FRAMINGHAM (10/14/2003) - Fujitsu unveils new Sparc chips, systems . . . . . . Monday at the Microprocessor Forum in San Jose. The company will announce that it has two more versions of its Sparc V CPU in the pipeline. The new chips are expected to bump processing speed for the RISC microprocessor from the current 1.35 GHz to 2 GHz by 2005. And late that year, Tokyo-based Fujitsu plans to introduce its multithreaded Sparc VI processor running at 2.4 GHz. Sources said the company will need to redesign the system bus for its PrimePower Unix servers, which use Sun's Solaris operating system, to take advantage of the much larger data processing capacity of the new chips. Sparc V chip upgrades can be handled without replacing PrimePower servers, but when you move to the Sparc VI-based systems, "a box swap is required," a source points out. Fujitsu insiders also say that while Sun has been struggling because of its broad line of low-margin systems that compete with Windows and Linux servers, their company has seen record growth in its 16- to 128-processor Unix systems sales. Quarterly sales of PrimePower machines are exceeding the total annual sales of just two years ago. "We're a glass-house player. And that space is buying now," says one source.
The line between mass e-mail marketers and spammers is thin to nonexistent for some. But to others, the line is real and important. That's why the folks at Churchill Downs Inc. in Louisville, Ky., depend on their bulk e-mail application service provider (ASP) to have a thoroughbred relationship with Internet service providers. Mark Midland, vice president of marketing for the company that runs the Kentucky Derby, racetracks in five states and off-track betting operations throughout the U.S., claims his 50 e-mail campaigns totaling more than 1.3 million messages have boosted race attendance by 4 percent. His company uses ExactTarget LLC, an Indianapolis-based ASP, to develop "one-to-one marketing messages to our loyalty program members," Midland says. ExactTarget President Scott Dorsey says he stays on the good side of his Internet service provider by requiring all of his customers to sign a contract specifying that they'll send messages only to an opt-in audience. He also demands that customers sign a minimum 12-month deal, thus eliminating spammers who abuse the system for a month and then move on. Still, Dorsey acknowledges that since ExactTarget opened its doors three years ago, he's had to terminate "dozens of contracts of users who repeatedly violated the contract." Later this quarter, ExactTarget will give its users more rule-based tools to respond in different ways depending on how a recipient responds to a message. Of course, if you delete it, no response is necessary.
Speaking of rules, if you use Web site acceleration appliances from Redline Networks Inc. in Campbell, Calif., you can get a free copy from now until January of its new OverDrive software that processes if-then rules that you write. For example, if you want to redirect visitors to another Web page from a URL they may have typed in, OverDrive will do it for you.
The debate about whether software problems are caused by dumb end users or dumb applications can be set aside if you train people right on even the most obtuse application. That's the theory behind RoboDemo Version 5, which ships at the end of the month from eHelp Corp. in San Diego. RoboDemo uses Macromedia Inc.'s Flash technology to record and play back instructions explaining exactly how to use a program so even a journalist can use it correctly. The new release will be able to import Flash and full-motion video files. You'll also be able to record in full-motion for applications such as drawing or CAD programs. The tuition -- uh, price -- is US$399.
Arrowkey Inc. in Lincolnshire, Ill., will upgrade its CD/DVD Inspector product in early 2004. The upcoming release is designed to let users link data on disk to the application that created it, even if the extension and file name have been removed. And law enforcement users will get a special tool to search disks for hidden files containing child pornography. Prices start at $349.