Blues over Jaz
I read with interest your article referring to Iomega (PC Week 6 May).
However, I would like to draw your attention to an inaccuracy.
Your article states that Iomega has had to take the step of recalling 70,000 faulty Jaz drives. In fact, it was the Jaz disks (media), not the drives, that were faulty.
This fault was discovered after the company found that a few recently manufactured disks did not conform to Iomega's stringent reliability requirements.
Precautionary action was taken immediately to remove the drives from the market place, and Iomega has since suspended its relationship with the supplier in question. The majority of disks recalled were within the channel and Iomega has taken steps to ensure that any customers affected will have disks replaced free of cost.
Affected disks can be identified by examining the back of the disk where the manufacturing code and production date is engraved. If the date falls between 03/13/97 to 04/20/97 there is a risk that the disk is faulty.
Iomega prides itself on the quality and reliability of its products, and the award winning Jaz drive is no exception. They company is naturally disappointed that this situation has arisen but has taken steps to ensure this is an isolated case.
If customers have any queries they can call the Iomega support line on 00 353 1 807 5599.
Regarding the article entitled "Demon offers stake to strategic telecoms partner", (PC Week 6 May).
About a month ago, BT Internet Emailed me and requested that I "test" an 0800 number connection (0800 870078). Its claim was that it was "trying a new server". The test period lasted for about two days, and despite recent attempts to log on to the number again, the line has been "busy".
In response to the revelation in Mole (PC Week 6 may) about RM Internet For Learning filtering Free Email accounts but missing www.porn.com.
We are not expecting this to be printed but we wished you to be aware of the issues. We of course have a good sense of humour and the irony of the situation made us laugh a little when the IT co-ordinator concerned brought it to our attention. However, we do take our responsibilities as an Internet Service Provider very seriously.
RM Internet For Learning supplies Internet access to more than 4,000 schools and has taken the position of blocking access to Internet sites which we know, or are informed, contain offensive material. Obviously we cannot know about them all, as new sites appear all the time. www.porn.com slipped through the net, but within an hour of us being told, access to it was blocked.
We do sell Email accounts but this was certainly not our reason for blocking access to the free Email web sites. We blocked access to them reluctantly, but at the request of a number of schools where they were concerned about children having access to an Email account which the teachers were not aware of and so could not monitor. Since teachers are responsible for the children when they are in their care this is something they were very concerned about.
We then started working on an alternative solution with the concerned schools so that we could remove the general filter and so continue to allow access for the majority. This took about a month to put in place and test thoroughly. Schools which do not want their children to access free Email sites now have a solution and access to the free Email sites is now not filtered.
As to blocking the TES this is not true; this is a new site which suffered from significant teething problems initially.
Don't knock the web
Alan Essex excuses bad web sites by pointing to the "speed of progress in IT over the past few years" and the spread of fax (PC Week 6 May).
Given that the rate of technological change is accelerating, does he think that, instead of improving, web sites have every right to carry on getting worse?
When used properly, technology lets us deliver quality as well as quantity, so let us have no more of this shoulder-shrugging "that's progress" attitude.
Users have found that a lot of the web is over-hyped, badly-designed and light on useful content. Site owners who dismiss such observations as "criticism almost for its own sake" just won't get the hits.
Missed exam points
Your article criticising the Microsoft Certified Professional examinations (PC Week 29 April) missed two points. The Windows 95 exam is aimed at technical support staff who have to demonstrate their ability to implement Windows 95 in various environments.
The exam tests the candidates ability to plan and troubleshoot the connections between Windows 95 and the networking environment in the organisation.
NetWare and NT knowledge are therefore essential to their ability to implement Windows 95 within an enterprise.
Your correspondent Mr Lewis feels that there is little point in taking the exam unless you are already a network engineer. The exam requires some network skills and knowledge. This does not mean that you have to be a full time network professional but that you know enough about networks to make Windows 95 work properly.
I was very surprised to read your article on people's complaints regarding the wide scope of the Microsoft Certified Professional Win 95 exam (PC Week 29 April).
The reason that I was surprised is that it is intentionally this way.
Novell CNE's status was lowered somewhat by industry's realisation that somebody who has never seen a network before could sit a 15 day course, pass the exams and become a CNE who is supposed to be a network expert.
The reason for this is that the exams test the candidate's ability to remember the most obscure facts given in the course notes; they have nothing to do with real life problems.
Microsoft has tried to avoid this by posing questions that require genuine experience in addition to the knowledge gained from a course.
MCPs should be able to operate in a corporate environment; it is difficult to find a Win 95 solution in this area that does not involve networking.
Indeed, the major consideration is often network access implications - hence the bias in the exams.
Narrowing the scope of the exam would simply lower the status of the certification. It is no coincidence that MCPs/MCSEs command far higher salaries than CNEs. As a CNE and an MCP I for one would hate to see the MCP devalued. I am a contractor and the MCP is worth more to me than the CNE.
Maybe the people who have failed the test should consider their lack of experience/knowledge rather than complaining about the course.
Got a gripe, then don't delay, get your pen out and write today send all your correspondence to:
The Editor, PC Week, VNU House, 32-34 Broadwick Street, London, W1A 2HG. or on the Net at http//www.pcweek.vnu.co.uk or Email [email protected]
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