As if Larry Ellison, owner
of America's largest yacht
, didn't already have enough money, his company
goes out and increases
revenue by 27 percent and profits by 35 percent
in its latest quarter.
It turns out the $20 billion Ellison shelled out to buy a bunch of high-end
software companies was money well-spent.
What's really interesting is that Oracle is becoming less and less of a database
company, and more and more an enterprise application vendor. But what really
makes me happy is that Larry has finally stopped mouthing off about Bill Gates!
Open Source Feedback
The Slashdotters have struck again. The popular discussion site (what is it
about the Internet that releases inhibitions faster than a double Grey Goose
martini?) picked up our cover story about Microsoft's fledgling effort to work
with the open source community.
We praised Redmond for its efforts to build quasi-open products and its more
serious stab at interoperating with the open community.
As you might expect, zealots (God bless 'em) came out of the proverbial woodwork
I was plumb excited by the sheer volume of feedback, and even more pleased
by the passion. One of my favorites was W. Anderson arguing that Redmond magazine
editors are "inexperienced in professional journalism" and should
"learn to report stories factually."
Hey, W. My folks have lost more hair than a grizzly's chest and are saving
up for liposuction, dentures and hip replacements. They might not be experienced
journalists but they sure are creaky!
Scroll to the bottom for the good
While the open source posts were a gas, they were not nearly as much fun as
made fun of one of Redmond magazine's maiden issues.
An Hour After You Boot It, You Want To Boot It Again
It's rare that I find myself jealous of those in less-developed countries, but
hearing what Dell is doing in China has me pleased and steamed simultaneously.
I'm happy because Dell
built a $230 desktop for China that runs XP and has a 40GB drive and a quarter-gig
Then I got mad wondering why we can't all buy a brand-new, low-priced XP machine.
Before sinking into total depression, I did some fact-checking (yeah, I do this
occasionally) and found a $350 Dell Vista desktop with an 80GB drive and half-a-gig
of RAM. If I were in the People's Republic, I might just order my machine from
Doug's Mailbag: Should Doug Keep it Down?, More
Was Robert Scoble out of line when he said Microsoft's
Web strategy s*&^!cks? For that matter, is anyone else bothered by the
word "s*&^!ck"? And -- most importantly -- do you want to see
a kinder, gentler Doug Barney? Here are your answers to these burning questions:
It would be good to see you tone it down...considerably.
Heaven forbid someone do something that makes the world a more civil
A kinder, gentler Doug Barney? Yes, but not because I think your style
is ultra-abrasive. It's just that when I deal with issues all day and go to
read up on things that you so kindly bring to my attention by means of your
articles and newsletters, I have probably been fighting battles all day and
would appreciate a kinder voice in my corner of the world. All you guys are
"my guys" who help me stay abreast in the tumultuous sea of change
that is technology. And, yes, in my office and in my kitchen, the "s"
word is a bad word that is to be avoided in my presence.
Regarding Scoble's blog entry, I am surprised by your commentary. He
was really referring to Live Search and also the really poor marketing job
the Live team is doing with their advertising. And truthfully, Microsoft has
lost its way. Or did they ever really have a bead on the right path to begin
In regard to your question as to whether you should use less "bad"
language: So-called "bad language" of any kind does not offend me.
The only issue I see is when it replaces more detailed, thoughtful phrasing.
That is, instead of "In short, this product s*$ks!" I would rather
see "In conclusion, the lack of quality and value to the customer make
this product unsuitable for anyone." It is less inflammatory and less
likely to irk fanboy types (unless you're going for that reaction).
Do I want to see a kinder, gentler Doug Barney? H*&^!ll no!
Hell no! Don't change a thing, Doug. I enjoy reading you in the Redmond
Report and in Redmond magazine. Keep telling it like it is.
Why, hell no. 8-year-olds don't read the Redmond Report, and I get plenty
of pablum. For that matter, I don't mind Scoble; I just read the opinion qualified
by the source. That is, I don't read Scoble a whole lot since he never did
Keep on telling it just like you see it, please.
Do not, DO NOT change a thing about your style. If you did, it would
s*&k really bad. Really, really bad. So bad it would be worse than s*&k.
Do I want to see a kinder, gentler Doug Barney? NO. I look forward to
someone who tells it like it is. The truth is not always pretty but you can
hardly make an educated judgment when you are not told the whole story. I
want you to be a mix of Jim Rome and Paul Harvey with maybe a little Andy
Rooney thrown in. Tell us the cold, hard truth, give us the whole story, and
throw in some humor if you can. We all have our own opinions, but the mind
works best when it is like a parachute; it must be open.
I guess I can sum up the ponderance of your tone and style with a short
equation: (Doug Barney)! = Barney
No matter how you spell it -- it's still a swear word in my house.
Have started in this business way before M$ ever shipped a product. I've
seen a lot of companies come and go that had far superior products than anybody
else on the market -- but that's not the issue. Execution and perception are
the keys to market success. That's why IT guys aren't allowed to run the ship.
We would be too busy worrying about finding the best (whatever that means)
product instead of the one that just gets the job done (the job of turning
a profit). I'm always amazed by the M$ flamers. When's the last time they
ran a billion-dollar company that defined the market the way that M$ has?
What the flamers don't/won’t accept is that the guys and gals that run
the business world don't care about the latest and greatest when it comes
to this stuff. It just needs to be good enough, easy enough, fast enough and
cheap enough -- not the Best, Easiest, Fastest and Cheapest (i.e., free).
After all (now I'm really showing my age), it wasn't that long ago that
the talking heads were saying IBM was a dinosaur doomed for the scrap pile.
Never mind the fact it probably had over 80 percent (I'm guessing here) of
the Big Iron market that ran the business and government world. But a weird
thing happened on the way to the scrap pile: IBM reinvented itself. M$ continues
to reinvent itself (and the market in the process).
If Apple buys Google, Sony, Oracle, RedHat and insert-your-favorite-killer-app-company-here,
and creates some kind of Super-Duper Computer Company, I suppose M$ would
probably be concerned. Otherwise, it's just blah, blah, that somebody is using
to increase readership (not you Doug -- I love you) or just a chance to spout
off about something near and dear to their heart. As my daddy says, "Opinions
and a*sh*les – everybody's got one."
Even John Backus, the recently
deceased inventor of Fortran, inadvertently got drawn in to the discussion.
One reader takes issue with our headline, "Fortran
On the subject of style, I have a serious aversion to the use of the word
"passed" when referring to a person's death. It clearly implies
that the person passed on to another place, life, whatever, and I am not a
believer in any kind of afterlife. I suspect I am not the only one of your
readers who feels that way.
Objectively, he died. Beyond that, you really can't say. So I believe
you should stick with what you know and say it.
Oh, and I doubt I've ever seen "passed" used in a NY Times
And speaking of John Backus, Bruce gives us one more reason why he'll be missed:
As for Mr. Backus, his greatest claim to fame, in my opinion, was coming
up with Backus-Naur Form. Compilers today wouldn't be anywhere near as good
without him -- he will be missed.
Any truth to the rumor he was related to Jim Backus of Mr. Maggoo and
Thurston Howell III fame? (I don't think he is.)
And now, for something completely different, Mike ran into some problems after
installing the Windows 2003 SP2. Any suggestions from fellow readers?:
I just installed then rolled back W2K3 SP2; after the install, my 100MHz
users complained they could not log on. What happed was that the 100MHz adapters'
speed went from 50MB file copy in 30 seconds to 30 minutes.
I installed this on a new Dell 2900 server with SAS, RAID, 8MB of RAM
and two Broadcom internal gig adapters.
I called Dell, and they did not know what to do but would investigate.
Stuck in limbo...
Got something to add? Comment below or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.