Freshly returned from a week's retreat in his fortress of solitude, your intrepid correspondent has had a chance to pause and reflect upon the wacky ways of the computer industry. Forthwith, his report.
After bailing on HP to take the top spot at SGI, Rick (take the money and run) Belluzzo, has bailed on the struggling computer maker and barring a last-minute surprise, will wind up heading Microsoft's Internet division. I know the attraction of a free week with the Mrs. at Bill G's lakeside hideaway, but whatever happened to the quaint notion of loyalty to your troops?
Silicon Valley scribe Po Bronson needs to work on that first name. Po? Come on. Try a river in Italy.
Whitehouse.com founder Dan Parisi may not be your idea of Mother Theresa, but the porn site founder is getting a raw deal. A lawsuit filed by the National Fruit Product Co. claims "exclusive rights" to the White House trademark. If the suit holds up, I wonder whether Uncle Sam will have to rename the president's residence "Monica's place."
Kudos to the New Yorker's Ken Auletta, whose lengthy report on Microsoft's antitrust troubles made for a terrific read. But if Saddam Hussein wants someone to author the mother of all puff pieces, he couldn't do any better than consult with Steven Levy of Newsweek. After that magazine's dopey kissy-kiss profile of Microsoft mogul Bill Gates, the software maker's PR staff was cracking out the Dom Perignon.
Next time anyone argues that engineers are inherently more level-headed than the rest of us I promise to pull out the drawer-full of moronic flame mails sent my way since publicly supporting Sen. John McCain's position on H1-B visas.
Is Smiling Scott McNealy morphing into the second coming of Ray Noorda? The pundits who think so have it all wrong. Novell's ex-CEO was so obsessed with Gates that he nearly sacrificed everything in his pursuit of that white whale. But McNealy's got an alternative system to push and it's called Java. So when Sun Microsystems buys Star Division in preparation for its introduction of thin-client desktops, I grade this a solid B+.
From today's Drudge Report: "GIANT TED TURNER FACE OUTRAGES (sic) CITIZENS!" Maybe he meant outrageous citizens or just citizens out of rage. Whatever.
Gates now says he's "pretty sure" Windows 2000 will ship this year. And I'm "pretty sure" he's yet again blowing smoke up our collective wazzoo.
I know it's not fashionable to cut Compaq much slack these days. But I think the company's selection of Michael Capellas as chief executive will go down as a stroke of genius. The savants wanted a star marketing maven. Fine, but they don't grow on trees. And remember that Jim Barksdale had a similar CIO background before getting a chance to run his own show.
With Intel's stock price flirting with new highs each day, I can't help recalling the ghost of technology analyst Tom Kurlak, whose clueless research reports on the company made for good plant mulch when he worked at Merrill Lynch. These days Kurlak is at Tiger Research, and interestingly enough, Intel is the hedge fund's 11th-largest stock holding.
eMachines keeps reinventing the PC game. Not even nuisance lawsuits filed by Steve Jobs will make much of a dent in CEO Steve Dukker's fall plans.