Tuesday, 17 July, 2007

Man vs. computer

My brother was in town to get married and had an interesting observation to make about local train ticketing. According to him the old method of punching cardboard tickets was much than the computerised ticketing we have now. Also, it’s difficult to understand how the railways gain by computerising local train ticketing.

I suppose one needs an Occam’s razor for technology, at least in a poor country like ours: “All things being equal, the solution that uses the least and cheapest technology is the best.”

It also recalls an old joke about NASA spending millions of dollars developing a pen that would write in space (zero-gravity) while the Russians simply used pencils. The story is apparently false, but the lesson is most pertinent.

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