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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

The Importance of Software

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PERSPECTIVE

April 2004

THE IMPORTANCE OF SOFTWARE

While I was compiling some code for one of my consulting clients, I noticed an unusual message on one of my email lists. It was in reference to getting the software application developed.

?This reminds me of how computer games used to have labels on them saying things like, ?320k RAM Required, EGA Required.? I never saw a label that said, ?This brand new, cutting-edge game would have been a fantastic, involved and exciting VGA, multi-disk adventure, but we had to restrict it to one single-sided, single-density 5 1/4 floppy, CGA graphics, and 128k RAM because some of you will be too stupid to figure out how to use a game with more than one floppy disk and some of you will have computers that don't have graphics and other hardware that became standard 10 years ago. Also, we thought you might mess around with your computer until you messed things up, so in order to prevent and cope with this possibility, we didn't bother to implement any save features, and all files and information on your computer will remain locked and totally unchangeable until you decide to uninstall our product at some future point.

?In addition, this game would have come out earlier and been cheaper to produce and purchase if we had used a more current computer language, but we thought that neither you nor the professional tech support people at your company would be capable of figuring out how to download and install a free, widely used, self-installing program which would have enabled us to do so. We at (name withheld) would like to extend our thanks to you for choosing our product and hope you enjoy using it.?

The need for compiling is to create an application that is easy to distribute and remains reliable into the future no matter what the customer does to their PC or computer system.

Which leads to a bigger issue. The problem is that we have custom software implementations of high fidelity imaging for very specific applications. In addition, we have to deal with different resolutions, different color requirements and different pixels, all of which are both expensive and incompatible. A systems approach for both media and process is needed. There is a market pull here. Customers are definitely asking for it. They want quality in terms of increased production and a premium process; asset longevity with multiple resolution support in a capital equipment format to ensure product longevity and cost-effectiveness for incremental information storage costs and incremental product costs.

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