Column: Router ready to do imbibing duty

The Router has never shirked the solemn duty of good cheer; indeed, he has lately been conducting coalition negotations (that is the chic phrase now, is it not?) on several continents.

The Router has never shirked the solemn duty of good cheer; indeed, he has lately been conducting coalition negotations (that is the chic phrase now, is it not?) on several continents.

First up, I happened to be able to splash the lederhosen with mein gut freundes at Computerworld Austria as they celebrated their 10th anniversary in a 12-hour alcoholic slog in which the flow of bubbly rivalled that of the mighty Rhine itself.

This, of course, sent out a challenge to Computerworld New Zealand to celebrate its own first decade in at least the same style. Top of the pops at Computerworld's Auckland waterfront shindig was IT legend Brian Eardley-Wilmott, who demonstrated a dancefloor dash which would have stunned Michael Jackson--and did, indeed, stun several young Computerworld employees, who required medical attention after sharing the floor with the 'Mott.

But no recent social event has come within cooee of Corel's World Design Awards, wherein Corel CEO Mike Cowpland unveiled the answer to his company's flailing business strategy. And the answer is: BOTTOM CLEAVAGE! Cowpland's lovely new wife, an awards judge, modelled the radical new low-end dress style which will soon become compulsory for Corel employees and agents worldwide. The Router was, frankly, stunned--especially having lost his hotel key in greeting the young lady and being too much of a gentleman to enquire after it.

Winebox sensitivities

In the wake of the Winebox inquiry, there is no more sensitive government department than Inland Revenue. So, it was not a surprise that, a week out from the election, it chose not to inform the two short-listed parties who had prevailed in the bid for office automation and workflow--a project which is expected to cost at least $5 million in the first year, growing from there. On one side is IBM, on the other a Hewlett-Packard-led consortium. The Router understands the decision is well and truly made but IRD is still keeping it under wraps--there is, after all, no political master decided. Bar talk has the HP consortium on short odds--but then they said that about Mike Tyson, did they not?

Geoff who?

Who is this man? (pictured) What is he doing with his knuckles? And can somebody, for mercy's sake, spray something on that caterpillar eating his top lip? No, in truth, it is not an attack of the killer tussock moths, but Microsoft New Zealand boss Geoff Lawrie, in a former life as director of Unisys's 1990 Commonwealth Games effort. Lawry had bravely volunteered to alpha-test a new form of wireless mouse which was implanted into the faces of marketing executives, giving them more flexbility in presentations. The idea failed, but he can still be seen occasionally right-clicking his chin.

Brown hack

I happened to find Computerworld hack Russell Brown slumped at his desk, moaning "I'm sorry" over and over this week. Sorry for what? His lamentable efforts at personal grooming? No, he explained, for following Peter Wiggin's otherwise excellent Wired Kiwis in tagging VUW's Internet demigod Mark Davies as a one-time DSIR employee in a story for Computerworld's 10th anniversary issue. Davies is not and never has been in the employ of the DSIR. He doesn't drink enough tea, for one thing.


Oh dear, dear me. For all the hoopla about Telecom 0800 word numbers, it seems that Telecom is struggling. First a Computerworld employee bought a phone--from Telecom--which had the wrong letters under each key. Then another chum reports he repeatedly called Telecom directory to find out the 0800 word number for Telecom's embattled ISP, Xtra. He was told, each time, to call 0800-BUY-EXTRA--which, as students of the ISP wars will know, is the number registered by Xtra's mortal enemy, Voyager. With a directory service like that, who needs enemies?

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