Stories by Tom Yager

  • Intel's rolls out Merom

    Intel has been beating out a steady rhythm of big product announcements in recent months. And last week that beat went on: The company shipped Merom, the mobile entry in Intel's 64-bit Core 2 Duo processor line.

  • Ahead of the curve: Exploding the virtualisation myth

    There are only a few markets ideally suited to virtualisation. One of them is software development. As the scene is usually painted, the developer sits at a desk, compiles new software and launches it in a virtual machine so that when it crashes, it doesn't take the whole box down.

  • Ahead of the Curve: Intel, AMD race gathers pace

    Intel's new emphasis on low power suits me to a T. The company's present take on low power is backed with some specious marketing that pretends the CPU is the only system component that draws current. Even so, Intel earns my nod for moving its Core micro-architecture, the son of a son of a Pentium III, to the top shelf. Core and the rest of Intel's road map are not, however, secret weapons that will slice AMD to little bits. AMD is not standing still.

  • Ahead of the Curve: Optimizing for Opteron

    AMD has its hands in a lot of technology areas, and I track and report on all of them. I'm a huge fan of AMD's Athlon FX and X2 client CPUs, Turion notebook CPUs, and Geode ultra-low power technology. But I know the AMD you care most about is the one that will turn your entire server room into a one-rack, one-man operation.

  • Ahead of the Curve: Intel details Core x86 chip plans

    At the recent Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Intel's new slogan, Leap Ahead, has shown its true meaning: The once-indomitable chipmaker wants a time machine that will let it leap ahead to 2007. After all, 2006 is shaping up to be quite an ugly year for the company, as it faces serious challenges on technological, financial, legal, and strategic fronts.

  • Ahead of the curve: SOA at the next level

    It's no secret that I'm a firm believer in virtualising everything from systems and storage to those infrastructure elements, such as LAN segments, that can be abstracted. Zero reality is my mantra.

  • Ahead of the curve: Intel's secrecy unwarranted

    Intel got thumped in Japan for violating the nation's anti-monopoly statutes. The Fair Trade Commission of Japan (JFTC) found that Intel coerced system makers into limiting or eliminating AMD processors in their products. The punishment seemed light: fessing up in public and sending letters to customers to let them know that Intel's gravy train wasn't permanently parked. It may be that the JFTC knew that AMD would come along behind to inflict a spanking that leaves a mark.

  • Ahead of the curve: 'Better together' rings true

    From the viewpoint of sceptics, SQL Server 2005 and Microsoft's whole "better together" campaign are clever levers for strong-armed upgrades and whole-catalogue purchases. It is clear that Microsoft is targeting Unix competitors with an enterprise portfolio focused on integration and out-of-the-box functionality. Better together. Sounds a lot like "lock yourself in, you'll love it".

  • Innovation puts the blitz on mediocrity

    Innovation rules. I was stoned in '04 (I mean, stones were thrown at me) for saying that. But in '05, AMD, Apple, RIM, Nokia, and a few others illustrated my case ably. That's why I frequently chose to write about those companies and their products.

  • OS X and Powerbooks make life easier on the eyes

    If CEO and founder of, Marc Benioff, is the biggest spokesperson for SaaS (software as a service), then CEO and founder of SaaS CRM competitor, RightNow Technologies, Greg Gianforte, is in the avant-garde of that software revolution, adding open source to the war on packaged apps. The difference between the two may offer us a peek into the future of IT infrastructures.

  • How will Dell offset losing Intel's generosity?

    By now, we should be enjoying a true commodity market in which the pricing trends of x86 CPUs track those of other PC components and semiconductors. Today, we're celebrating the $US500 PC, even though economic forces should have that price closer to $200. With chip manufacturing capacity and yields being as high as they are, all but the most advanced x86 processors should be readily affordable. They should be as cheap as light bulbs. Well, designer store light bulbs.

  • Ahead of the curve: Reviving native traditions

    <b>I was once renowned and reviled for my lack of regard for Visual Basic.</b> I have since reformed, realising that we all benefit from languages that target developers at different skill levels and shorten the distance between concept and delivery. Modern server compute power and capacity more than offset the performance limitations of Visual Basic and its follow-ons .Net and Java.