Ballmer Stirs Crowd With Monster Mash

Images of "Young Frankenstein" came rushing back to the Whiskered One last week as he watched a video clip of Steve Ballmer that was making its way around the Web.

Images of "Young Frankenstein" came rushing back to the Whiskered One last week as he watched a video clip of Steve Ballmer that was making its way around the Web.

The footage shows Ballmer, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Peter Boyles monster in Mel Brooks classic comedy, bursting onto an auditorium stage after being announced at a recent company rally. Instead of walking directly to the podium, Ballmer skipped past it, whooping and hollering and waving his arms up and down, at one point yelling, "Give it up for me!"—all as the song "Get On Your Feet" blared from speakers.

The skipping quickly turned into an awkward hop-jog when, in making a second pass in front of the podium, he stubbed his foot, causing him to scream again, this time in pain. In true show biz fashion, however, the show went on. The lively, if not disturbing, display then morphed into a brisk march around the stage, with Ballmer frowning deep into the audience and pointing to the upper rows in the kind of bonding exercise usually reserved for heavy metal bands and wrestlers named Mankind.

He wound up back at the podium after a few more seconds and screamed into the microphone with a grin, "Who said to sit down?" After catching his breath, he screamed again into the mike, "I got four words for ya: I love this company! Yes!"

The Creeped-Out Kitty shivered a little before muttering to himself, "I got four words for you, too, Steve-o: Get a grip, man!"

Actually, while Ballmer looks like Boyle, his act on stage was more like Tim Roths Gen. Thade in the "Planet of the Apes" remake. The general was literally climbing the walls getting his troops motivated to go after the competition—er, humans.

The Code Red worm may have a lot of IT managers beating their chest and swinging from the suspended ceilings as well. Many admins have been complaining that theyve had problems installing Microsofts patch for the Code Red vulnerability, the Kitty learned. They say that servers can freeze during the reboot after they install the patch, which makes them wonder if the patch was actually applied.

In the "cost-cutting continues" column, the Tabby heard that Lucent is unscrewing every other light bulb to try to lower electricity costs. But cant they find someone else besides their highly paid engineering staff to climb up on their desks and unscrew the bulbs?

Word from a Katt confidant is that when Adobe isnt chasing after hackers, it is allegedly putting the screws to its user group program. The cuts have prompted a grass-roots e-mail campaign to company President and CEO Bruce Chizen calling for the reinstatement of the program along with its popular leader, Louise Miller. Next controversy, please?

On a final note, whats up with all this 20-year anniversary of the PC nonsense? Sure, its 20 years since IBM rolled the first one off its assembly line, but hackers were tinkering with personal computers for years before that magical day in 1981. The computing industry as we know it today was born on workbenches in Albuquerque, N.M., and Silicon Valley in the mid-70s. Long before the IBM PC, there were a couple of boxes known as the Altair and the Apple II. Remember?

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...