The Buzz: March 04, 2002

Few computer makers have been hit as hard as Gateway by the economic downturn and the PC price war. But the company said that while it expects another tough year in 2002-with a pre-tax loss of up to $250 million on revenues around $5 billion-it

Gateway Eyes Profitable 2003

Few computer makers have been hit as hard as Gateway by the economic downturn and the PC price war. But the company said that while it expects another tough year in 2002—with a pre-tax loss of up to $250 million on revenues around $5 billion—it will regain profitability next year.

In a meeting with analysts last week, Gateway said the companys aggressive price cutting and marketing—including television ads showing CEO Ted Waitt talking strategy with a cow—is translating into more business.

"I believe that by this time next year, well be in a much stronger position in the marketplace," Waitt said.

Running Race in Cyberspace

Bill Jones wants your vote for governor of California, but you may not see his face on television.

Jones, who served twice as Californias secretary of state and spent 12 years in the state Assembly, is running a campaign highly dependent on the Internet. He is running on his record, he said, and that record can be accessed on his personal Web site, at 195.235.97.200/personal8/inacct48.

"So, while other candidates for governor are spending over $10,000 ... on 30-second TV ads, I am trying something new," Jones said in an e-mail to voters. "I am only going to provide you with the facts of my record. Please go to my Web site."

Gun Owner Gives Dell Flak

Dell may be getting a lesson that politicians have already learned: Gun owners are passionate and ready to defend their beliefs.

Last week, Jack Weigand, owner of Weigand Combat Handguns and president of the American Pistolsmiths Guild, was told by Dell that the computer maker was rejecting his order for a notebook because his company deals in combat weapons. Apparently, the word "combat" triggered a screening policy instituted after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Weigand said Dell apologized and offered to put the order through, but he declined. In postings on his Web site, Weigand urged other gun owners to boycott Dell products.

"I do not believe Dell deserves our business if this is how they intend to treat us," he wrote.