What the OCA should do next


Take a look at the different industry outcomes...

IT Industry

I bought a new printer yesterday, I eagerly brought it back and wanted to see how well it would work with the rest of my equipment.

I plugged it in and connected it to my network.

My Mac instantly recognised the new device and asked if I wanted to set it up so it would work with my system. I didn't need to set an IP address and indeed it would have worked just as well had I connected using USB or Wi-Fi. The process would have been the same.

My Mac first looked to see if it had the driver already, it didn't, so it just automatically connected to the internet and downloaded the correct driver.

The driver wasn't unique to that printer. The manufacturer actually makes a whole range of similar models and updates them fairly frequently. Rather than have a driver for each individual model and have to deal with countless updates, they just update the whole driver package as required, 99% of the code is the same. This makes it much easier for them to keep track of things and to provide support.

Once the driver was downloaded the printer recognised that the driver was for multiple models of printer. The printer I got was a cheaper model that did colour but not double sided printing. So the printer just told the Mac what facilities it offered so the Mac then knew not to ask it to do anything it couldn't.

I used the printer straight away and it was fine. The output was good but I then realised that I really should have bought the better model with double sided printing. I called the supplier and as I was a good customer they were happy to exchange it for the better model just for the difference in price.

Plugging the new one in was the same process as before. I just selected the new model as my front office printer and carried on working. The software showed that I had new features available but everything else stayed the same.

The output was the same as before even though the equipment had changed.

If only all industries made equipment that did that...

Audio Industry

I bought a new amplifier yesterday, I eagerly brought it back and wanted to see how well it would work with the rest of my equipment.

I plugged it in and connected it to my network.

My mixing console instantly recognised the new device and asked if I wanted to set it up so it would work with my system. I didn't need to set an IP address and indeed it would have worked just as well had I connected using Dante or Ravenna. The process would have been the same.

My mixing console first looked to see if it had the driver already, it didn't, so it just automatically connected to the internet and downloaded the correct driver.

The driver wasn't unique to that amplifier. The manufacturer actually makes a whole range of similar models and updates them fairly frequently. Rather than have a driver for each individual model and have to deal with countless updates, they just update the whole driver package as required, 99% of the code is the same. This makes it much easier for them to keep track of things and to provide support.

Once the driver was downloaded the amplifier recognised that the driver was for multiple models of amplifier. The amplifier I got was a cheaper model that was multi-channel but had no signal processing. So the amplifier just told the mixing console what facilities it offered so the mixing console then knew not to ask it to do anything it couldn't do.

I used the amplifier straight away and it was fine. The output was good but I then realised that I really should have bought the better model with signal processing. I called the supplier and as I was a good customer they were happy to exchange it for the better model just for the difference in price.

Plugging the new one in was the same process as before. I just selected the new model as my monitor amplifier and carried on working. The software showed that I had new features available but everything else stayed the same.

The output was the same as before even though the equipment had changed.

If only all industries made equipment that did that...