NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Can't take a trick

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Can't take a trick

I decided to play a little trick on Amber, purely to test her mettle. At a recent gathering of friends, I had one of our friends pass around a fake scratchie lottery ticket. When Amber rubbed a quarter on hers, it revealed that she had won $10,000. She fell hook, line, and sinker and was even crying joyfully.

"Cringe, I am going to use this as a down payment to buy you that '57 Chevy you want," she beamed. Oh, boy, I wasn't expecting that one.

A prank gone wrong

Speaking of pranks, at IBM's DeveloperWorks Live show at the Moscone Center in San Francisco earlier this month, arch-rival BEA Systems planned a parody of one of IBM's old codernaut ads to woo developers to a "Space Station" movie at the nearby Metreon. But the invites gave directions to a parking lot rather than the actual venue for their event, my spy said.

True blue

Another spy questioned whether Big Blue is being true blue when it talks about the recently acquired Informix. Apparently, an instructor at IBM spoke candidly at a conference for all the sales representatives for IBM, including those from Informix, at a large sales convention recently in Florida. The reps were told to no longer mention the Informix database products to customers. Instead, reps should only push the DB2 products. The only time a sale with Informix should happen is if the customer insists on having that product.

Military blues

A military spy pointed out that in its blizzard of announcements recently, Hewlett-Packard said that due to differences "in vision", Ron Ross, president of Compaq Federal, will be moving on. The Government marketplace will be moving to a sales-focused organisation run by someone from HP Sales, which my spy said translates into a commercial bent. This is bad news for US Government customers, and for stockholders who were used to a constant and predictable $US2 billion annual revenue stream and growth from Compaq's Federal Government marketplace. HP has suffered pretty dramatically in the past few years in this marketplace since the US Navy ditched its servers in favour of Sun, which doesn't bode well for HP now.

Amber was mad at me. "To think that I was going to spend the whole wad on you, and you were deceiving me all along," she reprimanded me all the way home. "It was just a joke. It could have happened to me," I tried. "That's right, it could have happened to be you driving that '57 Chevy right there," she said, finally smiling.

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