Wednesday

Wednesday 4/12/2002When it comes to keeping journalists supplied with news and review kit, different companies take different tacks. At one end of the spectrum are people like Dell, who are unimpeachable in their attentiveness: the steady stream of new computers through our door and the backup they give us when we have questions.

Wednesday 4/12/2002
When it comes to keeping journalists supplied with news and review kit, different companies take different tacks. At one end of the spectrum are people like Dell, who are unimpeachable in their attentiveness: the steady stream of new computers through our door and the backup they give us when we have questions. Other companies need a bit more prodding before they disgorge their products or hook us up with the right interviewees. And then there's Sony. That's not entirely fair. Sony isn't a single organisation, it's a loose grouping of divisions who regard each other with far more venom than they show to the real competition. So the PC people aren't bad, the peripherals lot can be surprisingly good, while the PS2 division is an impregnable fortress of indifference. Weapons-grade lasers couldn't make so much as a scorchmark against their implacable escutcheon: they have the attitude that they have all the publicity they need purely by their product being so cool and in demand. The worst thing is, they're right. So surprise bordering on catatonia-induced shock is the only sane response when I'm told that there's a package at reception for me, and it turns out to be a PS2. Not only that, but one with a hard drive, network interface, keyboard, mouse and other bits -- in fact, a complete Linux system. Seems that Sony's interest in promoting Linux on that platform is strong enough to override the normal resistance and I've now got the kit over Christmas. I mention this to Goodwins Minor, whose teenage disinterest in everything is immediately replaced by an eagerness normally reserved for pizza. Is it that he now has a chance to do some development work on a real platform? He's talked about that enough. Or a chance to get his hands dirty with Linux coupled with some fun hardware for making noises and pictures? No. After much lexical analysis of the overheated stream of syllables coming out of the lad, I detect one repeated group of phonemes. GTA Vice City. GTA Vice City. GTA VICE CITY!. I believe this to be some sort of driving game, m'lud... ah well.

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