My druggist told me about the recent nightmare that he, his colleagues and their customers had undergone. Their computer went down, and for the remainder of the work day it was up and down. Of course, customers were attempting to drop off or pick up prescriptions (quite more important say, than buying a tube of toothpaste). The pharmacy was tremendously impaired in conducting its crucial commerce.
Huge corporations and companies perhaps have contingency plans for their headquarters experiencing extensive computer downtime, but I don’t think such preparation for widespread computer failure usually trickles down to business on the retail level.
Sure, computers are great when they work. But the havoc they create when down, as illustrated by the above example of the pharmacy, is downright scary. We Americans pride ourselves on progress, which by definition is positive. The computer revolution may be the greatest example of progress in our nation’s history, but I suspect that it may be computer failure on a massive scale that eventually brings our country to its knees.
Earl C. Johnson