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Sun's network computer goes missing

Dial-up still going strong

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Sun Microsystems will tell anyone in earshot that the "network is the computer," but reporters at the JavaOne show are having trouble believing the company lives by its motto.

Stepping into the JavaOne press room was like a journey back in time. Dial-up cords crisscrossed over tables surrounded by an army of ancient phones. Even the grizzled tech veterans used to 56Kbps in the days of yore were uncomfortable with the lack of network speed here.

"What's that slogan?" asked one reporter. "The network is the computer, right?"

That's right and you can add that to "the company that put the dot in dot-com" and the company pushing J2ME (Java2 Micro Edition) for wireless devices like mad, hoping to drive revenue for carriers and infrastructure vendors such as Sun itself.

You would think a company that has armed every piece of hardware it has ever sold with TCP/IP support would be up-to-speed on how far the network has come. Ethernet has arrived, friends. We even have wireless connections now.

Other vendors such as Hewlett-Packard, Intel and IBM almost always prep a nice wireless connection for writers and are genourous with their Ethernet cables. The bounty of high-speed connections keeps the frantic wire service reporters from entering shock. Sun needs to catch on, if not just for those panicked few.

In the end, we've relied on a Nokia 3650, a bluetooth dongle and a Mac to send this story off. It's lucky we are so resourceful. ®

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