the Hidden Realities of Computer Industry in Japan Japanese

5.5 Intelligent Office


There is personal computer (PC), word processor, copy machine, facsimile (FAX) and automated teller machine (ATM) at every office now. It means that the office is made intelligent system by computers. And, the many security systems apply this system. Even they plan what we can access the internet easily as same as we put a modular plug into socket. Anyway, the word of "intelligent office" has been popularizing to people.

But, you haven't known important matter yet.

"Computer is mere box if no electric power."
Computer never can do without the electric power as quoting from the above "SENRYU". If we aren't provided it, the room is pitch dark at the night, foods will go bad in the refrigerator and we can't use only air-conditioner but also TV and stereo-amplifier. We have uncomfortable life at the offices or homes. Therefor, the power is most important for our life.

Many people may have a couple of experiences that the circuit breaker worked at your home. On just hearing the sound of "KLAK", all appliances isn't charged with the power, then they don't work. Because it take the limit of using over. There are many appliances that use a lot of the power at the kitchen, for example, microwave, refrigerator, coffer-maker, heat plate and toaster. Your wife should know how to take the good combination of appliances. If she don't knows it, neither she can cook and so on.

There are also many instruments that use a lot of the power at the office. PC and Word processor is known generally a big eater of one. The computer uses a little power itself, but the printers do much it. FAX doesn't use the power usually, but FAX uses much it suddenly on printing. Copy machine uses, too. Recently, many office rooms have been lighted up. It means that the more performance of the lighting progresses, the much it uses the power. It is very important to check the consumption as the lighting is on for a long time. There are also air conditioner, refrigerator, electric stove, coffer maker and electric pot that use a lot of electricity at office.

You may have some experiences that circuit breaker worked at any office. When you copy some pieces for a while, you will hear the sound of "KLAK", then the power of the word processor will go off. You may have experience to have nothing of documents in a moment that you are putting words for a long time. But it would be stupid way to be putting words without saving for a long time. When your feet catch the cords creeping on the floor, one of the plugs will take off from socket. Then, you will hear screaming that someone will be working with out saying anything beyond the desk. It is important to wire the cords clear.

If we call with connecting directly NTT line, we can do as it is on the power going off. But we can't call on using with an intelligent telephone or via an intelligent ATM without the power. ATM is useful to switch every extension number easily, but the intelligent telephone doesn't work when the power is cut off.

When we use a computer at our office, it is important that a circuit breaker doesn't work or the power provides steady. When a software maker looks for an office, it is the most important to check an electric current limit. It means what ampere we can use. When we visit to a real estate, we can see plenty of recommended office lists. But the fact is that there is no office to use the power enough.

Therefor, they rent some room of building and they install a transducer newly to add currents. They pay, of course, all costs of installing. On the case of installing addition later, a lot of costs with a terrible work such as a rock drill is carried and the floor is made a hole will occur.

We always have to worry the current limit at only the home but also the office. This is common sense in Japan that no architect plan to draw office building with using the power enough. If they consider to plan extra current at first, the building were good one to use satisfactorily. They are using computers nervously as all buildings are lack of the current.

A current architect draws with CAD. Before he achieves almost drawing, he turns a coffee maker on. As soon as roasted good smell of coffee is spreading in the room, a circuit breaker works and he will loses all drawings with taking great pain in a moment. Have you ever had the same experience? There are few architects can plan a building with using the power enough. They plan gorgeous exterior nonsensically, but they show indifference to plan the power that is the main artery of a building.

Well, let's tell the main theme. This theme is "Intelligent office" that we can use computers comfortable.

A major computer company rented an intelligent building and they held an opening party. Then they were turning switch of their computers one after another on and the computers were working. After a while, they heard a sound of "Voosh", a circuit breaker worked. As soon as they expected to demonstrate their company was more intelligent at the opening party in the intelligent office, they exposed the intelligent office was no use.

I visited the same company recently once at another building. They told me to remove in future. Because they have to remove there again as they can't use enough computers for a lack of the power. This building would be expected an intelligent office.

My friend's company removed high-rise building at Sinjuku. They are looked to remove a good place with envy but they were really leading a miserable life. The power is a shortage to work using instruments at first. They can't open windows. An air conditioner must be working all day but this air conditioner doesn't work at night. Then it sounds like that they are in the steam bath. As computers and the man emit a heat, they are having a hard. As the building is generally planed and managed on the premise that there are no man to work at night, it isn't absolutely suitable for programmer to work in it.

I've just remembered their parent company had been at the same place and same building at first. They might been uncomfortable there as I might expect. After they run there away, they provided there to their subsidiary company.

A computer manufacturer was at other high-rise building. Their technical section was also there together at first but they removed at nearby ordinary building again with some reasons. Their sales section and training section have been there for showing smart impression and fame.

A computer center of the state project established at the same building. I was used to go for a while. On a holiday, I had to go to the center as I had some business. After I submitted a notice to the guardian of the building, I could finally enter the center. We can't go freely in and out if we don't proceed one by one at night or holiday. It isn't available to develop software there.

When I used computers at a building in Sinjuku, the power went suddenly off. The circuit breaker worked. I didn't know the cause. I didn't use a lot of power how hard I try to figure. Then, the just cause appeared. The guardian said, "As you may use too much power, I cut the power off for security." Though he knew I just used computers, he cut one-sidedly the power off. How unreasonable, crazy and stupid it is. I was speechless. It isn't necessary for the guardian to control the breaker with her own way because the breaker works automatically on taking current limits over. His job should control a whole of a building as the breaker doesn't work. He has a ridiculous idea.

This building was managed perfectly by intelligent security systems. If some one invaded the one, the sensor responded immediately, the security guarding company received a warning and a guard was used to come there in a few minutes.

On one Saturday, I had to go the office in this building. As I had fortunately the key of the office, I was working at the office after removing security system. After a while, this guardsman came there really. The guardian turned the security system on again although I was there. He insisted that his action was right and he blamed that I entered the office without turning this system off. Then, we made the guardian investigate which is right, him or me. As all records saved automatically, of course, we knew the man mistook just now.

He may be just the guardian that it is the better than he isn't. If he wasn't there, this building was fairly intelligent. The appearance of this building was no good but this one considered to add the current and a telephone line easily.

One building is always held a show of rated computer. My rated company has exhibited there. When the company's staff carried computers the day before opening, they checked it working. But when the show held, computers didn't work frequently with the unknown reason. And when they investigated the cause, the voltage was going down till 90 Volts. Not only a computer but other instruments shouldn't work right. Then they finally worked computers work right on carrying UPS(Uninterrupted Power Supply).

This building should have attracted customers because of intelligence, but we couldn't use the power enough. All the room should have been renting originally by related computer companies, but there aren't almost the companies. A couple of companies use for a showroom regularly. It is necessary for the showroom to be a space with a relaxed atmosphere. It would be rather better for the showroom to save costs as the power consumes a little there.

I can write one book of an anecdote about intelligent office easily. All problems are lack of the power and the control. Currently, this problem would be only software maker. The more computers will be popularized, the more it will be necessary to supply a stable power. There are just problem before we talk about intelligence or computer. We can't lead no longer at an office and a home without the power. When the leader of proceeding intelligent office doesn't know the basic problem, he points the problem of a communicative cable or trifling out. It's just a waste time to hear his opinion.

Whenever I see the advertisement of rented house or room, their equipped ampere isn't shown. The students who live the rented room have many appliances now (Former students had usually a few them). Doesn't the real estate agent know that the man doesn't live without the power? If they show definitely the contents that inhabitants can use appliances enough, there will be many applicants to rent a room.


Copyright 1996, 1999 Hirofumi Fujiwara. Translated by S.I.
No reproduction or republication without written permission.

the Hidden Realities of Computer Industry in Japan Japanese