Notes from the field: Groundhog Day gives Bobby cause to reflect

Notes from the field: Groundhog Day gives Bobby cause to reflect

There is not one Robert X. Cringely. There are not two Robert X. Cringelys. In fact, there are eight Robert X. Cringelys. Or, rather, there is one Robert X. Cringely, and seven Robert Ex-Cringelys.

To explain: there is another person out there calling himself Robert X. Cringely.

For some time, I've tolerated his attempts to hijack (or at least share) my identity, but in the interests of truth, justice, and the American way I feel I must speak.

You see, this person was Robert X. Cringely a few years ago. In fact, he was the fourth Robert X. Cringely (or Robert Ex-Cringely IV, to give him his proper name).

It's not that we're a large family of brothers who have followed George Foreman's example - he named all four of his sons George, in case you didn't know - it's just that this column has been written by many different authors over the years, and Robert Ex-Cringely IV is merely one.

If you need an analogy for Robert Ex-Cringely IV's behaviour, imagine Roger Moore continuing to call himself 007 long after he had stopped making the movies, and claiming that Sean Connery et al are just imposters.

Taking this analogy one stage further, imagine that Roger Moore then tried to say that Sean Connery is, in fact, a woman. Sound bizarre? Well, that is just what Robert Ex-Cringely IV has done on his Web site. Just for the record, let me say that that is completely untrue, as Rose will testify (although she likes to throw it in my face when we're having an argument).

Robert Ex-Cringely IV has also committed the most heinous crime in the Cringely lawbook: he has put a face to the Cringely name. Because that's the whole point about my existence: as a roving field editor digging out tips and rumours, anonymity is crucial.

By going public with this, I hope to end the confusion over our identities once and for all. And if I had to give Robert Ex-Cringely IV one piece of advice, it would be this - get a life - and make it your own life this time.

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