18
Sep

IBM Global Village

KABINDA, ZAIRE–In a move IBM office are hailing as a major step in the
companys ongoing worldwide telecommunications revolution, Mwana Ndeti,
a member of Zaires Bantu tribe, used an IBM global uplink network modem
yesterday to crush a nut.
Ndeti, who spent 20 minutes trying to open the nut by hand, easily
cracked it open by smashing it repeatedly with the powerful modem. I could not
crush the nut by myself, said the 47-year-old Ndeti, who added the savory
nut to a thick, peanut-based soup minutes later. With IBMs help, I was
able to break it.
Ndeti discovered the nut-breaking, 28.8 V.34 modem yesterday, when IBM was
shooting a commercial in his southwestern Zaire village. During a break in
shooting, which shows African villagers eagerly teleconferencing via
computer with Japanese schoolchildren, Ndeti snuck onto the set and took the
modem, which he believed would serve well as a smashing utensil.
IBM officials were not surprised the longtime computer giant was able to
provide Ndeti with practical solutions to his everyday problems. Our
telecommunications systems offer people all over the world global networking
solutions that fit their specific needs, said Herbert Ross, IBMs
director of marketing. Whether youre a nun cloistered in an Italian abbey
or an Aborigine in Australias Great Sandy Desert, IBM has the ideas to get
you where you want to go today.
According to Ndeti, of the modems many powerful features, most impressive
was its hard plastic casing, which easily sustained several minutes of
vigorous pounding against a large stone. I put the nut on a rock, and I hit
it with the modem, he said. The modem did not break. It is a good modem.
Ndeti was so impressed with the modem that he purchased a new,
state-of-the-art IBM workstation, complete with a PowerPC 601
microprocessor, a quad-speed internal CD-ROM drive and three 16-bit ethernet
networking connectors. The tribesman has already made good use of the
computer system, fashioning a gazelle trap out of its wires, a boat anchor
out of the monitor and a crude but effective weapon from its mouse.
This is a good computer, said Ndeti, carving up a just-captured gazelle
with the computers flat, sharp internal processing device. I am using
every part of it. I will cook this gazelle on the keyboard. Hours later,
Ndeti capped off his delicious gazelle dinner by smoking the computers
200-page owners manual.
IBM spokespeople praised Ndetis choice of computers. We are pleased
that the Bantu people are turning to IBM for their business needs, said
company CEO William Allaire. From Kansas City to Kinshasa, IBM is bringing
the world closer together. Our cutting-edge technology is truly creating a
global village.

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