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Jim Pivonka - A Brief Biography

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A repository for ramblings, speculations, and other postings about technical and tech industry issues, directions, and questions (and maybe some other stuff).  Please consider this a scratch pad, a text "webcam" for wandering mind voyeurs, no more.  (I made this skeleton on May 12, 2001, so if it is not "populated" or fleshed out yet, give it time.)  (Some additions, June 16, 24; July 31, 2001.)  (September 11, 2001 and subsequent events have prevented significant work on this document since.)

 M$'s marketing strategy is anti-competitive anti-pluralist
 M$'s technical strategy - XP fixes OS instability but has major security issues
 Demand for computer and Inet/WWW technolog is elastic and price sensitive!
 Limits on the perceived utility of computer and Inet/WWW technology limit demand!
 My personal technical stuff
 How to do an index, favorites, or bookmarks right.  (Has anyone?)
 Bus Wars: A System Bus War Beckons - Intel's planned 3GI0 vs. HyperTransport
 WebCentric: Software supporting user's Web interactions beats desktop & ".NET"
 Unfree: Advert supported "free" web content limits IT infrastructure demand/growth
 Ephemera: Transience wins, presistence loses when information is digital electronic
 Dualities: The romance of dual processors and its effect on processor design and marketing
 The Road to (Your) Serfdom: MS reduces us from owners to rentiers of software
 Late Stage Devolution: Compaq's end stage model changes illustrate the end of a Tech era
 Old Business: Web and application programmer's designs overburden our machines

0. The good stuff. (Other people's commentary.  See the third link on the home page.)

There appears below a set of URL's that will lead you to Annalee Newitz's commentaries.  She is TOPS
among general social critics/commentators on the digital media.  Her stuff is always good and fun, and
sometimes inspired.

I hope you will pass this on to friends, associates, your kids, etc... anyone with an interest in these things.

Her column appears in a number of papers, but perhaps the best on-line source is in a San Jose paper,
"Metroactive", where it appears regularily under the link "work" on the "metro" page.

Her individual columns can be accessed by changing the number in the URLgiven below; for instance,
changing 0124 to 0125 or 0119 in the link below will take you to those columns.  Check them out.
 and so on.

1. Intel's P4 vs. Itanium strategy, vis-a-vis single and multi-processing capability

1A.  Packet based processing architecture - please do not underestimate the impact of this one!

Now we have to watch for the convergence of packet based bus technology and the packet based "network processor" technology being touted by Clearspeed and perhaps by ServGate Technologies.  Hmm.  And packetized storage, too.  Maybe we will ditch file oriented processing altogether.   This note is dated July 25th, 2001, and you read it here first.

1B. The war over BUS architecture

2. M$'s marketing strategy, with special reference to
 a. Software "rental" and forced replacement of software
 b. Purposeful incompatibility with standards, as in the .net, hailstorm, and anti-java products
 c. Forced adoption and use of non-OS product included with the OS -- Browser, Instant Messaging, Media, etc.
These are getting so much press coverage as of May-June, 2001, I have stopped tracking and keeping the links.  If you want information, here are some basics:

Procomp Group Says Microsoft's .NET is next monopoly ploy
"Microsoft's current strategy to extend and preserve its monopoly position is .NET, which can most basically be described as Microsoft Windows for the Internet," the  group said.

And the Craig Mundie - Open Systems flame war:
Open source vendors respond to Microsoft 'attack'
Licensing/Upgrade Frenzy Pours Gas on Linux Flames
Microsoft's Attack on Open Source:  Linus Torvalds Replies
Open source leaders fire new salvo at Microsoft Technology | Microsoft unbound   June 16, 2001
In your face! MS open source attacks backfire

M$'s side includes:

Windows Desktop Product Lifecycle Guidelines : [lifecycle, ... discontinuance, discontinue, obsolete]
Volume License Product Keys on Microsoft Business products
Mundie: 'Open Source isn't the issue'
Another negative "sleeper" is M$ inclusion of the capability in Win XP to automatically generate pop-up links to M$ (for fee!) services during ordinary computer operations, and without user desire or request.  These OS generated pop-ups can interfere with the functionality of links embedded in sites being visited, and suborn the nature of the site being visited, as in creating and displaying a link to Ford, while at a GM site, or suggesting you visit a Catholic site while researching Bhuddism! But that is not how they are intended.  They are intended to keep you within the confines of M$'s wholly owned and operated "sub-net", using only M$ revenue producing resources and seeing only M$ approved sites.(Where in the M$ world to you want to go today?)  See these links for more:  (But note that after the Appellate Court confirmed Microsoft's guilt in the anti-trust case, M$ DROPPED this feature from XP.)
3. M$'s technical strategy - XP
    I am so intrigued by the fact that M$ seems to my ignorant eyes to be, finally, doing the right thing technically, I will want XP no matter how much I hate their marketing.  I found the "side by side component sharing", "independent applications", "assembly (xml) manifests" and integral "terminal services - remote desktop" stuff really interesting.

People are going to have fun with the security implications of the latter, I bet.  How is the user going to keep "remote desktop" turned off?  And if you think that is trivial, there is supposed to be a  presentation by two Air Force Academy security specialists the week of May 21, discussing "user spoofing" whereby hackers assume the identity of the user to break security tools which depend on user intervention.  I'll give a link to that, if I get one.

More recently the issue of "raw sockets", an implementation of winsock which permits IP spoofing has been getting a lot of play in the tech media.  Essentially, the inclusion of a version of the winsock specification which permits IP spoofing in a "consumer" OS, Win XP (Home) will make it possible for "Trojan" programs on those machines to do IP spoofing, and thus make it impossible to find the machine responsible for the Trojan program's activity.  The activity of most concern is DDoS attacks (Distributed Denial of Service) wherein many machines issue immense numbers of transactions to one internet location, blocking access to that location totally. Win XP (Home) will be the FIRST mass distribution OS to place this kind of capability on the computers of unsophisticated users. (Win 9x does not have it, natively.)  VERY BAD NEWS!  M$ is resisting the idea of turning the capability off by default, as of June 15, 2001.

For more, see Brian Livingston at InfoWorld's article -
He concludes:

"Internet users have suffered huge financial losses from Microsoft's decision to allow e-mail messages to run as "trusted" code. This gave rise to fast-spreading viruses such as Melissa, I Love You, and many others. As a result, I don't believe Windows XP should be delivered to consumers unless all of its security restrictions are turned on by default and its ability to bring down Web sites using faked Internet addresses is removed. An Internet in which shutting down any Web site is child's play isn't an Internet we can rely on."

4. A logical IS strategy for Inet/WWW centered individuals and small businesses
    (Web centric, thick client, multi-vendor, open systems, ground-up security, NSPF, and web centric.  Did I mention web centric?)

5. Price sensitivity and demand elasticity of computer and Inet/WWW technology consumption.
    Consumer demand for computer technology will be strongly affected by price, possibly to the point that if price does not drop over time to meet expectations, demand will decrease, in an apparent violation of the rule that the demand curve always slopes downward and to the right.  I perceive this as a simple fact.  The moguls of the industry, with the possible exception of Michael Dell, appear to be having a hard time wrapping themselves around it.

6. Conditions limiting the perceived utility of computer and Inet/WWW technology reduce demand for them (shift the already elastic demand curve), and result in an amplified reduction in demand for the consumer technology and its supporting infrastructure.

So simple as to be almost a silly statement.  But judging by the behavior of the moguls and their minions, THEY JUST DON'T GET IT!
    a. God awful, resource hogging web design that makes a new computer useless or frustrating to use for browsing web pages.
    b. "Cleaning up" the Web with surveillance and control.  Destroying and driving underground vital, albeit dissenting and irregular, communities of users.  And yes, I am talking about sex here.  And "filtering" too.
    c. Micro$oft's insane and inane pricing/licensing/marketing strategy, which seems designed to make our investments even less useful.  They would inhibit upgrades of hardware, and decrease competition and flexibility, in our choices of software.  And yield monopoly pricing power to M$ in the process.
    d. Fomenting fear of the Internet/Web experience by feeding the press a constant diet of ginned up, exaggerated crime, hacking, "computerized home invasion" stories they can use to sell media, security products, and invasive government programs.

Final Fact:  These ninnies appear not to understand that we the people want autonomy, choice, and self expression, and those values will drive our consumption decisions.  (It's why we use stupid things like cars, instead of trains and buses.  And why air travel is despised, though still used.)  They account for the way the computer started to supplant TV, before the admen got a hold on the Net.

Business strategies which attend to these values will succeed.  Those which do not will either fail, or if driven by enough economic and political power, as they seem to be right now, kill the Net as a mass consumer arena.

7. My personal technical stuff -- Experiments in developing theoretical and practical knowledge of computer and Inet/WWW technology -
   a.  How do I compose and publish pages to a web site?  You know I finally got the answer to this one, if you are at my site!
   b. How do I use "tags" "targets" or what not to link from this (laughable and extended) table of contents to related notes below?  (Kinda dealt with this two years later!  June 17, 2003)
   c. My bookmarks - a raw upload of same.  For the techie voyeur only, I fear.  Sorry.
   d. More of my bookmarks

End of "Index".  Below are more rabblings (ramblings, ravings) on various topics.
How to do an index, favorites, or bookmarks right.  (Has anyone?)

1B. A System Bus War Beckons - Intel's planned 3GI0 vs. HyperTransport

Hyper Transport Explained

HyperTransport boosts bus speeds, 07/16/01

HardwareCentral - Reports - Weekly Platform Trends: A System Bus War Beckons - Will Intel's 3GIO Stem the Tide of AMD's HyperTransport?  I thought this was worthy of more than a link, so here is the text from the Hardware Central newsletter for Tuesday, July 31, 2001, Volume 4, Issue No. 53

* Editorial - Weekly Platform Trends: A System Bus War Beckons

When it comes to platform wars, what's past is prologue. The computer
industry is seeking a new, high-speed system bus to handle future platform
demands, and battle between potential standards could be the bloodiest
yet -- with AMD and a burgeoning horde lining up beside HyperTransport and
Intel playing the black sheep with its own solution, 3GIO.

Early in 2001, AMD announced HyperTransport, a system bus that represents an
evolutionary step up from PCI. A serial I/O bus supporting bidirectional
data transfers, HyperTransport packs a lot of headroom for increased
bandwidth -- a true system bandwidth of 6.4GB/sec (peak 12.6GB/sec), or 40
times what the current PCI system bus can offer.

Nor does this new standard mean you'll have to throw out your existing PCI
cards; HyperTransport will be able to work behind the scenes and coordinate
standard PCI transfers with newer devices that support the higher data
rates. Best of all, HyperTransport also features multiple I/O bridges, and
can handle up to 32 devices on each channel. This makes the HyperTransport
bus powerful, scalable, and flexible -- just about everything you would want
in a new system bus standard.

AMD also recently announced the formation of the HyperTransport Technology
Consortium (, a group of member companies that will
head up licensing and development for the technology. The list of vendors
boarding AMD's bus reads like a who's-who (well, a who's-who with one
holdout): Apple, Cisco, Nvidia, Sun, and Transmeta, among others.

And in This Corner ...

The holdout, of course, is Intel. Far less is known of the chip giant's 3GIO
bus format, although a formal specification is expected later this year.
While not finalized, the 3GIO architecture is expected to be more radical
than AMD's HyperTransport, or more of a revolutionary shift away from the
PCI bus -- although Intel has hinted it will enlist the existing PCI Special
Interest Group ( to manage the standard.

There has been talk that 3GIO will feature optical technology to enhance
data transfers, and that this change may require a new interface format as
well. With a totally new architecture, 3GIO would naturally be a more
expensive option than HyperTransport -- a point AMD has not been shy about
highlighting. Also, since it's attempting an entirely new technology, there
are some doubts that Intel can deliver a complete specification by this

This presents the very real possibility of two very different technologies
competing in the marketplace. The main danger to this scenario is not only
having two competing system bus specs, but different adapter-card interfaces
as well.

Remember the days of VL-Bus and PCI? Exactly which format to support was the
question of the day, as there were plenty of PCs using one or the other
interface and customers demanding a choice. Most large device manufacturers
were forced to produce hardware for both interfaces, at least until VL-Bus
was finally superceded by PCI.

This resulted in extra R&D costs, additional driver development, and
expensive inventories of junked VL-Bus hardware once PCI had won the war.
Going back to this scenario would be like throwing a bucket of cold water on
the PC industry, with system vendors, hardware manufacturers, and software
and driver developers all adversely affected.

Here's a Switch: Intel as Underdog

Looking forward, it's difficult to pick a potential winner, although AMD and
HyperTransport seem to hold most of the cards at this point. For example,
HyperTransport is a proposed technology standard, with licensing, product
development, and implementations all taking place; 3GIO is still in design
mode, with not even an initial spec available for a few more months.

To be sure, no one wants to sell Intel short, since the company still has
the immense power of the PCI bus to use in promoting any new system-bus
design. On the flip side, Intel hasn't exactly been successful in
championing new technologies of late, as its difficulties with Rambus and
USB 2.0 attest.

Indeed, the political aspects of the possible bus collision outweigh any
posturing that either chipmaker might do. After all, neither company is
going to get rich based on licensing (at least not at the low fees AMD is
getting), but the company whose technology comes out on top can reap rewards
far greater than mere financial ones. It's really a question of leadership,
or which company calls the shots for the entire PC industry.

To that end, Intel has been less than kind in its appraisal of
HyperTransport, and has insinuated that the technology is outdated and
inferior to 3GIO. Meanwhile, AMD has been badmouthing 3GIO as needlessly
expensive and complex, not to mention reveling in the fact that
HyperTransport made its debut well ahead of the Intel competition.

In the end, this fight may have little to do with Intel's and AMD's war of
words, and everything to do with the vendors that support the competing
standards. With Apple on board, HyperTransport could effectively have
monopoly status in that platform, as well as a direct link to Microsoft
(HyperTransport is being used in the Xbox). Sun and Cisco give the
technology an in with corporate servers and networks, while Transmeta opens
the door in low-power notebook and handheld markets.

And that lineup is only a fraction of the HyperTransport Technology
Consortium roster, with other industry powerhouses like VIA Technologies and
ALi also licensing the technology. If HyperTransport adds a few more
kingpins (like Creative Labs) to its fold, it may be time to declare a

Reaping the Whirlwind

Of course, Intel probably has more than a few big names in its camp,
including perennial lapdogs Compaq and Dell. What remains to be seen is
whether Intel can match the number of high-profile licensees and breadth of
markets its rival boasts.

Of all the big names in AMD's corner, I feel the most important is Nvidia.
Not only is the latter today's big dog in the video-chip arena, but it's
viewed as a very astute company, with exceptional vision for emerging
technologies. Nvidia has licensed HyperTransport for its nForce chipset, and
if the latter is well received, expect the entire industry to take notice.
I've long held that Intel is treading dangerous waters by making an enemy
out of Nvidia, and this may well be borne out in the
HyperTransport-versus-3GIO contest.

Hoping for a single bus standard may be a moot point, as either AMD or Intel
could probably force its system bus on consumers, regardless of whether it's
the best technology for the job. But as Intel found with its forced
introduction of RDRAM, consumers will ultimately make the choice, and the
loser could end up backpedaling to save face and market share. Let's just
hope it doesn't take the amount of time that passed with RDRAM for either
company to see the writing on the wall.

Vince Freeman
Hardware Central

= = =

Commentary, May 21, 2001.

In the  "Open Source IT Newsletterfor May 21, 2001 ( Kevin Reichard,  Executive Editor, Linux Channel,,, editorializes that "Linux on the desktop is dead."  He cites the lack of useable desktop applications as the reason.

OK, Adobe, how about a Linux Acrobat Reader, and conversion from .html docs prepared in browser or Linux based html editing tools into .pdf documents?  If Corel and Netscape and Opera, etc. were to beef their .html document creation capabilities, maybe we could do without Word, except when we really had to have hard copy in forms which Adobe facilities will not handle.  (What forms would those be?  I cannot quite place them.)   What I am driving at here -- How much do most users need the capabilities included in the giant, unwieldy, bundled, mess Office has become?  Could not most of us who are "web centric" get by with solid .html editors, especially if supported by something like Adobe's "portable document format" .pdf for hard copy needs?  For people like myself, who want tools focused on the internet/web environment, It may be too early to count Linux on the desktop out.

But then the question arises, how can the textual and visual features currently decently supported by html editors and browsers be supplemented by internet capable spreadsheet and database tools which are also useable by non programmers?

Instead of trying to duplicate the current "old world" desktop application suite in Linux, the Linux desktop development community should focus on providing tools facilitating communication through the internet and web, relying on TCP/IP and associated net centric protocols.  These tools would not be in direct competition with the dying model, but only analogous to the "local machine" focused toolset in Office and similar suites.  In fact, if Linux developers did NOT adopt such a focus,  M$'s .net strategy would be unchallenged, except by IBM, and would win by default, no matter how many protests were voiced by Procomp.

Here I am assuming that the "Web Services" model for .net is only part of the .net strategy, indeed possibly an accidental smokescreen, concealing the importance that the development of tools which can sit on the local machine (not on the net) and yet support facile interaction with others over the net, in all the formats (spreadsheet, project management, presentation, etc.) that currently require awkward file transfers or conversions, or .asp/.cgi programming.   If M$ puts those features on the desktop (not the net) first, with powerful marketing behind them, its competition, Linux included, can kiss themselves good-bye.
Response to David Coursey commentary, ZDnet Anchordesk  May 17, 2001, in which he points out that it is the adverts which permit much of the "free" content on the web, and questions the use of advert blocking tools by folks using the web.,10738,2761434,00.html

The ads use scarce resources, and are NOT free, David.  They take time to download.  They use processing time to run their trivial "media" effects.  The effects are trivial, the time it takes to process the download of 30 or more individual files to download something I want to see is not.  And if the ads have sound, motion, etc., the processor resources they use are not trivial at all.  There is an Intel ad (this is surely NOT a coincidence) using Macromedia that STOPS my computer.  I cannot even get the machine's attention to shut down the Macromedia player.

So, I don't have unlimited computing resources. Nor do many other potential users.  Some folks seem to think we the people can just buy new computers when the resource hogging crap thrown our way overwhelms us.  I cannot afford that.  I am not alone either.  The ads detract significantly from the usability of the internet and the quality of my experience on the web.  The deterioration in usability and quality REDUCES demand for the technology and the infrastructure supporting it.  Your advertisers are headed for trouble if they cannot figure that out.

[,7056,111374-new,00.html] 010512, response to JDvorak column.

D*mn, John, I have been reading you since '83 or thereabouts, and I finally found something to argue with you about! 

The transience of data discussion is not about absolute persistence, but the relative persistence of current digital media formats vs. stone carvings, papyrus, parchment, vellum, and paper.  Frankly, I like a paperless operation.  But if I am relatively sure I will need something, or want something more than 5 years down the road I have to keep it on paper, in a file.  It persists more reliably there.  I want that to change.
If I find a Washington Post article that I think I might want a year from now, I cannot bookmark it... I am not confident they will give me access then, so I have to "print" it to an .html file on my machine.  I want that to change, so the paper's "morgue" is available, reliably, through the net.

Generally, the movement of information into current digital formats, to the extent it results in a reduction in the storage of information in print, will reduce the persistence of information, and reduce the availability of "old" information, our cultural memory... NOT a good thing.  And a truly significant cultural development.

In a Q. and A. I read on 5/19/2001:  the advice given was that a gentleman considering transferring his W.W.II memories from paper onto CD-RW should NOT count on his grand children having access to them on the Centennial of that conflict.  Apart from the permanence of the media itself, the technological changes between now and then will likely make the materials irretrievable, and he had better hope his descendants think to retransfer the materials to the new media.  [David Pogue's "Circuits", a NY Times newsletter, gives the 2006 take on this problem.  There's been no improvement in the last 5 1/2 years.]  Local Copy

George Orwell LIVES!  And Lewis Carroll too.  Our contemporary, digital, culture has dug itself a "memory hole", into which it will (thankfully?) soon vanish.  And if we abandon traditional media formats for retention of older materials, they will vanish into the ether as well.)

Edited for new link and clarity, 12/7/2006

1. and 6.
010407 note to

"There were a lot of people using dual processor Pentium IIIs where Intel would have wanted them to use dual processor Pentium III Xeons. This combination of the branding exercise and taking away the multiprocessor capabilities from the Pentium 4 line will let Intel drive the Xeon price point a little pricier than a Pentium 4,"  Brookwood said. [end quote]

It splits the motherboard market too, with attendant higher prices for multi-processor capable boards as well, since multi processor capable board sales volume will inevitably drop.

Unless AMD or other Intel competitors decide to support multi processing on their advanced chips, in hopes of gaining sales in the very low end server and very high end (home built) PC market, AND motherboard makers build and sell the dual/multi processor boards at a price point that the market will support.  [NOTE that 010512 it has been reported that an Athlon dual processor motherboard by Tyan is under development  So, that is moving right along, pat me on the back!]

Else, if you want to build a Dual P. machine, better buy remaindered PIII boards and processors now, while they are still available.

To Patrick Houston, ZD Anchordesk, May 15, 2001

The real Athlon news is the Tyan mother board which is supposed to support dual processors.  In the context of Intel's splitting of its chip offerings between strictly single processing capable P4's and multi-processing Itaniums (presuming they don't back down) this opens a HUGE hole for AMD.  Intel is trying to establish a two tier market.  If they persist, and AMD holds to the line on socketing  and pricing, AMD can force a 3 tier market and control the middle tier.

I have a fantasy that LOTS of SOHO and sophisticated individual users are going to want the capabilities of Dual Processor systems, tied into Cable/DSL and running "Personal" Web server operations.  The hardware is here or coming.  Will the open software community provide the software?

And now,  the Dual Athlon "other shoe" has dropped!  This looks really interesting.

    SysOpt Tech Notes -- Dual Athlon!
    Date:           Wed, 6 Jun 2001 16:38:41 -0500
    From:           SysOpt Tech Notes <>
Dual Athlons are upon us!  The wait has been tremendous.  Even
though Athlon processors supported SMP almost from the beginning,
no one created any dual motherboards until Tyan released their
Thunder K7 this week.  AMD released their Athlon MP processor as
well, which is the only processor officially supporting dual
operation (though Thunderbirds and Durons will work unofficially).
Benchmark results have shown just how powerful a couple of Athlon
1.2GHz processors can be - competing head to head with dual 1.7GHz
Xeons (beating them actually).  Check out the news headlines below
for links to more dual Athlon info and reviews.
Dual Athlon reviews, launches, info
2. and 6.
Microsoft's strategy is to inhibit the exercise of ownership rights by the users of it's products, and reduce its customers to the status of rentiers.  This includes inhibiting owner upgrades of machines (a cooperative strategy with Intel and other OEM's) to decrease upgrading, increase the rate of obsolescence, and force the replacement of what would otherwise be serviceable machines.

But the primary focus is to make us software "subscribers" (lessors, licensees) instead of owners.  In the flush of the "Internet Economy" boom that strategy may have been plausible as a way to to take advantage of consumers' reduced sensitivity to total life cycle costs.  (Consumers were less sensitive to the effects of having their spending decisions taken out of their hands, as is the case with subscription services generally - an enhanced "buy on the installment plan" effect.)

If, in the current downturn, consumers are more sensitive to total life cycle costs, they will significantly reduce their rates of investment in new technology tied to the subscription model, and try to preserve their ability to make their own decisions about when to spend their money, and on what.

In the current economy, the Microsoft strategy should be a major boon to Linux computing, where it seems we can still "own" our equipment and software.  Although Apple's upgradeability is in doubt, it too should benefit.  I wonder, is it too early to pull all investment out of MS?

What would happen if Apple ported its OS X to the x86 platform?  If Transmeta provided a Motorola/PowerPC  emulator to run OS X and (BSD Unix?) on its chip?  (Perhaps to run in a separate virtual machine partition on the same chip as the Intel/Win emulator.)  Then the fun would really begin, I think.

Response to  David Coursey column, Tuesday, May 15, 2001, regarding M$'s new licensing strategy, in which he asks if M$ is "blackmailing" large customers.

It's not blackmail, it's pricing.  Huge companies have made huge mistakes about pricing of their product often in the past, and this may be another case.  If I were making the decision for a large company, I would let OfficeX go, and risk having to pay full fare later, if I decide I want it.  And I would have a VERY hard look at whether or not to get off the M$ bandwagon before upgrading to XP, when it comes out this fall.

Maybe it is time to move a fair share of my IS operation to OS X  and to Linux, and let TCP/IP and open system NOS facilities handle the integration.   And for pete's sake don't forget the IBM presence in that market.  I surely do not want to encourage a MS monopoly, the long term implications for my IS costs are too significant, so now is the time to move to a multi-vendor strategy.

There once was a saying that no one ever got fired for buying IBM.  I thought there were times when people should have been, but the saying was true.  M$ ain't there yet.  And I would not be surprised if along about the end of 2003 and beyond, CIO/CTO types who have locked their companies into a pure M$ environment are taking early retirement.



Posted at May 16, 2001 09:23 AM Pacific

AMSTERDAM -- IN an effort to streamline its product
portfolio, Compaq is dropping its well known Armada
and Deskpro product names as well as several other
brands. The company will unveil a new name on Monday
for all its products targeted at business users.

The newly named products will be colored black and
silver, instead of the existing sand color. All
existing business product lines will be re-branded
within 12 months, Compaq said at a news conference
here Wednesday.

For the full story:

I knew it!  In the arts, and in evolutionary biology, there is the concept of "late stage devolution" in which the artistic tradition, or organism, begins to lose focus on its earlier functional aesthetic or form.  In the arts, it results often in increasing complexity of detail "add ons", curlicues and the like.  A lovely example in evolutionary biology is the decline of the ammonoids (related to the nautiloids) when they developed an amazing variety of twists and turns in shell structure - modifications to the simple coil exhibited through most of their evolutionary history, with no discernible bioenergetic function.

Now we see Compaq, at a loss about how to sell computers, and unable to see the degree of demand elasticity (price sensitivity) in the market, solving the problem with black and silver, instead of the existing sand color.   The outlook in the tech sector is bleaker than I had anticipated, I fear.



Technology is a pain in the * if you cannot afford constant upgrades, so WHY BOTHER?

I use Netscape 4.76 because it does not piss me off as much as IE, generally.  However, more and more it is the web sites themselves that hack me.  Web pages with Macromedia Flash Adverts are killing, freezing, my Netscape, and my (old) computer.  I can sometimes close the page with the advert on it, but if it is a certain Intel advert, I cannot get the machine's attention even long enough to do that, and have to use Ctl|Alt|Del to kill the Netscape process, then restart Netscape and remember to stay away from that page. Can you folks help me figure out how to turn off, or kill animation in Netscape? Is there a way to REMOVE Netscape plugins?  I guess a custom reinstall of Netscape is it....

Never mind.. I got so hacked at the problem, that I uninstalled Netscape, and downloaded ver. 4.77, then used custom install to void the media "plugins" (Real Player, Macromedia Flash, Winamp, and Beatnik)  and I now have a well behaved, and much quicker browser to work with.

(It was not that easy, after all.  I forgot to turn off the automatic download of plugins.  Next thing I knew, Macromedia Flash was back!  So the nice folks at the Netscape Communicator Newsgroup told me how to identify the plugin program that needed to be deleted using Help | About Plugins.  And reminded me to go to Edit | Preferences | Navigator | Applications, and remove Macromedia.  And to go to Edit | Preferences| Advanced | Smart Update and turn off the automatic download of plugins.  While there I found that Netscape 4.77 lets you uninstall plugins at the same location, so I uninstalled the Flash plugin there as well!)

But that leaves the trashy, over cluttered, resource hogging nature of most web page design to bitch about, right?  If you, as I have problems with "limited hardware resources"  (the design of most web pages will give us these problems) here is a hint at a possible solution: wherein IBM selects OPERA as its browser for the QNX OS used in its NetVista net appliances.  More below.

 Originated in May-July, 2001, this page has been sidetracked by the 9-11 attacks, the war to liberate Afghanistan and Bush's war on Iraq.