Panicked user grabs mainframe admin. late on a Friday afternoon and says the monthly report he just received is identical to last month's. User says the data snafu must be fixed at once or he can't do his job. "After investigating, I found a system change had indeed stopped updating the file that created his report -- 10 months before," says IT. "He had been getting the exact same report for 10 months. He got a strange look on his face when I told him this -- in front of my manager, of course. And then I walked out the door to enjoy my weekend." Oops!


Regional manager at a retail chain forgets his first laptop on a store counter. When he returns, it's gone, so he reports it stolen. "That night, he got a phone call from a person saying he was a police officer and they caught a man with his laptop," says an IT insider. "The officer said the manager's business card was taped to the laptop, and if he knew the laptop's password, the officer would know it was his. The manager gave him the password. The officer said thank you and hung up. When the manager called the police back to ask when he could get his laptop, they replied, 'What laptop and what officer?' "


EMC is seeking a court injunction to prevent Hewlett-Packard from shipping its CASA storage appliance with the remote and local mirroring software it presently includes, following a jury verdict this month in a software patent dispute between the two companies. A US jury found that HP has infringed three of EMC's software patents relating to the creation of identical copies, or mirrors, of system files. Two of the patents cover a remote mirroring technique used in EMC's Symmetrix Remote Data Facility, EMC said. The other covers a mirroring technique used in the company's TimeFinder software. HP became involved in the dispute following its July 2001 acquisition of StorageApps Inc, a storage management company, which EMC initially sued over the matter in October 2000.

"HP disagrees with the jury's decision of infringement of the EMC patents asserted against HP," a HP spokesman said. However, HP is "prepared to take whatever steps necessary to minimize the potential impact to existing customers and channel partners." HP and EMC are also involved in a separate California lawsuit involving seven patents.

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