Wednesday, October 15, 2008

when the front door determines the info system setup

i´ve just stumbled across a peculiar instance of how the physical still shapes the virtual (even though it doesn´t have to be the case). i have books due today at two libraries both feeding into and from the same library automation system. however, they are due at different branches, and this is important in so far as their effects go: the one closes (physically, lock & key) at 4pm (say) and the other at (6pm) . ostensibly the books are due 15 October (which suggests a 24hr time window). at 5pm i remember that i need to renew the loans, so dutifully sit down to do said renewal online. unfortunately i discover that since the 4pm-library has already closed its front doors, my book due there is now flagged as overdue. and probably the same would have happened had i sat down at 7pm in an attempt to renew both books (except then both would be flagged as overdue). but why let the hour of the closing of the front door be thing that determines the limit for renewal? since i am performing this transaction at 5pm, a full seven hours of 15 October are still on the horizon. why not set the system so that the overdue flagging only happens at midnight? would doing so mean fewer fines, hence less such revenue? i doubt it... so?

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