Crap products: a reader's plea
Anyone gotta monitor for an OPD?
Reader Charlie Stross reminds us that the ICL One-Per-Desk (OPD) which featured in Dr Spinola's Crap Products Hall of Fame last week was also available in a rebadged variant from BT. In a bid to have an even stupider name than the OPD, the Telcomms behmoth chose the moniker 'Tonto', for reasons best known to themselves.
Charlie obviously couldn't decide which version to buy, so he got one of each (hey, we've all made daft decisions, so don't mock). Trouble is, he now finds that the monitors on both the little widgets have gone to meet their maker. That's not good news, as the monitors also house the power supply for the computers, so an off the shelf monitor is no good.
Has anyone got an OPD monitor lurking in their attic so Charlie can donate a working system to the local museum? ®
The rudimentary speech synthesiser built into the answerphone bit of the OPD/Tonto had a limited number of words in its vocabulary in a bid to prevent people from leaving rude messages. There was a competition between ICL employees at the time (the early 1980s) to contrive to construct a dodgy phrase. The best anyone could come up with was "please will you service my secretary".
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