Readers weigh in on . . .

Re: DI another day (April 21)

I would like to congratulate you on your position concerning DI and the French-speaking Canadians.

I am French and I think that everything we

can do to bring together our two cultures in unity is a good idea.

Continue the good work.

Fernand Dionne

Re: Brownie pointers (April 16)

Good points in your editorial, as usual. I’d add one more subtle reason that IT types may not be on the front end of marketing. Many people I know in the IT field tend to be task-focused, and aren’t necessarily good marketers. That’s just the way their brains are wired. Marketing anything (themselves, their achievements, etc.) is something that does not come naturally and thus would require a signficant amount of energy. In times of tight deadlines and lots of work, the marketing side of things then takes a back seat, continuously as it’s more natural to just “”do the work.””

My branch did a Miers-Briggs study of its employees several years ago (about 80 staff at that time, I think), and this was one of the clear outcomes of that assessment. I’ve noticed it often ever since as a general stereotype.

Jeremey Janzen
Data Administrator
Ministry of Forests

Re: N-to N-solutions (April 15)

I always find it irksome when some wannabe daily reporter tries to take out his frustrations on the IT crowd. IT managers no more enjoy being called geeks than African Americans enjoy the “”N”” word. And if you can’t manage to remember Novell’s divisions, well pay attention. Link them in your head to the members of your favourite band — N’Sync!

Mike Wesson

Neil Sutton responds:

o I didn’t call Novell BrainShare attendees geeks; that was a BrainShare attendee.
o “”Geek”” may be construed as an insult, but I hardly think it’s up there with racial epithets.
o I guarantee you that if Justin Timberlake and friends hadn’t already laid claim to the word N’Sync, it would be a Novell product name by now.

Re: A Canadian in Redmond (April 11)

I would like to say congratulations to the person honored by Microsoft. I would also like to find out how to get to the Excel Newsgroup. In the past when I tried to get help with Excel from Microsoft I found that no matter what I tried it was a dead end even to help with simple questions. Maybe the newsgroup could help.

Ken Veness

Editor’s Note: All of Microsoft’s newsgroups are available here.

Re: A Canadian in Redmond (April 11)

Gee, now let me get this straight:

A real live Microsoft employee, being named an ‘MVP’ by Microsoft, and sent to Microsoft for a tour as a reward of some kind, then meeting Microsoft’s development team and looking at the product’s new release which no one could really talk about outside of the group, and finally meeting the Microsoft head cheese and his associate.

And gee, what great responses got from that happy employee. Can’t you find something meaningful to lead off your e-mail’s news? Gee, what a great company. Gee, what a great employee. Gee what a great article. Gee what a great world.

Darrell Marklinger

Editor’s Note: Debra Dalgleish, the MVP interviewed by, isn’t a Microsoft employee. She is an independent consultant who was selected for the trip to Redmond because she answers Excel-related questions on a Microsoft support site.

Re: A Canadian in Redmond (April 11)

I was also a Canadian MVP at the Redmond 2003 Summit. There were actually 37 Canadians there. A few statistics:

There were some 700 MVPs from over 40 different countries speaking over 30 different languages.

I am currently a “”Windows Technologies”” and an “”Xbox”” MVP. I started as a Windows MVP two years ago and as of this year, also an Xbox MVP. I’ve been spending most of my time moderating and answering questions in the Xbox Forums.

As a Windows MVP, I’ve answered some 5000 questions in the Windows XP Public Communities in the past 2 years (mostly last year).

As an Xbox moderator, we (myself and other Xbox MVPs) try to keep order in the forums. It’s tough most times since kids these days like to spam and profanity is rampant. I’ve moderated (deleted and edited) over 6,000 threads in the forums and answered over 400 questions relating to Xbox. In some cases we need to ban some of the members for continually (after many warnings) breaking the Terms Of Use rules.

Being an MVP is a great privilege. MVPs are recognized for the help they give to others and taking many hours of their time doing so. Spending several hours a night helping others is not out of the ordinary for MVPs around the world. We thrive on and love helping others.

As a home user, I’ve been helping Microsoft as a Beta Tester since 1997, testing Microsoft hardware and software. There are too many to list.

I work at a Nuclear Power Plant in Ontario as a Technician. Nothing relating to computers.

Gary Thorn

Re: You call that broadband? (April 9)

I moved into my current residence five years ago. I had ordered the three phone lines I needed for my personal and business use months ahead of time. When moving day came my phone lines were nowhere to be found. My cell phone worked badly if at all. When Bell did show up to connect my phones they could not do all the lines and the question I was asked was if I minded “”party lines.”” I finally did get my phone lines installed and my modem (dial-up) gives me connection speeds of 40 or 44. There is no Rogers or Shaw high speed in my area and Bell high-speed will not even venture a guess on when it may be available.

Three years ago I got new neighbours. They don’t use the Internet, but just to get a plain voice line took months of sorting lines by Bell.

Interestingly, I live just over an hour from Toronto. Perhaps the dream of high speed connectivity in the near future is just a dream in a world where even a plain voice line can still cause challenges. Yet still the Internet and communications services are being created on the premise of a “”high-speed nation.””

Peter Jerva

Letters to the editor must include the writer’s name and company name along with an e-mail address or other contact information. All letters become the property of Editors reserve the right to edit submissions for length and content.

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