As you may recall, we last left Spencer lurking about Las Vegas during IBMs PartnerWorld. Sadly, the romantic Rumormongers attempt to woo a young miss—who had mistaken him for IBM guest speaker Robert Redford—failed when her Seeing Eye dog snapped at him. Unlucky at love, the Libelous Lothario turned his baby blues back to Big Blue.
The Furball thought IBM boss Sam Palmisanos keynote veered near Howard Stern territory. “With the speed in this ThinkPad, you could put it in your lap and get your pants pressed … and maybe something else, too,” Palmisano chortled. “The FCC should fine him for attempting to commit humor,” mused the Mouser. The conferences basic message was that IBM is ready to go toe-to-toe with Microsoft in its upcoming battle for the SMB market. Even IBMs business partners, including Lou Johnson, president of Siwell Consulting, were spoiling for a donnybrook with Redmond. Hobbling onstage in a leg cast, Johnson blamed the injury on “kicking so much Microsoft butt.”
The Tabby was tickled when IBM researcher Roberto Sicconi demonstrated a Ford sedan equipped with IBMs personal speech assistant technology, featuring a conversation agent called Sally. Unlike the verbose computer car of the ancient TV hit “Knight Rider,” Sally seemed to suffer from an attention disorder, causing Paul Horn, IBMs research director, to quip, “Sally isnt quite awake this morning. I think she was at the tables last night.”
On the plane to Beantown, Spence sat beside a little guy with a red beard and bright green suit. The Kitty doesnt believe in leprechauns, but he noted to his seatmate that his name was really OKatt. It turned out his neighbor was an eccentric IT exec whose conversation was a virtual pot of gossip gold. The bantam businessman said Oracle will soon roll out its Commercial Grid Consortium and unveil plans to define standards that make up the APIs and functions of a commercial grid infrastructure. Standards groups, such as the Global Grid Forum, may be a wee bit leery of Larry Ellison, but HP and maybe Sun, members of GGF with Oracle, may already be embracing Oracles vision of a new consortium. Oracles grid news was slated for a late-April announcement, but jumpy Oracle execs could spill the beans over the next few weeks.
Later, the Kitty awoke in his litter box, his fur dyed bright green, with a vague reminiscence of sharing an airport cab with the diminutive dispenser of data to get a drink. In his pocket was a crumpled napkin from South Bostons The Quiet Man Pub on which someone had written: “Dear Mr. OKatt, IBM and HP may be in the running to pick up Peregrine. With HP announcing plans to buy Novadigm, Marimba may also be ripe for a suitor, possibly BMC. NetIQ, with its strong Windows management capabilities, may also find a potential suitor in BMC or HP. That should help you with your deadline. Now, tell me you still dont believe in leprechauns.”