IT management on ice

Sun's Scott McNealy is still adamant that he's right and everyone else is wrong. While the rest of the hardware world moves towards commoditisation and Intel/Linux as the future, Sun has reverted to its UltraSPARC/Solaris position.

What an exciting couple of weeks I’ve had. With the kids getting more and more into their hockey it was only a matter of time before I got dragged into it too.

The last few months I’ve been getting out on the ice and helping out with coaching the kids and have made the inevitable step into playing some games in the Sunday night recreational league. I’m no Gretsky (quite apart from the fact that I play defence) but I’ve managed to score a goal in each of the last two games.

Brandon, though, isn’t feeling quite so chipper about hockey. As the NHL season roars on towards the Stanley Cup playoffs it’s looking very much like his beloved Canadiens are going to miss out on finishing the regular season in the top eight in the East. Koivu, Zednik, Perrault, et al are among the best forwards in the business but the Habs just haven’t recovered from losing their top defensive pairing to a trade earlier in the season. Hey! Maybe there’s an opportunity there. Do you think there’s any chance at all that a 36-year-old slightly overweight IT manager with two bung knees world make it through the NHL draft? No, didn’t think so.

Speaking of big-time hockey fans, Sun’s Scott McNealy is still adamant that he’s right and everyone else is wrong. While the rest of the hardware world moves towards commoditisation and Intel/Linux as the future, Sun has reverted to its UltraSPARC/Solaris position. Just 12 months ago, McNealy was parading around in a penguin suit and declaring that Sun was off to Linux-ville. It was looking like one of the IT world’s great mavericks was toeing the line.

So what’s changed his mind? Apparently he really wants to be different and believes that Sun is ahead, not behind the pack, er -- puck. Quoted in US PC World McNealy said:

"You have to go where the puck is going to be and not where it is. If it's going to take the puck a little time to get there, it doesn't mean you go chase it. We often get there way too early, but that way is better than getting there too late."

He certainly knows his hockey -- his team are looking like making the playoffs (again, like every year in their history). Let’s hope he knows as much about the future of the hardware market. I have a feeling he does.

People who don’t seem to know very much about anything continue to feature on the list of what ticks me off. Regular readers will know that in the last couple of months I’ve received some bizarre snail-mail. Brochures of Brobdingnagian proportions and missing bottles of wine have paled in comparison to recently delivered letters addressed to Jirin Swason and Ms Jill Swanson. I assumed that they weren’t for me so didn’t open them (after all, it’s against the law to open other people’s mail isn’t it?). I hope they didn’t contain anything important.

Swanson is IT manager at W Stevenson & Sons in South Auckland. Send letters for publication to Computerworld Letters.

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