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Summer 2003


Greetings from PCB Technologies!

We have lots of exciting Summer news from PCB in this edition of TechnoBeat:

+Sales Giveaways - it's Christmas time!

+Year End Customer Party & Survey

+PCB Staff News

+What the case with PCB's PC's?

+Hot (Spot) news from the MilkyWay

+Free Courses for Teenagers during December at the MilkyWay

+Getting the universe into the palm of your hand - a journey into palmland

Seeing as though we are bugged with email spam as much as you are, please let us know if you would like to be removed from our mailing list, and we apologies in advance if you have received this newsletter unsolicited.


+++ Sales bonuses & PC Special - it's Christmas time!

With Christmas rapidly approaching, the spirit of giving has swept us up here. PCB's Anusha Naicker says there is something special for everyone: "We are offering some very special sales incentives in the form of giveaways like USB Flash Memory Sticks, Digital Cameras, Printers and much more with all sales until the end of December. With the Rand strong, imports have become cheaper so it's a good time to stock up on stationery supplies, or perhaps a few upgrades or that notebook, palmtop or new home PC you have been contemplating." PCB is also offering a special price on a complete PC system that is suitable for home use.

Full details up on our web site at

Please call Anusha at the Sales Desk on 011 880 9999 for more details or to place an order.

+++ Year End Customer Party & Survey

We are throwing a special year-end party for our customers, associates and friends on the evening of the 27th November 2003, invitations with full details are in the post. If you don't get yours within a week or so and would like attend, please contact Ursula Shikati at PCB, but in the meantime please diarise that date. We will be doing the prize draw we promised respondents of our recent Customer Survey as well as lots of giveaways.

PCB Services Director Paul Boulle says that formal customer feedback is invaluable and highly appreciated: "We welcome any feedback, and thank the customers who have sent their Surveys in already or are planning to do so. We also have an incentive to get this information back to us: we are doing a draw from all the names on the Survey Forms we get back for a fantastic HP Digital Camera worth R3000 "

If you didn't get a survey in the post and would like to participate, please contact Ursula at PCB.

+++ PCB Staff News

> PCB welcomes several new staff members. Bongani Maluleka and Raymond Oppert have joined the support team as Field Service Technicians. Preoshnee Govender is taking up the Admin & Financial Co-ordinator role and Jaclyn Peters is the new Receptionist.
> Off soon on Maternity Leave is Ronel Aziz and Anusha Naicker and we wish them all the best.
> Customer Relations and Services Coordinator Ursula Shikati recently completed her B Com studies.
> Michelle Pillay has been promoted to Technical Reception & Inventory manager.


+++ What the case with PCB's PC's?

PCB now offers a full range of cases as options on our PC's. Sales Co-ordinator Anusha Naicker says that all needs and formats are catered for: "We can offer the complete range of case formats from full and mini towers to slim-line desktops; we can service the customers needs no matter what they are. Obviously the choice will be driven by the users needs as well as desktop real estate not forgetting personal taste of course. For instance, we have got a very neat slimline desktop case that is great because it raises the VDU to a more comfortable eye-line level. The full size tower cases are useful for someone who is going to need to add lots of peripherals at a later stage. Our desktop midi-tower format remains the most popular, and we even have some nice choices with that format. We do have the complete range in action at the MillkyWay Café if customers would like to come past and get a ‘look and feel' of the different configurations whilst enjoying a Cappuccino (on us of course:) "

+++ Hot (Spot) news from the MilkyWay

Africa's first public Internet access venue, the MilkyWay Internet Café, has announced another first: a public wireless Internet 'hotspot' on the Rosebank Boulevard. Customers with their own Laptop's or PDA's can now access the Internet at highspeed over 802.11b Wireless connections whilst enjoying fine coffee and refreshments provided by the Café. And it's all legit now given Icasa's recent legalisation of use of radio frequencies for this purpose.

Bruce Gillespie, who founded the café back in 1994 when cyberspace was still science fiction, says they have taken a different approach with this implementation compared to other local 802.11 hotspots: "We've gone for simple unregulated access via a dedicated DSL circuit. This means that there are no logins, registration nor encryption obstacles when customers connect, making it easy to use. There's no need to prepay, customers settle up when done. Using a PC is a struggle enough, so we chose the minimum-of-obstacles option for our customers. This does mean that someone can be lurking in the shadows down the Boulevard surreptitiously jacking in via a plamtop or whatever, but who cares since it's our mission to bring the Internet to the people anyway. And because the wireless access is on a dedicated circuit, it won't affect the Quality Of Service to our other MilkyWay customers."

The Café is unique in many ways, the emphasis being on creating a congenial atmosphere for Internet access and general PC usage. Bruce says that they have resisted using PIN logins or any other regimes of control in the café: "This makes for increased customer satisfaction and lower barriers to being able to accomplish what needs to be done. Besides, openness and trust is what the roots of the Internet is all about and we would like to promote that ethos."

The hotspot infrastructure was designed and implemented by PCB Technologies with a DSL account provided by WiseNet Internet Services. PCB Services Director Paul Boulle says it was very straightforward "We did a lot of research and there are some nice open-source Linux options for firewalling and access control but the route we took was one of least resistance for public access, in line with the MilkyWay Internet Café's mission requirements. We are all big supporters of open source, in fact the café has Open Office running very nicely on all the workstations. It's going well."

The MilkyWay Internet Café can be found on the Rosebank Boulevard between The Zone and The Firs shopping centre in Rosebank, Johannesburg. Contact number is (011) 447-1295 and the homepage is

+++ Free Courses for Teenagers during December at the MilkyWay

PCB sponsors non-profit science & technology youth outreach projects under the banner of the MilkyWay Foundation. Founder and Director Bruce Gillespie has just announced some exciting news for December: "We are running two courses, both are aimed at encouraging interest in science and technology, as well as building skills and insight with the youth. To do this successfully, we have to embrace the interests of teenagers and so we are offering a Deejaying and Electronic Music Course and a Space & Astronomy Course which will run on alternate days during the first two weeks of December. We have a fantastic facility here at the Café with a fully equipped multimedia lounge, as well as comprehensive music and astronomy equipment at our disposal. The courses will be loosely structured, with lots of guest input. The emphasis will also be on peer education and we hope to excite some young minds as well as all make it fun for everyone." The courses will be co-ordinated by MilkWay manageress Shinaz Toffie. Full details and application forms can be found on

+++ Getting the universe into the palm of your hand - a journey into palmland.

PCB Director and GM Bruce Gillespie recently found an excuse to acquire a new gadget, a HP Jornada Palmtop computer. Did it fulfill expectations or is it destined to join the pile of silent silicon once the curiosity was saturated? Find out here.

PCB can offer the full line of Palmtops including the HP IPaq and PalmPilot models as well as accessories such as the full range of Flash RAM and Tarsus fold-up keyboards. See


All the best for the summer from us at PCB Technologies.


TechnoBeat is the newsletter of PCB Technologies (Pty) Ltd and its divisions, including WiseNet Internet Services and The MilkyWay Internet Cafe. Opinions expressed by authors and contributors do not necessarily reflect PCB company policy.

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