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Edition 1.2, 16th Novemberr 1998



Welcome to the second edition of PCB Technologies fortnightly electronic newsletter, TechnoBeat.

We hope you find TechnoBeat refreshing, informative and useful. Details on how to sign off can be found at the end of this message.

In this edition:

Cyberspace & and the African Renaissance

PCB now a member of the ISPA

Compaq to sell direct.

Linux on a roll

Comdex engineering

Useful links on the PCB Home Page

Another PCB Special !



+ Cyberspace & and the African Renaissance

Ever heard of an MPCC ? No, that's nothing to do with a Member of Parliament: these are the more useful Multi-Purpose Community Resource and Information Centres. And there are over 200 of them. They are places, mainly in rural areas and former townships, that offer communities IT and other resources.

They are a convergence of grass-root community and political initiatives: and what better place to realise the much-extolled African Renaissance ?

From PCB's own experience with the MilkyWay Internet Café in Yeoville, Johannesburg, the empowerment that IT can bring is catching on fast with the people. The effect that a simple e-mail account can have on person's life can be fundamental, and the sooner our nation gets wired into cyberspace, the better !

A conference, "The 1998 Multi-Purpose Community Resource and Information Centre Conference" is to be held Wednesday, 25-26 November 1998 in Alexandra, Gauteng. Over 200 MPCC's and several national/provincial departments will be in attendance. PCB will be represented, and we are hoping to be able to share with this conference, the successes we have had in our community with the MilkyWay Internet Café.

More details at



+ PCB now a member of the ISPA

PCB has been accepted as a member of The Internet Service Providers Association, a South African Internet industry association (not for gain). It has historically served as an active industry body, facilitating exchange between the different independent Internet access providers in South Africa. Collaboration levels have historically been very high, as the SA Internet access industry is small and personable.

With the expansion of our WiseNet Internet Services, we are formalising our presence as an Internet Service Provider. Whilst we will not be offering individual Internet dial-up access, we offer a host of other Internet services, such as dial-up e-mail routing for GroupWise and Exchange, web site hosting and development, as well as many other services. We will be expanding this in the near future to include entry-level leased line access for LAN clients.

More info on the ISPA at and on our WiseNet Internet services at


+ Compaq to sell direct

Following Dell Computers success with direct sales, Compaq in the USA have now announced that they are to bypass dealers, and sell direct to the public and corporate clients.

The merits of this can certainly be debated: on the one hand Compaq will become more competitive, but on the other, the customers will not be receiving the personal support and value added services that a dealer provides.

From our experience here at PCB, the hardware transaction is just one component of the providing a solution: follow up support and servicing are vital if the system is to work

PCB has always offered quality, built-to-order hardware, and within the next few months, will be launching our Internet web-based ordering facility. This will offer you the best of both worlds: excellent, personalised service and direct sales !


+ Linux on a roll

Whilst no one is claiming Linux is poised to dethrone Windows from the desktop, the impact it seems to be making in the server market is significant. According to SunWorld, at Oracle's OpenWorld conference in the USA last week "people with big corporate bucks just couldn't stop talking about Linux".

"Basically, what Oracle wants to do with Linux is help it to dominate the world," an Oracle exec said. And Intel will launch a broad Linux developer-support program next year, said Intel's Linux program manager.

Linus Torvalds is the guy behind Linux: and the antithesis of Bill Gates. See what he had to say at a panel discussion at the conference.


+ Comdex engineering

Las Vegas is host every November to the massive computer industry show Comdex. According to Wired News "If this city offers the most carefully managed experience on earth, then Comdex is its apex. One gets the unsettling feeling that everything seen and heard here is engineered -- like software code -- to elicit a pre-programmed response."

See the full story at


+ Useful support links on the PCB Home Page

We have been building up a page of useful links to PC Support resources on the 'net on our home page. We have got direct links to suppliers support pages, links to on-line reference manuals and as well as some technical journals. Take a look:

Please let us know if you have suggestions for additions.


+ Another PCB Special !

Hot on the heels of the success of our Pentium PC Special, PCB is now offering US Robotics 56K V.90 External modems for only R775 ! This is definitely the best price in the country, and our stocks at this price are limited, so snap one up quick ! Call Anusha at (011) 487-3608 or email

More details on htttp://www,


That's it until next time: remember we are having a draw from the TechnoBeat subscriber list for that wonderful prize at the end of this month: the winner will be annouced in the next issue !


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TechnoBeat is edited by Bruce Gillespie and is the fortnightly newsletter of PCB Technologies and its divisions, including WiseNet Internet Services and The MilkyWay Internet Cafe.

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Copyright 1998 PCB Technologies est. 1985
Updated 30 October 1998