Rupert Goodwins' Weekend Diary

Written by Rupert Goodwins, Contributor

Oy! This cannot go on. A notable Unix workstation company (servers too) sends me a press release telling me how much it'd like to see me and my pals at the launch of some new products. In the past, one has attended these things faithfully, often after no little persuasion from the PR company, and one has asked for review equipment. None has been forthcoming. For a product-based publication such as PC Magazine, this is not useful.

This time, a petulant little e-mail goes off saying thanks, but no thanks. Embarrassed call arrives from PR company, offering loan of machine. Excellent. Shame it's the wrong machine, but it's always good for the magazine (and myself) to get a bit of experience on a different bit of the market.

It's not the PR company's fault: the manufacturer, like most Unix hardware companies, doesn't like letting anyone actually use the hardware and won't hand any out for magazine evaluation PC companies used to be like this, before the competition got severe and anything that got your product some publicity became important: now with PCs sniffing at the tails of the Unix workstations, some more aggressive marketing might be a good idea.


Get home after a hard day chasing down Web management tools with nothing but the urge to have some tea and slump into a non-computer influenced coma. Instead, get embroiled with online argument of some intensity concerning obscure points of biblical theology. Three hours on the Web later, have tracked down various academic papers concerning the discussion which get lobbed at the other side with cries (fortunately inaudible over the medium of online conferencing) not unlike "take that, you chaps", only with a substitution for chaps. Gosh, I get overexcited.

Don't ask me why. It's a nerd thing.

As I wipe myself down with a damp concordance, however, the sheer ridiculous nature of what I've just done hits home. I've been into and out of universities around the world, lightly skipping off with some of the best thoughts on the matter in hand available anywhere. I've consulted (courtesy of DejaNews and e-mail) with some researchers in New Zealand actively working on the area. If I was actually at university I couldn't have done it any quicker or better.

So, when's the first proper University of the Internet going to come along? Wouldn't take much dosh, and think how good it'd be for the less developed bits of the world.


AOL down all day. Well, not so much down as comatose

Editorial standards