Not quite resting easy

Three days after North American Consulting's executive vice-president Keith Block told all Oracle consultants that, for a second year in a row, there would be no pay increases and no promotions, Oracle chief Larry Ellison sent out an internal email promoting Block.

I seem to be stricken with a bout of insomnia of late. “What is it that is keeping you awake, Bobby?” Amber asked. I wish it were easy to answer, my dear. I think I just need to get back out on the Harley lest the whole summer fade away before I get another ride in.

Uneasy Oracle

Three days after North American Consulting’s executive vice-president Keith Block told all Oracle consultants that, for a second year in a row, there would be no pay increases and no promotions, Oracle’s flamboyant chief Larry Ellison sent out an internal email promoting Block on his so-called accomplishments, according to my spy. A lot of employees are very angry, so this could be a tool Oracle is using to make people leave.

Talkin’ more Microsoft blues

A handful of my spies say that Visual Studio .Net is giving them headaches. One in particular reported that ever since upgrading to Visual Studio.Net, which requires Internet Explorer 6.0, she has had trouble connecting to a lot of sites on the net, especially those that use secure connections. After trying everything she could think of, including lowering security and allowing all cookies, my spy finally gave up and installed Netscape 7.0. It worked fine. IE 6.0, meanwhile, still cannot connect correctly.

Another of my spies found that Visual Studio.Net broke applications written in C and C++. Imagine that. And, in classic Microsoft style, all the company could say was that it has tools to help said spy post that code forward. The problem is, that adds up to something akin to three million lines of code. Based on that, my spy politely declined the offer. Well, I can vouch for everything but the politeness.

Rotten Apple

One of my spies found a rather disturbing noise coming from an employee’s brand new Dual 1GHz G4 system. Apple told my spy that the systems run so hot that Apple loaded them with fans and the two cheap small fans in the power supply rotate so fast they create a deafening whine. They also cycle on and off randomly so one never quite gets used to them.

As a result, former loving Mac buyers are complaining like crazy, calling them wind tunnel Macs, hairdryer Macs and leaf-blower Macs. Perhaps Apple’s newest accessory should be iPlugs — for the ears of unfortunate new Mac users, my spy said in jest.

I have to admit, it sure felt good to get over the bridge and into Marin County on the bike. “I miss the Harley, Cringe,” Amber agreed with me. With any luck, I can get her out again next weekend.

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