* Posts by Sam not the Viking

156 posts • joined 11 Apr 2018


Seriously, you do not want to make that cable your earth

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: Sparkies...

Setting the scene: New major power station in the course of construction. Four generators and the station was being completed in two halves 'A' and 'B'. Regular meetings with all the contractors to check progress etc. In general, things would be late, but unusually, this site was going pretty much to plan.

These meetings were held on the top floor of the control centre, located centrally, with a view over the entire site.

"How is the 'A' cabling coming on, Bob?" (These are big cables, and there's a lot of them.)

Bob glances out of the window, where he can actually see the progress.

"No problems, everything is in hand."

Well, the job moves on and over the months, various bits near completion.

"What about the cabling, Bob."

Quick glance out of the window.

"No problems, everything is in hand. We're awaiting the cable trenches."

"Bob, I think you're looking out of the wrong window."

Failed gambler? How about an algorithm that predicts the future

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

We need this

"...a beautiful concept of actually building prediction functionalities directly into the database..."

That would be like auto-correct then.

Inflatable, er, infallible.

Voyager 1 space probe producing ‘anomalous telemetry data’

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: 41 hours of latency sounds bad...

At school, we wrote programs on prepared 'squared' sheets (one character per square) for transcription by data-entry clerks at the local university. A week later we received a print-out of the programme and the list of errors. Whereupon the programme was 'corrected' (ha ha!) and resubmitted. Eventually, about a month later (or more), the programme compiled and ran.... Then there was the problem of getting the right format for the output. We were only allowed a limited number of sheets. For very valid reasons.

At university, we started with punched tape, then cards, then a terminal; Oh, the elation when a program ran correctly ------>

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

I too think the Voyager expeditions are exceptional in their continuing achievements.

The modern argument is to build for a specified lifetime if it makes it cheaper, lighter, faster. Anything more is 'over-engineered'. The opportunities to extend the project beyond the expected lifetime as techniques develop is never part of the original plan.

Some of these space probes have become icons of inventiveness.

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: 41 hours of latency sounds bad...

Updating puts the "Oh no!" moment into a different timescale.....

We can bend the laws of physics for your super-yacht, but we can't break them

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: it takes time for an object to travel through physical space.

Early one new year, a long time ago, I was sent out to investigate two sites which were not working. The small buildings containing the control panels were out in the middle of nowhere, about two miles either side of a bridge, and alongside a major drain/waterway. The access was along the bank and was not made-up so it was a careful manoeuvre along very muddy tracks. It was obvious what the problem was at Station A, very humid weather had suddenly arrived after an ultra-cold spell (for the UK) and the electrics were dripping with condensation. Electric fans, driven by small generators were organised to dry things out. A trek back along the track and then along a new muddy track to investigate Station B which was suffering from the same problem and would need the same kit currently being used to dry out Station A. Back to Station A to see how things were going on before taking the drying-kit over to Station B. Back to Station A, restore power and a quick check reveals a faulty relay.

"Could we take a relay from Station B?"

Back along the two tracks in the gloom, salvage a relay (and a spare). It's now dark, return along the tracks and get things working..... Back along the track, late in the evening, homeward bound. The (company) car looks like it's been in a rally, which I suppose it had.

Next morning, find two relays at a stockist. Go and collect them, drive back to nowhere, along the track and exchange the faulty components. After another long day with more trips along the muddy tracks, all is operational. Personal award -->

Back at the office, I get criticised for the state of the vehicle, inside and out.....

A few days later, the boss goes out to receive the praise and honours in a hired 4-wheel drive......

Confirmation dialog Groundhog Day: I click OK and it keeps coming back

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: They announce a new Number Two

There's a point in the Slough House books where the boss names the IT guy as his 'Number two'. It's some time before the colloquiaism is explained to the devastated recipient.

Switch off the mic if it makes you feel better – it'll make no difference

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: Four......

I walk in the surrounding countryside, some of which is adjacent to a golf course. Quite often, I find 'stray' golf balls hundreds of yards (thousands of linguine) from the course boundary. It can be windy up there, but let's be reasonable. The maximum count in any one day was 12. Not retrieved by the golfer in accordance with their (slightly worrying) strict signage: "Balls in this field are not to be retrieved."

At least GPS might suggest they take up bowling instead.

A discounting disaster averted at the expense of one's own employment

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: Alarming, fired.

We used to make a product in two versions, 'conventional' and (let's say) 'advanced'. Projects were usually specified in such a way that we could submit two bids; one for exactly as described and a second for an alternative way of completing the same overall task. The consultants would assess the offers and put forward recommendations to the end-user.

Our 'advanced' offer was slightly cheaper in terms of installed equipment but generated massive savings for the end-user as the building structure was much simplified..... but that was in another contractor's scope of supply.

You can guess that the 'advanced' equipment was not ordered as both the main contractor and the consultant were paid on the basis of the overall project cost.

Meetings in the metaverse: Are your Mikes on?

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

How Technology Advances

During the early days of my employment, communication between departments was via 'internal telephone'. Some callers were able to speak for a very long time without permitting interruption. These were generally people who didn't have enough to do.

My supervisor 'Eric' was talking to 'Derek' and had been for 20 minutes or so with no sign of the call concluding. Eric placed the handset on his desk and walked off to the next building, up the stairs and quietly sat next to Derek. The one-sided conversation went on..... we could hear the burbling through the handset. It was some time before Derek said "Hey, I'm talking to you."

Accenture announces 'Accenture Song' – not a tune, but a rebrand

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: I Apologize Wholeheartedly and Absolutely

I was a victim of Anderson. When they were introduced, I thought, in my naivety, it might be related to the themed-puppet producers. How right I was.

Our company was bloated with too many managers and too many outdated systems. The manager-to-worker ratio went up and the number of systems increased by one.

At least those colleagues who remained weren't given a song to sing. In retrospect, I think Anderson did me (and many others) a favour.

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: The 'creatives' strike again

One company I worked for had a change of name...... It was a subsidiary of a very large international brand. The 'old' name was well known in the industry and had a good reputation (and I thought did a good job). A grand project renamed the junior company to a non-word which, when spoken, sounded appropriate to the type of project undertaken, but only in French..... There was a huge roll-out, with freebies, advertising and massive re-branding involving reprinting a lot of documents.

After about a year the 'new' name was quietly dropped.

Robots are creepy. Why trust AIs that are even creepier?

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

True AI

Do you think there's any chance of these AI-bots becoming so realistic that they get depressed and throw themselves in the river?

Would the AI-observers laugh or cry?

I doubt they'll understand the meaning of Friday --->

When the expert speaker at an NFT tech panel goes rogue

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: I don't believe it!

Man goes into the bakery and asks for a white sliced loaf.

The baker says "Sorry we've only got brown."

"That's okay, I'm on my bike."

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

I don't believe it!

I was trying to understand Crypto, NFTs etc. when I recalled those surreal jokes that abounded in the 70's-80's (The bakery and the bicycle for example).

I've had to conclude surreality is more believable.

South Yorkshire to test fiber broadband through water pipes

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: Microplastics and leached BPA...

The rules for anything in contact with potable water are very strict; material testing is mandatory (with a few exceptions), repeated every few years (5 or 6). I worked for a company who made a product used in filtration at treatment works. Unbeknown to them, their supplier of a (plastic) component changed the release-compound used in the mould. That batch failed the approvals and there was a retrospective review of installations/spares. It's not easy changing 22,000 parts which are under water.

I prefer water which has been double-treated and processed...... -->

Buying a USB adapter: Pennies. Knowing where to stick it: Priceless

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: Lost dog pictures

I heard about this trick. I thought it was either an April Fool's joke or just a way for clever techies to laugh at lesser beings.

Anyway, being in an intractable situation, with no-one looking, I tried it and it worked! I recovered all the data I should have backed up elsewhere.....

IBM deliberately misclassified mainframe sales to enrich execs, lawsuit claims

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: It's human nature, though, isn't it?

Yes, it's strange. The best companies I have worked for have been those which were technically stimulating and interesting, with a good boss, good colleagues and approachable customers/end-users. These businesses seem to roll on their own momentum. Then they get taken over by those who (think they) know better, resulting in disgruntled employees, disappointed customers and less business.

Hackers remotely start, unlock Honda Civics with $300 tech

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: Another reminder

It's a long time ago, but one of our reps was travelling from Manchester to the deep south and stopped at a Motorway Services for a breather. Returned to the car, opens the door with his key, starts up, drives off, and after about 15 minutes thinks:

"Someone's left their gloves on the back seat"

"I don't wear a hat."

"That's not my coat."

"This isn't my car......."

So he leaves the motorway at the next junction, returns up the motorway to the next junction after the services, returns down the motorway to the services and parks up next to a car that looks remarkably like the one he is driving.... Tries his key in the 'other' car. It opens. Gets in, recognises his own mess..... Drives off, leaving a car with an extra 75+ miles on the clock and no doubt a mystified owner and possibly a bemused traffic cop.....

Help, my IT team has no admin access to their own systems

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: Top Dog

The eventual fallout was rather messy...... The sister company had a bigger turnover and much more spending power. They claimed to obtain major discounts from suppliers because of this. When it transpired that everything we bought was in fact cheaper than their 'special discounts' from 'approved suppliers' the scam was wide-open and the dismissals were fast.

Top Dog was neutered.

Sam not the Viking Silver badge
Big Brother

Top Dog

At one company I worked for, we had to use a production system run/supervised by a sister company who seemed to want to prove their superiority. (The system was hopelessly out of date but that's another story). The supervisor would visit, usually to sort out a 'technical glitch' that only he could resolve. It was a clear scam to get a day out at our expense. When we realised that this was going on, we quickly 'discovered' his login details and in doing so obtained much wider access than we anticipated..... We used this access carefully to maintain our rich data source; as well as prevent the 'glitches' recurring.

His password was 'Top Dog' and he used it for everything. He must have puzzled the persistent canine references in the surrounding chatter.

Sealed, confidential IBM files in age-discrimination case now public to all

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: Experience

As you get older and more educated, you realise that the more you know, the more how little you know.

On the other hand, youth and enthusiasm will always lose to age and cunning.

We have redundancy, we have batteries, what could possibly go wrong?

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

My experience with major power stations in the UK is that they invariably had 'Black Start' generators to 'get things going'. Watching a 70 MW gas turbine start-up and go onto full-load in under 20 seconds was impressively under-whelming! The only way you could tell it was running was by the exhaust.

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: Enterprising thieves

As a pure bystander, I was beginning to think you had more expertise in this activity than was truly necessary....... until I read the last line. I think.....

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Enterprising thieves

We had an installation out in the middle of nowhere and the contractor needed to lay the new supply cable from the transformer which was on the edge of a far off field. About 1 km of 3-phase SWA, 50mm2. An appropriate trench was dug across the fields to this installation, cable placed and all prepared for back-fill.

That night the whole length was stolen.

After a delay a new drum was obtained and after laying, the trench was immediately back-filled. Two days later, thieves were disturbed and they fled but not before they had removed the cable and cut it into handy 3-4 m lengths for loading onto a truck.

We felt that their expertise in handling "bloody-awkward" cable could have been gainfully employed almost certainly at a better rate than the scrap value of the cable.

IT blamed after HR forgets to install sockets in new office

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: Evil HR Weasels

The company I worked for decided to close one of the product lines; I was directly affected by this and a small number of us decided to set up a small company to make a similar product which we felt had a market. (We tried to buy-out the product but they were never going to accept a bid from us). We bought a shell company and set about changing the name to reflect our new business.

I was still working my notice at the old company when I was summoned to the HR manager who proceeded to bawl me out about the 'new' company, specifically the proposed name. He stated in no uncertain terms that the holding company would never allow this blatant passing-off to happen. Lawyers at the highest level were being invoked "as-we-speak". We could expect a knock on the door and to be sued for major damages, perhaps today. He was seriously apoplectic about the new company and its similar-sounding acronym. I was scared he was going to explode.

When he ran out of bile, I quietly said we noted the concerns and that we had already decided not to use that company name. He went through another round confirming the stupidity, nay illegality of using a company name which might be mistaken for the 'old' company, even thought they were dropping the product.

I had to explain that we couldn't use the name because it was already taken by an existing company, who made a competing product. The poor HR guy just deflated. I have never seen someone so angry fall into such despair....

Proprietary neural tech you had surgically implanted? Parts shortage

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: "unnecessary computer sounds"

Computer sounds ignite the irritation gene. There's something about the precise tone/whine/beep/blip/burrr that makes the blood boil. I also find them difficult to direction-locate. Electronic sounds seem to reverberate from every direction.

I'm old enough to remember when fire-engines, ambulances and police-cars had bells; you could identify their direction immediately and respond accordingly. The modern (ha!) wee-wah/whoop-whoop noises aren't so discernible.

A tale of two dishwashers: Buy one, buy it again, and again

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: Can confirm...

Amazon might be spot on. We have no way of verifying your need of corsets etc......

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: Two Dishwashers

And if you have a mob/intellectual group around to eat, drink and be merry, you have two dishwashers to clean up! Bit awkward when both contain cleanware though; where do you put the dirty stuff? (Solution: One, or the other, becomes the 'dirty' one. Or not.)

Anyway you deserve --->

BOFH: All hail the job cuts consultant

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Management Consultants

I've been (un)fortunate to be crossed several times by Management Consultants during my career(s). I've always felt that any management that needs to call in a set of consultants to tell them how to run their business are advertising the fact that they don't know what they are doing. And are easy cost-savings. The main weapon in consultant's armoury is 'reduce the number of staff'.

I've also had 'experts' introducing 'new' systems which were in fact re-worded versions of established systems, widely known. One guy was devastated when asked why he was claiming his revolutionary new process was actually 'Management by Objectives'. He could not fathom that anyone else might have read the same books. Devastated to the point that he went from being a consultant, about to be employed permanently, to not turning up the next day. Or ever again. A win there for us, I think.

Escape from The National Museum of Computing

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: BBC micro

You're a good person for not letting on to your Mum that you were already competent in BASIC. -->

I have been on many (too many) courses on topics where I considered myself competent, nay expert, and I confess that I have never failed to learn something new. Even on training courses where I was the trainer, I feel I have learned something from someone who has a different view/method on the problem/topic. It's only when you know a lot about something technical, you realise how little you know.

It's those that know it all but in fact know nothing so cannot learn that are dangerous. Think PHB.

Food for thought on the return to the office

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Must-Attend Meetings

On a long project, site meetings with the customer and their consultants were held mid-morning to mid-afternoon; either side of lunchtime. We alternated between who arranged and paid for the lunch. The consultants didn't contribute on the grounds that might be considered an expression of competency.

The customer used their 'in-house' caterers for the usual sandwiches and crisps.

We used a small local business who came up with a variety of imaginative dishes to suit all tastes.

The meetings involving our caterers were always better attended, especially by the consultants. One guy in particular, as far as I recall, never contributed a word to the project discussions.

IBM looked to reinvigorate its 'dated maternal workforce'

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: Millenials

I find one of the most rewarding aspects is training new people. Those starting out on their career often have an enthusiasm enabling them to absorb masses of information quickly. They just don't have the 'longer' view of consequences or experience of 'history'.... I was fortunate enough to be trained by exceptional people with some excellent examples of problems, near-misses and cock-ups.

Everyone learns from their own mistakes; a good engineer learns from other people's mistakes. Older people tend to have a bigger index of mistakes already made......

A lot of trainees move on. If you've given them good training, they obtain positions of influence. And place orders..... And train others.

Real-time software? How about real-time patching?

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: Site Acceptance Test

Yes. Glamorous..... I was sent to Finland in deep mid-winter to witness some machinery being tested and since the end-user wanted to go as well, flights were arranged from Bristol via Brussels rather than direct from Heathrow.

Well, the end-user wasn't able to go so I motored on over to Bristol to catch the early flight..... Arrived in Helsinki but my luggage took another route and arrived two days later. At the end of the week, the testing was sorted. Return flight was delayed awaiting late-arriving passenger..... so in Brussels, I missed the connecting flight to Bristol..... Hours and hours later I was put on another flight and arrived in Bristol late at night/early morning. Found my frozen car (they had addressed this problem better in Finland) and made my way across the country. Only to be held up by 'rolling road-works' on the motorway....

"Did you have a good trip?" they asked....

I've travelled to many places around the world in the past decades and only one destination was really enjoyable: Hong Kong.

Make assistive driving safe: Eliminate pedestrians

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

The Joy of Motoring

I can see there might be a case to support some sort of automation when

driving on motorways (UK) but then again some degree of zombie-control already seems to exist:

Enter motorway- Certain cars immediately move to the outside lane, and stay there until time to exit, usually at the last possible moment without warning.

Lorries (aka Trucks): Behaving as trains but unhooked, travelling close in the slip-stream and confounding entry/exit of any other vehicle.

Lane-hogger: Steady as she (or he, etc.) goes.

There's no reason why these traits couldn't/shouldn't be automated. I've no doubt some already use the freedom to do their breathing exercises, with or without an app. (Actually, I can see an opportunity for Dabbsy to do the voice-over on the app. In language we can all understand.)

But when vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists meet, the rules of the jungle take over and the heaviest will win. For some reason, AI is seen as the solution when common courtesy would be more appropriate. Anyway it's Friday and I'm not driving anywhere ->

Have you tried restarting? Reinstalling? Upgrading? Moving house and changing your identity?

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Free? From France Telecom.....

We must presume that France Telecom read El Reg comments and are very afraid. Or are you an 'influencer' for them?

That's a signature move: How $320m in Ether was stolen from crypto biz Wormhole

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: Nominative determinism

Did anyone else read that as 'Womble'?

As I recall, they too collected tokens blowing around the aether.

No, I've not read the screen. Your software must be rubbish

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Saving Files

"This new PC won't save my files to disk."

"What's the error message?"

"Look sonny, I always save my files to Disk. Drive 'A'. I know what I am doing. The PC is faulty."

"OK, but what is the error message."

"Well, it says 'No disk' but there is. I've run diagnostics."

"Drive A or Drive B?"

".......I've fixed it now."

Bouncing cheques or a bouncy landing? All in a day's work for the expert pilot

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: Cables and connectors have a life of their own

Cables do indeed have a life of their own.

I once had two graduates assisting on a job connecting a generator to the switchgear: 14 cables, 25 metres long, 120 sq-mm each. Big, heavy cables. As is my wont, I insisted on the cables being laid neatly, side-by side. Come the evening, when the cables have to be stowed to avoid likely theft, these geniuses showed off their brute strength by dragging the whole set together into the secure area. Well done.

Next morning, my rules again apply, so they spent hours and hours untangling those unwieldy cables. I explained that cables go to a disco or play Twister in the dark hours.

A lesson well learned for the next evening.

Pop quiz: The network team didn't make your change. The server is in a locked room. What do you do?

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: Been there, done that.

On a long contract we were staying in a guest house which had a bar. Bed, breakfast, evening meal and a little light refreshment.....

The landlord was upset because the beer-pipes from his cellar had to take a long route before reaching the bar and consequently the first few pints were warm and wasted. The direct route was much much shorter but there was a major rock in the way. We said why not drill a hole? Because the distance was about 2 metres..... My colleague plucked the Hilti out of his van with the long drill-bit..... In under half an hour new holes for new pipes.

We were given a few free beers but he said he wouldn't/couldn't support a full evening's attack on supplies.

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: Locked in at night

Where I used to work, I was often the last person to leave the buildings and lock up. I had a policy of checking every building before locking it and setting the alarm (the buildings weren't large). Occasionally, you would find someone in deep-thought unaware that everyone else had left. No-one should be left alone in a building without at least knowing they are the last one there.

When the staff get older, there is an increasing chance that they may need attention. I'll declare a personal interest in this.

Planning for power cuts? That's strictly for the birds

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: I say it's plausible

Very important site. Must have power available.

Two diesel generators for back-up to mains supply: auto-start/stop on demand, peak-lopping, self-synchronising, load-sharing, start on mains fail, back-synchronise to grid on mains restoration, back to auto-control.

Day before expiry of the 2-year warranty, customer's representative (council) asks: "How does this all work then?". Promoted from traffic-light maestro.

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: I say it's plausible

I visited a switchroom where the control panel was covered in pigeon poop. It was deep doh-dah on the top, the front had solidified 'poop-falls'. The floor was crunchy, the air was acidic, the steel enclosure was rotting away. Truly disgusting.

Incredibly, some of the machinery was still operational. Any further fault investigation was going to have to wait for a deep, deep clean or probably shot-blast.

We were never called back. Entry was forbidden due to a bio-hazard.

Software guy smashes through the Somebody Else's Problem field to save the day

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

SEP became MP

Early finish Friday afternoon, last people to leave, and the burglar alarm can't be set: 'Fault'. We'd had some problems with intrusion attempts and with a deep sigh we called the 24-hour service company. Being the hero, or drawing the short straw, I stayed behind to await their arrival. To be fair, it was only an hour or so wait and the who guy turned up was also anxious to get the problem sorted and get on with his own end-of-week refreshments.

He quickly diagnosed a cable fault, which drew a groan as the cabling had been installed by an artisan better suited to serving spaghetti. Nevertheless, the fault was deemed to be 'between buildings' and he prepared to pull a new cable through; this was going to be a long job. I suggested that we inspect the access duct-covers first...... Well, the fault was obvious, something had chewed through the cable. The burglar-alarm detective said "That's a *very* big rat." He also advised he was not going to put his hands in any duct containing "that"..... We, meaning I, had to make some other sort of provision. His problem became mine.

I retrieved a pair of welding gauntlets and pulled sufficient free spaghetti/cable up to the surface for repairs to be effected. And a large board to place over the hole temporarily. The repairs worked, the alarm was set and the weekend started a bit later than usual.

The following Monday, I told the factory guys about the event and they said they had seen this rat and confirmed it was 'bigger than you'd like to meet'. Cue call to a well-known exterminator.

To err is human. To really screw things up requires a wayward screwdriver

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: A TV related bang!

It was in the second half of the last century, but only just, and my father built our first TV from a kit; I think it was a 'Cossor'. This was some feat as he was colour-blind and had to get someone else to 'read' the resistors.

On the first use ('commissioning'), i.e. switching on power, all personnel and the dog were commanded to perch underneath the table holding the open-chassis assembly. Cathode ray tubes were known to have undesirable failure modes. After the immediate danger was considered to have passed, I still recall the eerie glow from valves and that hot-dusty aroma as things reached temperature. We had a working TV and we soon got used to tuning to the other channel with a long screwdriver. I don't know what happened to the red-handled pock-marked screwdriver in the long run.

For some reason, I have never lost a fear of cathode tubes.

Not looking forward to a greyscale 2022? Then look back to the past in 64 colours

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

If you ever feel down, that your life is pointless and without satisfaction, just remember there is someone out there fitting indicators to BMW's.

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: Angel Delight

Angel Delight used to advertise in the local telephone box. I'm not sure what was on offer, but it just goes to show that no phrase is definitively black of white, there's also a colourful explanation out there. Probably.

Nothing's working, and I've checked everything, so it must be YOUR fault

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

Re: Humble

And if you can ease the embarrassment of a colleague, boss or customer, you'll never be forgotten.

IBM bosses wrongly sacked channel salesman after Tech Data joint venture failed, tribunal rules

Sam not the Viking Silver badge

What brings in the orders?

It seems that the project was hampered by high costs of the IBM equipment; only some, authorised, managers are/were allowed to offer a reduction in price. Look folks, is it any wonder that if the competition is bettering your price, on the same customer-specification, you might need to look at your own prices?

Surely IBM need another few layers of management to drive costs down?



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