% fortune -ae paul murphy

This week's rants

According to the Wall Street Journal Microsoft is about to unleash a series of Wintel ads featuring comedian Jerry Seinfield.

Seinfield's hit show, not something I could stand to watch, was self described as "about nothing" and featured a narcissist drifting from nothing to nowhere, his two mentally damaged friends, and a girl who might have aspired to interesting had she tried a little harder to escape her life and her friends.

The parallels to Windows are striking - but you have to wonder if Microsoft hasn't gone a little over the top in going from self deprecation to self-mockery here.

A perfectly captured impression

I had a professor of modern art tell me once that capturing the emotional content of impressions is "what it's all about." I thought his views about as interesting as his terminology was unique; but when something, specifically a a zdnet newsletter announcement subject line, did exactly that for me, I remembered him.

Here it is:

Intel unveils Nehalem; Feds bust kiddie porn ring

I happened to be reading news reports from the Intel developer forum when this arrived and the fit just seemed perfect: there was hype, there was consequence, and there was reality - almost a haiku because most of the announcements are just so much intellectual porn for the media's wintel marketing kiddies.

Looking for good news in the blizzard of ill-informed enthusiasm these guys put out isn't easy - but I found at least one these gentlemen of the press had to appreciate: "turbo Mode" - I mean, really, it's just stunningly brilliant because it's got to be so much better to talk about automatic overclocking for one or two cores under low load than to admit that the thing had to be down rated because it can't handle the heat under full load.

Just to be fair, there is a bright side: specifically, Intel formally pinned a release date, give or take a quarter, on their re-invention of AMD's integrated memory controllers - and that, by forcing expedited industry wide chipset change, will reduce the motherboard redesign costs, shipping delays, and performance penalties companies wanting to use AMD's chips face now.

FYI: I'm not actually anti-Intel. They do a perfectly fine job of making a perfectly fine late 80s CPU at typical mid nineties prices - but the press coverage Intel gets misleads most of the market, and that annoys me. Read most of the reports coming from IDF/08, for example, and you'd think Intel a technology leader instead of what it really is: a company whose motto ought to be "Proudly blazing trails - where others have gone long before."

Paul Murphy wrote and published The Unix Guide to Defenestration. Murphy is a 25-year veteran of the I.T. consulting industry, specializing in Unix and Unix-related management issues.