I lost my head

I lost my head

I'd hoped that by tuning into public radio and keeping Pammy occupied with the long list of summer blockbuster films, I would avoid the ceaseless and not very clever advertising for Silicon Valley's premiere amusement park.

Strike the first few cords of the park's little jingle and Pammy will not be satisfied until we've ruined a perfectly good summer day among throngs of screaming children, riding ridiculous vehicles over treacherous scaffolding until I revisit the lunch for which I significantly overspent. Watching the roller-coaster ride on Wall Street, with a reporter's understanding of what lies on the other side - now that's a different story.

Take, for example, the rocket ride that was the @Home initial public offering. Shares offered at $US10.50 were pumped up to nearly $24 per share in the company's first full week of trading. The stock has now dipped a couple dollars from its high, and whispers from dissatisfied engineers inside the company are that the newest Wall Street Wonder may fall faster than Great America Park's Drop Zone ride.

Despite the financial boost of the IPO, the mood in some corners of the cable-modem company is surly, and a number of engineers and senior managers are heading for the door before the Street finds out just how badly @Home has misjudged the market for its product. Elsewhere on Wall Street, a trader felt a tickle in his belly when he noticed that the price of a particular bond was showing up differently on two different computers, both Digital Alphas. Fearing a bug in the most recent release of his software, he stepped through the code and discovered that the pow() function was returning different answers on the two machines.

Oddly enough, the machine with the newly revved motherboard was churning out errant numbers. Test your Alpha thusly: try pow(1.234567, 7.654321). If you don't get 5.017, call Digital tech support.

In that same spirit of shared solutions from shared pain, I got a message from a reader who solved the problem for Unix servers caused by the fact that Office 97 creates lowercase references for images in its HTML files while saving the image files with uppercase file names.

Having had this problem, the reader changed the configuration file in the software that provides Windows NT-style file services for his Unix server (in this case, Samba).

If this sounds like a familiar problem, change the following lines.mangle case = yespreserve case = yesdefault case = lowershort preserve case = nocase sensitive = no

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