NOTES FROM THE FIELD: HP loses its way, Dell ports don’t play

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: HP loses its way, Dell ports don’t play

I’ve been so busy wrestling worms lately I almost missed the news about Billy Gates’ honorary knighthood. His first order of business was to offer 250,000 gold sovereigns to the first brave soul to slay the Mydoom dragon. I understand Sir Bill then mounted his mighty steed Clippy and galloped off to a jousting tour-nament with Lord Lawrence of Oracle. What I want to know is, where’s my honorary title? I think I’m overdue, don’t you?

Move Over, Mars Rover: If anybody is wondering why HP got dropped from Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, here’s one clue. An HP insider shared a memo from the company’s HR portal that stated: “HP would only provide salary increases to employees on an exception basis.”

In other words, don’t bother spending that raise; it ain’t coming. Meanwhile, the President of the United States recently appointed CEO Carly F to a commission advising him on travel in outer space. The timing couldn’t be better; I understand HP employees are taking up a collection to send her there.

Dell Gets Docked: My sources say Dell notebook users are pulling their hair out trying to get their peripherals to work with the company’s D/Port APR docking stations. When customers call Dell support, they’re fed the standard four Rs: reinstall, reboot, reformat, repeat — and when that fails, blame a third-party vendor. Ticked off users have a couple of different Rs in mind: refund and recall.

All Mucked Up: The folks at IBM, who code-named their latest WebSphere project Cayuga, apparently didn’t know it comes from an old Native American word for “crooked”. That’s what Cringe reader Walt H says, anyway. The only definition I found for Cayuga is “people of the mucky land”, which seems even more appropriate.

Bad Columnist, No Donut: My item about the Sun Java Desktop System disc allowing users to bypass Windows’ gossamer-thin security was old news to readers who’ve been using Linux discs to access NTFS (NT File System)-based PCs for years. The Knoppix ( distribution is particularly popular among the Cringe contingent. Oh, well. At this rate I’ll never get that knighthood.

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