NOTES FROM THE FIELD: They call it puppy love

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: They call it puppy love

Bobby's no longer in the doghouse; Mandrake and Monster are the beasts.

We finally made it out on the Harley for a long weekend. I took two days off, packed up some gear, Amber, and some more gear, then we rode up to Redwood National Park. Amber felt a slight separation anxiety, though, since we left Apache the pooch with her sister. "I just hope they feed him, and the right kind of puppy food," she said, all concerned.

Eat your own dog food

It doesn't seem like anyone enjoys the taste of their own dog food these days. With Microsoft and Unisys running an anti-Unix campaign on nothing less than the FreeBSD version of Unix itself, AOL spit out some of its own dog food, too, according to one of my spies. Apparently, employees inside AOL Time Warner were frantically preparing to use AOL Mail as the internal mail system. So says my spy, about halfway through the project they aborted the mission and pointed AOLTW right back to Microsoft Exchange. Ouch, that must have stung.

Other spies reported that Yahoo has been taking the liberty of making changes to members' accounts preferences, changing each No users selected to Yes in all the categories for receiving e-mail and even phone calls. The likely result is an onslaught of spam.

Linux's so-called freedom

Mandrake Linux came under fire last week for trying to redefine "free", as in free software, by charging corporate users a sizable support fee before permitting them to download its distribution of the open-source Linux software. One of my spies gave them a chance nonetheless and ordered the professional edition of Linux, but to little avail. The thing is, Mandrake's system accepted and charged my spy's American Express instantaneously, but never sent the software. What's more, Mandrake's sales and support cannot track the order, leaving my spy without the software and the money.

Two-faced beast

Another spy said that went back on its word, and contracts, recently. You see, my spy bought ads from with the understanding that those ads would never expire. According to my spy, some honcho at the company decided all contracts should expire regardless of the original agreement. The only consolation is that is "giving" my spy a couple of months to use the ads before they expire. Doesn't do him much good, though, since his company is not currently hiring, so there goes that investment right down the drain.

"I enjoyed the woods," Amber said. "But it's nice to be back in the city." I figured she just couldn't wait to get a shower and a latte, but she surprised me. "Let's go get Apache right away," she beamed.

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