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» Thursday, February 28, 2008Fun With Computers, The Work Edition
When I telework, I access my work files through a system called "Citrix" and a portal named Citgo (which always reminds me of the big old landmark "Citgo" sign in Boston). We changed to new servers a little while ago, the result of which was that I couldn't print anything accessed through the portal. I coped by printing major things at the office, and could save items like Word files and PDF files to my local computer and print them that way.
Recently they upgraded to Citgo2, so I can print again without workarounds, but the system is still "buggy." I went crazy yesterday trying to move around folders in ICE, which generates our purchase orders. I would highlight a folder to move it and instead it would move the folder or file next to it. After a half-hour (!!!) of this frustration I finally went in through the old portal and got it done that way.
This morning I had a sole source purchase to advertise, since the amount was over $25,000 (by law it has to be advertised over that amount unless it's on GSA or another purchase schedule). I had typed up the advertisement and spell checked it, then clicked through the portal menu to get to the CDC intranet page, which would link me to FedBizOpps. Instead it locked up and I had to close it using Task Manager in Windows. Unfortunately, Citgo2 is no better than Citgo the original, and when you close down one Windows application, Citgo closes them all down, so I lost everything I'd typed. So I logged back in, opened the FedBizOpps link first, then proceeded to re-type and re-check the advertisement. I imported it into the FedBizOpps announcement template fine.
There's a point in the template where you have to put the address of the end user. I usually use the Address Book in Outlook to get this info, since you don't get it on the purchase request form. Since I hadn't activated Outlook yet, I tried to do so and got a snippy message from Citgo that my connection was "in an inconsistent state" and I'd have to close out my browser and then log on again, which means I would have lost all the work I'd done on the announcement.
So I had to call up work and get someone to look that info up for me.
Of course, they're planning to change over from ICE to a new system called PRISM in the future, just, of course, after most of the bugs in ICE have been worked out and after all the money we spent having it developed. Not only that, but after much programming, ICE submits one mandatory report automatically, after years of our needing to submit it manually. PRISM doesn't do this, so we'll have to go back to the old-fashioned method again. What's that about improvements making jobs easier? :-)
Incidentally, we are not moving. Our branch chief discovered that we have an indefinite lease on the building where we are presently located. So he gave it to us as a vote. The disadvantages of the new building: more traffic, less room for workers, less room for files. The advantages: more conference space, covered parking, and close to restaurants. Big deal. 90 percent voted to stay. You betcha.