Thursday, November 26, 2009

Randolph County, you've disappointed me once again

As I've mentioned numerous times before, I spent a good portion of this year having to use an old PC running Windows 98. Actually, I have more than one of these dinosaurs.

I got them in trade about two years ago from B.J. Boomhauer. He'd bought an entire lot of them at some auction. I took them all home and - one by one - hooked 'em up, plugged 'em in, turned 'em on and separated the wheat from the chaff. In return for my time and effort, I got to keep a few for myself. I knew that someday my laptop would fail me and I'd be stuck between a rock and a hard place without a paddle. At least these out-of-date machines would give me something to fall back on.

I'd previously glanced at some of the documents left behind by previous users. It was obvious the computers came from the Randolph County school system. None of the stuff looked interesting so I focused my attention on more important things like Facebook status updates and other time-killing sites.

Now that I have my groovy PowerBook G4 (thanks Dean & Ana!), I wanted to get these old computers out of the way. But, before I did that, I wanted to check for any documents I may have saved to them.

While munching away on Thanksgiving leftovers, I set up the first computer and started poking around. While looking at a folder full of text documents, I opened a few from the previous user. This time, I was very interested in what I saw.

This particular computer was used by the school nurse for Randolph County schools. A lot of the documents were form letters to be printed out as needed. But there were plenty of documents that had students' names and their various medical conditions. Who got sent home with ringworm or pink-eye. Which kids had head lice. Who had what kind of medication in the nurse's office. It covers elementary, middle school and high school kids. Some of the documents were dated 2004 so many of these kids are still in the school system.

This computer has all kinds of info that I'm sure both kids and parents alike don't want to share with random people. I wish the school system felt as strongly about keeping students' medical information confidential.

So far, I've only spent about 20 minutes looking at these documents. Who knows what else I might find on this - or the other five - computers?

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