ShadowRAM: March 17, 2008

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Jay Mohr's 'Everything Channel' View
• Who knew actor and comedian Jay Mohr was so IT hip and funny? Mohr, who headlined Everything Channel's CRN Channel Champions event at XChange Solution Provider 2008 in Los Angeles, played to the IT-savvy crowd with his own brand of whacky humor. Among his comic gems:

"IT stands for I Tried."

"I love when you actually stump the IT guy ... it feels like you won a duel. Then you get to rub his nose in it a little bit ..." Did you try hitting F-5? Maybe turn it on and off? Is it plugged in?"

"These days, most hotels do have actual IT guys. It used to be ... they would send up "engineering" to help you with your computer. A guy with grey pants and a green work shirt would come in your room with his thick glasses and giant belly and say, 'Well, with the air conditioning, I usually bang on it like this!'"

Mohr has starred in movies such as "Jerry Maguire" and "Picture Perfect." From his opening line to his signature closing of a Christopher Walken impression, Mohr kept the crowd laughing.

VARs Build Bikes For Kids
• They know how to build complex network solutions, but can they put together a bike?

That question for Ingram Micro's VentureTech members at the Spring Invitational in New Orleans was answered with a resounding yes after they assembled some 60 bikes, which were donated to children from the West Bank Boys and Girls Club. Of course, most teams took some 30 minutes to build the bikes.

Ron Cook, chairman of Connecting Point in Las Vegas, got down and dirty working on his team's bike just like it was a blade server on the fritz. And Dan Wensley, vice president of Partner Development at managed services platform provider LPI Level Platforms, took his team's bike for a spin once it was complete.

The lucky 60 boys and girls ran into the hotel ballroom not knowing what their surprise was going to be. Needless to say, they were all smiles when they saw their new bikes that were decked out with special trimming.

VentureTech members donated money at a past event to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, but they said working together to build a bike and then seeing a child's smile was even more rewarding. The event marked the 10th anniversary for VentureTech under Ingram Micro.

• Carly Fiorina, the onetime embattled CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co., who was tossed by the computer giant's board of directors for operational shortcomings, has been selected to head the all-important campaign fund-raising operation for Republican presidential hopeful John McCain.

Fiorina was appointed to head the Republican National Committee's "Victory 2008." And apparently not everyone agrees with the selection. Syndicated columnist Robert Novak says conservatives and party regulars "were not happy" about Fiorina's appointment. Good luck, Carly.

• Former IBM Chairman Lou Gerstner, who penned the book "Who Says Elephants Can't Dance—Inside IBM's Historic Turnaround," should consider titling his next missive "Who Says You Need To Take Responsibility For Your Investment Fund?"

Gerstner, who is now chairman of The Carlyle Group, is once again in the public eye with Carlyle Capital on the brink of collapse. Carlyle Group said creditors plan to seize assets of its mortgage-bond fund after it failed to meet more than $400 million of margin calls.

Carlyle Capital said its parent company had "actively" met with lenders, but that negotiations broke down.

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