When I was a kid, I used to love those old Abbott and Costello movies that had great titles, such as Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman. These films were just pure, simple fun that entertained people without having to tick somebody off or require them to have a degree in philosophy to get the joke.
That's not to say I don't enjoy today's movies, it's just that there is a certain quality to older movies that is missing from today's movies.
Anyway, what made me think of my old favourites Abbott and Costello was a rumour I heard about Computer Associates (CA) getting ready to make a hostile bid for PeopleSoft.
Now, if you know anything about the corporate cultures at these companies, you can easily envision a working movie title for the acquisition: `Goodfellas Meet the Stepford Wives'.
In terms of modus operandi, these two companies are about as far apart as two organisations can get. Each of these companies works hard and has its own loyal and happy customers.
But it's hard to envision CA CEO Charles Wang funding the local chapter of the ASPCA, a longtime charity supported by PeopleSoft's chairman and patriarch, Dave Duffield.
That said, CA would be a lot more formidable a competitor in the enterprise resource planning space in terms of taking on SAP and Oracle, and any acquisition that actually leads to a higher level of competition is probably a good thing.
Digging for Perl
Also under the heading `improbable but true' is the arrival of an open-source XML schema toolkit from Microsoft that supports Perl.
Due out this month, the kit will make it easy for developers to take advantage of the XML schemas that Microsoft is collecting as part of its BizTalk initiative. The company shipped a similar toolkit for Windows developers last week.
To hear it told in Redmond, the company is determined to be a model citizen when it comes to XML.
All that remains to is for Tim Berners-Lee to pin a merit badge on Bill Gates' chest.
As for the other half of the duopoly, there appears to be a significant difference of opinion over exactly what led Intel to delay its 820 chip set, which was going to be at the heart of a new generation of desktop machines based on Intel's Coppermine processors. Intel officially blamed technical issues surrounding Rambus, the new memory architecture that Intel is trying to force PC manufacturers to adopt.
But other sources place the blame for the delay squarely on flaws in the 820 motherboard, which means this problem could be more serious than previously thought.
Well I'm off to New York to visit Internet World, which is taking place in one of the hottest gossip meccas of the world. Naturally, I expect to run into some old friends at the hundreds of watering holes that dot every street corner in the Big Apple.
Robert X. Cringely is a regular contributor to ARN's sister publication Infoworld.