Its Out There

The Kitty seeks the real "nitty-griddy."

El Gato thought he was having a flashback from an old Earth, Wind & Fire concert as he was assaulted by OracleWorlds strobe lights, which flickered along with an almost seizure-inducing crimson beam across perforated grids and billowing clouds of dry-ice smoke inside San Franciscos Moscone Center.

"Grid Has Landed," proclaimed the white-on-black placards featuring a crop-circle-like design encompassing nine white blocks. The words "I believe" glared from a black van parked in front of the hall, and black-clad minions prowled the Frisco streets, their crop-circle insignias hoisted over their heads. "Oracle is touting grid computing as if it were a Martian technology uncovered at Roswell," cackled the Kitty.

El Gato wished he could call in Special Agents Scully and Mulder to explain how Oracles take on grid technology will usher in the first enterprise grid setups and how it differs from what HP or IBM have been offering for a while. Maybe they could recruit the Lone Gunmen to figure out how to avoid inflicting freezer burn with the smoky dry ice.

"This smoke is freezing," said a shivering security guard at the entrance to the opening keynote. "They should figure out how to do dry-ice technology first."

The grid premise is alluring. With 80 servers paddling in a pool of linkage, who cares if five sink? Youll stay afloat, your transactions churning away, as the other 75 servers paddle harder to keep your nose above water.

As Oracles VP for distributed database development, Benny Souder, waxed poetic alongside a blade server—explaining to attendees and journalists how to flood an enterprise with all that computing juice—the press lounge suddenly went black. Somehow, the Internet connection set up for OracleWorld crashed. "I hope Larrys grid pool has less need for a lifeguard than his press lounge does," mused the Mouser.

Antics such as Ellison dissing PeopleSoft during his keynote and Sun boss Scott McNealy pointing out that the server room in a Dell promo video appeared to be full of Sun systems all seemed irrelevant when several bomb threats on Wednesday forced police to evacuate the hall. Attendees of Seybold and OracleWorld milled outside the Moscone Center while police checked the building and found nothing. Outside the building, the Kitty spied an analyst pal, who said police and show organizers practically had to drag a number of die-hard sales folks—all trying to close deals—out of the hall. As if to illustrate the Katt cronys point, Veritas reps roamed sidewalks wielding clipboards and dressed in white lab coats labeled "Detect, Diagnose, Correct" attempting to drum up business. "I guess a bomb blast or a bad quarter would be about the same in this never say die economy," laughed the Lynx.

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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...