File spoon-archives/avant-garde.archive/avant-garde_1996/96-11-03.013, message 17

Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 21:20:08 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: kabinda (fwd)

Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 20:47:53 -0400
To: invisible-college-AT-jefferson.village.Virginia.EDU
Subject: IC: kabinda


        In a move IBM officials 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.

        Just after Ndeti shattered the nut, a 200-person Southern Baptist
gospel choir, on hand for the taping of the IBM commercial, broke out into
raucous, joyous song in celebration of the tribesman's accomplishment.  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 modem."  IBM was so grateful for Ndeti's demonstration that
they gave him 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

        "This is a good computer," said Ndeti, carving up a 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." The Bantu tribesmen are members of an
ever-growing, international community of users who have turned to IBM to
solve their networking needs.

          Normatron Division Normatron
          Le Groupe Absence

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