Mindrollers ‘r’ us

Seriously silly seasons begins the beguine

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His Billness breezed into London Town today to address resellers, The Register learns. The occasion was called Community Outreach. Pardon us, but in this country that's usually applied to social services and such a scheme involves making sure tramps and vagabonds get fed and clothed....

Newsfeed Silicon is getting ever so precious. The TV station, which misplaced its DNS number over the weekend so we can't give its URL without seriously misleading you, posted a story this morning saying that Derek Shayler, ex gook from MI5 (or is it MFI) has foiled the other gooks at MFI by posting his revelations (secret only in the UK) on the Web...Hmmm...now where is the URL for Shayler's site in this story? Or has it lost its DNS too? The address is I'm in prison for telling the truth and is kindly supplied by John Birt's BBC Website. BTW, this could never happen in Singapore, where Web sites are tightly regulated...

So what's the difference between a semiconductor salesman and a pizza? A pizza can feed a family of four. Which would almost be funny, if it weren't true.

Linda Tripp has nothing on Apple's MacOS look and feel gurus. Long before Tripp was surreptitiously taping Monica Lewinski's 'all the president's member' tales, the Cupertino software boys had apparently sussed out what was going in the Oral Orifice. Proof? Just turn to page 311 of Apple's 1992 tome, Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines. You'll find, clearly displayed in an example dialog box, the phrase: "Monica Stories" could not be saved because the disk "BlackMail Stuff" is full. Perhaps the secret of interim CEO Steve Jobs' turnaround -- three successive quarters in profit after umpteen disastrous ones -- has been revealed...

The Register we took ourselves off to the Electronic Consumer Trade Show at prestigious Olympia this morning. And what did we see? We saw that Microsoft and AMD were sharing the same stand and that the former had 20 press releases saying how great this 3DNow! was (is). We took another look after the tip off from the Great Standish of Chippolatas and got definitely confused. Who, or whom or which company is Matrox? We here have no clue, but there must be a lot of marketing money going into that ECTS AMD-Microsoft stand...

A further take on the ECTS show showed us something we didn't necessarily want to see. Large computer companies (like AMD, Microsoft, Intel et al) were almost prostituting themselves to get a share of this lucrative market...

Now this one is definitely strange. There's an outfit of spin doctors here in London called Firefly with a client list as long as anyone's arm -- viz Compaq, Motorola, Informix, Novell, Cisco, Netscape -- whew, the list is practically endless. So how come they invited a heap of journalists to prestigious London pub The Blue Posts in Soho on Thursday and forgot to bring any money? We put it down to the fact that no-one told them the pub only took cash, and directed them to the local ATM. By the way, The Register was not invited but just tipped up by chance...We advised them to tip the barman and that seemed to work.

Now this is weird. A Register staffer could have sworn he saw a story on Infoworld when he got up at 6 a.m. London time about AMD. It was the hacking cough which woke him up and he thought he might as well tread the dangerous path of Internet Explorer 4.0, rather than wake up his wife and children. The story, as was there then, described how AMD was now aiming at the corporate market (passim) and said that Advanced Micro Devices was readying a 450MHz part for Q3. Strange. By the time the staffer had got into work, the story had totally disapparu. We asked AMD about this and the chip cloner denied all knowledge of such a thing...

Ahem. A reader writes about WordPerfect as a follow up to our story about MS Word, below. He says that in the days when WP was popular, if you typed in Unisys and spell-checked it, the alternative offered was anuses...

The Daily Telegraph reports on a jolly little quirk in the Office 1997 version of Microsoft Word. To see for yourself, (we checked, and it does work), set the language to American English, type in 'I'd like to see Bill Gates dead', select the text and hit shift F7. The computer suggests a replacement for the sentence of 'I'll drink to that'. Sadly, you will get the same response from 'I'd like to see Bill Gates take over the known universe'. The software is possibly awaiting the outcome of the US Department of Justice's court case before deciding where its loyalties lie.

A lady from massive corporate reseller SCH seemed strangely reluctant to send us a piece of positive news about her company. We read in the Financial Tomes that SCH was about to create another 250 jobs but when a staffer called the company, she told him that the press release was "only for the national press". Strange. We thought a press release was for the press...

At a Novell party in London's West End, we had a cryptic conversation with an employee. He said: "Novell won't be Mormon for much longer." Puzzling this one out, either it means Mr Schmidt Trigger is either gonna relocate the whole lot to Californi...dear readers, at this point the server went belly up...we could not for the life of us remember what we had wrote but then suddenly remembered it was all about Lotus staff in a horizontal business, and drunk.

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