Sometime in the late 1990s I was asked to indoctrinate the management and marketing arms of a consortium of non-profit hospitals with appropriate technology information and buzzwords so that they could speak knowledgeably to prospective consortium members.

For the presentation I prepared two handouts - identical, except for the last paragraph. I gave the boring, corporate version out to nearly everyone at the meeting, but I gave my direct superior and our CIO the version attached below, from which I have redacted the name of the consortium in order to protect the guilty (that would be me).

Technology Directions Overview

The [censored] IS department is committed to designing and maintaining systems that provide high quality, high availability information processing and data presentation to both [censored] collections staff and our Member Hospitals. This is a uniquely challenging task due to the great differences in hardware, software and philosophy among our Members.

The advent of the global Internet, with its open, broadly supported and clearly defined protocol suite, has provided a clear direction for [censored] in networking and connectivity. All hospitals either want to join the Internet or already have; this means all our Members support or wish to support the IPv4 (a.k.a. TCP/IP) protocol stack. We see IPv4 as a clear mandate for the present, with IPv6 (a.k.a. IPng or TCP/IP "next generation", which is wholly compatible with IPv4) the path to the future. Although we are currently standardizing on Frame Relay technology for remote links, we are tracking emerging trends in wide area networking and will continue to use the best and most cost effective methods available.

[censored] will continue to support the Novell systems we (and many Members) have in place, as well as our legacy IBM SNA/SAA services. Novell is currently transitioning from their proprietary IPX protocol system to IPv4, and we plan to make the transition with them. We have eliminated proprietary Apple protocols entirely and are no longer installing any proprietary IBM connectivity solutions except when specifically requested by Member Hospitals (an increasingly rare event).

The base computing platform used internally at [censored] is currently the 486DX33 IBM-type PC, with well over half of the systems currently in use 133Mhz Pentiums or better (we expect to have all systems upgraded to at least Pentium class by the end of 1998.) Collections staff use "generic PC" software systems that include icons for connection to Member Hospital systems, the Microsoft Office suite, a predictive dialer client, and Internet-capable electronic mail, as well as the usual Windows 3.11 applications and utilities. IS department staff, Member Services, and administrators have additional software and capabilities. Although we already have a number of systems running Windows 95 due to the requirements of particular PC applications, we are working agressively on a move to Windows 98 and are currently beta testing a comprehensive Win98 desktop solution.

The [censored] IS staff endeavors to provide the best support possible for all our Member Hospitals' information processing needs. Our data center is staffed around the clock and we hire geniuses who can shape the texture of reality merely by thinking hard. We have tea with God and correct his table manners. Our sexual capacities are legendary. We crap gold dust and pee pure single-malt whiskey. We leap tall buildings with a single bound and are stronger than dirt. We can whip our weight in pit bulls with one hand tied behind our backs, and all in all are the only choice for your technology needs.