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SIM-IAN Ancestors, hardware gossip and other mechanical bull.

"I could be finished, if I eats me spinach," purred the Popeye-d Puss as he bit into his Texas rib-eye steak, pushing the potentially E.-coli-containing greens to one side.

In Dallas to attend the Society for Information Man-age-ments SIMposium, the Baron of Babble made a mental note to go light on the jokes about joining AARP, given SIMs demographics. But with age comes wisdom and, in the case of one SIM presenter in an unmiked moment, a deep distrust of the worlds largest software vendor. "Active Directory is still not good. Its a challenge to work with Microsoft. Youre trying to make long-range plans, but with Microsoft, those plans change," said the IT vet, whom Spence immediately admitted into the eWEEK witness protection program.


"Lots of times, we followed Microsofts advice, and it turned out to be wrong," said the exec. For this reason, he vowed to stay away from the first release of forthcoming technologies—like, say, Vista. Indeed, a little Katt scratching turned up more Vista skepticism. "Whats the business case for Vista?" demanded Jerry Luftman, a distinguished professor and associate dean at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, N.J. As Spence chomped on his steak, he wondered if it had once, like Vista, been Longhorn. But since it was not served late, didnt contain bugs and was not overpriced, he figured it must not have been.

Robert Reich, U.S. secretary of labor in the Clinton administration, kicked off the conference, asserting that globalization is not bad and that gasoline taxes should be raised to the point where motorists would pay between $5 and $6 per gallon (gak!). In the Q & A, one attendee asked Reich what he thought about a Hillary Rodham Clinton presidency. After a long, smiling pause, Reich said, yes, he assumed that Clinton will be the Democratic nominee and that Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will carry the flag for the Republicans, so no one will have to buy new bumper stickers. "Bush vs. Clinton could extend to Chelsea vs. Jenna," laughed the Lynx.

Soon, the KattPhone turned up a call from a crony claiming that Juniper Networks is shopping itself around. The Katt noted that Juniper, which has faced heady competition from carriers like Alcatel, still needs to gain some traction in the enterprise. "And who could afford to buy them?" pondered the Puss. "Their market cap is about $8.5 billion!"

One of the Furballs dinner companions noted that while Dell announced plans to build a $254 million computer factory in Lodz, Poland, which will employ about 1,000 workers, it also announced plans to add 500 engineers in the Austin area. "Dell has also brought Tom Luce back aboard its board of directors," said another one of the Furry Ones compadres. Luce, a Dell board member from 1991 to 2005, is also a former U.S. assistant secretary of education for planning, evaluation and policy. "Maybe Luce can help Dell check the grammar on the companys battery warnings," mused the Mouser, noting the recent laptop conflagration that prompted a 45-minute fire drill at Yahoos Mission College campus in Santa Clara, Calif. "Never a Dell moment," cackled the Kitty.

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...