The Ghost in the Machine

By Katherine Noyce, CIO |  Business

3. For companies doing their own fax broadcasting, physically pull the plug on the fax distribution machines, fix the problem in offline mode, then test and monitor carefully when you reconnect the systems.

Now sleep tight, kiddies. Don't let the bed bugs byte.

-- Derek Slater

Room 404, Where Are You?

GEEK APOCRYPHA So you're browsing the Web and instead of finding the site you want, your screen goes gray and up pops, "404 File Not Found," and you know that means that the page you requested could not be located on the server. You check the URL, check your spelling and move on to the next thing.

But why 404? Why not 403 orr 405? Why 40-anything?

The number 404 is a hypertext transport protocol (HTTP) status code. According to the World Wide Web Consortium (, HTTP status codes were defined by a team headed by Tim Berners-Lee, the man widely credited with inventing the Web (sorry, Mr. Gore) and the first Web browser at CERN (European Laboratory for Particle Physics, beginning in 1990.

Which, of course, does not answer the question.

This from the Web site When Berners-Lee and the other scientists were at work creating the Web, any request for a file was routed to a central database where people would manually locate the files and transfer them over the network. When they could not find a file, "usually because the person...typed in the wrong name," the scientists sent back the message, "File Not Found." They prefaced the message with the name of the room where they worked, the room where the data was physically contained -- room 404.

Berners-Lee, who is a principal research scientist at the MIT Computer Laboratory for Computer Science and director of the World Wide Web Consortium, could not be reached to confirm or deny this account.

-- David Rosenbaum

Help for the Financially Challenged

I.T. VALUE With the Y2K finish line looming, CEOs are tired of shelling out money for new, compliant systems. So it's become even harder for CIOs to get away with asking for IT investments without first explaining the business value of their projects. After all, "less than one-third of CEOs expect IT to have a high impact on cost reduction," according to Compass Analysis UK Ltd.'s recent survey of 650 CEOs and other senior executives conducted by the London School of Economics.

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