NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Where are Alan Baratz, Phil White?

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Where are Alan Baratz, Phil White?

Trudging across the Mojave Desert on my way back from Las Vegas, I had plenty of time to contemplate the most recent events in the war between Microsoft and the Department of Justice. All of a sudden a strange thought came to me: wouldn't it be cool if Bill Gates were testifying at the hearings and all of a sudden he stood up and started screaming: "I give up! You're right! We've been bullying everyone for years!"

Yea, right. I quickly came to my senses and decided I needed to take a rest. Just in time, I spotted a guava drink vendor up ahead. I panted as I got to the stand.

"Si, senor?" said Juan, the proprietor. After downing a couple of glasses of the guava nectar, I noticed that Juan was wearing a particularly spiffy Microsoft Windows 98 T-shirt. After my delusional musings, I figured that a chat about Microsoft would keep me in reality. "Where did you get that shirt?" I asked. "Ah, senor, it was given to me by a man with the name of Alan Baratz. He himself was wearing a T-shirt that said president of JavaSoft on it," Juan said.

"But why would Alan Baratz have a Microsoft T-shirt?" I thought out loud.

"I don't know, senor," said Juan. "But he did say that the HR departments at Microsoft and Netscape had given him a T-shirt when he dropped off his resumé."

After finishing my drink, I caught the next Greyhound bus to California - no more vultures for me, thank you very much.

Unfortunately, I fell asleep and missed the stop in San Francisco, but woke up just north of the city in San Rafael. Well, heck, as long as I was in the area, I figured I'd just mosey on over to San Quentin prison and see if Phil White, ex-CEO of Informix, had a reservation. Poor Phil, he has too-many-to-count lawsuits filed against him for financial shenanigans at Informix.

Alas, the prison guard said that Phil wasn't on the inmate list yet, but did a quick search and found Phil on the Internet as a board member at Tripco, a messaging middleware company now owned by Reuters. "Word is," whispered the prison guard, "Phil is making sales calls for Tripco now. Quite a step down, don'cha think?"

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