GBU

Good

While readers are familiar with GBU tales of business executives struggling to learn how to use e-mail it seems IT's technical expertise is required for even simple tasks. An IT company relocating to central Sydney had stacks of flattened boxes delivered to begin the tedious task of packing. Two of the directors, struggling to assemble the flattened boxes although the instructions are printed on the box, have 50-plus years business experience and a few university degrees but it was the knowhow of the trusty IT trainee who had to manage the assembly of all boxes.

Bad

IBM has been forced to voluntarily recall about 56,000 monitors that have the potential to catch fire due to a faulty component on the monitor's circuit board. The 15in IBM G51 CRT (cathode-ray tube) monitor and the 15in G51t touch-screen CRT monitors assembled between June 1997 and September 1997 are affected by the recall. Users can check the rear information labels of their G51 monitors for the model numbers 6541-02N, 6541-02E, or 6541-02S and those dates of manufacture to determine if they should stop using the monitor. The model numbers of recalled G51t monitors are 6541-Q0N, 6541-Q0E, or 6541-Q0S, but IBM urged all users of G51t monitors to contact IBM. A component on the monitor's circuit board can overheat under certain conditions and produce smoke, creating a potential fire hazard, IBM said.

Ugly

Substantial compensation and the reputation of an industry icon may hinge on the decision of a Swiss judge on March 20 to either accept or reject requests to proceed with a lawsuit against IBM. The Gypsy International Recognition and Compensation Action (GIRCA) group is taking action against IBM after the group's lawyer researched the claim IBM provided the punch-card data-processing systems, known as Hollerith machines, that allowed Nazis to categorise and track concentration camps victims and that the US company was aware of how its equipment was being used. Around 600,000 Gypsies, mostly from Central and Eastern Europe, are believed to have been killed by the Nazis during the Second World War. IBM isn't saying much before the March 20 hearing. "We don't comment pending litigation," said Brain Doyle, a spokesman for IBM. "However, we feel the case is without merit."

Send to: gbu@idg.com.au

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