READY FOR KOSOVO. Government Technology Services Inc. has stockpiled Panasonic rugged laptop computers in case the Army asks it to provide laptops for forces deployed in Kosovo. Joel Lipkin, business development pooh-bah at GTSI, said, "We've taken a stocking position in rugged computers so we could have them ready to go at moment's notice. The supply chain gets tighter when there is a sudden ramp-up in demand."Earlier this month, Tom Leahy, deputy program manager at the Army Small Computer Program office, told FCW that SCP had received "informal" inquiries to provide 1,000 to 5,000 laptops to Army units deployed in the Balkans.


HERE COMES PORTABLE-3. While the Army has an ongoing laptop and notebook computer program to supply troops headed for the Balkans, SCP plans to award a new and improved contract after the third week of May, FCW has learned. Competition for the contract includes the usual suspects: Inacom Government Systems Inc., GTSI, IntelliSys Technology Corp., Comark Federal Systems and an outfit with the name of an old communications satellite and a bad 1960s song - Telstar. Alan Bechara, sales veep at Comark, would really like to win this one.


HOW ABOUT DTS-P? It looks like DISA may award the long-awaited, mega-billion-dollar DISN Transmission Services-Pacific contract before the millennium. The agency is evaluating offers from the only two bidders, Sprint and MCI, and may award the contract soon. I hope so, as this would then require a reporting trip to visit DISA-PAC boss Army Col. Mike Harvey on Hawaii's island of Oahu. Harvey, I hear, will spend another year on his tour at DISA-PAC. Not a bad gig, but he does have to put up with those North Shore showers.


VINSON AS DOOR OPENER. According to Australian news reports, the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson managed to set off practically every automatic garage door opener in Hobart, Australia, during a recent port call there on its return from the Persian Gulf. The Vinson, it turns out, has some powerful emitters in the 310 to 320 MHz range, the same frequency range used by Australian garage door openers. Despite this electronic assault on down-under garages, no one was "stranded in his or her garage," according to Ian Fletcher, Tasmania area manager of the Australian Communications Authority.

NATO should figure out what frequency Yugoslavia uses for its garage door openers and then use an EA6B to trap Slobodan Milosevic in his garage. Seems like a very neat way to end the crisis there.


HORDES OF PC PEDDLERS. John Raymond, an executive vice president of an unnamed company that does business out of a Flashmail account, sent a missive my way touting his report on "Selling IT Products and Services to the Government Marketplace," claiming that "over 100,000 sales professionals" have read the report. Yikes. No wonder margins in the federal PC market are so low: Raymond has unleashed an army of salesmen.

I'd print his "800" number here, but somehow I have a feeling his report is a come-on - even if it did originate from the word processor of an executive vice president.


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