Notes From the Field: Bobby grabs a bite

Some hapless flack has got me tied up on an obscure 3-D graphics mailing list and I've been getting 75 furious e-mails a day from people trying to unsubscribe. It's amazing how mad it's making my fellow spam victims. People who think nothing of walking up the stairs at home carrying two fistfuls of junk mail from the local supermarket go absolutely ballistic when it happens in digital rather than analog form, and as I'm getting RSI hitting the delete key, I can see why.

I remember the sinking feeling I had when I went to the launch of PointCast and realised that even my screen-saver was morphing into a digital marketing tool. I'm glad to say that after the initial babble about hockey stick curves (TM) and paradigm shifts (TM) the whole push thing has degenerated into another solution in search of a problem. Of all the vendors out there, the only one with any corporate credibility at the moment seems to be BackWeb, which is continuing to expand its moves into the enterprise space and is planning to add back-end server links to Enterprise Resource Planning packages from SAP AG and PeopleSoft later this year.

You may remember a while back some rumours about Microsoft planning its own universal virtual machine, as a counter to the Java virtual machine. Of course the kids in Redmond denied it every way from Sunday. Turns out they did actually try it, but abandoned the whole gimmick once they saw all the portability issues that the JVM was hitting. These are kids, but they're smart kids: when they saw the cross-platform vision was a Holy Grail that nobody was going to reach anytime soon, they did the smart thing and gave up. After all, it's not a platform, it's a language, right?

I hear Compaq has been using an old supermarket warehouse in Austin, Texas to interview engineers for a new project. The company has decided to return to manufacturing wide-screen monitors for the home user. There's obviously a big business opportunity in providing PC power as part of a really kick-ass home entertainment centre. At the touch of a remote control, a new generation of six-hundred-pound couch potatoes can channel surf between World Wide Wrestling and the World Wide Web. It makes sense that the company is looking into new markets now that the server gig is getting tough. Look out for a Compaq-sponsored monster truck event near you soon.

There is one benefit to this horrible spam business. I've struck up an e-mail acquaintance with a charming fellow spammee called Pixel. In her e-mail she says she's designing Web sites in Bellevue, and that she thinks I'm "kinda cute, in a double latte khaki 401(k) sorta way." I'm pretty sure she'll turn out to be an unemployed truck driver from Texas. In the meantime, we're planning to go real-time online -- soon.

(Give me a hot tip so I can impress Pixel with my inside dope. Send e-mail to me at

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?