Rose and I visited another swing dance club last week, following our less-than-successful trip to the Metronome a few weeks back. The visit was part of Rose's plan for us to find more shared interests.
This club, called The Ramp, was much more to our liking, but I felt very self-conscious flinging myself around the dance floor, surrounded by far better dancers.
That's the trouble with dance crazes - by the time I've finally realised there is one, it's too late for me to compete with those who were in them at the beginning.
Speaking of being late to the game, IBM later this year will make a much more concerted push into the enterprise application integration (EAI) space following its recent partnership with Neon Systems. IBM is apparently worried by the competition posed by Microsoft, which recently launched its BizTalk campaign, and by HP, which is lining up partners such as Oracle and SAP for its E-speak architecture.
IBM already has an EAI offering, called MQSeries Integrator, but this requires customers to install MQSeries. A stand-alone version, due in the next couple of months, will add support-component architectures such as Enterprise JavaBeans, giving IBM one of the few EAI tools to support both component-based and messaging-based EAI tools.
Meanwhile, PeopleSoft may be trying to capitalise on another trend. I hear that at the recent PeopleSoft User Group in New Orleans, it was to announce the acquisition of a midsize vendor of sales, marketing, and customer service applications. Names I've heard mentioned at press time include Pivotal and Onyx.
Apparently, PeopleSoft isn't getting very far with its existing strategy - in the works for a year now - through which it would offer integration with front-office applications from Siebel, Vantive, and more recently, Clarify, as part of its Open Integration Framework.
I'm also hearing of another strategy that may be in trouble. Word has it that the vaunted Java Community Process (JCP) - whereby ISVs share their code gems with Sun, and Sun "opens" its Java specifications - will be put to rest. Even before people could understand it, the nine-month-old JCP will give way to . . . well that's the major question that IBM wants answered.
Big Blue is expected any minute to re-energise its call for Sun to hand Java-the-platform to a true standards body. All eyes will be on Jon Kannegaard - interim replacement for Alan Baratz, the recently resigned president of the software products and platforms division - for answers.
While one strategy dies, I'm hearing word of another initiative that could affect that of the entire security industry. Apparently, researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory are working on a kind of "super virus", dubbed Blitzkrieg, that can search out and kill other viruses.
Rose is a much better swing dancer than I (as she kept reminding me). Her level of frustration was such that when she saw an old friend - a blond guy named Todd - she ditched me to dance with him instead. So much for shared interests.
Robert X. Cringely is a regular contributor to ARN's sister publication Infoworld.