Feeds

Itanic: Enron's Golden Albatross

Shipping volumes

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

There's a dark specter of doom looming from Itanic's past.

The history of Itanic is dotted with various foibles, follies and disasters (Itanium 1 - Ed), so it's easy to miss a snafu or two. It would, however, take the dullest of eyes to overlook the word ENRON on the Intel 64 Fund Web site.

The $250 million Intel 64 Fund was first announced in 1999 and provided some indication that people did, in fact, care about Itanic. A number of companies chipped into the fund to help nudge Itanic-related projects along.

The list of investors on Intel's Web site is outdated to be sure. Readers will find Compaq named along with Dell and Hewlett-Packard. But the star attraction is not the IT guys. Right there between Circuit City and Ford Motor are our friends at Enron. The big E was not on the list of original investors but joined up with the fund later on, Intel confirmed.

Enron threw a lot of money around a lot of places. Sometimes the cash arrived; other times it wound up in the accounting equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle. Wherever and whenever the money landed, it left a nasty stain.

In this case, Enron's cash has been dragged across the deck of the Itanic, leaving a mark that could well be an indicator - an omen even - of things to come. It's no secret that a lone, black albatross careened over passengers' heads as the Titanic set sail.

The chip has already started to take a toll on the few Itanic users out there. Guru66 - the lone reviewer of Itanium Rising - has fallen so far that he must to listen to Sounds of Earth: Frogs for comfort.

"The recording and mastering quality is excellent," writes the Itanic user. "This is the best recording I have heard of frogs so far. The sounds come in waves."

Right.

And what of Itanium, Guru66?

"This book helped me get (Itanium servers) approved with management, and helped us reject a more expensive Sun-based system," he said. "It's great to give to your managers to explain the new technology."

For those who don't know, Itanic Rising walks users through the ins and outs of Intel's 64bit chip and talks about the economic benefits of having an industry standard high-end chip.

What the book does not address is that volume is required to take advantage of volume economics. Itanium 2 has managed to generate more than four-digit unit sales, but singing frogs or not, that does not a volume product make.

Add a lack of software and a down economy to the mix, and the story does not get much better.

With "Itanium 3", Madison, around the corner Intel may yet be able to shake the chip's tainted past. However, speculating about Itanic's future success is as fruitless as trying to balance Ken Lay's checkbook. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.