Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Monday 1/10/2001Shopping channels have their own special mythology within the TV industry. Those hardy souls who present on them are seen not with the disdain and scorn you might expect -- but as heroes.

Monday 1/10/2001

Shopping channels have their own special mythology within the TV industry. Those hardy souls who present on them are seen not with the disdain and scorn you might expect -- but as heroes. It is a tough job, and one that demands resilience and chutzpah not otherwise seen outside proctology. I feel something of the same admiration combined with thank-lord-it's-not-me when I see the valiant efforts made by Intel and Cisco as they attempt to sell us gigabit Ethernet to the desktop.

It is very true that GBE is ten times faster than 100 megabit Ethernet. It is also undeniable that it will work over most of your installed cables. And only a fool would gainsay the facts that it is affordable and reliable. But none of this approaches the pterodactyl in the ointment that 99.9 percent of users wouldn't notice if it was there or not.

At this point, the full QVC comes to bear. Look at the wonderful sparkle on that cubic zirconium! Imagine the convenience of being able to put your distributed storage anywhere in the enterprise! Aren't the folds in the robe of this Capo di Monte dancing gypsy girl so lifelike? Just think -- voice over IP without so much as a microsecond lag! And we only have five left!

It's touching. But I doubt even the experts who can shift carpet cleaner by the tankerload will have much luck with GBE. That's the trouble with difficult times -- good enough really is good enough, and 10/100 cards are just as good now as when they were sold as the last desktop networking adaptor you'll ever need.

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