Stories by Mark Broatch

E-Tales: Sapping Sino sales

A visiting SAP executive acknowledged recently that, yes, membership of WTO aside, it's quite possible to pick up an inexpensive copy of its (not inexpensive) R/3 suite on CD at the markets in Shanghai, "but it won't help you much -- you won't get the support or maintenance".

E-Tales: Marvellous Moz

He may no longer be the National Party’s IT spokesman (the mantle has passed to Helensville MP John Key. Who?), but Maurice Williamson will surely continue to get invitations to the Computerworld Excellence Awards. In past years Williamson has provided more laughs than the paid entertainment. This year, with the awards being presented in the same week he was suspended from caucus, he had more material to work with than he could use. (Actually, he was under instructions from his lawyer not to use it.) Williamson -- presenter of the e-business of the year award -- more or less obeyed, allowing himself to loudly declare his love of winning (as opposed to his party’s tendency to come runner-up?). He then dramatically mock-signalled his surrender to the party hierarchy. But not very convincingly.

Glimmer of hope for women IT profs

The figures don’t lie: women are overrepresented in relatively unskilled IT occupations such as data entry and less common than men in skilled and managerial IT jobs at all ages.

E-tales: Ctrl+C

The government's education and science committee don't seem to know about the print function. Or are keen to pass the printing cost burden back to the hardworking taxpayer. A reader got this message in response to a submission he made by email: "Thank you for your submission on the New Organisms and Other Matters Bill. The committee have resolved to only accept submissions where 20 copies have been provided. This enables each member of the committee and committee officials to have a copy. Copies are also required for the committee's records, the news media and the Parliamentary Library. All copies should be sent together to ..."

It's Real Groovy selling CDs online

It may be comforting for its rivals to know that Real Groovy Records faced the usual difficulties of any fair-sized retailer in its move into cyberspace: merging incompatible third-party supplier catalogues into one searchable database, integrating instore and online loyalty systems and keeping customers informed about the status of their orders.

Stats Watch: A snapshot of the Linux bogey

There’s little doubt Microsoft is a mite perturbed by the bogey that is Linux. Even if only half the stories about special fighting funds, disinformation campaigns and helping SCO battle IBM’s Linux strategy have a few milligrammes of truth, it’s apparent the movement toward open source licensing and collective bug fixing has Redmond spooked. But should it? Is Linux really entering the enterprise that quickly, and what’s happening to the rest of the OSes?