Some things change . . . some stay the sameYour issue dated November 1 had two articles that made me blink twice. On page 10 your readers were told that, "Wyse gets wise to Australian markets," with the, "opening of its first Sydney office later this month."

In fact, the company first opened an office in Sydney in the mid 80s to sell a range of systems and peripherals based on the Pick operating system.

What is even more remarkable is that the first office was in the building next door to ARN's current address in Christie Street, St Leonards!

A few pages further on we were told that, "Datec opens Sydney doors".

This is the second company with that name to open up in Sydney. The first was an application software company launched by Harry Douglas around the early 70s. The company was taken over by another local software company, Wacher Partners, in the mid 80s. Wacher was itself taken over by UK-based Sanderson in the early 90s.

The more things change, the more they stay the same, eh?

John Costello

Mooney Mooney, NSW

PS. Some of your older readers will probably remember the incredible parties Harry Douglas threw - generally for no apparent reason. His last one was in a converted Chinese laundry. It included a complete circus troupe with elephants, big cats and clowns - not to mention the clowning around of the guests.

Web sites suck

I recently went shopping for mobile computing power. My conclusion? Web sites, wholesale and retail, suck.

They suck up huge amounts of time delivering useless information that does not replace a good brochure. They repeat the same information seen at the previous site and the one before that and all the ones I visited.

If just one computer sales site did what CD now does for CDs, more buyers would buy more premium products.

Because no online site will let me find the device I want, I am not buying anything. The purchase will have to wait until I bump into someone holding the type of device I want so I can ask them the exact make and model number.

Money is no object. I presume the device will attract a premium as it is less than 12 months old. There are several brands offering competing products. I tried to guess the brands. I figured HP would be one. HP's Web site did not help.

Toshiba's 3110c is the closest device to what I want. I did not find the 3110c via an online site as the sites selling Toshiba would not let me search by the parameters I want. I did not find the 3110c in a computer shop as computer shops seem intent on selling only what every other shop is selling. No one wants to introduce what is not yet selling. As a result, lots of people are not yet buying.

I found the 3110c in a camera shop. They probably figure the 3110c makes a good accessory for a moderate size digital camera. There are a lot of people after something exactly like that.

Two weeks ago I was carrying my 270mm x 210mm x 42mm paper-based diary around a conference. Lots of people had those dinosaurs from the last century - notebook computers, which are far too big, heavy and awkward to be practical. I want something the length and width but not the thickness of my diary.

Some people had those glorified calculators that store 4000 names but nothing useful. Standing out from the crowd were the dozens with the useful-sized devices that are hidden from shoppers because they are neither PDAs nor notebooks.

Given that IBM's Web site lists two pages of PCs based on IBM's postage stamp-size 1GB disk, I could not find one for sale in Australia. What is worse, I could not search for one anywhere. IBM's site mentions Cassiopeias. Australian sites selling Cassiopeias list 64Mb RAM sticks as some great new feature. Give me a break. That is technology from last century.

I had to update my immobile computer from 100MB Zip disks to 250MB Zip disks because presentations no longer fit 90MB - 64MB is for kids.

One good Web site to let premium buyers access useful information about new technology would result in new sales to people not interested in last year's stock. Coles/Myer does not seem interested in premium buyers. Gerry Harvey and Woolworths seem more interested in grabbing the Kmart crowd.

None of the retailers or wholesalers seem interested in tapping a market where people routinely pay $12,000 for a desk and $3000 for a chair.

A $10 rebate or free wine cooler is not going to make me use a computer that is too heavy or too light weight. What is needed is . . . well, it varies by customer. There is a niche for more than one Web site here, perhaps three. Who will grab the opportunity?



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