Volume IV, Issue 3, November 1997



Free Talk Program Over Internet

As you already knew, talk programs allow two people to talk over the Internet for real-time cost effective conversations. With these new technological programs, individuals can communicate in the form of writing without having to wait between responses.  The two most poplular programs are UNIXTalk and WINTalk.

In UNIX you have the ability to see whether someone is on-line.  Type "finger" and the person's E-mail address.  If the person is "on line", then you can chat with that individual by entering the "talk" command by the person's E-mail address (e.g. "talk").  Your screen will divide horizontally while the computer is 'ringing' your party.  The purpose of the divided screen is to simultaneously see what both you and the other person are writing (your text in the top half, theirs in the bottom half).  As soon as the connection is established, both people may begin 'talking' in full duplex.  When you are finished 'talking', press ctrl-C to end your conversation.

WINTalk is a new developed talk program that allows each talker to see their own messages simultaneously on a divided screen. Once you are in WINTalk, you click on the menu function, 'talk', then a dialogue box will appear asking for the following:


The 'TO:' box is the area in which you enter the e-mail address of the person you wish to "talk" to.  The 'FROM:' box is where you enter your own name, and the 'TTY:' box is where you type 'any' for any terminal type (e.g., VT100, VT52, ANSI). Then you click on 'talk.', which will then show you a split screen for each person's dialogue in the bottom left corner of the window.  Once you have completed your conversation you can exit by going to the menu option 'file' and click on 'exit.'

Many people use the traditional UNIXTalk program, ELF has recently released its product, WINTalk, a freeware implementation of the UNIX protocal for Microsoft Windows.  WINTalk runs under Microsoft Windows (or Windows for Workgroups) 3.1 or later, Microsoft Windows NT, and Microsoft Windows 95.

The Webpage of ELF is at:

You can freely download WINTalk at:

Enjoy talking!  
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Software Revision Guide

By now you have undoubtedly noticed that all software packages have version numbers.  In theory each version represents improvements to the product, but many people have found that the version numbers tend to follow a general pattern.  Use this guide to decipher the hidden meaning of version numbers.  Also, do not be fooled.  Using the year as the version number is a clever ploy, but it does not eliminate the fact that 4.0 follows 3.1.

1.0: Also known as "one point uh-oh", or "barely out of beta".  We had to release because the lab guys had reached a point of exhaustion and the marketing guys were in a cold sweat of terror.  We're praying that you'll find it more functional than, say, a computer virus and that its operation has some resemblance to that specified in the marketing copy.

1.1: We fixed all the killer bugs.

1.2: Uh, we introduced a few new bugs fixing the killer bugs and so we had to fix them, too.

 2.0: We did the product we really wanted to do to begin with.  Mind you, it's really not what the customer needs yet, but we're working on it.

2.1: Well, not surprisingly, we broke some things in making major changes so we had to fix them.  But did a really good job of testing this time, so we don't think we introduced any new bugs while we were fixing these bugs.

2.2: Uh, sorry, one slipped through.  One lousy typo error and you won't believe how much trouble it caused!

2.3: Some anal-retentive pain in the rear found a deep-seated bug that's been there since 1.0 and has been raising heck until we fixed it.

 3.0: Hey, we finally think we've got it right! Most of the customers are really happy with this.

3.1: Of course we did break a few little things.

4.0: More features.  It's doubled in size now, by the way, and you'll need to get memory and a faster processor ...

4.1: Just one or two bugs this time.  Honest.

5.0: We really need to go on to a new product but we have an installed base out there to protect.  We're cutting the staffing after this.
6.0: We had to fix a few things we broke in 5.0. Not very many, but it's been so long since we looked at this thing we might as well call it a major upgrade.  Oh, yeah, we added a few flashy cosmetic features so we could justify the major upgrade number.

6.1: Since I'm leaving the company and I'm the last guy left in the lab who works on the product, I wanted to make sure that all the changes I've made are incorporated before I go.  I added some cute demos, too, since I was getting pretty bored back here in my dark little corner (I kept complaining about the lighting but they wouldn't do anything).  They're talking about obsolescence planning but they'll try to keep selling it for as long as there's a buck or two to be made.  I'm leaving the bits in as good a shape as I can in case somebody has to tweak them, but it'll be sheer luck if no one loses the source code. 
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College Degrees - What They Really Mean

Sometimes it seems that what we study in college doesn't have much relation to what we end up doing for a living.  Following is a list of various degrees, as well as what graduates actually end up doing after earning them.

Computer Science:

* College - Spend most of your time in a dimly lit lab, playing XTrek and drinking Jolt. Interact only with other  CS majors, and only via the 'net if you can manage it.  Become passionately involved only in the continuing IBM/ Commodore/Macintosh debate.

* Real Life - Spend most of your time in a dimly lit office, playing Flight Simulator and drinking gourmet least five cups an hour. Interact only with your own project team, and then only via e-mail.  Become passionately involved in the continuing debate over who pays when the schedule slips, which wasn't your fault because you told them to take DOOM-playing into account from the beginning.


* College - Spend most of your time in a dimly-lit lab, playing with rats and other vermin.  Drink Jolt by the six-pack to stay up all night with the rodents.  Interact only with other Psychos, but only to analyze their behavior in non-lab situations.  Become involved in the continuing debate over whether a trained rat could succeed as a computer science major.

* Real Life - Spend most of your time in an unemployment line and living in a cardboard box with other vermin, wishing you'd changed to CS instead of the rat.  Continue to consider yourself superior to social work majors.


* College - Spend most of your time in a brightly-lit room full of charts and graphs.  Learn about supply and demand, GNP, supply and demand, prime rates, supply and demand, inflation, and supply and demand.

* Real Life - Spend most of your time in a brightly-lit government office with people who look just like you. Issue reports you wrote in college because you're too lazy to write a new one.  Watch newscaster explain your report to unsuspecting viewers.  Listen to President explain that the economy sucks
because of unemployed psychologists.


* College - Read books by dead guys. Debate whether a tree falling alone in a forest will say, "Oh, crud!  Not again!" Consider the ethical problems in the killing of annoying street mimes.  Get failed by professor for not liking correct dead guy.

*Real Life - Spend most of your time in a dimly lit office, playing Flight Simulator and drinking gourmet coffee ... at least five cups an hour. Interact only with your own project team, and then only via e-mail.  Become
passionately involved in the continuing debate over who pays when the schedule slips, which wasn't your fault because you told them to take DOOM-playing into account from the beginning.  Be thankful you switched to comp sci, which pays better than being a dead philosopher.


*College - Spend your time in a cramped office, thinking about polydimensional shapes and arguing their properties with other mathematicians.  Scream when they steal your work. Steal their work.  Be a
social outcast.

* Real Life - See above. You work for the university.
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The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the 1997 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with one half to Professor Paul D. Boyer, University of California, Los Angeles, USA, and Dr. John E. Walker, Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, United Kingdom for their elucidation of the enzymatic mechanism underlying the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and with one half to Professor Jens C. Skou, Aarhus University, Denmark for the first discovery of an ion-transporting enzyme, Na+, K+-ATPase.

The three laureates have performed pioneering work on enzymes that participate in the conversion of the "high-energy" compound adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

Paul D. Boyer and John E. Walker receive half the prize for their work on how the enzyme ATP synthase catalyses the formation of ATP. Boyer and his co-workers have proposed, on the basis of biochemical data, a mechanism for how ATP is formed from adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and inorganic phosphate.  Walker and his co-workers have established the structure of the enzyme and verified the mechanism proposed by Boyer.

Jens C. Skou receives his half of the prize for the discovery of the enzyme sodium, potassium-stimulated adenosine triphosphatase (Na+, K+-ATPase).  This enzyme maintains the balance of sodium and potassium ions in the living cell.  Both enzymes are bound to membranes in the cell and linked with the transport of ions through these - but for different reasons.

  Paul D. Boyer
     Born: 1918
     Place of Birth: Provo, Utah, U.S.A.
     Residence: U.S.A.
     Education: Ph.D. in Biochemistry 1943, University of Wisconsin,
     Madison, U.S.A.
     Affiliation: Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry,University of
     California, Los Angeles, CA 90024,

  John E. Walker
     Born: 1941
     Place of Birth: Halifax, Great Britain
     Residence: Great Britain
     Education: Received M.A. and Dr.Phil. at Oxford University, Great
     Affiliation: Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular
      Biology (Cambridge, UK)

  Jens C. Skou
     Born: 1918
     Place of Birth: Denmark
     Residence: Denmark
     Education: Received his doctoral degree at Aarhus University
     Affiliation: Department of Biophysics, Aarhus University, Denmark


The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics jointly to Professor Steven Chu, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA, Professor Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Collège de France and École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France, and Dr. William D. Phillips, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light.

Atoms floating in optical molasses - At room temperature the atoms and molecules of which the air consists move in different directions at a speed of about 4,000 km/hr.  It is hard to study these atoms and molecules because they disappear all too quickly from the area being observed.  By lowering the temperature one can reduce the speed, but the problem is that when gases are cooled down they normally first condense into liquids and then freeze into a solid form.  In liquids and solid bodies, study is made more difficult by the fact that single atoms and molecules get too close to one another.  If, however, the process takes place in a vacuum the density can be kept low enough to avoid condensation and freezing.  But even a temperature as low as -270°C involves speeds of about 400 km/hr.  Only as one approaches absolute zero (-273°C) does the speed fall greatly.  When the temperature is one-millionth of a degree from this point (termed 1 µK, microkelvin) free hydrogen atoms, for example, move at speeds of less than 1 km/hr (= 25 cm/s).

Steven Chu, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, and William D. Phillips have developed methods of using laser light to cool gases to the µK temperature range and keeping the chilled atoms floating or captured in different kinds of "atom traps".  The laser light functions as a thick liquid, dubbed optical molasses, in which the atoms are slowed down.  Individual atoms can be studied there with very great accuracy and their inner structure can be determined.  As more and more atoms are captured in the same volume a thin gas forms, and its properties can be studied in detail.  The new methods of investigation that the Nobel Laureates have developed have contributed greatly to increasing our knowledge of the interplay between radiation and matter. In particular, they have opened the way to a deeper understanding of the quantum-physical behaviour of gases at low temperatures.  The methods may lead to the design of more precise atomic clocks for use in, e.g., space navigation and accurate determination of position.  A start has also been made on the design of atomic interferometers with which,
e.g., very precise measurements of gravitational forces can be made, and atomic lasers, which may be used in the future to manufacture very small electronic components.

  Steven Chu
     Born: 1948
     Place of birth: St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
     Education: Ph.D.'76 from the University of California, Berkeley
     Residence: California, U.S.A.
     Affiliation: Physics Department, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
     94305, U.S.A

  Claude Cohen-Tannoudji
     Born: 1933
     Place of birth: Constantine, Algeria
     Education: Ph.D.'62 from the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris,
     Residence: Paris, France
     Affiliation: Laboratoire de Physique de Icole Normale Supirieure,
     Paris, France

  William D. Phillips
     Born: 1948
     Place of birth: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
     Education: Ph.D.'76 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
     (Cambridge, U.S.A.)
     Affiliation: National Institute of Standards and Technology,
Atomic Physics Division, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, U.S.A.

Further Nobel Prize information can be found at:
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Dress For Success
  By Huong Nguyen

Basics! Like everything else, dressing properly for business involves basics.  Stick to the basics and you won't have to worry about whether you're dressed wrong for an interview with a company that's offering the kind of job you want.

What represents basic and correct clothing in today's business climate?

For a man, it's suits in conservative shades of blue and gray, suits that are well tailored, do not involved patterns that are unusual, and are kept cleaned and pressed.  You can never go wrong with shirts that are white or blue and do not contain patterns.  Simplicity. Basics.  Muted, solid colors, rep patterns, or subtle stripes ties are all acceptable.

Women, I recommend that you follow the same philosophy for men.  Avoid wild patterns, flashy dresses, suits, and accessories. Be conservative in fragrance, makeup and hairstyle.  Stay away from the low neckline, and the length of your skirts and dresses are best not the extremely long or extremely short look.  Finally, create a small kit of personal items and include it in your briefcase when going for job interviews.

You dress conservatively and neatly, because by doing so you know you minimize the risk of offending anyone's tastes by looking too stylish or offbeat.  There's a reason "classic" clothing doesn't fall out of favor.  And if you wear it the odds that you won't fall out of favor either.
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Terms) / ("Real" Definition)


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Nghe^. Thua^.t Ta(.ng Hoa 

(Su+u Ta^`m)

Ta(.ng hoa nha^n di.p: sinh nha^.t, le^~ cu+o+'i, le^~ hu+'a ho^n, nga`y ky? nie^.m, mu+`ng tha`nh co^ng, mu+`ng ngu+o+`i tha^n sinh con, nha^n nga`y khai tru+o+`ng, dde^? ca'm o+n mo^.t bu+~a tie^.c ddu+o+.c mo+`i du+., dde^? chu'c mo^.t ngu+o+`i ba.n bi. ddau o^'m mau cho'ng phu.c ho^`i su+'c khoe?, dde^? to? su+. bie^'t o+n, to? ti`nh, cu'ng le^~.... Tuy nhie^n kho^ng pha?i ai trong chu'ng ta cu~ng bie^'t ca'ch ta(.ng hoa cho ddu'ng nghi thu+'c va` phe'p su+. (ddo+n gia?n vi` nghi thu+'c na`y mang ti'nh ca'ch phu+o+ng Ta^y nhie^`u ho+n ti'nh ca'ch Vie^.t Nam). DDo.c ddu+o+.c trong mo^.t ba`i ba'o ve^` ca'ch thu+'c ta(.ng hoa, to^i muo^'n vie^'t la.i dde^? chu'ng ta cu`ng tham kha?o, bie^'t dda^u la.i ho.c ddu+o+.c mo^.t ddie^`u gi` hay ma` co' the^? a'p trong nhu+~ng di.p le^~ Te^'t. Khi ta(.ng hoa, ca'c ba.n ca^`n lu+u y' nhu+~ng nghi thu+'c sau:

Kho^ng ta(.ng hoa khi dde^'n tham ngu+o+`i ddang buo^`n (tha^'t ba.i trong la`m a(n, trongti`nh duye^n, thi ro+'t....)

Khi ta(.ng hoa ca^`n chu' y':
+      Tha(m tha^n nha^n na(`m be^.nh vie^.n hay nha` ba?o sanh, chi? ne^n ta(.ng loa.i hoa co' mu`i nhe.. To^'t nha^'t la` chi? ne^n ta(.ng hoa lu'c be^.nh nha^n hoa(.c sa?n phu. dda~ ve^` nha`.

+      Phu. nu+~ kho^ng ta(.ng hoa cho dda`n o^ng, tru+` khi ngu+o+`i ddo' tha^.t cao tuo^?i. Ne^'u ta(.ng hoa, cha(?ng ha.n dde^? to? lo`ng bie^'t o+n sau khi ddi du+. tie^.c, thi` ngu+o+`i phu. nu+~ pha?i gu+?i hoa dde^'n cho vo+. cu?a gia chu?.

+      Khi ddu+o+.c mo+`i ddi du+. tie^.c, to^'t nha^'t ne^n gu+?i hoa dde^'n tru+o+'c ke`m theo mo^.t danh thie^'p ga('n tre^n bo' hoa. Tra'nh lu'c dde^'n mo+'i ddem hoa to+'i, vi` nhu+ va^.y s4 la`m cho chu? nha^n ddang ba^.n tie^'p kha'ch pha?i bo? kha'ch cha.y ddi kie^'m mo^.t lo. hoa dde^? ca('m va`o. Chu? nha` kho^ng bao gio+` que^n dda(.t lo. hoa (do kha'ch gu+?i to+'i) o+? cho^~ de^~ tha^'y va` trang

+      Ne^'u la^`n dda^`u ba.n ddu+o+.c mo+`i ddi du+. tie^.c cu?a mo^.t chu? nha` chu+a quen bie^'t tru+o+'c, ba.n kho^ng ca^`n gu+`i hoa dde^'n tru+o+'c. Nhu+ng trong vo`ng 24 gio+` sau khi ve^` nha`, ba.n ha~y gu+?i dde^'n chu? nha` mo^.t bo' hoa ke`m theo ddo^i lo+`i ca'm o+n va` khen ngon (vie^'t cha^n tha`nh) thi` ddo' la` mo^.t cu+? chi? su+. la`m chu? nha` ca?m ki'ch.

+      Kho^ng bao gio+` ta(.ng hoa vo+'i so^' cha(~n.

+      Kho^ng ta(.ng hoa cho ngu+o+`i so^'ng o+? no^ng tho^n.

Ne^'u trong pho`ng la`m vie^.c co' nhie^`u ngu+o+`i, ca^`n chu' y' so+? thi'ch cu?a nhu+~ng ngu+o+`i kha'c khi ddem hoa va`o pho`ng, nha^'t la` loa.i hoa co' mu`i ha(ng.

+      Ca^`n bie^'t ngo^n ngu+~ cu?a ca'c loa.i hoa dde^? tra'nh ta(.ng hoa kho^ng pha?i ca'ch: Khi ta(.ng hoa cho mo^.t em ga'i nho? tuo^?i, kho^ng ta(.ng hoa ho^`ng ddo? (ma`u cu?a du.c, hay ta(.ng hoa ca^?m chu+o+'ng, hoa cu'c (bie^?u cu?a ti`nh ye^u). Cu~ng vi` va^.y, ngu+o+`i dda`n o^ng kho^ng ta(.ng hoa ho^`ng ddo? cho ngu+o+`i phu. nu+~ co' cho^`ng. DDe^'n tha(m ngu+o+`i ye^u, kho^ng ta(.ng hoa margueite (bie^?u cu?a su+. ly bie^.t).

+      Hoa hue^. chi? du`ng ddi cu'ng, ddi dda'm gio^~.

+      Kho^ng du`ng hoa ma`u sa(.c so+~ khi ddi du+. dda'm tang ngu+o+`i nho? tuo^?i.

+      Hoa Phong Lan la` loa.i hoa quy'. DDa`m o^ng su+., galant thu+o+`ng cho.n loa.i hoa na`y dde^? ta(.ng phu. nu+~. 
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  The Rose and Its Meaning

ROSE (BRIDAL) - Happy Love
ROSE (CHRISTMAS) - Tranquilize My Anxiety, Anxiety
ROSE (DEMASK) - Persian Ambassador Of Love
ROSE (HIBISCUS) - Delicate, Beauty
ROSE (LEAF) - You May Hope
ROSE (PINK) - Perfect Happiness, Please Believe Me
ROSE (RED) - LOVE, I Love You, Passion
ROSE (TEA) - I'll Remember, Always
ROSE (THORNLESS) - Love At First Sight
ROSE (WHITE) - Innocence and Purity, I Am Worthy Of You, You're Heavenly, Secrecy and Silence
ROSE (WHITE AND RED TOGETHER) - Unity, Flower Emblem of England
ROSE (WHITE - DRIED) - Death Is Preferable To Loss Of Virtue
ROSE (WHITE - WITHERED) - Transient Impression, Fleeting Beauty, You Made No Impression
ROSE (YELLOW) - Decrease Of Love, Jealously, Try To Care
ROSE (SINGLE FULL BLOOM) - I Love You, I Still Love You
ROSE (GARLAND OR CROWN OF) - Beware Of Virtue, Reward Of Merit, Symbol Of Superior Merit
ROSEBUD - Beauty Of Youth, A Heart Innocent Of Love
ROSEBUD (RED) - Pure And Lovely
ROSEBUD (WHITE) - Girlhood
ROSEBUD (MOSS) - Confessions Of Love
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Ti`nh Tha?o Chu+o+ng Vie^n
       (Programmer's Love)

Nam: Pascal, cobol, Fortran....

Co' language na`o da`nh vie^'t cho ti`nh ye^u
Co' ngo^n ngu+~ na`o da`nh cho ti`nh ha^.n
Co' ngo^n ngu+~ na`o cho thuo+? ti`nh la^.n dda^.n
Tu+` thuo+? la' sa^n tru+o+`ng co`n u+o+m sa('c dda(m chie^u
Ta, tha?o chu+o+ng vie^n kho^ng ra`nh logic
Ta^.p vie^'t program cho ti`nh y' ho.c tro`
Va`o loops thu+o+ng ye^u bo^'n be^` mu` mi.t
Ne^n message ti`nh la` no^~i a^u lo

Ta vie^'t cho em program ngo? y'
Ta gu+?i cho em project he.n ho`
Data dda~ stored, em kho^ng process
Ta mo?i ma('t cho+`, ti`nh va^~n quanh co
Tra'i tim em cha('c ba(`ng tra(m nga`n bits
Nhu+ng cha(?ng bit na`o giu+~ ho^. ti`nh ta
Khi dda~ ye^u ta quo+' luo^n logic
Ma~i cha.y vo`ng vo`ng kho^ng co' lo^'i ra
Tha^'y ta cha.y vo`ng em ho+i ca?m ddo^.ng
(for just a few micro-second)
Em thoa'ng ma('t nhi`n nu+?a mie^.ng cu+o+`i kho+i
Ro^`i tha? ta ve^` mo^.t co~i cho+i vo+i

Ta, tha?o chu+o+ng vie^n vo^'n nghe^` sinh ke^'
Nhu+ng thi'ch la`m tho+ ho+n tha?o chu+o+ng tri`nh
Ne^n va^~n mo^.ng mo+ khi draw flowcharts
Ne^n program ti`nh ta va^~n u me^... (By Hiep Tran)



Ngo^n ngu+~ anh du`ng vo^'n co^? xu+a
Nhu+ Assembly, Pascal, Fortran vo+'i Cobol
Sao anh kho^ng gu+?i cho em lo+`i ti`nh na('ng mo+'i
Nhu+~ng lo+`i C, C++ hay Si' Ko^'(SQL)

Vo`ng loop na`o ti`nh anh la^.n dda^.n
Mo^~i ba^.n quay tro`n lo`ng la.i bo+ vo+
Ha~y BREAK mo^.t la^`n ngo^`i be^n co?
Nghe application ti`nh ke^? chuye^.n hu+ vo^
Anh vie^'t cho em program ti`nh nhie^`u BUGS
Tro't release ro^`i ne^n cu+' ma~i a^u lo
Data processed nhu+ng la`m sao em debug
Ne^n muo^n ddo+`i ti`nh cu+' va^~n quanh co
Tra'i tim em ddo+n so+ ba(`ng 32 bits
Mo^~i bit la` mo^.t no^~i nho+' ti`nh ta
Ta.i sao anh kho^ng ro~ ti`nh em update
Ne^n nga.i ngu`ng ho?i ma~i "NEAR hay FAR"
Infinite loop ne^n ti`nh anh va^~n cha.y
La.c lo^'i ddo+`i ne^n em kho^ng the^? execute
Control+Break la`m thie^n ddu+o+'ng ddo^? vo+~
Rewrite program ti`nh lo`ng sao tha^'y xo't xa
Ta.i anh ddo' kho^ng ra`nh logic
Ma` cu+' la'm tho+ kho^ng chi.u kho' design
Anh co' hie^?u ti`nh mi`nh OBJECT ORIENTED
CLASS kho^ng cu`ng ne^n ti`nh de^~ pho^i pha!!!
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How Do You Know if You're
            in Love, in Lust, or really Married?

LOVE - When your eyes meet across a crowded room.
LUST - When your tongues meet across a crowded room.
MARRIAGE - When you lose your child in crowded room.

LOVE - When you argue over how many children to have.
LUST - When you argue over who gets the wet spot.
MARRIAGE - When you argue over money.

LOVE - When you share everything you own.
LUST - When you steal everything they own.
MARRIAGE - When the bank owns everything.

LOVE - When you phone each other just to say, "Hi."
LUST - When you phone each other to pick a hotel room.
MARRIAGE - When you phone each other to complain.

LOVE - When you write poems about your partner.
LUST - When all you write is your phone number.
MARRIAGE - When all you write is checks.

LOVE - When you show concern for your partner's feelings.
LUST - When you couldn't give a shit.
MARRIAGE - When your only concern is what's on TV.

LOVE - When your farewell is "I love you, darling..."
LUST - When your farewell is "So, same time next week..."
MARRIAGE - When your farewell is a relief.

LOVE - When your heart flutters everytime you see them.
LUST - When your groin twitches everytime you see them. 
MARRIAGE - When your wallet empties everytime you see them.

LOVE - When nobody else matters.
LUST - When nobody else knows.
MARRIAGE - When everybody else matters and you don't care who knows.

LOVE - When all the songs on the radio describe exactly how you feel.
LUST - When the song on the radio determines how you do it.
MARRIAGE - When you listen to talk radio.

LOVE - When breaking up is something you try not to think about.
LUST - When staying together is something you try not to think about.
MARRIAGE - When just getting through today is your only thought.

LOVE - When you're only interested in doing things with your partner.
LUST - When you're only interested in doing things TO your partner.
MARRIAGE - When you're only interested in your golf score.
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Ai So^'ng La^u Nha^'t The^' Gio+'i

(Su+u Ta^`m)

BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) - Ba` Jeanne Calment, phu. nu+~ ngu+o+`i Pha'p ddu+o+.c coi la` so^'ng la^u nha^'t the^' gio+'i vu+`a tu+` tra^`n o+? tuo^?i 122. Nhu+ng co' mo^.t ngu+o+`i dda`n o^ng da^n Lebanon ba^y gio+` co`n so^'ng no'i ra(`ng mi`nh hie^.n nay dda~ 135 tuo^?i\.

Mo^.t ta`i lie^.u kie^?m tra da^n so^' cu?a chi'nh quye^`n Lebanon cho bie^'t cu. Ali Mohammed Hussein sinh na(m 1862 nghi~a la` na(m nay 135 tuo^?i\.  Cu. Hussein, so^'ng ba(`ng nghe^` no^ng va` ddo^'t than, sinh ta.i la`ng Qinieh ca'ch thu? ddo^ Beirut 150 da^.m ve^` phi'a ba('c trong mo^.t vu`ng nu'i non hie^?m tro+? cu?a Lebanon.  Ba` vo+. Amsha na(m nay 90 tuo^?i\. Ngu+o+`i con trai tru+o+?ng cu?a cu. cho bie^'t cu. co' 93 ngu+o+`i con, cha'u, cha('t, chu't.

Ho^` so+ ly' cu?a cu. Hussein ca(n cu+' va`o mo^.t ta`i lie^.u tho^'ng ke^ da^n so^' cu?a bo^. no^.i vu. Lebanon na(m 1932, nhu+ng kho^ng co' ba(`ng chu+'ng cu. the^? na`o kha'c dde^? co' the^? d-a'nh gia' su+. chi'nh xa'c.

Mo^.t ca'ch chi'nh thu+'c, cu. ba` Jeanne Calment va^~n ddu+o+.c coi la` ngu+o+`i so^'ng la^u nha^'t the^' gio+'i, va` cuo^'n sa'ch ghi nhu+~ng ky? lu.c, Guinness Book of Records, co^ng nha^.n ddie^`u na`y\.  Theo sa'ch Guinness thi` nhu+~ng ngu+o+`i kha'c chu+a co' ddu? ta`i lie^.u d-e^? bie^'t tuo^?i chi'nh xa'c cu?a ho.\.  Mario do Carmen Geronimo, mo^.t no^ le^. dda~ ddu+o+.c gia?i pho'ng o+? Brazil, ky? nie^.m sinh nha^.t thu+' 125 va`o tha'ng 3 vu+`a qua\.  Mo^.t cu. o^ng ngu+o+`i DDan, Christian Mortensen, cho bie^'t mi`nh na(m nay 114 tuo^?i, va` ddu+o+.c co^ng nha^.n la` la~o o^ng lo+'n tuo^?i nha^'t the^' gio+'i\.
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From One-Man Shop to Engineering Services Success Story

Note: If you attended VTIC '96 (, July 1-3, 1996, George Mason University, Virginia, U.S.A, you may remember anh Nguyen van Thanh, who was the Chair of two-hour Workshop.

WORKSHOP: "Doing Business in America"  - Chair: Dr. Thanh Van Nguyen, President, NVT Inc., Sterling, VA.

* "Government Contracting Construction"  - Mr. Lat Nguyen, President, Latco Inc.

* "Minority Business Enterprising/Problems encountered: Finance, Labor, etc." - Mr. Nghi S. Huynh, President, Asian American Press Inc.

* "Doing Business In Private Sectors/Import-Export"  - Mr. Quang T. V. Nguyen, President, Toronto Micro-Electronics

* "From Invention To Market Place" - Mr. Khanh Dinh, President, Heat Pipe Technology, Inc.

* "Starting - One-man Business" Mr. Tan Le, President, Client/Server Services

The Washington Post had an arcticle about him and Dr. Thanh Van Nguyen's company.

From One-Man Shop to Engineering Services Success Story NVT's Grand Maintenance Plan

                  By Jacquelyn Powell
                  Washington Post Staff Writer
                  Monday, September 29, 1997; Page F09
                  The Washington Post

V. Thanh Nguyen surveys the cavernous expanse of the Kennedy Center's interior and considers the task his Sterling engineering firm, NVT Technologies Inc., was recently hired to perform.

"The job is complex, especially when you try to match state-of-the-art control systems," he said, referring to NVT's mission to design and implement a maintenance plan that will keep the building running without a glitch well into the next century.

Visitors to the fabled facility "don't want to see any lights out; you don't want the air-conditioning to be not working," said James C. Taylor, NVT's director of operations.  "If we do our job right, nobody will ever think of what goes on inside the building."

Inside the 1.5 million-square-foot building, a new automated HVAC (heating, ventilating and air-conditioning) system and electrical system are the focus of NVT's effort to create guidelines that will enable future maintenance staffers to keep the systems running smoothly.

Sarah Fahy, the Kennedy Center contracting officer, said center's existing maintenance plan "needs updating, modernizing, so there's a plan when people start retiring."

The two-month, $20,000 project began late last month with the first of a three-phase approach, during which Nguyen and his staff are familiarizing themselves with the center to see what needs to be done.  Next NVT will develop the new maintenance plan.  This will include an inventory of equipment and supplies; a directory of vendors; a guide outlining the skills needed for various repairs; and a timetable for completing maintenance tasks.  Finally, Taylor said, it will "integrate this plan into the building's new computerized automation system that keeps track of all the maintenance."  They intend to present the plan in October, Taylor said.

The Kennedy Center deal is one of the few commercial contracts pursued by NVT, which, since its inception in 1980, has built a client list that is 97 percent government agencies.  NVT operates under the Small Business Administration's 8(a) program, which sets aside certain government contracts for minority-owned businesses.  NVT currently holds 23 facilities' maintenance contracts, which bring in $14 million in annual revenue.

"Basically we provide very basic engineering services for government facilities," Nguyen said.  "We're looking at electrical systems, mechanical devices, structure and the overall well-being of a facility.

NVT's projects have ranged from providing water treatment services for the National Institute of Environmental Sciences (its first contract, worth $41,700) to providing support services and commissioning new facilities for the Social Security Administration (its newest contract, worth about $5 million a year over five years).

Some of NVT's jobs require expertise beyond the engineering realm.  In April, NVT completed working with the General Services Administration to open the new FBI site.  "It's a brand new building ... very heavily equipped with classified stuff," Nguyen said.  "We were hired to interact with the construction company to finish all the work and transfer people into the building."

At the Hubert H. Humphrey Building on Independence Avenue NVT has overseen operations and maintenance since an initial four-year contract in 1991.  The building is home to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Jewel Meeks, the building manager, said NVT is "responsible for the air-conditioning systems, cooling towers, heat and ventilation and any emergency situation, such as damage to the building.  " Renewing its contract in 1995 didn't get a second thought, he added.

"We were so pleased when we reissued the contract," he said, "because we felt so comfortable with what they did for us."

One thing NVT did was replace the rooftop chiller, which weighs "about two or three tons [and is] the basis for the air conditioner" while the staff continued to work, said Nguyen.  As a result of NVT's energy conservation procedures, the building received an award from the Department of Energy in 1994 for reducing its energy bill by about $340,000.

Although commercial contracts make up only 3 percent of NVT's workload, Nguyen wanted the Kennedy Center contract because it fit into his expansion strategy: to manage operations at more large facilities.  When Timothy Regan, NVT's director of marketing, spotted an ad for the job in a February issue of Commerce Business Daily, Nguyen went after it.

NVT got the contract because it had the lowest bid of the 14 proposals submitted, Fahy said.

At $20,000 the Kennedy Center contract may be modest in dollar value.  But getting the contract for the nation's performing arts center was emblematic of Nguyen's immigrant success story.

He left his native Vietnam for New Zealand in 1966 on a scholarship at Auckland University.  There he earned a bachelor's degree in engineering and a doctorate in chemical engineering, through "nine years of eating mutton," he said.

Abandoning his hopes of returning to Vietnam to help rebuild the country after the war, Nguyen instead went to California. After what he called "a six-month cultural shock and about four months of unemployment," he snagged his first chemical engineering job at Garrett Energy Research and Engineering in Claremont.

That lasted until 1978, when his in-laws in Virginia persuaded him to head east.

The same year, Nguyen joined Mitre Corp. in McLean as part of its energy and environmental resources department's technical staff.  That exposed him to the world of government contracting, and from that was born the idea of starting his own business.

"I always wanted to be on my own, even during the time I was in high school in Vietnam. So I saw the opportunity in government contracting when I was working at Mitre," he said.

So he set up a one-man shop in the basement of his small farmhouse in Vienna, incorporating in 1980. The company bears its president's initials "in the right order," Nguyen joked, explaining the Vietnamese custom of last names first.

After several years of knocking on doors to get clients and working as a consultant, Nguyen landed his first government contract from the National Institute of Environmental Sciences.  Next came contracts from Andrews Air Force Base and the Defense Communications Agency.

"We then hired nine people, and that's how NVT started," Nguyen said. "It was 1983. I remember when I started managing people for the first time."

Fourteen years later, Nguyen manages 250 employees in 22 offices spread over 13 states.  "All the effort that we put in eventually paid off," Nguyen said.  He added that he no longer wants to return to his his native country, and is "happy to be here" in the United States.

And as for the little farmhouse that first housed his company, Nguyen now awaits the construction of his new 4000-square-foot home.


V. Thanh Nguyen

Title: President, NVT Technologies Inc.

Age: 51

Education: BE (bachelor of engineering) in chemical and materials engineering; PhD in engineering, both from Auckland university, Auckland, New Zealand

Professional: Associate professor in chemical engineering and material sciences, Catholic University, 1982-83; member of technical staff at Mitre Corp.; senior scientist at Benmol Corp.

Personal: Two children, a 19-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son

Hobbies: Swimming and jogging

Current reading: "My American Journey," by Gen. Colin Powell

           © Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company
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