Early this week, the Luncher mooched around the ECTS games trade show, at London's Olympia, blagging free beers and hogging the consoles. There were whispers of alleged insider dealings linked to Eidos shares as they hit the ceiling. But the only insider dealings he was really interested in were with the Lara Croft look-a-likes on the stand. Yum.
Meanwhile, CompuServe was finally being carved up and consumed: UUNet-owner WorldCom snacked on CompuServe and AOL's communications network, leaving some messy leftovers. AOL, which will run CompuServe's online service, said it's business as usual, but MSN were making derisory noises from the back row.
Mid-week, the Luncher caught the red eye early morning plane to meet Acer in Amsterdam. Sadly there was little time to shop for women and other distractions. That Taiwanese giant Acer is the mother of all OEMs, discovered the Luncher. The names IBM, Fujitsu, Mitsubishi and Alcatel came up in conversation, but keep them under your hat. Blitzed and bleary-eyed in Amsterdam's Hotel Krasnapolsky at four in the morning, the Luncher toasted corporate hospitality with another Heineken.
News without booze? How's a poor hack supposed to survive? Wednesday's Compaq notebook party at The Amanda Hossack Gallery in bustling Tottenham Court Road ran out of booze at 8.15, leaving the Luncher parched and complaining bitterly. Luckily the wild Hirschmann Beerfest, at the White House Hotel in Great Portland Street, saved the night. Those networkers certainly know how to network, if you know what I mean.
A little bird told The Luncher that UK CD-ROM storage firm Trax Data is eyeing up a digital camera company. Mmm. Interesting.
Regular readers may want to doff their caps to the Luncher following some smart share tips two weeks ago. Remember Psion? That undervalued maker of the handheld organiser? Shares have been rocketing all week following The Luncher's tip-off. And what about those Series 5 shortages? A little horse whispered that those in need of a Series 5 should go to the US where most of the stock was shipped to try and increase international market share ...apparently. Once again, keep it under your hat.