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NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Apple gets suite, AIP admits defeat

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Apple gets suite, AIP admits defeat

It's been a week since I returned from Vegas, and I'm still recovering from my CES hangover. That ear-splitting duet between Intel's Craig Barrett and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler may have done me in. Or maybe I spent too much time at the convention centre's oxygen bar. I knew it was a bad idea to try the one labelled Bouncer's Armpit.

Mac lack: After I resolved to live a Microsoft-free life, several Cringesters responded with "Buy a Mac, stupid." But the problem isn't just the OS - have you ever tried to use AppleWorks?

Then again, Steve Jobs just announced the new iWork suite. If that turns out to be decent, I may grow a ponytail, start wearing hipper clothes, and become a Mac-head.

Out with the old: Reader Wayne X woke up on Christmas and found a rock in his stocking - his Microsoft Network inbox had been wiped clean. An MSN tech support elf named Elvie (really) told him a server glitch had accidentally flushed his mail. She then tried to restore the missing messages without success. MSN spokesfolk insist the glitch was an "isolated incident" caused by "customer action" - in other words, Wayne somehow deleted his entire inbox without realising it. That, or the evil Grinch snuck onto his computer while he was sleeping.

AIP RIP: It seems AIP Communications is sleeping with the fishes. When one Cringester tried to return a trouble-plagued IP PBX product, he said AIP insisted on charging a 60 per cent restocking fee - and then failed to send any refund at all.

Now all AIP's phone numbers are disconnected and the company is "inactive", per co-founder Chuck Lau. He said customers could still reach AIP via aipcom.com or by sending email to info@aipcom.com.

Creative blocks: My apologies to readers who've been denied their weekly dose of e-Cringely by prudish spam blockers.

Apparently one cannot make reference to certain ancient professions (like the one that rhymes with "looker") or to edgy awards shows without getting corporate junk filters' knickers in a twist. Wait, am I allowed to say "knickers"?


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