News In Brief

IT'S ENOUGH TO BURN A GUY UP

By all accounts, the carpenter who turned Gregory Thorson's basement into a family room did a fine job. Unfortunately, he has to do it all over again. Not that the work didn't pass inspection. But the project also involved removal of the Merrill, Wis., resident's fuel tank - a small matter no one apparently fed into his ex-supplier's computer. It generated a new delivery order, and 100 gallons later Thorson had a cellar full of oil held only by the floor and walls. No word on the cost of damages yet, but at least the company is paying them.

PLAIN OR ARGYLE; YOUR CHOICE

Speaking of oil, a Sequim, Wash., knitters guild has answered an international call to turn out wool sweaters for a colony of foot-tall penguins soaked by a spill from a ship off southern Australia. The 10-inch-long garments will help to insulate the birds against the cold. Said a guild member: "They look so cute. You can just see their little heads and flippers sticking out."

Which PC models have the most appeal for shoppers

Acer, a Taiwanese computer company, may not be as well known as, say, Dell or Hewlett-Packard. But it makes four of the 10 most-sought-after PCs, according to cnet.com, a leading source of computer information. CNET's most popular desktop models, with the lowest list price for each (prices of Acer and emachines models do not include monitors.):

1. Presario 5868 Athlon K-7 - 600MHz $1,699.00

2. Dell Dimension XPS T800r $2,088.00

3. emachines eMonster 550 $899.00

4. emachines eTower 500i $499.00

5. AcerPower Sn (500 MHz) $788.82

6. Compaq Deskpro EN 500 Minitower $1,125.89

7. Presario 5838 Athlon K7 - 500MHz $1,238.95

8. AcerPower 4400 (600 MHz, 10/100 NIC) $849.00

9. AcerPower Sn (550 MHz) $879.29

10. AcerPower Sn (600MHz, 10/100NIC) $928.47

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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