Martin Veitch's Diary

Written by Martin Veitch, Contributor

Up six o'clock for a five-mile run. Got to put in the hours if I'm going to beat last year's London Marathon time and at least it makes the breakfast taste good. Feel a bit rough but it gets rid of the last of the jet lag after flying back from Comdex Friday/Saturday.

Everyone is talking about what a great Comdex it was and yet there wasn't any big news regarding Intel chips or Microsoft operating systems. Just shows that when you remove the smoke and mirrors there really is innovation beyond transistor-crammed x86 devices and big, fat, lazy Windows.

Speaking of Intel, here is a big fold-out roadmap of what's coming soon. Strange that when the new chips aren't flying off the production line, Andrew Grove's men get out the box of crayons and drawing paper.


Skipping past the homeless and ducking the flying flotsam of London's horrific South Bank to see IBM. They're showing the Network Station Series 1000 and claim to have sold tens of thousands of NCs. For a company like IBM, of course, this could easily be accounted for by evaluation units in Big Blue shops, but the company insists there's real brass here. We'll see, but nobody seems to be pitching NCs against PCs quite so squarely as they were.

Lotus's eSuite does look terrific though. Lotus tells me the programmers had a "lot of fun" trying to keep applets under 500Kb. Hmm...


Back at IBM. Intel is here and the two are closer than peas in a pod. IBM is in thrall to Intel's server roadmap. Intel is happy to have IBM as a partner. Nobody mention the 6x86 IBM makes under licence from Cyrix or the fact that it will use K6 in an Aptiva. Ho hum.

Novell is making a profit again. For all of us this has to be A Good Thing and we're all looking forward to seeing Moab become the finest Java app server out there. But if you concede NT is the big Windows app server out there then you get a pretty good idea of who is going to be selling the most application servers by the year 2000.


PC Magazine's TInA awards give the plaudits to the computer industry's untouchables rather than the great and good. AMD, Apple, NCR - they haven't exactly been gilt stocks recently but they all win awards, kicking out the Wall Street darlings and landing a haymaker on conventional wisdom.

This is no criticism. It may not be the sort of thing you'd grab to kill half an hour on a train journey, but PC Mag is esoteric, iconoclastic, bold and fearless. It's even readable.

[And I'm not saying that because they're only a corridor away.]


After getting away with it for a couple of days the air is full of references to Newcastle's collapse in Catalunya.

Well, God always punishes the proud. I remember being told that by an Ashton-Tate exec who was criticising Microsoft. Almost immediately afterwards, Borland bought the dBase maker for a huge sum and never really recovered. Bill Gates's men went from strength to strength, meanwhile. Aesop would most likely insert a moral at this point but me, I'll concede to the Greek just this once.

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