Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

May 1, 2007

Computer Problems Persist

by @ 5:42 pm. Filed under Registry Ops, Technology

We experienced our third day of technology troubles today when the server that runs our recording and in-registry search system froze and had to be restarted. We don’t know what caused it and, while it’s tempting to say it was no big deal, that’s a risky attitude to have in this business. Yesterday, the Middlesex South Satellite Office lost its connection to the computer server in Cambridge at about 2 pm, and that caused us to stop recording documents yesterday (we caught up quickly today). That problem was identified. It was due to trouble on the commercial telephone line that connects us to Cambridge and the company responsible for it fixed it early last evening. The third problem arose last Friday when the www.lowelldeeds.com site became inaccessible. Technicians got here quickly but could not solve the problem. It was only on Saturday evening that we identified the culprit as a relatively inconsequential piece of equipment that was easily by-passed. I’m not sure there’s a common link between these problems other than the advancing age of our equipment. The computer industry uses three years as the outer limit of when equipment should be replaced. Personally, many of us use home PCs for much longer than that, but I suspect that provides us with a false sense of security. Commercially used equipment like we employ at the registry endures much more wear and tear and therefore is likely to fail sooner. And with so much of our business totally dependent on our computer system, we’re not in a position to wait until something is clearly beyond it’s useful life. By then it will be too late. We have already started to replace all of our key equipment with newer models. This collection of incidents just confirms the wisdom of doing that now.

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