Sugary Memo Gives El Gato a Toothache

Supercalifragilistic-XP-alidocious!" mumbled the Mouser as he contemplated a recent missive from Microsoft's Jim Allchin.

Supercalifragilistic—XP—alidocious!" mumbled the Mouser as he contemplated a recent missive from Microsofts Jim Allchin. The head honcho of the Windows team sent out an e-mail last week to a number of tech journalists saying, "We are getting very close to RTM [release to manufacturing] of Windows XP. I am interested if you have any specific issues that you feel we need to address or you have heard from readers about any issues they may have had with the betas/release candidates."

This is a remarkably kinder, gentler stance than the companys attitude before the release of Windows 95 and many of the subsequent operating systems. Certainly, one would assume the last group Microsoft would have thought of asking for advice would have been the tech media.

"Either theyre having doubts about the recent build release," pondered the Poppins-like Puss, "or theyve just realized that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down."

Meanwhile, out in the wild and woolly beta frontier, a Tabby tattler forwarded El Gato a memo from inside the Massachusetts Institute of Technology community asking folks not to install Internet Explorer 6.0.

The memo reports that the universitys IS department has received a number of reports of difficulties with the IE 6.0 Public Preview breaking Eudora and Netscape on Windows machines.

The memo also points out that IE 6.0 is beta software and that Microsofts own disclaimers and warnings include no product support, that its for advanced users only and is not for a primary computer.

While strongly discouraging everyone from testing IE 6.0 on machines that are needed to get work done, the memo also states that IE 6.0 is so deeply intertwined with the Windows operating systems that the only solution the school has found for removing it is to reinstall the whole operating system.

"Thats one IS guy whos got his work cut out for him," laughed the Lynx. "Its hard to imagine anyone at MIT not installing and playing with beta products."

It looks like Apple pulled the plug on Kids Safe, its parental guidance program. A Tabby tipster pointed out that being able to run it only from Mac OS 9 or higher may have initially limited its potential user base.

"That, and the fact that Apple was never exactly clear on what was actually considered kid-friendly," lamented the tipster. "Im sure Toy Story and A Bugs Life would have made the cut," groused the Grimalkin.

A Katt crony in Denver told the Kitty that the folks out at Intels new Colorado Springs campus may all be singing "Lien On Me."

Apparently, the El Paso County courthouse has racked up more than $36 million in liens filed against the company from a plethora of construction companies.

It seems Intel put a super rush on construction of the facility two years ago, hoping to capitalize on the demand for flash memory chips.

Now, not only has the flash memory market dipped, said the Katt crony, but managing to pay the massive succession of contractors who all pitched in on the accelerated project has proved to be a herculean undertaking for the company.

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...