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Intel Laughs To Keep From Crying


Up Front: CHIP SHOTS

INTEL LAUGHS TO KEEP FROM CRYING

AT LEAST INTEL HAS a funny bone inside. The normally dead serious chipmaker puts out an annual parody issue of its monthly employee magazine. The April issue mocks the company's response to the furor over its Pentium bug, which resulted in a $475 million charge after the company finally agreed to replace the defective chips of anyone who asked.

Initially, Intel only would exchange chips with customers who could prove they used the flawed portion of the original. The parody has a faux ad promising a replacement Pentium if owners submit a 5,000-word essay on "why I'm important enough for a new chip"--and then wait 18 weeks for a reply. The ad's tag line: "It's not a flaw until we say it's a flaw."

There's a reason the parody magazine has so much--ahem--byte. Management never sees the issue before it goes to press, which may be a good thing. The magazine promises that Chief Executive Andy Grove will personally install the replacement chips.Robert D. Hof


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