E-tales - It's getting hot in here


Can’t take the heat

They say bought sense is better than taught sense and it certainly seems to be the case where teens are concerned — and beyond in some cases.

Computerworld’s editor provided us with a fine example of this last week. After a flood at his house, he advised his 20-something daughter to let her damp PC dry out for a few days before using it again. But, with the impatience of youth, she just couldn’t wait, so attempted to speed up the process by pointing a fan heater directly at the machine.

The result? It still works — and probably did dry out faster than it would have done otherwise — but it’s now a bit deformed on the front-end. Apparently, she doesn’t care — or at least says she doesn’t.

Dell goes all Dellboy

Normally, E-tales sticks to the amusing but silly, but with this tale we’ve moved into the seriously expletive stupid category. It concerns Dell’s latest keyboards, which seek to rearrange the qwerty keyboard by virtue of having a too-big ‘shift’ key. This bumps the ‘Z’ one along — it should sit between the ‘A’ and ‘S’ above it. Of course, this means every other key on the bottom row is displaced too. This makes even the quasi touch-typing many of engage in a tad difficult.

Jake Gordon, from the UK, discovered the problem when he was sent such a keyboard and has lambasted Dell on Flickr. Things do get a bit amusing here, with a debate breaking out about buying Macs instead … except Gordon complains about them having no delete button.

The public service part of this e-tale? Although the dodgy keyboards are alleged to be few, and confined to Europe, be careful not to inadvertently buy one on Trade Me or somewhere. They can be easy to miss too — until you start typing. The Vostro 1310 and 1510 are the ones to watch out for.

A poxy acronym

One of our e-talers couldn’t help smiling at the birth of yet another IT industry TLA (three-letter acronym) he encountered recently. He’s been around the industry for a while, but it was the first time he’d heard of POX — or plain-old XML. Curious, he googled POX and there, first on the list, was Wikipedia’s definition of plain-old XML. However, the image results for “POX” at the top of the page showed some distressing pictures of pox-affected people and birds.

Silent takeover

Stop the presses — New Zealand is now a part of Australia! Or so Adobe’s PR company in Sydney, Text 100, seems to think. It recently sent a press release to Computerworld New Zealand trumpeting the fact that there was an Australian-only deal on offer for a new Adobe product. Or maybe Text 100 was just giving New Zealand the proverbial two fingers.

Pass the agenda around

Corporate-speak of the week, from someone charged with helping to design a new office suite and datacentre for a major New Zealand organisation: “We’re high on meetings”.

E-tales thinks he simply meant “we have a lot of meetings”. However, we can think of some organisations where things might be rather different; where corporate meetings are euphoric, hallucinogenic even.

Campbell live under the radar

Broadcaster John Campbell was chosen to round off last month’s conference on Managing Identity in New Zealand — the launch platform for the government’s igovt ID scheme.

Chairing a panel discussion, Campbell presented his credentials. “Like it or not, I have become an ‘identity’,” he said. “People point at me and say, ‘oh look, there’s thingy’.”

He’s also been mistaken for Michael Campbell — “my golf is shit” — he revealed. And he was once gratified by a bunch of strangers shouting, “We love you John Campbell”. His glow of satisfaction quickly disappeared though when a car sped past and an occupant yelled a much less complimentary “Wanker!”

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