Antiquated Computers Managing State Payroll? There’s an App for That

Chandra Sharma
Political Communications, Redistricting and New Media Strategist

Reading the headlines on Rough & Tumble this week has sparked a bit of déjà vu on my part. Just as in 2008, the governor has ordered that pay for most state workers be reduced to the federal minimum wage during the budget impasse. And just as in 2008, the controller is refusing to comply – once again claiming that the computer system used by his office isn’t capable of processing the request.

Apparently he ignored my advice about buying himself a Mac back in ‘08.

I still stand by my recommendation, but I can understand why the controller decided not to head in that direction. The state is in a fiscal crisis, after all, and Mac’s aren’t exactly cheap.

In fact, some might say it would be downright irresponsible of him to go and spend money on computers. Sure, a system upgrade would save a lot of headaches in the long run, but think of how it would negatively impact his multi-million dollar office furniture budget.

That said, the new computers might not even be necessary. Electronics have come a long way in the past few years, and a lot of people have been impressed with the latest Apple gadget to hit the market – the iPhone 4.

Yes, that slick new $200 phone that your kids are begging for this summer does a lot of cool stuff – video conferencing, multi-tasking, recording video in high-def. It even makes phone calls once you master the proper finger-tip grip technique.

In addition to all of that, it’s also got some decent horsepower under the hood – a 1ghz processor that’s certainly powerful enough to accomplish the menial task of going through 200,000 database records and setting them all to $7.50. Why even bother upgrading the state payroll system?

So to all of you iPhone developers out there – who’s up to the challenge of solving our supposed state payroll crisis?

Bonus points if it posts an update to Twitter when it’s done…

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