FEDERAL BYTES

And They Can Continue to Use Their Crayons

The Pentagon has grand plans to develop paperless mapping and imagery products, but the Marines don't want to embrace this new digital world, according to Rear Adm. Joseph Dantone, director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency Implementation Team.

Dantone said the Marines presented him with a briefing slide that summed up their view of paper vs. digital maps.

"The chart shows a PC and a paper map, with a bullet going through each," Dantone told a Federal Sources Inc. breakfast last week. "The chart said, `A PC with a bullet through it is a brick; a map with a bullet through it is still a map.' "

The Organization That Wasn't There

It seems that nobody at GSA knows whether the agency's Information Technology Service still exists. We're told that all but two of the service's former components have been transferred to other GSA offices, and the remaining functions should find a new home within a few months. ITS commissioner Joe Thompson plans to spend the bulk of his time on internal GSA automation in his role as the agency's chief information officer.

But sources at the agency said ITS hasn't been officially abolished. "It's still in existence, but there's nothing there," one former ITS employee said. To which we replied, "Huh?"

The situation has been generating chuckles throughout the hallways of the agency as bewildered employees who inquire about the status of ITS are repeatedly rebuffed. "We were joking the other day that the new ITS policy is `Don't ask, don't tell,' " one GSA veteran said. Stay tuned as the story unfolds.

ENIAC Makes a Tiny Comeback

Happy birthday to you, ENIAC! The University of Pennsylvania, the birthplace of ENIAC, is throwing 18 months of celebrations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 30-ton gargantuan.

One highlight of the festivities is the Eniac-on-a-Chip kit. Using the kit, undergraduate students can fabricate the chip in class to learn more about how computers work. The result? A chip that reproduces the functions of the ENIAC but at 200 times the speed. No need to clear out a building to house it either.

Virtual Stickies

The long-heralded paperless office might finally be upon us. 3M's solution is the electronic version of the Post-It sticky note.

Post-It Software Notes runs on Windows and Windows 95 and lets users create and post notes on their computers, over networks and over the Internet. The product will be available by the end of the month for about $19.95.

The electronic note pad dispenser lets users stick notes on a customized memo board. Windows 95 users can even send Post-It Software Notes to recipients who don't have the software. The firm is launching a 30-day trial of the product from its Web site at http://www.mmm.com/psnotes.

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