I was looking for the Christmas decorations on my attic, when I came across a set of compact discs. I got rid of most of these, except for some that seemed important enough to keep for posterity. These disks contained an original Window 2000 Professional edition, and one titled Medex Backup 99/05/13.
Yesterday I took my time to review what’s in the backup, and took some time to reconstruct the architecture in my mind and the reasons behind it. It occurred to me, that it might be a good time to go through some of my previous projects since, and sum them up, to see how IT (or at least what I’m part of) changed in the past few years.
Strap yourself in, for a travel back in time to the land of the possibilities and techno blable!
Disclaimer: I’ve put this together mostly from memory and the flashbacks I had during the installation on my virtual machine. I might have left out some interesting aspects, lessons.
Coming up: “10 year retrospective – SCISy, or “Supply Chain Inventory System” @ IBM”
The project was started to provide a centralized management system for a group of pharmacies. It had to manage several aspects of IT, point-of-sale terminals with regulation compliant “black-box” hardware, stock management, order management, NHS regulatory reporting and most importantly financial reporting to the owners.
The original target was to cover twenty-something units, which grew to over 120 by the end of the project. In the meantime the expectations also increased, we had hints, that given a few successful installations several major players might join us, and we can expect 400-1000 customers.
The original development team consisted of three classmates from the University of Veszprém (two of them dropouts at the time, and yes one was me) the brother of one, from a year higher and a long-haired
punk rocker who was a team on his own. I will name none of them, as they currently hold respectable positions. The team was positioned in a huge house next to the Balaton for the better part of the project, then started splitting between Budapest and the base when the deployments started. I myself traveled with my trusted midi-tower (alias laptop) there and back at least a hundred times.
Later we extended the Budapest office with a permanent developer trying to create a new-gen fancy client that has never seen the light, a web designer, who designed some graphics, and some short employed developers, who never learned the ropes.
In Budapest we were co-located with our general manager, and the support department, who was always scurrying there and back between the locations to keep the systems running.
The head of the entire organization was our sponsor, he really wanted this to succeed and we had his full support for the entire time.