The pain and anguish that software companies impose on their long-suffering customers with major new releases of their products are legion, and we now understand why Novell Inc found NetWare 4 such a hard sell to NetWare 3 users: it’s just irritating that some jerk was stupid and interfering enough to remove the facility that […]
The pain and anguish that software companies impose on their long-suffering customers with major new releases of their products are legion, and we now understand why Novell Inc found NetWare 4 such a hard sell to NetWare 3 users: it’s just irritating that some jerk was stupid and interfering enough to remove the facility that in 3 one could write either Send such-and-such Bill, or Send Bill such-and-such, so that now only the former is accepted, just so that you can omit the quotes – but only if you only want to broadcast one word (if you write Send Man U Forever Bill, it tries to send Man to U and Forever and Bill), but it is infuriating and vicious that the Salvage command has disappeared from the prompt; Salvage in NetWare 3 restores the last-deleted file or files (if they were all deleted with one command) on the server drive, and its existence means that people don’t worry about making a move that may delete specific files they want because they know they can Salvage them; in NetWare 4, you have to go to the Filer to find the Salvage options, but even a programmer of even very average intelligence would surely recognise that it was incumbent on him (no woman would be so high-handed) to leave the Salvage option active at the prompt and simply add a message to it advising more Salvage options can be found by invoking Filer.
Microsoft Corp has unveiled Scribble, a software tool designed to enable authors and other non-programmers to create interactive products for The Microsoft Network: the company claims that with it, authors can build on-line text-based virtual worlds, in which end users can adopt new personas, meet other people in their personas, travel from place to place, solve mysteries, and interact with objects they encounter; the Scribble authoring tool will be free to the publishing community, and a beta version is planned for the autumn.
Sybase Inc shares slipped in after hours trading on Friday after the company broke its traditional silence on matters of gossip to say it does not know any reason for the takeover rumours that helped its shares jump $6 during the day – and they went right on falling back on Monday, off $2.375 at $30.50 in heavy trading; the Sybase comment followed comments by Cable NBC’s Dan Dorfman saying Sybase could be a candidate for a takeover based on heavy trading in its options – over 6m shares had traded by midday on Monday, and since Novell Inc rather needs a database but is not apparently going to go for Borland International Inc, you can easily put two and two together and get five.
Life will be hell, muttered the future Sir Denis a decade ago when the future Baroness Thatcher was visiting the future Vodafone Group Plc and was told cheerily that people would be able to get you on the phone wherever you were at any time night or day – and the same attitude has put a damper on ground to air telephone calls on airliners: according to the Wall Street Journal, many travellers just don’t want to be reached in the air because as one frequent-flying chief executive told the paper, I’m always accessible by phone or by electronic mail when I’m not flying, so the aeroplane is often the last bastion of peace; GTE Airfone Inc finds that while people are more than happy to initiate calls from the plane, most of them want to be left alone for the rest of the flight and although more than 100,000 travellers have signed up for a permanent GTE phone number in the sky since last October, only about 7,000 in-flight calls have been received since then, and rival In-Flight Phone Corp says the average plane it has equipped receives just two or three calls a week.
Italy may allow private companies to build fixed telecommunications networks as soon as next year, Post Minister Agostino Gambino said in Naples: Stet SpA currently has the exclusive right to lay fibre optic cables until the end of 2012, but Gambino said he was looking at moving up liberalisation to 1996.
Other winners of contracts with the UK Department of Social Security’s 10-year ú
810m facilities management bonanza are ICL Plc and the Sema Group Plc: Electronic Data Systems Ltd has already announced its multi-million pound deal to provide the department with central data services (CI No 2,677); ICL will provide and support data and telecommunications networks for offices in Northern Ireland, Wales and the central counties of England, as well as providing general management of the distributed networks; Sema will provide network support for Scotland, and counties in the north and south of England; around 1,600 Information Technology Services Agency staff, who work in these fields for social services, will join the three companies.
Singapore Telecom Pte Ltd has agreed to acquire a 24.5% stake in AAP Telecommunications Pty Ltd of Australia for $39.3m, paying cash for new shares, subject to approval by the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board, with a decision expected sometime in next month: AAP Information Services is controlled equally by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp Ltd and publisher John Fairfax Holdings Ltd, each with a 43% stake; Fairfax is in turn controlled by Conrad Black’s The Telegraph Plc with 25%; the other shareholder in it is Todd Corp.
AIX UK marketing manager Ken Batty is pointing out that PReP is IBM Corp ‘s first third-level acronym: PReP stands for PowerPC Reference Platform, and the word PowerPC is itself an acronym, standing (if we remember correctly) for Performance Optimisation with Enhanced RISC – and then RISC is an acronym for…