Last week Randi drove me to the doctor to get my "love handle" removed.

Actually, it was not a normal love handle. The medical term is lipoma, which translates from the Latin to "big globe of fat."The whole experience reminded me of the classic and surreal British comedy How to Get Ahead in Advertising, which I also watched last week. In the movie, a boil on the neck of an advertising executive forms a face, starts talking, and eventually reveals its own evil personality. Unfortunately, the advertising professional is the only person who is able to see the true nature of the boil.

"Bobby, do you think Bill Gates ever feels like he has an evil boil?" Randi asked me as the movie credits rolled up on my television.

"Not one that he wants to get removed," I told her.

Some Certified NetWare Engineers recently have felt like an unwanted boil on the neck of software vendors. Since the release of Windows 2000, Applied Systems and SalesLogix are reportedly telling some corporate customers that they will no longer support NetWare. One reader speculates that Microsoft may have some kind of deal with these vendors to exclude NetWare support. After all, didn't Microsoft strike a similar deal back in the age of the browser wars persuading PC makers to bundle Internet Explorer and exclude Netscape Communications' Communicator?Any NetWare managers out there who have had similar experiences with other vendors, please drop me a note.

Meanwhile, folks at IBM are getting pretty fed up with Sun Microsystems about Java licensing issues and the fact that Sun wants 3 per cent of revenues for all Java applications. So IBM is quietly exploring another avenue to cut Sun out of the deal. Word is that IBM is toying with the idea of rolling out its own form of Java, euphemistically referred to as either Blue Java or I-Java.

And speaking of IBM and Java, it turns out IBM is also quietly having discussions with a company called Relativity Technologies. The two are looking to develop a new tool that will convert existing Cobol applications into Java code.

Finally, another company is dabbling in Java technologies, this time to improve power supplies. Invensys, which makes uninterruptible power supplies (UPSes), is experimenting with Java, looking for ways to manage electricity intelligently using the language and power supply hardware.

Turning to ASP news, SAS Institute has opened a new lab in the California area where the company is experimenting with developing an ASP model for its software.

Ever since my little surgery, Randi has been waiting on me hand and foot.

"Bobby, you really shouldn't be exerting yourself until you are totally healed," she said, her brown eyes staring into mine.

I smiled at her. "A little exertion really wouldn't hurt."Robert X. Cringely is a regular contributor to ARN's sister publication Infoworld

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