Emancipating Hard Drives


Eric Canuteson, whose real estate investment company is registered as a Los Angeles County vendor, reports receiving the following notice the other day from Joe Sandoval, manager of purchasing and contract services at the county's Internal Services Department:

The County of Los Angeles actively promotes and is committed to ensure a work environment that is free from any discriminatory influence be it actual or perceived. As such, it is the County's expectation that our manufacturers, suppliers and contractors make a concentrated effort to ensure that any equipment, supplies or services that are provided to County departments do not possess or portray an image that may be construed as offensive or defamatory in nature.

One such recent example included the manufacturer's labeling of equipment where the words ''Master/Slave'' appeared to identify the primary and secondary sources. Based on the cultural diversity and sensitivity of Los Angeles County, this is not an acceptable identification label.

We would request that each manufacturer, supplier and contractor review, identify and remove/change any identification or labeling of equipment or components thereof that could be interpreted as discriminatory or offensive in nature before such equipment is sold or otherwise provided to any County department. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and assistance.

As Canuteson notes, Master/Slave is a standard designation not only for involuntary servitude (and kinky sexual relationships) but also for computer components. L.A. County presumably also frowns on references to "male" and "female" plumbing and electrical parts.