A hard hitting modem...

IBM revolution reaches Zaire Bantu tribe
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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 twenty 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 forty-seven-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 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 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 two
hundred-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."

Thanks to Sam Wong for this contribution.


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This message was sent on 6 Oct 1996