March Madness Isn't The Only Thing Heating up

SAN MATEO (03/27/2000) - After much consultation with our HR department, last week I hired Madison as the new intern.

She's the one with the Harley who told me I reminded her of her father. She has a picture of him on her new desk (and he looks much much older than I do), right next to the picture of her hulking boyfriend Hank, a bodybuilder.

Meanwhile, I'm getting badly whomped in the NCAA basketball tournament office pool. It's a good thing I'm in the field all the time so I can escape the ridicule of my peers.

He's on fire!

During one of the games I caught the new Microsoft Corp. commercial featuring the musical theme of "Confutatis Maledictis" from Mozart's Requiem.

Although I may be a technology and hoops guru, two things I know next to nothing about are theology and classical music. However, a friend enlightened me on what that music theme means.

In the commercial, the cheery line on the screen asks "Where do you want to go today?"

As if answering, the chorus sings "Confutatis maledictis, flammis acribus addictis," which translates roughly to "The damned and accursed are convicted to the flames of hell."

But the flames and heat of Hades are not restricted to Microsoft users. As noted last week, some Toshiba users have reported that their systems have gotten so hot they've "melted down" permanently. Toshiba blamed it on the Intel processors, but readers have written in about the burning hot laptops that also have melted down -- literally.

One reader reports that back in 1992 the keyboard of his 1-month-old Toshiba laptop actually did melt, saying "the keys physically curled up and turned brown."

The user tried to get a replacement from Toshiba. However, Toshiba claimed that it was not at fault for the molten machine, instead insisting that someone must have used a hair dryer on those keys. (Must have been someone from Intel).

"Apparently this happened in the couple of minutes I was out of my office (in my home!) getting a glass of water," the reader said.

More than a year later, the reader's dealer found a service advisory marked "confidential" saying that all units in a certain serial number range were potential fire hazards. The reader reports that there were apparently instances of units burning right through users' desks! His Toshiba serial number was in the range of fire hazard laptops, and he was eventually granted a refund.

The Win2000 phile

More reports from the field are coming in about the apparent shortage of new machines running Windows 2000. One reader ordered a Win2000 laptop from Quantex, which the dealer promised would be delivered in three weeks.

After five weeks of waiting and multiple calls to the company, the reader got a machine running Windows 98. When he called to complain, Quantex said that at some point he had changed his purchase invoice, something the user claims he never did.

Maybe it was those pesky hairdryer vandals from Intel again.

I PLAN TO TRAIN MADISON to become as much of a tip magnet as I am, so be nice to her if she calls you to follow up.

Or just send me a tip at

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