Letters to the editor

Re: IS ANY1 READNG THIS? (Nov. 08)

North America has reasonably competitive prices for mobile telephone. The rest of the world, it seems, does not. SMS looks appealing only when its price is compared to the price of a mobile phone call.

Mike Patterson
Redhill, England

Re:A look back at the PC future that wasn’t (Nov. 07)

I read you article and it was interesting as your articles usually are.

I don’t know why you particularly took IBM to task for lack of innovation in PC design. IBM has not been making funky looking coloured boxes like Apple, but their designs have, over the years, been as leading edge as the others. IBM was certainly innovative with the “butterfly keyboard” laptop. Also I read very recently that IBM will probably be the first on the commercial market with a wearable (maybe on the wrist) PC.

The trouble with most innovative designs like Apples’ is that they are fixing problems that don’t exist. How about a powerful desktop that has a completely silent fan. How about a multi-button front panel where you could hit a button to bring up your word process, spread sheet or graphics program without even touching the keyboard first. Or to get ridiculous, how about having the computer built into your chair to save office space and to keep you seat warm in the winter.

Eldon Bruce

Re:Broken trust (Oct. 30)

I read your article expecting to see some horrific example of gross negligence exposed. It seems more of a tiny thing in an area where failure allowed for – kind of like the failed bulb found in the wreckage of an airliner.

I’ve got another story about the bank in question. As is my usual custom, I went to the bank on the last possible day, to put all my leftover cash into an RRSP. I asked that it be put into a GIC, got a receipt, got my refund, and spent it. No problems. A year later, I try to add to it. “Add to what?” is the response. No GIC, no record of a GIC, etc.

Several days later, with the proof that I really DID buy an RRSP in hand, I went back. The phone call comes: “We found it – the money went into your Trading Account.” (I thought I closed that?) I call the Trading Account people. They had 85 cents left over from a rounding error four years earlier, but nothing since.

It took the bank six months of looking through paper records to finally determine that there was a record of the money leaving, but no record of it arriving. (Gee, I wouldn’t want my hard disk writes to work that way!) They gave me the money back (with reasonable interest less a fee for a ‘Trading Account’, which they later were convinced to recant on.)

So, I wonder what happens if you don’t check up on your RRSP until you’re 65, and maybe you don’t keep paper records forever “because the bank takes care of that”? I keep everything on paper, I always get a receipt, and I probably always will.

I guess this problem only affected me, and it wasn’t a big amount of money. I wonder what else broke on that day?

R. Wester

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