Notes from the field: Rose is on top of the world

Notes from the field: Rose is on top of the world

At Rose's suggestion, I had TCI install its digital cable service in my home. She's more of a television addict than me (I'd rather be reading a good book) and is also far more excited by new technologies. If you ask me, that's because she doesn't work in IT: it's my firm belief that anyone outside the world of IT thinks technology is capable of anything; anyone inside IT is only too well aware of its limitations.

But you can hardly blame people for being wary, when even some vendors seem not to understand the technology they're selling. Bell Atlantic, for example, recently rolled out ADSL services, but would only provide it to Windows customers and people using the Apple iMac - which was met with confusion by other Apple users.

Bell Atlantic said the decision was due to the fact that the iMac features a built-in Ethernet port - which confused the other Mac users even further, since all of Apple's newer machines ship with a built-in Ethernet connection. Bell Atlantic is supposedly close to allowing any Apple user with an Ethernet connection into its ADSL pool.

Hewlett-Packard is struggling to understand technology as well - or, rather, how businesses in the technology field best operate. HP, still feeling it missed the boat by not buying Netscape in time, is going to try to change its business philosophy. The goal is for the company to adopt a corporate culture more akin to an Internet start-up so it can move and react faster. Insiders are looking for the company to become more irreverent and less bureaucratic.

As the only bright spot on the horizon, it seems the US Air Force has recognised the significance of the momentum behind Linux, according to one reader. Apparently it is asking developers and users if they would be interested in a Defense Information Infrastructure-Common Open Environment (DII COE) segment for Linux.

My scepticism about digital cable appears unfounded because I've had no problems with the new service. Well, that's not quite true: the main problem I've had is that even with all those extra channels, I still can't find anything worth watching.

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