Bloored to death I fail to see how self-styled industry guru Robin Bloor rates as "one of the UK's leading computer analysts" (PC Week, 14 October) when a year ago he was predicting the end of the Microsoft/Intel dominance of the desktop due to the the thin client - the NC - taking over. Headline-grabbing nonsense then, and now what? He was wrong (surprise) and is blaming the vendors for not living up to his stupid prediction. "The NC can't claim to be a thin client", indeed. Why not redefine everything to fit your own distorted view of the future? I kept a copy of the Bloor Research press release from last year (what research do they do, exactly, and how many interviews each year?) and it was very funny. "This earthquake will totally rearrange the IT landscape, affecting all vendors of IT products and services as well as their customers", he says in the release, predicting that the impact will be clear by autumn 1997 when the PC market moves into steady, irreversible decline. There were plenty of real market research companies and analysts at the time saying yes, the thin client has a market but not as a replacement for the general purpose PC. Common sense, really. I wouldn't go so far as to say that Bloor knows nothing, as he quite clearly knows how to get his photo in the trade press week after week. In fact, in Computing of the same week he was quoted as saying "NCs are being implemented throughout the world" and hailing their success. Not very consistent, is he? Can PC Week please ignore the fevered rantings of Robin Bloor in future? I don't mind reading analyst comment in your pieces, but I'd rather hear from ones whose voice doesn't sound muffled when they're sitting down.
Name and address supplied No Net result I have a gripe to get off my chest regarding the Internet as a selling medium. It just does not work. For more than a year, I have used the Internet as a way of marketing a book, www.webworld.co.uk/mail/arthur, but the response has been negligible. I have updated the pages and decided to give it another year. The main problem seems to be that you are unable to advertise your web address in the newspapers, and therefore it is just luck if someone finds you on the Net. So until the small business user can find a way of advertising, the Internet will be the exclusive preserve of big business. David F Carroll Cottingham East Yorkshire Faulty policy Consider this. In March this year, I bought an Apricot MS540 from PC World in Croydon, with allegedly comprehensive cover from Mastercare. So I have already paid for the insurance. Inside four months, the E drive failed. Calls to Mastercare produced the usual recorded messages without an engineer ever coming on the line. Days of this long-distance phone time passed. So I tried to call PC World whose ultimate responsibility I consider it to be to get my PC fixed. After endless dialling of "customer services", I finally got someone to get Mastercare to fix an appointment with me. The man came and diagnosed the problem. A few days later, another engineer replaced the E drive. A few days later still, the E drive failed again. So, I had to go once more through the whole ridiculous process of trying to get someone to fix my PC. More days of dialling and hanging on until PC World actually answered the phone and eventually got Mastercare to get off their backsides and fix the machine. Another engineer replaced the second E drive, apologising that the first replacement had been faulty. Within three days, the second replacement E drive has now failed. Subsequent calls to both Mastercare and PC World Croydon have failed to elicit any response whatsoever. An Email to the firm's PR company has also been ignored. I believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with this machine. It must be fixed properly. Mastercare must radically improve its service. Mike Park Church House London SE9 Cyberterrorist alert So the US government is worried about the threat of so-called cyberterrorists (PC Week, 28 October). And so they might be. No one has yet taken seriously enough the very real potential for disaster that the use of the Internet by terrorist groups represents. It's not just that they can get together on-line and swap secrets, or plan operations on an international scale. It's not the use of the Internet for money laundering either. It's the question of whether these people can use the medium to hack into government systems, or large commercial systems, to wreak havoc. Nowhere near enough work has been done on this possibility. As you point out, "the right command sent over the Internet to a power-generating station's control computer could be just as effective as a backpack full of explosives". Think about what they could do to an airline, as well. They wouldn't need to go to the bother of getting through security with a lump of Semtex: they could do it all from the safety of an anonymous terminal anywhere in the world. It is discouraging that the UK government does not seem to be reacting to this very real threat. Do the security services have sufficient resources in research and development to protect our commercial organisations from marauding evil-doers? Companies, even the largest, don't have the ability to look after their security at such a high level all by themselves. They need help, advice and support from the real experts in the intelligence services. I would like to see government organising a series of seminars and workshops, or setting up a help centre where companies can obtain the highest level of advice and technology available to ward off this threat. Before it's too late. D Graham Security Consultant Chelmsford Puzzling codewords Codenames for computer products have always puzzled me. Can anyone explain why Novell's document management system was codenamed the Jefferson Project (PC Week, 28 October)? Or why the next generation of IntranetWare is called Moab? Or why Microsoft's forthcoming search engine is Yukon? Or why Intel is calling its new chips Merced and Tillamook? Pete Davies Southampton Borland devotion It?s nice to see you devoting so much editorial space to Borland in the last issue (PC Week, 28 October). Borland has been producing excellent software for years, but often seems to be regarded as on its last legs. For developers like me, that is certainly not the case. GB Brown London SE12 Got a gripe, then don't delay, get your pen out and write today send all your correspondence to:
Y The Editor, PC Week, VNU House, 32-34 Broadwick Street, London, W1A 2HG. or on the Net at http//www.pcweek.vnu.co.uk or Email [email protected]
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