Subject: Chicago Computer Guide This Week
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 22:54:39 -0600
Chicago Computer Guide This Week
For February March 21-27, 2002

I.    This Week's Calendar of Events
II.   Assessing The Gift: African-Americans and the Digital Divide
III.  Effective Online Advertising Has To Get Creative, and "Be Honest"
IV.   Techie Trivia Quiz, 2002
V.    Myth of Simplicity
VI.   Chicago Computer Company News
VII.  Chicago Computer Dealers


Free Seminar! Oracle 9i New Features and RAC on the 19th 
and 21st of March 2002. Call us at 800-869-7189 or visit our 
website at for details.


I. Calendar of Events

Event: Microsoft .NET: Extending the Possibilities**
Date: March 27 & 28, 2002
Place: Holiday Inn Chicago City Centre, 300 East Ohio,
Chicago, IL 60611
Information: or RSVP at 
This two-day course is designed to get you up to speed 
on the history and development of Web-based services 
with the .NET framework. We'll teach you the basics of 
how to build a Web service, and go on to cover more 
complex issues such as server-centric and distributed 
Web service environmental design considerations. (All
attendees should have previous experience developing 
software on the Windows platform.) Session topics will 
include: design considerations such as the Server-Centric 
Environment and the Distributed Web Service Environment; 
streams and serializable objects; issues concerning
security and authentication; ADO.NET and Dataset.

Event: Technology Executives Club Security & Risk Reduction SIG
Topic: Cyber Security Issues in Today's Rapidly Changing Environment"
Date: Thursday, March 28th, 2002
Place: Deloitte & Touche, 180 N. Stetson Ave., 20th Floor
Chicago, IL  60601
Time: 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM 
Fees:  Member - $10; Non-Member - $25
For complete information, and to pre-register for this event please 
visit our website at



II.  Assessing The Gift: African-Americans and the Digital Divide
By O.A. Fraser

The so-called digital divide has inspired two great ventures 
targeted at students from kindergarten through the twelfth grade.
These are, the idea of a computer in every classroom, and the 
goal of Internet access for every American school.
Click here for more,

III.  Effective Online Advertising Has To Get Creative, and "Be Honest"
By Ray Hanania

Online Advertising doesn't work. The numbers prove it, but more 
importantly, in the online environment, the kinds of ads
favored by e-commerce are annoying and not very creative.
Click here for more,

IV.  Techie Trivia Quiz, 2002
by Paul Robertz

It's been a year since this column's last trivia quiz. In past years, 
I used these quizzes to screen potential employees. Some years' 
quizzes were full of complicated trick questions designed to separate 
the educated guessers from the random number generators or those with 
the worst intuition. Last year's quiz was actually used in a class of 
graduate students in education at UIC.
Test your knowledge here,

V.  Myth of Simplicity
By Paul Erling

KISS-"Keep it Simple Stupid". We have all heard the adage, and many 
people stand by it. Keep things simple. Why keep things simple? A 
simpler design means fewer parts and fewer things to go wrong, a 
simpler process is easier to teach someone. But are computers really 
Go here for more,


VI.  Chicago Computer Company News

Centerpost and HNC Software to Provide Card Issuers With Enhanced 
Fraud Prevention Capabilities

    CHICAGO, IL/PRNewswire/ -- Centerpost Corporation, has announced 
an alliance with HNC Software Inc., a leading provider of high-end 
analytics and decision  management software. The combined technology 
will help credit and debit card issuers respond to potential fraud 
by automatically contacting customers over any communications channel, 
including voice, wireless, email, fax, and instant messaging. With 
this enhanced service, card issuers will improve their ability to 
prevent fraud while lowering the cost of communicating with customers 
through automation.
    Centerpost's multi-channel alerting technology will be integrated 
with HNC Software's Falcon Fraud Manager, which currently monitors over 
400 million card accounts worldwide and 84% of all U.S. transactions. 
Once Falcon Fraud Manager detects suspicious activity on an account, 
the cardholder is notified in real time on the device that is most 
convenient, such as a mobile phone or pager. After receiving the alert, 
the cardholder is able to verify the transaction through the device or 
be connected back to the card issuer's customer service center to 
investigate the activity further. Card issuers will shorten the 
communications process with automated alerts, improving operations, 
lowering call center costs, and ultimately preventing fraud.
    By integrating the Centerpost and HNC offerings, card issuers will 
now have access to the most advanced fraud prevention capability 
available today. No longer will a card issuer's call center waste 
valuable time making repeated attempts to communicate important fraud 
information to cardholders. Using Centerpost's technology, a card 
creates an outbound communications solution that provides a clear, 
quantifiable ROI, while at the same time enabling its call center to 
focus on inbound customer service or revenue-generating activity.


RapidMedia Network Unveils RapidIM -- The World's First Affordable 
InstantMessaging Appliance

   CHICAGO, IL/PRNewswire/ -- Catering to requests for a simple 
and cost-effective corporate instant messaging solution, 
RapidMedia Network has launched the RapidIM line of appliances 
and client software. A new breed of server appliance, RapidIM 
is a simple-to-install-configure-and-maintain solution that 
allows companies of all sizes to quickly deploy their own private 
and secure IM network. By accelerating communication, improving 
efficiency, and reducing costs, instant messaging has evolved 
into a mission critical business application. With the launch of 
RapidIM, this corporate phenomenon is now available to all companies.
    RapidIM's unique browser-based GUI administration module and 
client software are designed for easy, out-of-the-box deployment in 
law firms, brokerages, government agencies and other institutions. 
The integrated client software provides end-users with robust IM 
functionality while maintaining an intuitive interface that is easy 
enough for all employees to use starting day one.
    RapidIM appliances and software are not only simple to use, they 
are ultra secure and have been priced very affordably. "Companies are 
seeking ways to avoid the notoriously insecure and hacker-prone public
IM networks," says Vic Tyagi, CEO of RapidMedia. "Today, there exists 
no private and secure IM solution that is priced for immediate return 
on investment. Starting at $1749, RapidIM now offers an affordable IM
platform for these companies to increase communication, cut telephone 
and travel costs, and reduce business process cycle times."
    Though affordably priced, the powerful RapidIM appliances are 
highly scaleable and reliable. RapidIM's server technology is based on 
open-standards and XML, thus providing an extensible architecture for
creating the next generation of services and applications on the 
Internet. RapidIM appliances are easily upgradeable, thereby protecting 
the corporate technology investment.
   RapidIM appliances and software are now available for shipment. For 
purchasing information, or for reseller and OEM partnership 
visit .


Grant Thornton Uses Avaya IP Network to Connect 44 Offices 
in the U.S.

   CHICAGO, IL /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Grant Thornton LLP, is 
44 offices in the U.S. with an Internet Protocol (IP) converged voice 
data network from Avaya a global provider of voice and data networks 
applications to businesses.
   By connecting all 44 sites via IP trunks and using centralized voice 
mail and Phonetic Operator, a speech-enabled tool to look up employees 
a company directory, Grant Thornton has created a "virtual enterprise" 
that appears to callers to be a single location. The solution gives 
employees seamless connectivity to each other, their voice mail and 
e-mail -- from the office or from home -- providing lower costs, 
efficiency, enhanced customer service and a competitive differentiator 
for the firm.
   Clients will be able to reach anyone at Grant Thornton via the 
voice-enabled directory, and can experience better after-hours support. 
The best-in-class network also allows transparent communication
between employees, with conferencing and transferring between sites and 
total messaging connectivity for greater productivity and client 
   Grant Thornton also plans to implement Avaya Unified Messenger(R) in 
U.S. offices, which will enable employees to pick up voice mail, e-mail 
faxes from a single mailbox, accessible through any telephone or PC.
   Grant Thornton will be able to reduce costs in several ways. By 
voice traffic over its wide area network (WAN) infrastructure, the 
will save on toll costs, network management costs and T1 point-to-point 
costs. Centralized voice mail will allow Grant Thornton to combine 
mail systems in its hubs, saving on hardware, management and 
In addition, the virtual enterprise configuration allows centralized 
attendants to cover multiple offices, saving on labor costs or allowing 
the firm to reassign attendants to other duties.
   The company will be able to enter new markets with minor 
costs. With Avaya Enterprise Class IP Solutions (ECLIPS), Grant 
Thornton can 
use IP networking to cost-effectively deliver communications capability 
small market areas.
   The platform includes Avaya Enterprise Communication Servers at each 
location with full 5-digit dialing and Public Switched Telephone 
(PSTN) backup; Avaya Octel voice mail systems with Avaya's Unified 
and Phonetic Operator software for unified voice mail, fax and e- mail 
voice-enabled directory lookup; and Avaya P333T data switches, part of 
Avaya Cajun family of "Day One Voice Ready" networking switches, for 
Quality of Service (QoS).


VII. Chicago Computer Dealers

Click here at for our list 
of computer dealers and some of the lowest prices in town!

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