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Reg readers stick it to big tech

And just how long is a piece of string?

Letters Bill Gates got a big thumbs up from the business community this week, when CEOs voted him most respected business leader, or some similar flattery. This, we were stunned to discover, did not go down a bundle with the average Reg reader:

Hello John,

If you want to do a really useful poll, ask business leaders if they trust Bill Gates. Many people have a lot of respect for a great white shark, but not many people trust them. ;-)


What this one lacks in coherence, it makes up for in sheerbreadth of complaint. A prime candidate for Flame of the Week, except that the fire is not aimed at us, for once:

"Fiorina is credited for successfully integrating Compaq into HP."

What, was that printed on a HP printer by HP staffers? Success, from everything I read she has almost obliterated what CPQ had going for it. And integrated should be replaced with hostile takeover of CPQ-staff jobs so HP didn't have to announce large HP-staff layoffs. Ontop of that I would think it was a disasterour takeover, I know CA government was once into buying loads of CPQ Proliant servers and now are into buying IBM servers (I would imagine they are not the only ones).

I live in what is/was called Silicon Valley North (Ottawa, Canada) and I know of 'nobody' that has respect for HP (Sun yes, IBM yes, etc., but HP no). I was a mentor in largest call center in Ottawa working with desktop, laptop, server, os, and application support techs (I know tons of people, so I am not talking a hand full).

If people have respect for HP I think they should consider how over-priced ink is (and it is HPs money maker), how they have branded some of the crappiest CD burners I have ever seen, etc. And what is up with the HP-Invent, they have invented none of their core technology but yet it seems they are out to mislead people they have (inkjet, well bubblejet, is Canon and Laser is Xerox).

As for Bill Gates, who could respect slime that copyrighted the use of the Tab key in an internet browser. He is a good business man, but I would not say he deserves respect. Funny, I think respect means something different to business and marketing poeple than it does the rest of the world.

Regardless of my dislike of the contents of the article, thanks for the reading.


In HP's defence, we would like to note that they did invent the scientific calculator.

It is hardly surprising that business leaders admire Gates. Similarly, I expect that many generals admire Guderian and Zhukov.

After many years of seeking a simple definition of what "business" really means, I have come to the conclusion that it denotes the domain of human life in which money is all that matters. (See "The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power", passim).

Now, if business is purely and simply about the pursuit of money by any and all means that are not overtly illegal, we should not be surprised that the man who has extracted the most money from his fellow human beings should be the most admired.

So much the worse for them.


Hi John,

You article all made perfect since and was racing along nicely with Jack Welch (retired-GE chairman) being the number 1 choice for a firm's financial board. But with just one furlong left and the winners post in sight, the CEO's Identified the most INNOVATIVE company..and that's where the poor horse stumbled and died.

As an IT Consultant over many years specializing in Microsoft products and others, I cannot believe Microsoft got No. 1 for INNOVATION. If CEO's call throwing half baked inconsistent software standards and products at the market every year INNOVATION, because the last one's weren't up to scratch again, then I'll eat my Hat.

Definition of Innovation in the Dictionary: "the act or process of inventing or introducing something new."

WHAT INNOVATION? 90% of what INNOVATION Microsoft had over the last 20 years came from elsewhere.

Lets take some examples of MS's major ?? Innovations ?? over the years. 1) Desktop UI: best ideas from Apple, Xerox (little innovation). 2) Distributed/Internet Ideas: COM, MTS, ASP, IIS, Web Services...etc - used it, suffers from poor design concepts, error prone with security issues. Java J2EE by Sun is superior, that's why its more widely used. 3) .NET Language: outright copy of Java J2SE by Sun (not innovation what so ever). 4) MS SQL Server: is Sybase (no innovation there) 5) Internet Explorer: never seen the Internet coming, so pumped all there resources into coping Netscape (no innovation there), but did help in later years define DHTML and other XML standards. 6) Media Player: copied Real Networks (no innovation there) 7) Xbox: copied Nintendo and Playstation.(no innovation there) 8) new CRM/ERP system: for SMEs: bought Danish company (no Innovation there). 9) new Longhorn Rich UI (XAML): its XML namespace hell and not much of an improvement over what we already got from Macromedia Flash and Flex (which XAML is trying to copy .little or no innovation again). 10) Media Center: still waiting to see if it going to be a success. Tivo is doing quite well do. 11) NT/XP OS: originally bases to OS/2, we all remember that one. There OS networking could be better and the Register which they realize is a waking disaster.

Either the CEO have lost touch or do not know much about technology... please CEO's go on a refresher course or talk to you IT staff, it they are not all off-shored. I hope they dont catagorise a Taskbar or desktop incon as been innovative.

Microsoft have got away for years with building a house on a bad foundation. The only thing that can beat Microsoft is Microsoft itself.

In the old USSR, if the best car you where brainwashed to know off was a Lada, then that's what you would drive all day everyday. Now that the Iron curtain has gone, people know better, which probably explains why there's more Mercs & BMWs in Moscow and St. Petersburg then other cities of the World, even if some of them got there via devious means.

If only changing to another OS were as simple...


John Regadd

[Edited for brevity]

More thoughts on Half-Life 2:

As I write this, I am on my Linux box while my Windows box prepares to play Half-Life 2. It has been at a blank screen for the past few minutes while the network connection goes blink-blink-blink. Before that it was a box saying that it was updating HL2. Before that it was an overnight download "preloading" HL2.

I think that Valve and co. has missed the point of games: *playing* *the* *game*!!! I am not going to purchase another game which can only be downloaded via the net, and requires a network connection at all times to function. I just want to play the game! I don't care about the news, I don't care about the updates, I don't care about whatever else these nuts have in mind. What's the point of a blank screen with no user interaction, or even a little message?? No mouse, nothing.

Deliver it to me on a CD, and I'm not buying it if the game *requires* a network connection!


The ESA's statements about the forthcomming space council meeting unsettled the newsdesk, leaving us all with a distinct sensation of bureaucratic hell. Seems we don't know the half of it:


Your article doesn't even entertain how much wrangling goes on. Its not even an entree of a pre-dinner. They have been talking about this for three years, yes. But the idea was there years before that and it is still nowhere near being finalised.

Name witheld

Money and porn. A good combination, especially when someone is dismissed for sins of the flesh and still manages to pocket a severence fee:

Since when did people who get fired for smut at work get a severance package?


It occurs to me that Mr Soden shouldn't be receiving any severance package from the bank, considering that he was sacked for misconduct. How many of his underlings would get such treatment?


Eh? How come Mr Soden gets any severance at all if he was booted out for breaking the rules? Would any of the bank's (or HP's) staff get the same if they were found, ahem, " being curious"?


I'm surprised that you didn't make more of the "Fat Cat" aspect of this - the guy was dismissed for a serious violation of the company's code of conduct. if anyone other than a director was sacked for such an issue they would not be entitled to any compensation. So, the story is not the fight between HP and BoI but is about the fact that the porn-surfing director still gets a bundle of loot despite having been sacked for misconduct!


We're not sure how it works, but we'd love to see the contract...

IBM calls for idle PCs the world over to join in on some number crunching for the common good. But it transpires that there is a dress code for this particular party:

It's a shame that once again one of these grid projects is ignoring other operating systems, especially as it's supported by IBM. I've got 15 Linux boxes sat doing little more than waiting for print jobs and doing a bit of monitoring. If there was a Linux CLI agent I'd be happy to suggest to management that we support it. Those machines running 24/7 would be worth quite a few Win boxes that are only on a few hours a day. Any one in IBM listening?


Nice article, good initiative, nice project. Everything's well ? No. The software client to the grid is windows only, so it appears you have to give in to the Microsoft tax to be entitled to make charity. So I'll end up signing a check as usual for X-mas, I guess.


And to close the letters bag today, we have a lovely example of what happens when someone has too much time, internet privileges and not enough medication:


If you took all the network cable in the world, and wrapped it all up like you do with an elastic-band-ball. How big would it be?

And would it bounce?

And how many cities could you destroy if you rolled it into them? (ROTM!!)

I hope you can get back to me, Steve

(I have here about 15 meters in this room, so there we go).

Someone distract him with a couple of metres of CAT-5, and we'll make sure he has no sharp implements in his pockets...

We'll have more of your musings, on Friday. ®

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