What a year. No sooner had we launched ARN in its new format at the beginning of 1996 than the Merisel bombshell hit us. And judging from the poor showing of Merisel at Comdex, it would have closed, regardless of TechPac buying it.
What other big news items stand out? Without doubt this would have to be the year many vendors and distributors rediscovered the channel. Then there was the dramatic drop in the price of RAM. What about the government finally getting onto sales tax avoiders?
Some of you think that one of the biggest topics of the year, the Internet, is also one of the biggest beat-ups. Likewise, Windows 95 is big news and anti-news at the same time for many of you.
But given all these things, there has been a change in the way the channel operates in Australia, with a general strengthening of the second tier of distributors. Of course, that's gone hand in hand with a further cut in margins, and in some cases, in support.
Best and worst
On pages 54 & 56 of this issue we present the results of our first "ARN Best Of" awards. I won't spoil the surprise by telling you who "won" the various categories, but while some results are predictable, some were as much of a surprise to us as they will be to you.
So, we come to the end of another year in the crazy, relentless world of information technology. Whatever the new year holds, it will probably be no surprise to the old hand.
Technology comes and goes, but people tend to stay the same.
The team at ARN wishes you a safe and happy holiday period.
Paul Zucker, Editor; Terry Banks, News Editor; Brad Howarth, Journalist; Helen Cousens, Production Editor; Gary Clark, Layout & Design; Glen Myles, Advertising; Susan Searle, Publisher.