Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Thursday 20/5/2004The invite said "Drinks with IBM Personal Computing Division" -- and that's good enough for me and Charles McLellan, reviews supremo. We hare off to a rather nice little bar just off Regents Street, where we find a seething cluster of the usual suspects: hacks, PRs, marketing directors in ties and attentive waitresses hithering and thithering with satisfactory quantities of cold beer.

Thursday 20/5/2004
The invite said "Drinks with IBM Personal Computing Division" -- and that's good enough for me and Charles McLellan, reviews supremo. We hare off to a rather nice little bar just off Regents Street, where we find a seething cluster of the usual suspects: hacks, PRs, marketing directors in ties and attentive waitresses hithering and thithering with satisfactory quantities of cold beer. The conversation is pleasant and includes just enough technology and marketing discussion to make the whole business justifiably work-related.

The gender mix is typical: the hacks and marketeers are exclusively male -- well, we're not quite sure about the one from PC Advisor -- while the PRs are exclusively female. It's thus rather fun when the room next to ours suddenly fills up with a hen party, populated by chicks from some sector of the music retail business. The gels are clearly up for a good time, and from time to time extend invitations to the hacks to 'come over here and join us'. All the ingredients are there for a memorably good time.

So, how does the cream of the UK tech journalist corps react when faced with such an opportunity? They hunkered down in a little knot at the far end of the room, and talked even harder about IO ports, processor speeds and battery life. A shameful business, and one that doesn't bode well for the continuation of the species.

I apologise for my fellow journalists, and do what I can to make up for their sad lack of initiative. It's a tough job single-handedly defending the honour of such lacklustre lads, but it must, I feel, be attempted.