The Luncher

"Does anyone know how to de-install IE 4.0? I'm having tremendous trouble with it.

"Does anyone know how to de-install IE 4.0? I'm having tremendous trouble with it. The Active Desktop's causing all sorts of problems," an exasperated Dell exec said over lunch. The Luncher laughed into his beard. Maybe they should rename it 'Overactive Desktop'.

Toshiba's looking into producing a Java NC, whispered a trenchcoat-sporting hack earlier this week. Don't be so absurd, retorted the Luncher from under the streetlight. Equiuums might not be selling as highly as Tosh wants, but do you seriously think they're about to panic?

Congrats to PR firm Herald Communications for morphing two outspoken computing guru's. In a recent press release. Seagate chief Al Shugart becomes Al Sugar, mused the Luncher.

One disaster: AMD may plan to make 3D chips attractive to gamers but it won't make another bid to get into sound again after failing spectacularly to put its audio chips anywhere good.

One posh office: Software Warehouse: a new 84,000 square foot premises with its own health club in Coleshill, Warks. Unlike Watford Electronics' chief Nazir Jessa, SW chairman Steve Bennett isn't building in a hi-tech penthouse though.

Another posh office: MSN UK's Shaftsbury Ave digs. Not bad. Pity about the bright lights in the lifts though. Could turn one's hangover into a migraine. MSN UK held a party there on Thursday for UK hacks. New marketing manager, and ex-Office, ruddy-cheeked Oliver Roll was on a roll, fending off hostile questions from the feral press pack. Browser incompatibility? mail problems? Editorial integrity over news stories about Microsoft partners? Belt up, have a glass of champagne and some nibbles, and be sure to get these marketing soundbites down, he must have been thinking. Much as I like Big Bill, a dog's a dog, the Luncher said, and MSN 2.5's got a lot to live down. When's Gates going to wise up and stop chucking money at it?

Share tip: You heard it here, but be sure to take this one with a pinch of salt and a shot of Tequila. Buy Apple. Jobs is chilling and spilling Monday, and the word on the street is Oracle, again.

Suckers, smiled the Luncher as he buttoned his winter coat around his free lunch-stuffed belly and headed off for a Friday Guinness. Make that a pitcher, it's been a long week.

The Luncher's Sleaze and Corruption chart - recent freebies received at ZDNet

(previous week's position in brackets)

1. (-) MSN: Rugby shirt, clear plastic A4 ring binder (nice black and white top, shame about the logo)

2. (-) Cyrix: Polo shirt, mug (functional)

3. (-) NetManage: T-shirt (nice duster)

4. (1) Gamespot: Stacks of champagne and pizza (lovely)

5. (2) Fujitsu Fun Pack (squeaks, looks cute)

6. (3) Canon: Trip to Rome for Italy versus England game (inc. non-violence seat)

7. (4) Xerox: Trip to New York (inc. soothing Body Shop foot massage lotion and eye gel)

8. (5) Philips: Genie, world's smallest GSM phone (still awaiting receipt, included Egyptian themed party with belly

dancer)

9. (6) Toshiba: Dinner and football for Chelsea v Blackburn (great food, terrible game, risible Vialli)

10. (7) Fujitsu: Trip to Sweden, Finland (inc. overnight stay on luxury liner, vodka and crackers gift)

11. (8) Hewlett-Packard: Tix for Spurs v Leeds (inc. pre- and post-match drinks, four-course lunch)

12. (9) Lotus: Invite to Monte Carlo (inc. 3-day trip, 5-star hotel, sorry

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