Reports are filtering back from Dell's bash yesterday in Monte Carlo where Colin Barker, our man in the Saville Row suit and the gold Rolls-Royce, has been dutifully taking notes. The bash was ostensibly to talk about Dell's plans for enterprise servers, but there was much more fun to be had off-piste, so to speak. “We walked the Formula 1 course going Vroom-Vroom!” said a disturbingly enthusiastic Colin afterwards.
But that was tame compared to some goings-on. One Brit from Dell's PR department demonstrated an admirable thirst and hunger for conviviality – so much so that when he finally decided to call it a night and leave the bar for some refreshing, reviving sleep he stumbled across some of his Yankee colleagues having breakfast. "Oh, Americans always have an early breakfast," was his less than convincing excuse for this sterling performance.
A less than sterling performance was evident from Scotland on Sunday, which was the only national newspaper to send someone along. Unfortunately, for 'operational reasons' they didn't send their technology correspondent. So who got the gig? Science guy? Business? European? No, they sent the wine correspondent. Still, he was keen to bone up on his new beat, however unfamiliar it was, and decided to ask Vroom-Vroom for a full briefing. "So, the head guy,. Patrick Dell, isn't it?" Oh dear. Still, we'll have to see whether V-V can tell his Cotes du Rhone from his clarets.
Finally, the waspish freelance Eric Doyle had the last laugh. One of the freebies Dell bestowed on all who attended was a little combined USB key drive and radio: nothing special, but a nice gee-gaw.
Eric unwrapped his prezzie, stuck the earbuds in, fiddled with the buttons and grimaced. "I say, this radio's broken!", he said in a disapproving tone. The nearby PR was mortified. "Oh dear," she said. "What seems to be the matter?"
"It only gets French stations", said Eric – and watched with some satisfaction as for five seconds the PR (and all around him) couldn't work out whether he was being serious or not.
And they say technology journalism is dull.