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NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Broke and broken-hearted

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Broke and broken-hearted

I should have seen it coming. Amber didn’t go to England for a promotion, she ran off with some third-rate member of British Royalty — the Earl of Scheib, I think. Worse, she cleaned out all my bank accounts, including the numbered ones in the Caymans. Good thing I’ve got connections, such as the one who was able to set me up with an IT consulting gig. My plan is to look busy while doing as little work as possible and eavesdropping for gossip.

SCO scuttlebutt

My first assignment was at a Linux shop, where the open sourcers think SCO’s $US3 billion suit against IBM is an attempt to grab a cash settlement before deep-sixing the company. Worse, the rumor goes, SCO has threatened to fire anybody who talks to the press. I emailed an SCOer for the inside skinny and got an immediate response from PR honcho, Blake Stowell. Yes, he admits, SCO has threatened to can employees who speak out about the suit, but pooh-poohs the cash-out plan. “Our strategy is to protect our intellectual property. It’s no different from the RIAA protecting their intellectual property with recording artists,” he said. Hey, Napster for Unix — what a great idea.

Help desks that don’t help: One fellow geek couldn’t get his Cisco Linksys wireless broadband router to, well, route anything, so he contacted the tech line. Here’s their response: “It seems that you are using the routing feature of the router but I regret to tell you that we don’t support static/dynamic routing because it’s already the advanced feature of the router.” Well, that’s perfectly clear. Next up from Cisco: Servers that don’t serve.

Microsoft to the rescue?

A marketing weasel came by and asked me to fix a dead notebook, as if I’m his personal geek slave. I said his machine was probably compromised by the Internet Explorer HTML converter flaw Microsoft announced last week, which lets malicious Web code take over your PC. Was he, by chance, visiting sites he shouldn’t have been? “Lemme just check the log files for your IP address,” I said. He looked like he’d swallowed an Ethernet dongle. “That’s OK,” he squeaked, “I’ll fix it myself.”

I’m starting to like this gig. Amber who?


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