The First Law of Reality
Frederick J. Ampel, president of Technology Visions in Overland Park, KS states the First Law of Reality when dealing with electronic systems:
"Things must be tested under actual operating conditions for a sufficient time to prove that they can do the job for which they were intended."
Ampel: "What seems to be missing all too often from the scientific and engineering development aspects of our industry is the concept that the products and functionality that are being produced must operate in the real world."
"...the work-a-day world is populated by other electronic systems, complex building structures, customers and staffs who are not engineers and scientists, and most of all by the rudely unforgiving requirement that these products and the systems built from them actually function... "
The Seller of Dreams
The bottom line for building committees and facilities managers is:
After you see all the wonderful things a new product or system can do in a demonstration, ask where the system has actually been in service for six months or a year. Then talk to the people in the trenches who have lived with the system.
The old saying about choosing a doctor applies here! "Don't ask the doctor, ask the patients."
Edited portions from the article "The First Law of Reality," Systems Contractor News, Jan.2001, pg 34.
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