Year 2000 facts please
No one with any sense will argue against the idea that Year 2000 issues need to be addressed urgently (PC Week 9 September).
However, it seems to me that what is most urgently needed at the moment is some responsible reporting and advice on this subject.
The products do not all perform the same series of tests, or even the same number of tests. Also, setting the year forward to 1999 is a dangerous way to test a PC. Prove It 2000 tests the PC while booted from a floppy diskette and not from the hard drive.
Remember that a lot of readers are not as technically adept as the writer may be - upgrading your BIOS is not a simple thing to do. If you get it wrong, it can have disastrous consequences.
Ninety Nine 2000
PC Week reviewer, Ian Murphy writes: My aim was to be constructive and I had no intention of belittling the problem companies are facing. I intended to show that there were a basic set of tests that were carried out by all of the products. However, I should have made it clear about using a floppy disk to boot the computer. Testing the PC BIOS by manually setting the clock is unsafe and this is where millennium testing software can play a role. Nevertheless, I stand by my point that the best way to ensure Year 2000 compliance is to replace the BIOS.
High praise indeed
What a nice review of Microsoft NetShow 2.0 you gave in" MS gets star rating for NetShow 2.0" (PC Week 9 September). In fact you made out it was so good, that it was nearly as good as their competitor's. Imagine that, surely it can't be that good? You do realise that you don't necessarily have to worship every Microsoft product, don't you?
Editor replies: The review did indeed conclude that NetShow 2.0 is inferior to the Progressive product, but it was also comparing it to NetShow 1.0.
Addressing the problem
I saw an advert for Quick Address Names product in your magazine (PC Week 9 September). What a lovely product .
Now dubious reporters can easily track down and harass famous personalities with only their name and partial address as keys into this database. Market researchers can track down the other occupants to their current harasses addresses.
You become Mister Popular when your flat mates also receive the small rain forest worth of junk mail that up until then you alone have been sent (initialised when you forgot to tick that box on a bank statement, oh so many moons ago).
It's all done to the electoral roll as well. The price of being able to vote, a lifetime worth hounding.
One way to get rid of your competition is to buy it - and that seems to be exactly what Apple has done with its purchase of Power Computing (PC Week, 9 September).
Apple is so desperate now to keep customers that it is making sure that if anyone buys a Mac they will have to buy it from them.
Surely it could have put the $150 million Microsoft gave it to better use (if that is what the money was used for). What is it playing at?
What will happen to the price of Macs now that the competition has been all but obliterated? What about their loyal users?
I for one am very confused about which direction Apple is moving in.
Is it just putting off that terrible day when it has to cave in like all the clone makers are now doing and start selling Intel boxes?
Mac versus Intel
Isn't it time PC Week did some editorial on the performance differences between the new Mac machines and the latest PCs?
We are all aware how the Pentium II and the K6 square up, but if you are working in a mixed environment, where Macs are hanging on, it would be useful to know how the two designs compare.
I R Dort
Point taken. Our testing facility, VNU Labs, inform me that while they are not planning to run any specific performance tests on Mac computers themselves, a VNU magazine in France, where the Mac is more prevalent, has recently carried out some tests. We may consider publishing those results in the future.
Hype is here to stay
So you agree with your correspondent Darren Taylor's comments (Letters, PC Week 9 September) about hyped-up products in the computer industry?
While the computer press continues to publish companies' hyped-up press releases under the guise of "news", I can't see the problem going away.
Got a gripe, then don't delay, get your pen out and write today send all your correspondence to:
- 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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