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Tom 03-09-2005 01:45 PM

[2005-03-09] Slavering Geeks Await Blackberry's Arrival

THE Insider's friend, a true gizmo geek, could not contain himself when MTN started bombarding SA with advertisements for its new BlackBerry service.

After months of bugging them about it, he decided to give the business division a call.

"It has been up since January," said the MTN person on the other end, "just call any major dealer." So, he called the dealers and to a person they said that, no, BlackBerrys are not yet ready and that it might only be a few months.

It seemed useful to inform the business division of this, so he gave them a quick call.

A friendly fellow said, "Well, yes, just give us a call in a month or two."

Now, this might be put down to clever advertising or just creating a buzz, but there is a dangerously excited phalanx of geeks out there and they want their toys now.

Tough, apparently. MTN says the service now being deployed is for corporate users only.

The rest of us must wait until next month for the full commercial deployment.

Tale of two hotels

IT WAS a tale of two hotels for all those attending this week's signing ceremony on the deal between Kumba and Transnet to boost capacity for South African iron-ore exports.

Reporters, Transnet and Kumba folk had all been invited to the Holiday Inn at Johannesburg International Airport, but on arrival were met by blank stares. It then emerged there are two Holiday Inns near the airport and the venue was the Holiday Inn Garden Court.

On the bright side, Transnet CE Maria Ramos and Kumba's Con Fauconnier were among those who initially went to the wrong hotel, so it is likely that those responsible for organising the event will be under clear instructions to be a bit more precise in future when sending out invitations.

Famous last words

"SO WE went to Atari and said, hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us?

"Or we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you. And they said: 'No.'

"So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet." - Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and Hewlett-Packard interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer.

What Martha said

GUESS what Martha Stewart, the US lifestyle guru convicted of fraudulently boosting her company's stock price, said after five months in jail.

She said: "Pride in homekeeping creates serenity and pleasure. I even experienced it standing around the microwave in the place where I was staying."

Stewart began a five-month house arrest sentence this week.

"During the last five months, I've had the privilege to meet an incredible cross section of people," she said.

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