Readers react: Thumbs-up to MPC support site, thumbs-down to FCC rules

Also, "Star Trek" fans take note: Gene Roddenberry's Mac is for sale

DJ, who asked for help finding a service manual for his MPC computer in last week's "Self-servicing an MPC system," wrote to thank Steve of mpcdrivers.com for finding the document he needed to do his own repairs on his computer. "This is exactly what I was looking for!" he says. He also suggests, "Maybe Gateway should change their script for MPC customers seeking tech support. As we know, 'Please visit MPC Corp for more information' is beating a dead horse, while www.mpcdrivers.com is very helpful."

Edward took issue with Tuesday's post "For sale: Your cell phone habits" -- and with the FCC. "I have a small business," he says. "We provide two-way repeater service and paging to a small number of customers. We never share CPNI with anyone without a court order. And we have never received a court order. Every year, I submit a CPNI statement to the FCC. This year, the FCC sent me a $2,000 NAL (notice of apparent liability) for not affirmatively answering their murky questions about our CPNI policy."

[ See the original posts on InfoWorld: "Self-servicing an MPC system" and "For sale: Your cell phone habits" | Frustrated by tech support? Get answers in InfoWorld's Gripe Line newsletter. ]

Edward explains that he did file the statement. He said simply and clearly that his policy is to never share any customer data with anyone, ever. "According to the NAL letter," he says. "That was insufficient. I answered the NAL, asking for reconsideration and relief from the fine -- a task that took the better part of a day." That's a lot of time for a two-person company.

But what angered Edward the most about the interaction is that a big telecommunications company, which has lawyers to handle this sort of thing, gets the blessing of the FCC -- even if the company is selling customer data to the highest bidder. "Yet, my little company gets a NAL for stating that we never share, sell, or give away any customer information simply because my statement isn't in the right format."

And just because I think you all will enjoy knowing -- or even bidding on -- this, I want to point out that Profiles in History, an auctioneer of Hollywood memorabilia, is selling an early production Macintosh 128 computer that was given to Gene Roddenberry by Apple Computer. The auction will take place on Oct. 8-9, 2009, and the sale price is estimated at $800 to $1,200.

That strikes me as a strange number, not only because that's still about the price of a new iMac, but also because DeForest Kelly's ("Bones") shoes are expected to go for the same amount. He wore those leather boots in three movies; they must be getting a bit gamey by now. Also, a red women's Starfleet uniform in season three's mini-dress style starts at $4,000. This is a red uniform! Everyone knows it'll get you killed before the show is half over.

Last I checked, bidding was up to $4,000 on Roddenberry's Apple. You can get a brand-new Mac Pro with an 8-core processor and 6GB of memory for a bit less than that. And according to Apple, the Mac 128 had no built-in memory expansion, but a third-party upgrade could take that system to 512K. That still seems a more fitting price tag.

Got gripes? Send them to christina_tynan-wood@infoworld.com.

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