Ouch — system crashes, ribs break

Apparently (and, yes, someone has done the maths), taking Larry Ellison's overall worth into consideration, him buying a boat like Katana is like an ordinary Joe like me buying a skateboard.

I’ve done it again. A couple of Sundays ago I crashed my mountain bike, scraped off a chunk of my left knee and cracked some ribs. When I called The Editor on Monday morning to explain why I wouldn’t be delivering a column that week he offered that my life is terribly exciting, dramatic and generally glamorous.

Well, sadly, no … I’m just a geek and, in the words of my 13-year-old son, a total “spaz”. Popular opinion seems to be that I’m too getting old to be tearing around on a mountain bike. Nonsense.

I have to back down a bit from the disparaging comments I made about Oracle’s CPU-based licensing the other week. I caught up with an old Oracle buddy of mine and it seems that the rules are a lot more draconian on paper than they are in any real-life application. Apparently, so long as you can partition up your hardware, you’ll only have to pay for the CPUs that are running your database, not every one that’s in the box. There’s still the option of named users too.

We also talked, as you do, about Larry and The Boat. If you live in Auckland and you haven’t taken a stroll around the Viaduct Basin and checked out Katana, you really should. Even if it’s not quite to your taste, it’s quite a spectacular piece of kit. I can hardly get my mind around the fact that such a thing can be owned by just one private individual. Apparently (and, yes, someone has done the maths), taking his overall worth into consideration, Larry buying a boat like Katana is like an ordinary Joe like me buying a skateboard. I guess you have to bear in mind just how seriously rich guys like Larry and Bill actually are.

Maybe this is my own fault, but Telecom seems to be trying seriously hard to annoy me. They must know I’ve gone back to Vodafone. Anyway, I redeemed some Talking Points on the web the other week. A couple of days later I got a nice letter thanking me for redeeming the points and informing me that they’d be sending me something totally different to what I ordered. I immediately phoned 0800 THANKS (should be 0800 NO THANKS) and, having navigated my way patiently through what must be the most irritating auto-attendant on the planet (if not the known universe), I got cut off three times in a row. Yes, I had to get through that damned auto-attendant each time. It really annoyed me. Can you tell? Called Faults and got a real person who would check it out and get back to me. Wahoo! Faults called back and cut me off. Faults called back again and connected me with a lovely and very helpful Talking Points service rep. All sorted. Then guess what turned up in a courier bag last week? Hmm. Had to call 0800 THANKS again. Aagh! And here was I thinking that loyalty programmes were to attract customers. What was I thinking?

Swanson is IT manager at W Stevenson & Sons. He has about as much chance of getting as rich as Larry and Bill as, well, the rest of us.

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