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05:55 PM


Lesson In Honesty
The IT industry is learning from its customers that honesty and integrity pay off ("Honesty, Integrity, And King Kong's Relevance," Dec. 19/26, p. 16). The downside of not sustaining honesty and integrity is called Sarbanes-Oxley, and now all of industry is paying for the absence of integrity of a few greedy manipulators.

As evidence of the new focus, our little-known nonprofit has attracted 140 IT companies, all of which work in law enforcement and justice. We're funded mostly by federal grants to help state and local agencies find better ways to share information, but our membership is committed to establishing ethical behaviors of companies in this space. We're deeply devoted to the principles of developing partnerships with customers based on honesty and integrity so there's reciprocal respect as a basis for doing business.

Paul Wormeli
Executive Director, Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute,
Ashburn, Va.

Earth-Friendly Pricing
It could make quite a difference in the amount of material being thrown away if we get PCs at as good a price as we can get complete systems ("Obsolete Computers Are Piling Up And The EPA Should Act, GAO Says," Dec. 13). Every geek I know (like me) has a pile of unwanted monitors and printers--new and never-to-be-used. Let's get the sellers to sell us just what we need, and there won't be so much need for recycling.

Chuck Loree Proprietor,
WCL Enterprises,
Modesto, Calif.

Service Call
While Cingular and, I suppose, many others dump big bucks into high-speed data networks, they continue to offer the market very poor cell-phone service ("Broadband Beyond Lattes," Dec. 12, p. 17).

After being with Cingular for a few years, I "upgraded" from TDMA to GSM. What a mistake, and I have no other choice. Dropouts, dropped calls, noisy calls--you name it. Here in the 21st century, we seem to still be in the dark ages.

Wayne G. Dengel
Sarasota, Fla.

Apple's Hot-Spot
While your article covered most of the high and low points of broadband wireless service, you omitted one shortcoming--Neither Verizon nor Cingular nor Sprint offers a solution for Mac users. To be fair, there are no modem card manufacturers that make Mac-compatible units; Sierra Wireless has cards that work with PowerBooks, but Sierra won't support them or cover them under warranty.

If Apple doesn't see an opportunity to extend its laptop franchise, and wireless carriers don't believe Apple is interested in providing access to its mobile users, PowerBook users will be the most regular residents of Wi-Fi hot-spots for years to come.

Peter Altschuler
VP of Marketing Strategy, Wordsworth & Co.,
Santa Monica, Calif.

Don't Blame Testers
Herb Lovelace offers good advice to those considering acting as guinea pigs for software providers, but I must take issue with one statement: "Let someone else spend the time finding all of the inevitable bugs the testers missed." ("Early Adopters Must Balance Pros And Cons," Dec. 5, p. 86). How about credit where credit is due?

In my experience, most bugs customers discovered were injected into the project-development life cycle when CIOs or other project leaders cut corners, ignored proven quality processes, compressed schedules, and rushed delivery dates in order to collect bonuses.

Derek Peckenpaugh
Programmer/Analyst, Omaha Public Power District,
Omaha, Neb.

Stay Off Bleeding Edge
I've followed the stories on the FBI Case System through the years ("State Of The Union," Nov. 28, p. 40). The failed architecture appeared to be J2EE with Web pages running against Oracle. A little too leading edge as far as I'm concerned, and there are many failures across government to back me up.

There's a reason that Fortune 500 companies run on the AS/400. There's not a thing that was described as a requirement in your article, including all Sarbanes-Oxley, auditing, and security requirements, that we don't already have in place with legacy RPG systems running on the AS/400.

Ralph Daugherty
Jacksonville, Fla.

Every Little Bit Helps
"It's Gender Gap" spurred me to offer a scholarship to women students coming out of high school in Pinellas County who are seeking a computer IT-related field (Nov. 21, p. 75). Mine isn't a large company, but I feel the strain of being a woman in this industry. The scholarship we're offering will be a drop in the bucket. But hopefully the amount we can give will increase as well as incite others to do the same.

Linda McFarland
Owner, Linda Joseph Digital Solutions,
St. Petersburg, Fla.

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