It must be the CD-ROM. Already there are many laptops without the CD-ROM which are much cheaper and the numbers are growing of their sales. Having a CD-ROM in laptop is becoming what it was like to have a floppy drive in the laptop about 5 years ago. Its simply becoming irrelevant. This is a growing trend in places where internet speeds are faster as people can store vast amounts of data in their own private web-clouds. Maybe the only reason why CD-ROM is still “in” most laptops is because of Microsoft which likes to sell their Windows software CD packaged in a big box because of the ridiculously high price. Since the majority of humanity still uses Microsoft’s Windows to run their computers, Microsoft certainly has a say in the evolution of computers. However with the globe becoming ever more wired with data rates growing faster, the days of installing, booting or running computer from CD-ROM is getting closer to end. The other major factor keeping the CD-ROM still alive is the film industry which is also now moving to on-line, on-demand streaming type of media which will ease the dependence on requirement for CD-ROM. Practically speaking, a computer be it a table-top, laptop, or a desktop is better off without a CD-ROM as it consists of moving parts which are prone to mechanical wear and tear which is one reason of the growing popularity solid-state devices. Also what a CD-ROM is capable of storing on CD is diminishing compared to what solid state memory devices can with cheaper price tags. Just as the record industry (voice) migrated to mp3 format from cassettes, so are the days of movies on cds numbered.
When mentioned out sourcing the media would have most of us associate it with Microsoft, India, cheap labor etc.. However outsourcing is quite prevalent in our resorts although we do not seem to apply the name as such. There are both many benefits of this as well as questions about some aspects of it. Some examples we can easily identify are:
1.Diving school outsourcing. This is very common in resorts and seems to be the viable option as resorts trying to do this by themselves find themselves quite overwhelmed with the demands of running the whole show.
2.Guest shop. This is also one more trend that is catching up with the resorts as more and more shop companies are offering attractive proposals to resorts struggling with an unimaginative shop with an equally unimaginative concept to sell pricey nothings to wearied guests.
3.Guest relations. In some resorts there are dedicated tour guides or Guest Relations Officers (GROs) who are ordinary human beings less than a manager and a slight bit higher in position than the front office staff and are customarily required to be multilingual. However there is a growing trend to outsource this department to the water sports people.
4.Animators. This seems to be the domain of the fun loving Italians and they may hire this talent from guests as part of their package holiday deal.
5.Doctors. Although there are quite a few number of resorts with a doctor-in-house, some resorts did indeed outsource this job with an understanding with medical institutes, universities from where doctors arrive as guests and makes themselves available for service to other guests as well, in a discounted holiday deal.
6.Inspectors. Although most resorts do their own inspections with company big shots as the inspectors, some resorts send anonymous inspectors to the resorts as paid guests. These paid inspectors make detailed observations of all guest areas and guest services and submit their report to the person who commissioned the work after their departure and vanishes in to the thin air there after. This is very effective in keeping everyone including managers and the whole resort in its best form as nobody seems to know when the gestapo arrives.
7.Friday Imam. A local imam is hired and brought to resort for Friday sermon from nearby islands or from Male’ to lead the faithful in the Friday prayers. This is good public relations thing with the islands as people of the islands appreciate their usefulness to the otherwise useless nearby resort..
8.Supply department. This is one department resorts shall disown sooner than later for their own good. Local suppliers specializing in resort supplies are better able to do this because they have many advantages over resort employed supply personnel such as local market knowledge, the sense that their success depends on a satisfied resort etc etc. . The way to go about is to go gradually and to build on trust. Better still to equip a capable honest agent based in Male’ and to start a “supply relationship”.
9.Power house. This is also a trend that is there but does not seem to move fast enough. Part of the problem is the lack of capable engineering firms in Male’ or in the nearby vicinity of the island as the existing engineering firms are saturated with contracted commitments to service resorts for a nominal monthly fee. The terms of the commitment would include a nominal monthly fee regardless of whatever happens in the resort vis-avis the generator sets and special discounted terms to service yearly or biannual major overhauls of the systems etc.
10.Launch Section. Operating a “Launch section” is costly business and resorts are aware of this. It would involve a capable workshop to handle marine engines both inboard and outboard, the engineering people well versed in this special type of engineering as well as a sizable army of captains and crews, facilitators and a one more manager to the management elite group. Despite the costliness of this operation, several resorts have their own Launch Sections thanks to the few number of firms capable of catering for the constant but erratic travel needs of the resorts.
11.Insect and Pest Controllers. Some of our resorts fight the endless, thankless job of controlling the pests and other insects with sprayers, fog machines, traps and a range of chemicals and devices every day of the year all year round. Most resorts as of yet do a d.i.y (do it yourself) job of this as there are very few firms providing this service in resorts in Male’ or Maldives.
12.Fire fighting infrastructure. Fire fighting equipment and systems are not the domain of everyday people as they are subjected to stricter rules or the insurance companies will take a flight from responsibility when unfortunate things happens… A couple of firms are available to provide the required services in this field and resorts are having to do with whatever is available in the market and curb their demands. There is strong need for competition in this field.
13.Landscaping.. same as above. But landscaping is normally required at the beginning of a resorts life after which an army of homegrown professionals take over. 2 known companies provide this service.
Laptops and personal computers are common among resort workers and is used for variety of reasons. For the expatriate staff the predominant use is to keep in touch with family back home via voip such as skype or Msn messenger. However there is a handicap of laptop use that frequently arises in resort and that is the issue of viruses (in Microsoft Windows) which at times is a minor nuisance whilst in other cases makes many a laptop inoperable. This is a grievous issue for staff in resorts in far flung islands in Maldives far away from Male and expert help.
Our solution to the problem is simple… Use live cds or at least keep one live cd in case things get wrong.
Linux Live cds are complete operating systems in one cd which can be used to boot a laptop or a desktop from cd rom and a whole functioning operating system springs to life in no time. Unlike Microsoft Windows Linux live cds need not be installed to the computer and is very handy when a computer is infected and no longer operable. Unlike like windows, most linux live cd distributions have all the programs and applications installed such as media player, cd writer, internet browser, messenger, graphics programs as well as open office suite which has substitutes for Microsoft applications such as Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.
Here is a link to a collection of Linux Live CD Distributions which are of course free and need only to be burnt to a cd in the iso format and booted only from Cd ROM.
If the computer or laptop seems to ignore a burnt live cd bootable disk then the boot order (or priority) setting in the bios may need to be changed to start the computer from cdrom first.
We recommend Ubuntu which is a linux distribution most popular and easiest to use and can be used without installing on to hard disk. Another much smaller but as simple one is Puppy. Its amazing how small and yet powerful these distros are and brings real meaning to the processing power in computers..