The global village.
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 96 15:44:30 -0700
Subject: The global village.
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KABINDA, ZAIRE--In a move IBM offices are hailing as a major step in the
company's ongoing worldwide telecommunications revolution, M'wana Ndeti,
a member of Zaire's 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
IBM's 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,
IBM's director of marketing. "Whether you're a nun cloistered in an
Italian abbey or an Aborigine in Australia's Great Sandy Desert, IBM has
the ideas to get you where you want to go today."
According to Ndeti, of the modem's 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," Ndeti said. "The modem did not break. It is a good
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 computer's 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 computer's
200-page owner's manual.
IBM spokespeople praised Ndeti's 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."
© 1996 Peter Langston