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More important things than money

More important things than money

With Rose gone and my chance of home ownership flushed down the toilet, I've been looking to make a fresh start.

Just because all of these twenty-somethings with Internet startups have made piles of money doesn't mean that you have to be young and rich to be a success. Besides, I like to measure myself by the tips I get and by my amazing charm and wit, particularly when it comes to women.

So, before I got too rusty, I decided to try out that charm and wit again on some of the ladies in the online chat rooms.

To make the job easier for myself, I thought I'd buy IBM's Cordless Computer Connection so I could take my laptop into the living room, the kitchen, and even the bedroom and still be connected.

But IBM's Web site - the Web site of the company that advertises itself as the place to go for all your e-commerce needs - was broken. I clicked on `buy it' and got a blank page. I guess I'll take my charm and wit elsewhere.

Although many of the IT executives I've spoken with recently have taken a wait-and-see approach to Win2000, the US Coast Guard has taken its fear of Windows one step further. The Coast Guard has implemented a new policy to cut down on the wanton and reckless use of Microsoft Access - the system on every desktop at the Coast Guard - by requiring users to seek specific permission if they plan to use the database program that is part of Microsoft Office. The policy says, `These procedures are not intended to stifle creat-ivity or innovative use of our standard tools.' Just requiring permission before exercising that creativity or innovation, I suppose?

The creativity of one dot-com start-up recently got it into trouble. Pointclick.com's business model - one of the Web sites that pays users to surf, or, more realistically, to click, on the advertisements on the site, is having financial problems. Over one recent weekend, the company reduced the balances in the accounts of its users by 80 per cent. And e-mails to the company questioning the change have gone unanswered. The site's users say that they have yet to see payments from the company since it started up four months ago.

Advertisers have even lost faith, with their numbers dropping by 60 per cent in the last few weeks, one user reports.

Those millionaire dot-coms aren't so successful after all. But who's counting?

Microsoft's release of Windows 2000 later this month will be followed by the release of a new OS targeted specifically at consumers, Windows Millennium.

The announcement prompted one reader to suggest a new name for Microsoft's OS for handhelds. Instead of Windows CE, let's call it Windows mini-ME.

Maybe I've lost my mojo, so I'm thinking about hiring a sidekick of my own: an intern. This should be interesting.

Pointers on hiring an intern? Send them to me at cringe@infoworld.comRobert X. Cringely is a regular contributor to ARN's sister publication Infoworld.


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