Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/1999/03/13/lou_gerstner_wears_thinkpads/

Lou Gerstner wears ThinkPads on his feet

Two years before the mast

By Mike Magee

Posted in Business, 13th March 1999 12:16 GMT

Three years ago From The Register No. 28 San Diego, as all of our US readers are aware, is a sailor's or rather a mariner's town. It has a glossy new convention centre which, the local paper assures us, needs to be grown at a cost which might bankrupt the local authorities. A staffer from The Register found himself on the 25th floor of the Marriott. Strangely, many of the rooms have low balconies so if you're suicidal or if you're simply blind drunk and wake up in the middle of the night heading for the bathroom, there's a fair chance you'll end up with no personality. Here we listened to a lengthy explanation of why no journalists were allowed to listen to Lou Gerstner's address to the partners. A senior VP sympathised, saying he thought we should have been allowed in.But, he said, he thought it was possible that Lou had previously been burnt by the press and wanted to leave no room whatever for misunderstanding. At The Register, we think differently. It's now well-known that ThinkPads are far from being in short supply. The BP conference, we are assured by indiscreet attendees, was the first occasion when Lou's plan to implement the personal network he spoke about at Comdex actually took effect. Lou, himself, was wearing a pair of brogue ThinkPads, while his various PR people contented themselves with Butterflies. Those attendees with dainty feet were dressed in 755s while the hefty partners wore the babies with MPEG on board.The beach bums had to content themselves with boxes of IBM Internet browser software while those equipped with Eagle/3 hovered above the ground, scoffing beans from Heinz and using the latent energy bound up in flatulence. Just as we teetered on the very edge of the balcony, a colleague from Blighty thrust a copy of a UK newspaper at us. Here, we read to our utter disbelief, that the citizens of Scarborough, a seaside town in Yorkshire,England, had experienced a Whisky Galore situation. A container of Rothmans and shoes had slipped off a ship and burst and its contents were landing on the local beaches, leading to a slump in the sales of cigarettes, shoes and ThinkPads, respectively. ®