Suddenly, everybody wants to sell over the Web. Elonex doing it, Simply Computers doing it. Educated fleas most likely to join in. Ever since Dell did it, it's cool. I remember when Dell's policy was to make good PCs, sell direct and take 25 per cent off Compaq's price. Now they're marketing geniuses, everybody says. And they're right. Which they are.
Microsoft is considering buying CBS. So says the New York Post. Me, I'm not so sure but I really can't buy into any fears that Bill Gates will control the media.
The company who owns the words I'm writing now is a leader in Microsoft distribution in Asia. It owns a memory module maker and has seed money in squillions on Internet start-ups. It doesn't mean that I write about how great Kingston SIMMs are, or how CyberCash will replace paper currency. Ditto, I'm sure, the writers for CNet, in which Intel has plenty of dough.
I finally make a Brunch With Lunch, IBM's monthly chow-down and chat-fest hosted by Mike Lunch, boss of the PC Co. in the UK. Lunch is a very bright guy who was a big player in making Tosh notebooks one of the most common sights in British office life. If anyone can make sense of the Blue labyrinth it's him.
As recently as a couple of years ago Forrest Gump could land upon shares in Apple and strike it rich. Now it would make him a cup of tea. Apple's nadir is painful to behold. Even people who worked for them see writing on every wall. The vast majority of us hope there are better times ahead - we just can't see where they're coming from.
On holiday for 10 days in Florence, meeting my brother, an art historian in the city of the West Wind. The prospect of viewing endless paintings of Madonna and Child at the Uffizi is daunting. Went to Bar Fiorentina instead. Not quite as good as the football team, or the pizza.