Life Is a Carnival

Sun's Schwartz dresses down, fesses up


Sent: Monday, July 11, 2005 12:43 AM

To: eWEEK readers

Subject: Suns Schwartz dresses down, fesses up

"Only two things in life scare me: nuclear war and carnies!" cried Spencer from a rope ladder on the midway of the carnival that sets up shop every year in a field near his litter box. El Gato was hanging upside down on the Looney Ladder, refusing to let go, despite having no chance of climbing farther up the twisting ropes. As blood rushed to his head, he swore the grinning game operator resembled a grizzled clone of Sun President and Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Schwartz. The Katts mind drifted back to the recent JavaOne conference in San Francisco, where Schwartz poked fun at himself for his disheveled appearance at an earlier event.


The NetBeans team invited Schwartz to speak at its NetBeans Day, which was being held one day before he delivered his JavaOne keynote. Since he lives in San Francisco and figured the event would have a relatively small, casual turnout as usual, Schwartz obliged. Showing up unshaven and unkempt (Schwartz later acknowledged, "I looked like I had just rolled out of bed after a long night"), he was turned away at the door by a fire marshal, who said the hall was filled to capacity. After finally gaining entrance, Schwartz was chagrined to find himself speaking before several hundred attendees, some with video cameras to broadcast the event on their blogs.

Spence finally let his body fall to an air mattress, resigned to his dashed hopes of ever winning the Jim Morrison mirror he had coveted. Wandering the midway, he noted that the game operators alternated between smiles and intimidation in their attempts to draw in players. At JavaOne, the Furball had laughingly noted that Sun CEO Scott McNealy and Schwartz had switched their usual good-cop/bad-cop roles. A nicer-than-ever McNealy, who refrained from snapping or yelling at reporters, said that given the global nature of customers and IT, Sun now has to work with everybody. "Weve kinda run out of enemies. We really dont have any enemies left," McNealy said, referring to deals with Microsoft and IBM. However, the usually jovial Schwartz interjected, "We dont have any enemies now, but Im sure well find some in the future." Spence could only assume Schwartz was referring to Red Hat and HP, which have borne the brunt of Schwartzs criticism over the past year.

His Hirsuteness was furiously trying to burst a balloon by squirting water into the mouth of a plastic clown when the KattPhones new ring tone, "Tears Of A Clown," broke his concentration. The caller was a crony noting reports that the feds have added to their indictment against former Computer Associates CEO Sanjay Kumar, claiming that he and a colleague paid a business client $3.7 million to remain quiet about a bogus deal they made with him to artificially inflate CAs revenue. Referred to in the indictment only as "Individual #1," the only clue to the businessmans identity is a notation by the feds that his company signed a $27 million licensing deal with CA in March 2000. Spence bid his pal adieu after losing $30 trying to win a stuffed snake by throwing darts at balloons. He considered bribing the woman working the booth, but, noticing "Love" and "Hate" tattooed on her knuckles, he decided a ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl might be safer.

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt, the Whiskered Wonder, has been the mascot and tipster extraordinaire for eWEEK and its predecessor print publication PC Week since 1984. The Gadabout Gatto makes the rounds of...