Getting certified

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This article appeared in the 204, 4 September 2006 issue of CRN magazine.

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Getting certified
OPINION: For the past month Rabid’s phone has overflowed with begging messages texted to him by the nephew.

He desperately wanted us to fork out the cash to send him to Microsoft’s TechEd conference so he could catch up with the latest technology and become an MCP.

Of course Rabid refused, on principle, until the required amount of grovelling had been achieved, but also because we really thought it was rather 20th century to aspire to be a Male Chauvinist Pig.

After we learned that he actually wanted to become a Microsoft Certified Professional, we opened the wallet just wide enough to pay for the conference. But this is his story; we’ll let him tell you the rest.

Dudes, have you ever tried to get money out of a rich uncle? Let me tell you right now it’s much easier to rob the local convenience store, or so I’ve been told. First off, Uncle Rabid claims he’s not rich, but how could that be true? He’s got this huge shop raking in money every day.

To give you an idea of how much he pays me, those adverts to sponsor an underprivileged third-world child made me want to move there for a better standard of living. But eventually I wore him down, by texting him hourly.

You see Rabid has no idea how to even read messages so he had to negotiate to get his inbox cleared.

But I did finally get the money out of the old tight-wad and made it through airport security before he noticed the extra zero I’d added to the travel quote.

Seeing him dragged off by security for trying to crash through the barrier without a ticket while screaming about being robbed made the trip a little more exciting for everyone, particularly after I let slip that he looked a lot like one of those urban guerillas you see on the news.

Serves him right for seeing me off in his bush-walking dungarees and army-disposal boots.

Got to the conference and mingled with the other techies, all 2500 of them, and about ten minutes later noticed there were no girls, except for the ones in conference uniforms directing traffic.

Oh well, didn’t come here for the night life. The keynote speech explained that lots of ordinary people can’t figure what the heck to do with a computer, which was a welcome relief.

I’d started to think Uncle Rabid only catered to people too stupid to use a computer, but it seems that’s probably most everyone.

The speaker also told us about a Norwegian professor who says taking a mobile phone off a teenage girl constitutes child abuse. What a genius.

I learned years ago never to touch my sister’s phone, and I’ve still got the scars to remind me.

Sailed through my MCP exam, played with the latest Vista and Office 2007 betas, learned lots of tricks to fix a busted PC, and collected a ton of business cards from all sorts of people.

I stopped handing out my own business cards when it became clear that “Rabid Reseller” conveyed the wrong impression in the big smoke. I even went to the huge party at the Home disco, but with about ten girls and 1500 nerdy blokes, there wasn’t much dancing.

But I did get to see Willy Mason beat Anthony Mundine in a boxing match. I bet Willy gets a few dinner party stories out of the night he beat The Man, even if it was only playing Fight Night on an Xbox console. Gotta go! Plane to catch!

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