The moral of this week's true story is: if you're going to crash you're better off with a Shogun than a Cavalier. Ramraiders who ploughed through the window of a computer dealer in a Vauxhall Cavalier were stopped in their tracks by a newly unpacked Apricot Shogun server from Mitsubishi Electric PC division. The car sustained serious damage and had to be abandoned, but the plucky little server escaped with barely a scratch. The dealer reports that, apart from a small dent, the machine is working perfectly.
If only everything in life were as reliable ...
In other news, Hewlett-Packard has taken to mild exaggeration in its efforts to shift laser printers. In a letter dated 31 October, and headed "Soon every small workgroup will be demanding their own printer", Hewlett-Packard claims: "At eight-pages-per-second, the new HP LaserJet 6P/6MP has all the speed and printing capacity a busy workgroup needs ..." Line printer speed, laser quality and all for under #700. As HP itself puts it, "remarkable".
Apple is to open an international chain of cybercafes in an effort to demonstrate its virtual street cred, and to flog Macintosh software. According to the Los Angeles Times, Landmark Entertainment, the company designing Apple's chic surf shacks, is better known for its work in the escapist world of theme parks. One of its projects was an entertainment called Jurassic Park: the Ride. All of which has a certain resonance.
Oracle, which has developed an unhealthy fascination for the Internet, reckons it has come up with just the spur needed to propel sales of Network Computers into the stratosphere. Called Developer/2000, it is a tool that Oracle says will convert existing software into Java code automatically.
A sceptical industry analyst from Summit Strategies told the Wall Street Journal "It's a little too close to magic for me." Elsewhere in that day's Journal was an article about Sequent's NUMA computer which can run 252 Pentiums in parallel, an unrelated story which nonetheless served as a reminder of the equal and opposite effect "progress" in the world of software always has on the horsepower of hardware. As ever, Mole's friend Kevin took the pragmatic view: "At last a PC with acceptable performance."
At last, PC Week and Intel have something in common. After Mole scoffed that Intel has featured a Macintosh in its advertising, it was pointed out that the same issue carried an advert in which a Windows NT developer testified that PC Week is the best read ever. Not that he is likely be doing much NT development on the machine shown in the ad, because it is an Apple Macintosh. As the spotter of this gaff observed, "Considering that nobody apparently buys Macs, it's strange how often one sees them as backgrounds in articles and adverts."
On a Networld & Interop '96 Attendee Report card, 3Com asked showgoers to tick a box describing their relationship with the company. Among the options: "3Com customer" and "3Con disributor".
Academics are generally unwelcome in Mole's small, close-knit circle of friends, but he is prepared to make an exception for David Gelertner, a computer scientist from Yale, who has poured scorn on the notion that surfing the Internet is the key to better education. He writes: "Exactly which problem will Web-surfing attack? Our children's insufficient shallowness?
Excessive attention spans? Unhealthy fixation on in-depth analysis? Stubborn unwillingness to push on to the next topic until they have mastered the last?" Good to see Neil Hudspith landing a nice job. He is now MD of Lotus UK, where he is bound to feel happier than at his previous employer Network Imaging, which went into liquidation in late July. Staff at the firm, which went down owing a sum rumoured to be between #2 million and #7 million, had to go without such perks as salaries during the last couple of months of the company's life. And the liquidators, Kerr Pannel Foster, are said to be sufficiently interested in NI's affairs that they are considering legal action against former directors. Luckily, Mr Hudspith wasn't one of them - or not quite - he was marketing manager and "director designate".
Besides, by the time he arrived, Network Imaging was already broke.
BT is sending out subliminal messages to say that Fax is yesterday's technology. Ask for information about the company's Notes Public Network and BT will send you a fax. If you wish to fax a response you are invited to dial 071 932 7092. Unlike the rest of us, the nation's telecoms provider is apparently exempt from the requirement to add an extra 1 to London numbers.
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