The swami's predictions for 1998 are in, and class participation is invited. You'll find one correct answer to each multiple choice question. Dunces and the impatient can skip to the cheat sheet at the end of the column.
1. The most important personage in the computer industry will be: A) Esther Dyson; B) Lou Gerstner; C) Lawrence Lessig; D) Bill Gates.
2. By early spring, Microsoft will declare: A) all-out war on the federal government; B) a safe way to disable Internet Explorer without neutering Windows; C) plans to move to Canada; D) victory after Janet Reno decides to settle out of court.
3. The storyline at Netscape will feature: A) yet another depressing tale of hot-shot company turned into cyber-sushi for Bill Gates; B) a huge rebound; C) a mediocre year; D) a decision to make the company's Internet browser free.
4. By year-end, spam king Sanford Wallace will: A) wind up in jail; B) get sued for unlawful commercial solicitation; C) laugh all the way to the bank; D) find himself out of business.
5. Former Lotus impresario Jim Manzi will: A) remain in splendid isolation and count his shekels; B) open a shrimping business; C) return to the computer industry as a CEO; D) ask IBM to let him run its software business.
6. Windows 98 hits the street-and the upshot? A) it will be the smash hit of the year; B) impossible to answer, since it really won't reach market until 1999; C) within weeks of its debut, Microsoft will roll out version 1.01 to fix nagging bugs; D) Bill Gates will actually deliver a speech with a funny punchline.
7. People will most remember Larry Ellison: A) because of the smashing success of Network Computers; B) because he will lead Oracle back to greatness; C) because of his audacious decision to become CEO of Apple; D) because he's a galactic egomaniac.
8. Marimba CEO Kim Polese will: A) get pushed aside; B) wind up back at Sun after her company gets bought; C) become fabulously rich after the company goes public; D) again make Time Magazine's list of the 25 most important people of the year.
9. Alarming predictions of the Internet's imminent collapse: A) will come true in 1998; B) will come true in 1999. C) will come true in 2,000. D) will never come true.
10. Corel's flamboyant CEO Mike Cowpland: A) will be forced to resign; B) will prove the naysayers wrong; C) will sell the company; D) will get hired by Samsung to save AST.
11. Apple Computer's new advertising theme will be: A) you ain't seen nuthin' yet; B) throw the Hail Mary; C) Big Red is back; D) take a walk on the wild side.
12. Gateway 2000 will merge with one of the following companies: A) IBM; B) Compaq; C) Micron; D) Hewlett-Packard.
Answers: 1:C. 2:B. 3:D. 4:C. 5:A. 6:B. 7:D. 8:A. 9:D. 10:A. 11:B. 12:C.