IBM Global Network
Posted by Bal Vallah on June 02, 1998 at 04:17:32:

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 20 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 47-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 school children, 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

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
200-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."

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