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Edition 1.3, 10th December 1998



Welcome to this edition of PCB Technologies electronic newsletter, TechnoBeat. We hope you find TechnoBeat refreshing, informative and useful.

In this edition:

+ And now for something completely different.

+ PCB signs new contract with Internet Solutions

+ Sun Embraces Linux

+ The return of the people's computer !

+ Still on Special !

+ Year 2000 Rollover blues

+ Latest NetWare 4.11 and NT 4 support packs

+ November Prize Winner



+ And now for something completely different !

December is the time of the year most companies splash out on some sort of year-end function for their staff, and in the past, PCB has been no exception.

However, this year, we did something different. We hired a bus and took a large group of children from the Johannesburg inner city out on a day long adventure to the Tswaing Crater north of Pretoria. This is a 200 000 year-old meteorite impact crater - one of the best preserved in the world, which is also a nature reserve.

Needless to say much fun was had by all. For the full story (and a bitmap of the action), please see


+ PCB signs new contract with Internet Solutions

PCB has signed up with the Internet Solutions for a comprehensive upgrade on our Internet Services contract. This includes an upgrade to a 128Kbps line, a ISDN backup facility and dial-up POP accounts to resell to our customers.

This much-needed upgrade will be implemented in December, allowing room for expansion in our increasingly popular WiseNet Internet Services. This will include an entry-level permanent leased line WiseNet service, which will be launched in the new year.

PCB was one of IS's first customers, signing up back in the days when there was only 4 of them. Now they are over 400 staff, and they are still leaders in the Internet Service Provider industry. "Internet Solutions Joint MD David Frankel went out of his way to accommodate PCB, and we are most grateful" said Paul Boulle of PCB.

Footnote: David Frankel was recently voted IT Person of the Year: congratulations from all at PCB.


+ Sun Embraces Linux

Sun Microsystems said Tuesday it will work with developers of the open-source operating system Linux to improve its compatibility with Sun's own hardware and software.

The announcement followed related news Sun would grant open access to the source code underlying the Java programming language.

Linux, a variant of the UNIX operating system, has been seen as a potential threat to Sun's own commercial UNIX software, known as Solaris. By contrast, Linux is available for free on the Internet and has been distributed to more than 8 million users.

Developers and end users can now download a copy of Linux that's compatible with Sun's UltraSPARC computer workstations from Internet sites worldwide.

"Every copy of Linux used is another win for UNIX and open standards," said Ken Okin, Sun's vice president and general manager of workstation products.

The term open standards refers to software not controlled by any one company, but open to modification by any party wanting to build products that fit industry-wide standards.

Sun also said it intended to add Linux compatibility to its Solaris operating environment.

From Wired News 08/12/1998:


+ The return of the people's computer !

With the resounding success of our recent special on the Phillips Pentium PC (sorry, we sold out folks), we realised the importance of PCB offering a cost-effective entry level Pentium PC.

Since we always factor in service and support in the costing of our PC's, we are reluctant to drop margins below sustainable levels. However, we have trimmed down as much as possible, we can now offer a high-performance and Win98-useable PC for R4250 (excluding OS).

It's a 266 MHz Pentium with 32MB RAM and a Samsung Colour VDU. The system includes a high performance AGP Graphics Cards and our ultra-reliable DFI motherboard. And it is upgradable to 400MHz !

Please see for complete details.

+ Still on Special !

We have still got stock of the 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. Please call Anusha at (011) 487-3608 or email

More details on


+ Year 2000 rollover blues

The Year 2000 rollover could be a problem for you or your business. PCB has setup a web page dedicated to pre-millennium tension, which includes links to popular Y2K resources, including lots of free shareware applications to assist in checking for potential Y2K problems. Please see

+ Latest NetWare 4.11 and NT 4 support packs

Novell have release Service Pack 6 for NetWare 4.11, which contains a comprehensive set of updates for all the services contained in the NetWare box. It also features an improved installation program and updates NDS to Version 6, which is NetWare 5 friendly. It is 24MB and the url is:

Microsoft have also released a new Service Pack: SP4 for Windows NT 4. This also contains a comprehensive set of updates and enhancements, as well as tightening many security holes in NT and Year 2000 fixes. It is 34MB and it can be found on a local site at


+ November Prize winner

Fred, our digital beast of burden, has been hard at work and come up with a winner for our monthly draw from the list of TechnoBeat subscribers.

The Winner for a November draw is . They have won a Clearline EconoFax Mains & Modem Protector unit. This is a comprehensive Mains and Telephone Line surge protection unit, suitable for home or small office use and normally sells for R165.00



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Copyright 1998 PCB Technologies est. 1985
Updated 30 October 1998