Meg's Revenge

There is no joy in Round Rock.

Early this morning the database servers at Dell Computer went down hard. The company is unable to accept orders on its web site and almost 5000 Dell sales reps trying to meet their quotas in the last week of the quarter are unable to book sales. Today’s loss for the company is already over $50 million and rising.

The database system in question is Oracle running atop NonStop Unix on a Tandem NonStop (now stopped — what an irony) system made, of course, by Hewlett Packard. So Michael Dell is pulling his hair out at this moment while he waits to be saved by HP.

It could be a long wait.

I […]

By |October 27th, 2011|2011|87 Comments

MotoGoogle

Last week I announced that I’m planning my own Android phone and the next thing you know Google does the same thing!  Coincidence? I think not.  Our motivations are somewhat different, however, and their budget, at $12.5 billion, is marginally higher. I’ve had plenty of time to think about this as I drive the dogs across country to our next home in California and there’s quite a bit more to this Motorola deal than other pundits have been saying.

Yes, it has a lot to do with patents and that might well explain Google’s goofy bidding behavior during the recent Nortel patent auction. Maybe Google already knew it was going for Moto at that point. Certainly with these 17,000 patents plus the $1 billion worth […]

By |August 16th, 2011|2011|104 Comments

Why Leo Apotheker will be fired from Hewlett Packard

I don’t think Leo Apotheker is going to survive long as CEO of Hewlett Packard. This is not based on any inside information, just my own pondering. And when Apotheker does go down, I’m pretty sure I know who will take his place.

The players in this drama are Apotheker, various HP executives, and the HP board, with the important bit of information being that the board has changed substantially in composition since Apotheker was appointed last year. It’s a new board.

Leo Apotheker was a dark horse candidate to run HP. He’s German, comes from an enterprise software background at SAP, the big German software company, and has no history in hardware. All previous HP CEOs […]

By |February 23rd, 2011|2011|120 Comments

And Then Along Comes Larry….

There’s a premise in big business that no single person is essential to the success of an organization. If I die on the job, microscopic cringely.com dies with me, sure, but if Steve Ballmer kicks-off during a sales meeting tirade, Microsoft will move smoothly onward, or so the idea goes — as far as it goes. Because of course it is frequently wrong. There are many instances where a single person can bring about a sea change in a company or an industry. In the 19th century that meant John D. Rockefeller in oil or Andrew Carnegie in steel. In the 21st century it means Steve Jobs at Apple and Pixar, or Larry Ellison at […]

By |December 29th, 2010|2010|85 Comments

The Sequel Dilemma

linqiconNot long ago I had a chance to visit the big data center at 365 Main Street in San Francisco.  I was invited by friends to help them install the first servers for their startup, which is still in stealth mode.  The data center was enormous, though my friends occupied only a small part of one rack not far from the Oakland Raiders and one floor up from Bebo, the social network bought not long ago by AOL.  Bebo is a big hit in the UK and I found it odd that all those British profiles are hosted in San Francisco, eight time zones away.

We installed the servers — three little boxes and one big […]