NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Palm readings and death by XP

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Palm readings and death by XP

Stunned by the show of e-mail support for her pro-Canadian sentiments last week, Amber wonders whether she should start a new crusade. "Political activism could be the distraction from IT that I've been looking for," she claimed.

Palm's OS crusade fades?

The first rumour out the gate this week is a hot tip from one of my spies deep inside the walls of handheld maker Palm. As speculation continues to float regarding the company's future, my spy claims there's talk about selling the Palm OS division to rival Sony - a company also determined to win the PDA war. With Sony recently announcing new Palm OS-powered handhelds, word is that's just a sign of things to come.

@Home alone

Meanwhile, more post-@Home stories are rolling in, with Cox and Comcast stealing the spotlight this week. One spy informs me that Cox is having problems converting @Home customers to the new service, with its e-mail servers overloaded and users unable to access their new e-mail accounts. With phone support and online chat overwhelmed and no simple e-mail support, it's not pretty.

For its part, Comcast has started hooking up new cable modem customers to its network rather than @Home's. Only problem is, once you've signed the cheque, they tell you there's no e-mail service for new customers until February 28. Interestingly enough, DSL and satellite service is readily available.

XP could be hazardous to your health

Here's something for the amusement files: A reader informs me that while upgrading his Dimension 8100 from Windows 2000 to Windows XP Professional he came across a list of "Notes, Notices and Cautions" in the upgrade manual. "A caution indicates a potential for property damage, personal injury or death," the book states.

He was surprised to find a software upgrade manual indicating that some action within its pages might cause death. "Does this mean I might be executed if I agree to one of those crazy EULAs?" he asks.

Finally, due to overwhelming response, let's take another crack at 2002 predictions. One reader came up with a worthy forecast: "Microsoft will take the Linux kernel, put the Windows GUI on it, and call it Windows NT/2002/2003 Pro. That way they end development costs, quit having to chase security holes and can sell the GUI to every Linux fan out there who will want it to run the Office Suite applications."

"I think it's my duty to remind the United States that those Canucks go a little crazy if you even think about harming a maple tree," Amber mused. Personally, I think she should stick to her biotech gig.

Got any antipodean gossip? Send it to

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