11th > April > 1999 Archive

The Register breaking news

Compaq to snub Intel at Innovate

As predicted here earlier this year, Compaq will show Win64 running on its Alpha platform at its annual jamboree Innovate in Houston this coming week. That is likely to cause more heart-fluttering at Intel's HQ in Santa Clara, as so far Win64 has only managed to boot on Merced simulators. Compaq wants to push its fast Alpha 64-bit chip as the platform of choice at the high-end enterprise level. However, in so doing, it is playing a high-risk game. Our sources deep within Compaq say that it has still not sorted out its sales and divisional strategy on servers, as revealed here last week. ® Some of our world-beating Alpha coverage Intel's Otellini on Alpha Compaq thumps Win64 tub Microsoft, Intel fall out over Merced Compaq still wavering over Alpha, Merced Compaq re-visiting Merced strategy Compaq details Wildfire attack on Sun Will 64-bit Win2K for Merced ship later rather than sooner Deep schisms mar Compaq 64-bit plans High end Alpha spreads like Wildfire Alpha chip to clock 1.2GHz in copper Win64 order of boot expected RSN Compaq's Wildfire shows scale of ambition Compaq breaks for border with Alpha chip Future of Alpha chip revealed AMD-Compaq plans grow clearer Secret pact between Compaq, MS revealed Compaq promotes Alpha as high end solution Intel anxious about Compaq Alpha threat More Alpha details seep from Compaq sieve Secret Alpha system pix fall to earth Alpha pricing could cut Intel's throat Compaq boots 64-bit NT on Alpha server
Mike Magee, 11 Apr 1999
The Register breaking news

Barrage of legal actions hit Compaq

Shareholders and others do not seem particularly happy with Compaq’s performance and are taking legal action against the hardware giant. In the last two weeks, a total of six actions have been filed against Compaq. The latest set includes the Virgo Family Trust versus Compaq (securities action), and Robert Honmhyr (class action). Both of these actions cite Compaq, as well as CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer and CFO Earl Mason. The four actions filed against Compaq prior to these include actions from Steven Kammerman (class action), Gary Gilman (class action), Faith Hesselgesser (employment litigation against Tandem and Compaq), and Joseph Cotroneo (class action). This will keep the lawyers happy. Follow that paramedic. ®
Mike Magee, 11 Apr 1999
The Register breaking news

Rock to quit Intel board

Arthur Rock (72), a board director for Intel since 1968, will stand down from the Corporation on May 19th, when there’s an annual general meeting of the chip giant. He will become an advisor to the board instead. Those standing for re-election will include Craig Barrett (59), appointed CEO last year; John Browne (51), a director since 1997 and group chief executive of BP Amoco, a director of KlineBeecham and a trustee of the British Museum and the Prince of Wales Trust; Winston Chen (57), a director since 1993; Andy Grove (62), a director since 1974 and chairman of the board; James Guzy (63), a director since 1969 and also a director of Cirrus Logic; Gordon Moore (70), a director since 1968; David Pottruck (50), a director since 1998 and co-CEO of Charles Schwab Corporation; Jane Shaw (60), a director since 1993 and CEO of AeroGen Inc; Les Vadasz (62), a director since 1988; David Yoffie (44), a director since 1989; and Charles Young (67), a director since 1974. Rock, who was a NY investment banker, helped Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore to find the funds to set up Intel after the breakup of Fairchild in the 1960s. Rather disappointingly, that makes the combined ages of the Intel board 645 years, according to our count. Now if only one of them was 21 years older... ®
Mike Magee, 11 Apr 1999
The Register breaking news

MS going for Linux sites over satirical slogans?

Microsoft has demanded that German Linux site linux.de remove the slogan "Where do you want to go tomorrow?" from its front page. Site owner Christian Huettermann has complied so far by replacing it with a strike-through version, but as this particular slogan is widely used in the Linux world, the move may herald a Microsoft crack-down on Linux operations. Microsoft, however, would seem to be on shaky ground. The company does indeed have fairly extensive trademark protection for its "Where do you want to go today?" slogan, but "Where do you want to go tomorrow?" is registered at the US Patent and Trademark Office to Cybernet Systems of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Microsoft must therefore intend to challenge linux.de's use of the slogan on the basis of plagiarism or passing-off. Logically the company should therefore also be challenging Cybernet's trademark. As far as linux.de is concerned, the situation remains unclear. Huettermann points out that over 400 other sites use the slogan, and says he has only complied with Microsoft's request while he seeks clarification of the legal situation. Here at The Register we think he's probably on a winner in the longer term. In order to stop people taking satirical pops at its slogans, Microsoft is going to have to bust hundreds of sites. The very act of doing so will make it look like a big bully (which isn't difficult anyway), and will encourage hundreds more sites to join in the campaign to irritate Redmond. Isn't it amazing how little MS learns about presentation and PR as the years roll by? ®
John Lettice, 11 Apr 1999
The Register breaking news

Transmeta struggling to make silicon sing

Boffins at Transmeta are having trouble making their x86 binary compatible VLIW chip sing, according to sources in Silicon Valley. The first attempt to produce a low power chip was not fruitful, forcing the designers to re-think their strategy. Our mole claims that after that early failure, Transmeta then refocussed on high performance, low power x86 MPUs based on VLIW architecture. Silicon was not good. Meanwhile, luminary Linus Torvalds is working on a highly tuned Linux kernel for whatever CPU emerges from Transmeta, our source added. The first offering from Transmeta will be like green jelly, our avian correspondent said -- not bad, but not very exciting. According to Vulture x87, while there is a large number of highly intelligent people working at Transmeta in both the operating system and instruction set architecture areas, they do not have a great deal of knowledge on actual silicon. Meanwhile, while Russian company Elbrus, which received funding from Moscow last week, may also be over-hyping its "Merced Killer", the word on the street is that it may have well have the edge on IA-64. According to Vulture x87, Elbrus architects were cosy with HP VLIW and (now) Transmeta architects a decade or so back. ® See also Moscow government to support Merced killer
Pete Sherriff, 11 Apr 1999
The Register breaking news

Intel works with Apple as PowerPC left out on limb

The PowerPC plot is thickening, but much in the way that six-pack stomachs and blood thickens, according to information gleaned today. Apple is expected to exit the PowerPC model in the next three years as MacOSX server and MacOX X are BSD Unix based and so can flit from CPU to CPU, much as vultures fly from breakfast to lunch. According to our source on the street, the AIM PowerPC consortium is administering dollops of oxygen and adrenaline to the CPU as we speak, with only contractual arrangements preventing them from turning off the life support system. Currently, the Motorola boys and girls are developing radiation proof PowerPC chips for the (so-far) ill-fated Iridium project. And if you think it's unlikely enough that Dell is producing an iMac clone, how about Apple cooperating with Intel? That seems to be the next tasty treat for people who like guacamole on their chips, we hear. The word is that there will be IA-64 versions of MacOSXS in 2001, and Mac OSX in 2002 to 2003 timeframes. Remember a few weeks ago that Motorola took legal action against Intel for poaching its engineers? According to a different but also reliable source, Albert Yu, Chipzilla's architecture head will use those engineers to work on future IA-32 and ARM development. And he'll insulate them from the ratpack down in Santa Clara, sings our canary. ® Motorola, Phonezilla takes legal action against Chipzilla, Intel
Pete Sherriff, 11 Apr 1999
The Register breaking news

Web petition organised against Tiananmen Sq outrage

A group of campaigners protesting against the human rights outrages in Red China 10 years ago, have organised a petition on the WWW. The petition is here, in multilingual versions. The petition, addressed to President Jiang Zemin, People's Republic of China; Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, and Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, calls for a re-evaluation of the official verdict on the protests, which happened on June 4th, 1989, and a release of prisoners of conscience. It also calls on Red China to show its concern for human rights, as well as releasing prisoners of conscience imprisoned for their views. The petition comes in the wake of a decision by US president Bill Clinton earlier in the week to defer Red China's entry into the World Trade Organisation. ®
Mike Magee, 11 Apr 1999