Rose is back from Mexico, looking tan and fit. I picked her up from the San Francisco airport, and we went to her apartment where she was gratified to find 17 messages on her answering machine.
She spent the next hour listening to and deleting her messages - several of which were from men with whom I'm not familiar.
One company that seems to not get the message is Pacific Bell. A while back I said that much of its sales force seemed unaware that it markets Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) services. I assumed PacBell had got its act together, but I recently heard from a reader who was told by a PacBell representative that "you can't buy DSL from us - you need an ISP". So, for the benefit of PacBell sales reps reading this column, let me just clarify something: PacBell is an ISP, and it does sell DSL services. Get the message?
Rose had an explanation for each of her messages (dentist, family friend, etc), but I must admit I wasn't convinced.
U.S. Robotics, however, has no explanation of why it charges its users $US5000 to act as its advertiser.
That is the price of the USR/3Com NetServer I-Modem terminal server, which was bought by one reader. But when users dial in, it answers with "Welcome to U.S. Robotics". The user tried to change the message, causing the server to crash. He was told by USR/3Com that a fix is "not planned".
I don't know if Microsoft is planning a fix for this problem, but it seems to be making it as hard as possible to remove the unique ID identifier from Office documents. According to one reader, in order to install a 140Kb patch for doing this, it is first necessary to download and install 31.5MB of SR1 and SR2 updates.
Rose has already had her vacation photos developed. The one she likes most shows her lighting a cigarette at the airport check-in desk in Mexico. But what I want to know is, who is the tall, dark man holding the match?