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Interview Compaq CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer's appearance at the gruesome Landmark Hotel on Tuesday this week brought to mind an encounter we (almost) had with the great man last year... What is your idea of perfect happiness? A world where all my warehouses are empty. What is your greatest fear? A world where all my warehouses are full. With which historical figure do you most identify? You've got to search for the Nero inside yourself. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Having warehouses full of Compaq kit. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Having warehouses empty of HP kit. What vehicles do you own? I am a director on the board of General Motors. That, I think, says it all. What objects do you always carry with you? My MagicHat. What is your greatest extravagance? I have been known to spend money occasionally. What makes you depressed? A world where all my warehouses are full. What do you most dislike about your appearance? My hair. I have it re-styled regularly. What is your favourite fantasy? That all my warehouses are empty. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? ROI, which stands for return on investment. Also TCO, which stands for total cost of ownership. Do you believe in monogamy? Only in the context of a world where all Compaq warehouses are empty. For what cause would you die? The ROI. God save the ROI. What is your most unappealing habit? Being seen to be enjoying myself. Have you ever said "I love you" and not meant it? Only to Intel's Hans Geyer at an Etre conference some years ago. How do you relax? I like to go for long walks through my warehouses and around my factories. How often do you have sex? I don't really think that is any of The Register's business. What would your motto be? Shareholders, think how well I have done in terms of return on investment and executing on my plans. What keeps you awake at night? Inventory is always a worry. That and not being able to deliver ROI to Compaq's shareholders. How would you like to die? Happy at the thought that I had delivered and executed my plans. Do you believe in life after death? There is too much stock in the channel to worry about such trifling issues. How would you like to be remembered? I think you know the answer to that question. Which is the most important lesson life has taught you? If you cannot execute on your plans to deliver ROI to shareholders and the TCO paradigm to your end users, life is hardly worth living. ®

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