* Posts by Warren Buckles

4 posts • joined 30 Apr 2007

Illinois bright spark sparks car inferno

Warren Buckles

I thought this only happened with iPhones

She should have used her iPhone.

Seagate kisses Maxtor goodwill goodbye

Warren Buckles

Maxtor had goodwill?

Wow - I didn't know Maxtor had any goodwill to sell.


Vista – End of the Dream?

Warren Buckles

Mac - groans

I had a mac once -

It was one of the first ones, pre-1984 (fall 1983). It was the shiny new toy in the lab and I had to use it to make a presentation for a conference....

You can guess the rest - three days of work eaten by the *$#! floppy drive I should have patented the bent paper clip trick) and I went to the conference with hand-drawn graphics.

I have hated macs ever since.

At the time (1983) I was building clone Apple ][s from flat boards and bags of parts bought from local electronic shops. I also used a CP/M machine I had build in 1978 (Z-80 - hot stuff!). Both of these systems let you access the hardware readily. The mac was different - they had gone to a lot of trouble to wall you off from the hardware, both in the software in in the mechanical access to the box. Apple gave my lab several binders full of documentation for the mac os, but it was mostly rah-rah stuff written by kids who hadn't learned to write English. I never trusted the thing again - sort of like in Harry Potter - 'never trust a thing if you can't see where it keeps its brain.'

The mac works - sort of - I have supported macs, PCs and Linux boxes, and they ALL have problems - just different kinds. When a mac has problems, though, it really has problems - they are hard to troubleshoot because so much of the information is proprietary. I can always get a PC or Linux box back on the air; the macs sometimes have to go to one of their pathetic 'geniuses' to have new hardware installed (and come back with all the users data gone, just like any depot service operation).

The more things change the more they stay the same.


CEO Dell: We're losing our religion

Warren Buckles

What's R&D when you build commodity systems?

Dell did its thing by wringing every ounce of fat out of a commodity product.

This means they have no R&D to speak of - just a bunch of packagers who have never felt any stake in the company besides their paychecks; all the kudos have gone to the marketers.

They bought alienware because it looked like something they recognized: a packaging operation. Then they sucked all the air out of the design staff and turned a half-interesting product into another ho-hum box.

I can't see them producing anything innovative or even interesting, and anyone bought by them will bleed talent. Nobody ever advanced at Dell by taking design risks - marketing, yes, design, no, and the creative staff of their takeover targets will wait just long enough for their stock to get in the money and head for the hills.

If Dell is serious about getting some new products out, they have to turn the whole corporate culture around, and that just won't happen - anybody high enough up in the operation will be threatened and go into CYA mode.

Maybe they can turn their Titanic around, but for now Dell is just iceberg bait.



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