Sent: Monday, June 6, 2005 12:42 AM
To: eWEEK readers
Subject: Jumble aria; a Woodstein moment
"That was just ghastly," sniffed Spence, mimicking infamous "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell as he watched Red Hat CEO Matt Szulik belt out a tune at the Red Hat Summit in New Orleans. Szuliks serenade took place when he returned to the stage of the Hilton Riverside after his keynote, decked out in a red cap and gown and backed by a local choir.
The Cajun canticle was unrecognizable, but no matter, the CEOs off-key karaoke was a hit with attendees. "Thats the penguinistas for you," laughed the Lynx. "Loyal no matter what!" Following Szuliks showstopper, Martin Fink, vice president of Hewlett-Packards Open Source and Linux Organization and NonStop Enterprise Division, informed the tone-deaf audience, "You dont know how loud you should be clapping to not have me sing and dance."
Soon, the Kitty found it nigh impossible to communicate with some of his Deep Throat informants, since Red Hat officials offered Wi-Fi access only briefly during Szuliks keynote. Even worse, Spence discovered the pressroom offered no tables, no LAN and even (gasp) no dial-up connections. It was enough to make the disillusioned Drudge slide his beloved DVD of "All the Presidents Men" into his laptop, just to remind himself of why he became a journalist.
In need of a lift, Spence skatted to Pat OBriens in the French Quarter to down a few Hurricanes. There, he caught up with an open-source maven who told him that Linux-curious PC users can test-drive the operating system at opensource.region-stuttgart.de/test_linux_desktop.php. The site allows users to take Linux around the block, kick the tires and look under the hood without having to perform an installation.
Spence made his way out to the establishments patio, where he met up with two über-geeks who were discussing Microsofts plans to cancel "Aurora," a proposed feature-light version of Windows Media Player 11. The Redmondites now plan to move an XP-compatible version of the "Longhorn" Media Player, code-named Polaris. Look for a beta version to ship in November, with a final release planned for the first quarter of next year. The Kittys two new compadres also told him they were both going to enter Microsofts OneNote Power Toys contest. Redmond is offering a Toshiba Portégé M200 Tablet PC to the lucky contestant who creates the coolest add-on program for the companys Office OneNote 2003 note-taking program. Entries must be received by Aug. 15, said the giddy geeks.
Spence then headed to Jimmy Buffetts Margaritaville, where the only power toy present was a blender. There, the Kittys editor, making like Ben Bradlee, called to see if hed finished his column. Mimicking Robert Redford as Woodward, the Katt replied, "Im just polishing it."