Debbie Stewart., VA, Park Police, wrote:
I am a writer/editor for the U.S. National Park Police. I use Microsoft Word for writing and editing to put out weekly bulletins. In addition, I edit general orders [procedures for certain police situations], guideline manuals, and letters. I also use the computer to keep these updated. People in my office use Internet access to research projects. We use cc:Mail to send our weekly bulletin and other messages to people in regions all over the country and to our field offices. This is much faster than waiting for the mail.
Edith Sutterlin, Congressional Research Service, wrote:
My job is that of Librarian, or Information Resources Specialist. I work at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Every day I use computers for several different functions.
1. When I get requests for information or for a bibliography (list of sources of information) from Members of Congress or their staff, I need to be able to find the answers quickly. I search several computer databases. Several of the databases are created right in the Library of Congress itself: the Library of Congress Information System, which I use mostly to get references to books or serials, the Congressional Research Service Products file [which we use to keep track of what CRS analysts already have written for congressional use], and the Public Policy Literature File [which my section builds in anticipation of congressional information needs]. Some databases which I search are commercial, meaning they charge fees for the time I am connected looking for an answer. Some are available at no charge to our Library, as they are databases available directly from another agency in our U.S. federal government. I use Boolean logic and traditional questioning skills to try to find out exactly what information the requester really wants to know, and then construct a very narrow or broad search to find the references that I need. Different databases use different commands, and some are easier to search than others, but familiarity with each helps me to work efficiently and to know what kinds of sources I might expect to find. Sometimes I use Internet sources, although these vary widely in their reliability and ease in use. After I download or print out the references to the information sources, I sometimes just send these out to the congressional office who asked for that information. Other times I combine the information I have found and actually publish a bibliography or finding aid on that topic.
2. Electronic email is another daily use for the p.c. at my desk. I find out about meetings or answers to questions this way, and can subscribe to subject listservs if I want to follow a topic of interest.
3. I also use my p.c. as a basic word processor--to type memos or cover letters to go with the information I send out to the requester. Some forms at my office are already pre-loaded on the computer, so no separate trip to a supply shelf is necessary. For example, theres one form for our monthly personnel reports and another for suggesting new vocabulary terms for our own in-house data base.
4. Sometimes I use the computer to sign on and to search our in-house file, then order a print from the optical disk while I am right online. It is amazing how the computer can send the command to a remotely located jukebox which gets the correct optical disk location for that previously scanned article, and prints me out a copy. I can also ask to fetch a book from the stacks where they are stored, and my message is sent directly to a terminal in the appropriate area. After a staff member pulls the volume from the shelf, the book travels in a preprogrammed basket through several buildings, tunnels, and conveyor systems to arrive close to my office area, following information precoded as to the best route & each necessary turn.
5. There is a database which I work in for cataloging, abstracting and indexing the journal articles, congressional publications, and monographs that I want entered into our public policy database. It is set up so that many workstations can access the record sequentially, each one adding, parts until the record is complete and ready to send to the mainframe computer for adding to our Public Policy Literature data base.
Thu Sep 10 14:37:45 1998 from 207-172-56-145.s145.tnt12.ann.erols.com
Received by Email from a Senior Systems Analyst currently working on Child Support Enforcement ---Programming mainframe computer systems IS my work. For 20 years, I used a 'dumb' terminal connected via a dedicated hard line to a mainframe computer to access the data, databases and software I needed to design, develop and test user screens and batch updates and reports. Within the last 3 years, I was upgraded to an actual PC with the ability to mimic a 'dumb' terminal for my continuing development purposes, and with the added capability of access to PC software, email and LAN printing. I have not yet been given access to the Internet, but I expect that will come in time. Considering that I started out keypunching my programs onto punch cards and then getting them read into the machine for testing, I have come a long way over the last 25 years in the computer industry. New technology and new approaches to systems development have left me pretty far behind; but so much of the older technology remains and requires constant maintenance and enhancements that I feel that demand for my 'old school' experience will continue until I choose to retire. The application I have worked on since September of 1991 is: APECS - the Commonwealth of Virginia's Automated Program to Enforce Child Support. I am currently adding enhancements to automatically request wage withholding payments from employers who hire absent parents owing child support. Caseworkers, who average around 900 cases each, must manually generate these requests now, based on a nightly report of new hires...which can take weeks. The automated process should generate the wage withholding requests within 2 working days of receiving the new hire information from the employers. Good Luck on your project!! K. Morgan Senior Systems Analyst Anteon Corporation
Sun Oct 4 20:10:27 1998 from ousdcu0032.ousdc.osd.mil
Clarence Hoop <firstname.lastname@example.org>
We use computers for budgetary work within the Department of Defense. They range in size from mainframes to personal computers. They run on a variety of networks separated by different classification levels. Many types of software are involved so people can do many functions from simple electronic mail to complex algorithms. I have been working with computers for more than 30 years and enjoy them greatly. Some people have told me I have never met a computer I didn't like. I find they have personalities similar to people and it helps if you understand those personalities similar to understanding people. I have enjoyed many aspects of using computers during my career. Have fun with your project.
Thu Oct 8 07:43:46 1998 from
Tracking legislation for the Congress Keeping abreast of new developments in the defense policy area Communicating with others who have similar interests Sendig email responses (faster than phone calls and you have an official record of your contact) Maintaining my calendar of all events, both work and home Keeping m