Stories by Tom Yager

  • Business continuity monitoring small stuff

    Management systems ... there are hundreds of them — and just as many experts willing to tell you how they should be run, set up, function. But Tom Yager says that the best advice is actually quite simple: look ahead for small, costly problems.

  • AHEAD OF THE CURVE: Poor, pitiful IBM?

    I can’t comprehend reports in the media that portray IBM as a troubled company. Perhaps there is another company with that name or my research is completely off-target. Neither of these is likely, so it must be that the prophets of doom — having failed to hasten the demise of Advanced Micro Devices, Apple, and Sun — have chosen a new target.

  • AHEAD OF THE CURVE: Beware of post-recession bargains

    Post-recession technology bargains are as irresistible as post-holiday bins full of dirt cheap greeting cards and tinsel garlands. But in some ways, this period carries with it more risk than IT faced when the economy was bottoming out.

  • Opinion: IT grows out of control

    Technology is out of control. Or at least, it has achieved a level of complexity that puts it out of reach for most humans, and increasingly, even IT professionals.

  • AHEAD OF THE CURVE: Vendors to watch in 2004

    I am, for now, free of habitual vices that would diminish my ability to work or to stand upright. But I get the shakes if I go too long outside the company of people who talk way over my head.

  • Power Mac G5 is Apple’s best work yet

    Companies large and small routinely set their expectations of computer systems according to the capabilities of Intel-based x86 computers and 32-bit Windows. We’re due for a shift in standards.

  • Apple’s G5: More than a pretty face

    Most modern systems look more at home in a construction trailer than in a corporate machine room or cubicle. The burly, breathable aluminum chassis of the Power Mac G5, however, is a welcome respite from ubiquitous drab sheet metal and injection-molded plastic. Still, a few days after buying a pretty machine, the romance is over. If it doesn’t prove itself superior in all ways to other systems in its price range, IT won’t pen a purchase order for a second one.

  • AHEAD OF THE CURVE: The world is a GUI place: Apple and Longhorn

    I wrote a little-read tome called The Multimedia Production Handbook for Addison-Wesley. Even though I wrote it, I recall almost nothing about it now, but I do remember that the first chapter was a treatise on the practical usefulness of multimedia. At the time, the consensus among the serious media was that sound, animation and video had no place in business software. That attitude prevails, although the tide is turning.

  • AHEAD OF THE CURVE: Tools will make or break the platform

    I’m quite particular, even protective, about my development tools. Microsoft’s Visual Studio 6 is the only integrated development environment that came out of the box matching the way I think and work. I bonded with VS6 so well that I used it to code for other platforms.

  • AHEAD OF THE CURVE: The most wonderful time of the year

    As cheery and personable as I am, I’m not a pumpkin/turkey/mistletoe/holly kind of guy. I like family and friends just fine; I just wish I could move the holidays to July. Nothing happens in July — I might as well write about the dust under my keyboard. In the last three months of the year, however, I could fill four columns a week. Vendors go nuts trying to end the year with a stockholder-deafening bang, and IT pours its spend-it-or-lose-it dollars into the marketplace.

  • AHEAD OF THE CURVE: Lusting for less processor power

    I’m well known for taking up fringe causes. I always believe the subjects that seem crazy even to me will end up being important. I just consider that part of my job is being — combination of seer and loon — a combination that qualifies me to occupy ARN’s opinion page.

  • AHEAD OF THE CURVE: Software patents set sail

    The European Commission’s vote on software patents drew as many anxious observers in the US as it did in Europe. At stake was the possibility that America’s bizarre patent system would leak like an oil spill across the Atlantic. If that were to happen, Europe would soon be in the grips of a patent frenzy, just as we’re experiencing here.

  • AHEAD OF THE CURVE: Die, die accursed PC

    The PC is the black and white TV in the wood cabinet. It’s the round, tan thermostat dial, the avocado-green fridge, the Steve Miller Band. It is the beast that kills by boring its victims to death.