Tooth and nail

SolNet boss Mark Botherway clearly has a high pain threshold. In the midst of restructuring the company on account of the loss of the Sun New Zealand agency, he went off to the dentist to have his wisdom teeth out.

SolNet boss Mark Botherway clearly has a high pain threshold. In the midst of restructuring the company on account of the loss of the Sun New Zealand agency, he went off to the dentist to have his wisdom teeth out. To the suggestion that he was a sucker for punishment, Botherway told us it was an appointment he’d made some time earlier.

Fun with rockets

Earlier this month we ran an E-tale about a bank's IT staff who were having far too much fun during the day, so guidelines were put in. "Fun Facilitators help encourage having fun the entire business day," we are told. Of late, though, the bank (it's got an amusing-annoying ad campaign -- oh, that's all of them) has had a new problem to deal with: the rockets are knocking coffee cups over. Some responses:

- Public hanging for rocket shooters.

- Ban hot coffee.

- Provide Tommy-Tippee spill-proof coffee mugs.

- Limit coffee drinking to the kitchen.

- Keep them away from boys, boys are rough. (This was from a male.)

- Provide larger rockets to those who feel threatened -- peace through superior firepower [we particularly liked that one].

- Make hard hats available.

- Sound a siren or yell "incoming!" before launch.

- Make counselling available.

- Ensure ACC levies are up to date.

Some sensible suggestions were made, but it was decided that rockets need to be launched in the badminton court area, as opposed to the general work area. "Please respect this from here on in ..."

Door key

To all those marketers who like to use the word “key” in their promotional material (“X has been one of the key players in the success of Y” -– a real example from an internal IDG communication; yikes!), National MP John Key puts you to shame.


At the Wi-Fi Planet conference in California recently, Cisco executive Steve Nye noted that many barriers to the implementation of wireless LANs at the enterprise level have been removed, what with security measures such as WPA (Wi-Fi protected access). Nye also noted that the emerging 802.11i standard would bolster security and said integrating wireless and wired LANs with a common management scheme would allow companies to better control wireless LANs. On the downside, he noted wireless LANs won't be pervasive until seamless roaming is available. A nice summation of the potential of Wi-Fi, except that the Wi-Fi Planet WLAN proved only intermittently available.

Windows' awkward ole

A Microsoft Windows user issued a desperate query to IDG’s PressF1 help website late last month under the heading “My computer has gone Spanish or something”.

“My computer has been going pretty all right where language has been concerned until recently” (s)he reported. But now “all Windows dialogue boxes that normally say "Save changes to untitled?", say "?Guardar cambios a untitled?", with the first question mark being upside-down [as is usual in Spanish]. I have tried all the Windows … regional and language settings to no avail.”

Lest we should imagine this is a rare mishap, another contributor added: “My computer went Chinese recently. Have you been doing anything with the Fonts folder in Windows? That is what made mine Chinese.”

Further postings suggested that if the problem proved obstinate, it might be easier for the original complainant to learn basic Spanish than to attempt to re-educate Windows. We trust a fix was offered. You’d be up for quite a few hundred pesetas if you had to resort to the MS help line.

Confession time for one of our staffers, who admits that when fiddling with the colour settings on Windows he once suceeded in changing all menus and dialogue boxes to white-on-white (ie invisible). It's a tribute to the Windows GUI's "consistent metaphors" that he managed to guess his way out of it.

Internet saves cash


example of new technology actually saving somebody time and money. AP reports that Sean Leach of New Jersey used his cellphone and a friend's computer to avoid having his car towed when caught driving an unregistered vehicle. While the patrolman was writing him a ticket, Leach called a friend and had his vehicle registered on the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission's website.

By the time the ticket was issued the car was deemed legal, and Leach was allowed to continue on his merry way without having to watch his car hoisted behind a towtruck.

Comic relief

If you've ever felt that your life in the cubicle and meeting room -- with added jargon -- is like something out of a comic book (and we don't mean Dilbert), a guy called Neil McAllister has taken the idea literally. If you haven't had this strip emailed to you, check out

The Adventures of Action Item, Professional Superhero.

Bunch of art

If you fancy yourself as a bit of an artist, particularly an expressionist (because you can't actually draw that well), try this:

We were crap.

How much is that dorgi ...

News that the English rugby team got a hero's reception before hundreds of thousands and a parade down Oxford St in the Sweet Chariot bus is all good and deserved. They later went on to Buckingham Palace, for pics with the Queen (cue cute captions about the diminutive monarch and the 2m Martin Johnson). What amused some of us -- and, no, it has nothing to do with technology -- was that a dorgi (a cross between a dachshund and a corgi) named Berry insisted on being in the picture. It's apparently not a real breed, as the UK's

Kennel Club suggests: "some of her corgis have had 'accidents' in the past with Princess Margaret’s dachshunds ...". Remember the paranoid's mantra: there are no accidents.

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