of the Chartered Accountants of Canada has the "20 Questions Directors Should Ask about ...." series.
Felix Kloman takes an irreverent look at risk management using the dead parrot and 'Bruce's sketches.
Reuters: Web typing error takes German tourist 13,000 km (8,077 miles) wrong. 21-year-old set out for Sydney, Australia but ended up near Sidney, Montana. Mother who helped send refund says: "He is usually good with computers"
With the party week before Christmas, and then the bridge from Christmas to New Year, not much real work got done here recently! So I took the opportunity of re-setting the PC used by my wife Megan. The old hard disk that was beginning to cause blue-screen errors, so I backed it up to another PC on the LAN and replaced it with a new one. At first, Windows XP could not format the 250Gb drive. Win2K saw half the capacity, so I figured it was related to older Windows drivers. Paul Thurrott's web site showed me how to create a 'slipstream' CD with Windows XP plus Service Patch 2 (SP2):
I used that CD to format, and got all the capacity. I reinstalled all the software ... in the right order! I checked the Nikon support forums for her film scanner which explained how to avoid the most common complaints. Then I installed the wireless LAN card, which talked to a wireless access point which connected to our LAN hub. I set up Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) for the dial-up connection but I could not get any browser to work, even after hours of Googling for possible solutions. Annoyingly, I could see the connection was working because Windows Update was running and downloading the XP updates. In the end, I installed AnalogX Proxyi.exe and it worked first time, no problems:
So if you've given up on ICS, take a look at that proxy. There are a number of other freeware utilities available on the AnalogX.com site.
The Alpine nation (pop: 2M) became on 1st Jan 2007 the first former communist state to join the EU's common currency. It is the 13th country in the eurozone. Finance Minister Andrej Bajuk said (optimistically?) "The biggest problem we might face is the one concerning rounding upwards of prices, but I'm convinced citizens are well informed and will show their good will."
http://www.evro.si/en/ Slovenian changeover site
To help the Slovenians with checking their conversions, I give below some sample conversions along with the likely misconversions. These are sampled from the test data set created by my euro compliance toolkit:
6124 Tolar converts to Eur 25.55, not 25.56
5858 Tolar converts to Eur 24.45, not 24.44
10.28 Euro converts to 2463 Tolar, not 2464
12.50 Euro converts to 2996 Tolar, not 2995
http://www.sysmod.com/eurocalc One euro equals 239.64 tolars.
Cyprus and Malta are expected to follow Slovenia into the eurozone in 2008 and Slovakia is aiming to adopt the single currency in 2009.
The accession of the poor, ex-communist duo raises the EU's membership to 27 states, almost half of them former eastern bloc countries cut off from the West by the Iron Curtain until 1989. Romania - the larger of the two - and Bulgaria will together boost the EU's population by 30 million, to 490 million, but will add just 1 per cent to its economic output. Other EU hopefuls such as Turkey and countries in the western Balkans now face the prospect of a long wait.
A friend gave me a spreadsheet and asked me if I could make it work better. To update it, he had to run one of 700+ macros, depending on what was needed. I found a module with more than 16,000 lines of code totalling over 400K. It consisted mainly of similar macros shuffling data around. They had to be repeated because all the addresses were hard coded by the macro recorder. After looking at all the combinations of data movement, I gave him one 30-line subroutine that did everything the previous bunch did, using the right relative referencing and some mathematics.
If that sounds like any of your spreadsheet files, talk to me ... I may be able to get you more flexibility, speed, and simplicity with less work.
http://www.sysmod.com/az.php?a=190540400X&b=Spreadsheet+Check+Control Available worldwide from Amazon.
http://sysmod.buy.ie/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=188 Our offer - free shipping to the 27 EU member countries.
Simply send your comments to FEEDBACK (at) SYSMOD (dot) COM
Thank you! Patrick O'Beirne, Editor
Usually, this is a light hearted finish to the newsletter. However, this year my holiday reading was Robert Fisk's "The Great War for Civilisation". It would make you want to weep for the hopelessness of suffering humankind, in a problem that has been unresolved in the same span of time as my lifetime. June 2007 is the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day war that had a pivotal role in the troubles before and since. Let's hope that those charged with responsibility still retain enough courage and doggedness to keep trying for a long-term solution.
http://sysmod.com/az.php?a=1841150088&b=The+Great+War+for+Civilisation by Robert Fisk
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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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