I was at my parents place last night for a family meal. As I went to retrieve my laptop bag and coat to leave I spotted my father moving the furniture in their 1st room apart to make a large free area of floor. (No idea what you would call the room, it looks like a sitting room with a comfortable sofa, coffee table, etc. They just never use it for anything) ..
Now nothing my parents do really surprises me so I ignored it and collected my stuff, as i went to leave my Dad said “I’m just checking this thing i think i have a fault somewhere” So I look at him to see if he’s talking to me or himself. I get another couple of steps closer the door “I’m programing this nurse call system i designed…“ OK i think, He must be proud of it and want to show me what he’s done. So I wander over to where he’s laying out blueprints, wiring diagrams, and such across the floor as his laptop boots up.
So he starts pointing out the several dozen call points, lift monitoring, alarm light/buzzers, display panels, control panels, etc. And explains how when a point is activated it displays its details on a defined display, lights up certain lights so nurses can easily see where the problem is. As he’s pointing to the blueprints and explaining I make the obligatory “ohhh” “ahhh” “cool” appreciative noises, after all I had just had a nice meal. So when he’s finished and been quiet for a bit I go to stand up, “I just need to redo part of it, the lights are not working right and…” I sit back down.
He now goes on to inform me the programing uses groups, areas, zones. *laptop is in the way of some paper and gets slid a bit closer to me* He shows me the software that you use to program and set up the whole system, and explains how once its all setup on the laptop you just upload it to the main control and it configures the entire system. He leans over to point at something on the blueprints *laptop moves closer to me as it was in the way of something* “See, This section I’m calling the yellow zone only I need these lights on when any points are activated, and this light here” *pointing at part of diagram as laptop is moved closer to me out of the way* “and its not working correctly“. He then reads out part of the instruction booklet he has about zones.
“Ah, I see the displays are groups, cal-points areas, and lights zones. Its not like the old skool alarm zones, I see where that must be confusing” I say. “and zones can be activated by areas or individual points, Nice“ He looks at me blankly for a second, makes a quick note of what I said and goes “Humm what do you mean?” *laptop is turned round to face me*
I sigh. And show him on the software how the lights have multiple ways you can control them. “Oh, i think i set it up wrong when I programed the system. I’ll have to redo it all ” Yes, I heard the emoticon in his tone of voice. So I sigh again as its always good fun, and start checking on the software for programing this stuff.
A couple of hours later and I can now program and design these systems to do whatever is needed, I’ve reset his program up to do what he needs as he walked through each section of the hospital, And I even managed to translate the terms it used into the terms my Dad is more used to using so he can do it himself from now on. It is hard, He has spent many years working on all sorts of alarm systems (He taught me how to wire/design alarm systems) and ever since year 1 a zone = an area of comman alarms items. In this system a zone is an individual or group of lights. So we have it all setup as he wants it, I stand up from the floor, streach and “Thanks, now how do we program it so if an alarm goes unanswered for a set length of time the other nurse stations are buzzed?” Sigh, sit back down.
At least he now has the basic system programed up, and better yet he understands the new terms, and how to use the software. So he should be able to do all future changes himself.
See, no such thing as a free dinner, There was not even a sweet!