Shark Tank

NEXT WAVE in Y2K news: layoffs. (Wait a minute, wasn't this thing supposed to keep us all rich until 2003 or so?) One smallish consultancy axed half its Y2K staff on Dec. 27. Wanted to beat the rush, maybe.

The other staffers got it nine days later.

AND THEN there was the contractor who developed the online version of a medium-size New England newspaper. "Did such a great job, the paper laid him off," a pilot fish reports. A possible Y2K bug occurred to the guy in December.

But he was at a new gig. And less than thrilled with the way he'd been treated.

When the paper's Web banner read "Monday, January 3rd, 3900," he was less than surprised.

HELP DESK is coaching a user through a date change. User gives it a try.

Shouts: "I get an error that says ‘Wrong date, dummy.' " Try again, sir. "Nope.

Same thing. ‘Wrong date, dummy.' " Help desk, baffled, asks him to read back the error exactly. User: "WRONG DATE DD-MM-YY."

GUY THING Kevin Smith is IS manager at Spyder Active Sports in Boulder, Colo.

He's outsourcing his ERP system to an application service provider. What was the hardest part? Doing the contract? Nailing down quality levels? Nah. Smith says it was realizing he's "not going to have this great server rack that I could show off to people."

THIS CFO's laptop is "a $4,200 paperweight," a pilot fish says. Never leaves its docking station. Then the CEO decrees all execs will get connected. CFO takes his laptop home a couple times. Disaster. "He can't figure out how to connect to his ISP, our VPN, or get Notes to load." Solution? The company buys him another laptop for his home. The Shark kids you not. Silver lining: "This one is only $3,700."

The Shark got all these swank Christmas gifties. Then a Cyveillance study said 4% to 8% of Web sites offering Gucci- and Rolex-branded products are peddling fakes. That explains the cold shoulder at the pawn shop. For an authentic T-shirt:, go to sharky@computerworld.com. To get swindled daily:computerworld.com/sharky.

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