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Sun 17 Feb 2008 04:00 AM

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CIO pop quiz

ACN puts regional IT pros to the test with its first annual surprise test.

ACN puts regional IT pros to the test with its first annual surprise test.

Deep in the holiday malaise, the ACN team got talking - how much do CIOs in the Middle East actually know? Collectively ACN interviews a fair number of IT professionals, and they usually talk pretty knowledgably about their subjects - but occasionally there are one or two who seem to have missed out on some fairly core knowledge.

So, we decided to do a start-of-year quiz. We wanted to produce something that gave a quick snapshot of some of the major topics in the sector at the moment, rather than a full-blown industry survey. Therefore we put together nine questions designed to test various areas of IT knowledge - industry, regional, technical, trends, acronyms, and - perhaps most importantly - the noises motherboards make when they go wrong.

We sent the resulting quiz to a random assortment of regional IT professionals, and asked for their response. We made it clear this was all in a spirit of fun, and we also asked them nicely not to cheat (although we had no actual way of preventing this). Thus, this quiz is completely unscientific, and not at all representative of anything substantive whatsoever.

The results are below - we'll let you draw your own conclusions on any meaning these may have. Suffice to say, the ACN team found some of the responses to be as expected - and some to be rather surprising.

What is the most current standard for securing a Wi-Fi network?

a) WEP ( 30.3%)
b) WAP (0%)
c) WPA (17.2&)
d) 802.1x ( 52.5%)
e) A big man with a stick

A slightly trick question to start with - the majority of respondents gave authentication protocol 802.1x as the answer, not the correct Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA).

What is Virtualisation?

a) System to transmit video information across a network (0%)
b) Movement dedicated to connect people around the world ( 15.2%)
c) Political party inside online game Second Life (0%)
d) Technology allowing multiple machines to run on one system (84.8%)
e) Creation of electronic minds derived from real people (0%)

The power of buzzwords is demonstrated again, as the overwhelming number of respondents nail virtualisation - although the alternatives on offer may have helped.

Spell out the acronym: SAAS

a) Systems And Applied Software (0%)
b) Software As A Service (52.5%)
c) Software And Application Service ( 38.4%)
d) Signs And Advisory Service (0%)
e) Super Achievers Are Swell ( 9.1%)

The first of three acronym questions tripped up some CIOs, despite the hot-topic status of Software As A Service. A few respondents also seemed to go for the lighter answer in e)...

Spell out the acronym: ITIL

a) Information Technology Information Library (0%)
b) Infrastructure Technical Information Library ( 16.2%)
c) Information Technology Initiative Library (0%)
d) Information Technology Infrastructure Library (83.8%)
e) Invisible Technical Incomprehensibility Library (0%)

Most respondents nailed the second acronym question, suggesting ITIL has made a significant impact on regional CIOs and IT professionals.
Industry personalities: between them, where have Graham Porter, Joe Devassy and Ray Kafity NOT worked in the past four years:

a) Secure Computing ( 18.2%)
b) Cisco (0%)
c) Microsoft ( 16.2%)
d) Oracle (14.1%)

e) Burger King ( 51.5%)

We were looking for Oracle, although most took the safe option and went for Burger King. We're fairly sure these three stalwarts haven't worked in either - at least recently.

Spell out the acronym: TWAIN

a) Technology Without An Interesting Name (32.3%)
b) Technology Without An Intelligent Name (0%)
c) Transfer Within An Integrated Network ( 50.5%)
d) Tools With Applications Internally Networked ( 17.2%)
e) Time We Added Indigo Noses (0%)

What does WEEE mean to you?

a) European electrical energy consumption initiative (12.1%)
b) European electrical waste disposal initiative (68.7%)
c) Nintendo games console (0%)
d) Juniper education initiative (0%)
e) Nothing printable in this magazine (19.2%)

A surprisingly strong positive response for what should in theory be a relatively obscure European directive. Proof that green issues are making an impression? Perhaps.

Which of the following are all true about SAP's exclusive agreement with the erstwhile SAP Arabia?

a) signed for 20 years; started 1992; excludes renewing service charges ( 16.2%)
b) signed for 40 years; started 1993; covers MENA region ( 17.2%)
c) signed for 20 years; started 1994; taken to court twice (33.3%)
d) signed for 30 years; taken to court twice; excludes upgrades (0%)
e) signed for 1000 years; carved in granite; broken only by solar eclipse (0%)
x) No answer ( 33.3%)

The regional trials and tribulations of the world's biggest enterprise software vendor seem to have passed many by, although most who answered did get it right.

And finally, what would this sound mean coming from your motherboard: BEEEEEEEEP BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP?

a) Video card is loose (21.2%)
b) CPU is dead (0%)
c) RAM is faulty (67.7%)
d) BIOS is corrupt ( 11.1%)
e) What's a motherboard? (0%)

Our original answer was a), but after consultation we took RAM as an acceptable alternative. PC maintenance seems to be in safe hands.

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