An action-packed corporate drive day at Sydney's Eastern Creek went dramatically up in smoke last Tuesday when the star attraction crashed and caught fire.
Shocked guests of Logical (nee Anite Networks), Network Associates, and Xylan thanked their lucky stars THEY where not in the sponsors' Dodge Viper when its front left wheel broke off, sending it skidding off the road.
However, one lucky customer got the ride of his life as Dodge owner/driver and Central Coast flower grower Gary Waldon skilfully managed to keep the car from smashing into a concrete wall as it sped across a gravel trap.
But it didn't end there. Both occupants made a quick exit stage left when flames leapt into the cabin as the US muscle car caught fire.
Always breaking the news, a certain ARN news editor, driving his trusty Mazda V6 and valiantly trying to catch Xylan MD David Keane's in his recently acquired Holden V8, was one of the first on the scene of the crash.
Speaking to the passenger just minutes after the scare, ARN's would-be motoring reporter and self-confessed petrol head told Tabloid he heard him blurt: "I can't believe it. We nearly hit the wall. There were flames in the cabin. Can we do it again?"
But one of the joint sponsors was determined to not let a high-speed crash be the centre of attention. Laurie Stevens, Logical Australia's managing director, made a spectacularly smoky grab for attention when he sent his 350hp Ford Mustang into a spin on the main straight.
Not content to have his car pictured on ARN's front page [June 30], Stevens deliberately destroyed a pair of old tyres and almost collected an on-the-scene Tabloid spy in the process.
The stunt resulted in some wild cheers of approval from some very respectable (if not colourful) IT identities, revealing their true characters.
Tabloid, a long-standing guardian of sensible behaviour, would never normally condone such an act, least of all publish the pictures. . .
Tony Gattari gets an Internet fever
By Sooty Mason
Local Internet wannabe EISA has snared the talents of high-profile Harvey Norman computer boss Tony Gattari. Gattari has signed a two-year contract with EISA which will see him take responsibility for content and e-commerce initiatives in the small and home-business arena. Gattari told Tabloid that although he had been inundated with offers, he had accepted the challenge of trying to help grow an Australian company. He commented that after working with Harvey Norman he would struggle to work inside a multinational "bureaucracy".
Parent company Edge has made no secret of the fact that it is planning to float its emerging Internet operation and it's very likely that Gattari would have been offered a very attractive share package.
IM into ICU
More on the size matters saga. The people at that generous giant disty Ingram Micro should have a warm glow after sending the biggest cake ever to the ARN office (complete with the mandatory media release) last week.
But for some reason, a second gargantuan gateau was delivered to the advertising department. Hmm, recognising the average IDG staff girth, this created an opportunity . . .
The result, a spacious sponge from Ingram Micro, found its way to the Royal North Shore Hospital, where it was graciously accepted for friends and relatives waiting in the Intensive Care Unit.
Hang on, help is on its way
Points for persistence have to go to printer maker Citizen. In 1996, as a keen new Binary Logic employee, Matthew Lloyd was looking for a Windows 95 driver for his Citizen 24 pin colour printer.
Lloyd tapped out an e-mail request to Citizen for the information. With no reply, he dismissed the issue as a lost cause.
Last week, and only three years later, Citizen responded to his query . . . "What version of Windows are you running?" Tabloid will no doubt follow up in another three years.
Movers & shakers
A cute release headed "Check Point Software reaches Sumit" arrived recently to announce the appointment of Sumit Bansal as strategic accounts manager for Australia and NZ. It is understood Bansal will scale new heights of the secure enterprise market with Check Point's local channel manager Shelley Houghton.
And Tabloid received some news from Acer's super salesman, Mike Cefai.
"Due to significant sales growth in our Victorian Sales Operation, Acer Computer Australia is pleased to announce that from 1 August, the Victorian Sales Office and Repair Centre has moved to new and larger offices situated at: Ground Floor, 601 St ilda Road, Melbourne Vic 3004."