Still waiting for the voucher ...

It's reassuring to know that I'm not the only one who got suckered by the "we'll send you a $50 wine voucher for your trouble" vendor survey.

It’s reassuring to know that I’m not the only one who got suckered by the “we’ll send you a $50 wine voucher for your trouble” vendor survey. At the time I’m writing this, the day after the publication of my last column, one faithful reader has fessed up to having been similarly snared and then subsequently disappointed. Picking on me is one thing – I deserve it – but the readers? Shame on you. By the way, did I mention that I know who was paying for the survey?

Speaking of shameful, did anyone read Theresa Gattung’s comments in the Telecom piece in the April 21 issue of Sunday Star-Times? The quote where she was complaining that “Huge chunks of New Zealand cost way more than what we charge people today” had me gagging on my toast. Apparently, according to Telecom research some 471,000 of Telecom’s residential customers are costing them something like $400 each per year.

Hmmm. Ever hear of the Kiwi Share? It’s enshrined in an act of parliament and it was designed to ensure Telecom gives New Zealanders -- all New Zealanders -- a fair go. Boo-bloody-hoo. Get over it. Instead of whinging about things that she can’t change, maybe Theresa should be paying closer attention to Telecom’s estimated $4 billion of Australian investments which are, by all accounts, haemorrhaging badly. And maybe Telecom should spend their research dollars looking a bit more closely at the stuff they want to buy before they buy it.

What is it with New Zealand CEOs and making bad, overpriced investments in Australian businesses, anyway? Sure, the Australian market with its 20 million consumers is much more attractive to any red-blooded business than our little four million-strong one is. That’s all well and good but if the road to the Australian market’s paved with gold, why is it that these big-time Kiwi investments end up performing like the bottom end of a pyramid scheme?

Mysteries abound. No one’s solved Notes wonk Miles Stafford's Windows COM-ports-under-Linux problem yet either. But someone I did hear from last week is perennial Linux-head Doug Casement. For anyone who doesn’t know, Doug is CIO magazine’s managing something-or-other and resident Linux geek. He’s been playing with, er sorry Doug … trialling CrossoverOffice, and says he’s impressed so far. That’s high praise, folks. Get it from www.codeweavers.com.

My comments a few weeks ago regarding my unease at the notion of buying services from certain merging companies elicited an email from a chap at Compaq. Now, that’s a funny thing because I don’t remember mentioning any names. I guess it made his ears burn or something. Anyway, I hit the reply button and sent back a quick response (as you do) and promised to be in touch on the following Monday and I haven’t, because I’ve been just absolutely flat out. Sorry about that. I will call him (assuming he’s still there when I get around to it) and get his side of the story.

While I’m talking to him maybe I should ask him about that wine voucher.

Swanson is IT manager at W Stevenson & Sons.

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