Stories by Kevin McKean

The ASP choke hold

SAN FRANCISCO (11/17/2003) - The ASP is one of those dot-com era fads that turned out to be more enduring than its description suggests.

Two facets of IT

SAN FRANCISCO (10/17/2003) - To people outside information technology, this profession can seem cold and daunting. Modern IT systems are so complex that they skirt the unexplored frontier of humankind's ability to solve complex problems. Anyone who seeks that challenge, critics reason, must be obsessed with machines. That's why derogatory terms for IT professionals -- geek, nerd, and so forth -- usually imply someone who is smart about things but dumb about people.

Planned obsolescence

One of the real satisfactions of IT comes from finishing a large technology upgrade. You raise a glass of champagne to that new datacentre or storage array and congratulate everyone who helped build it. At that moment, the furthest thing from your mind is how to junk it.

The renewal season

SAN FRANCISCO (10/03/2003) - Chances are this copy of InfoWorld arrived with a special external "coverwrap" reminding the recipient to renew his or her subscription. Since the renewal process is something of an annoyance -- both for subscribers and for us -- this seems like a good time to explain why it's necessary.

Once and future Linux

SAN FRANCISCO (09/19/2003) - People have always been fascinated with the notion of alternate futures -- the idea that pivotal events could send the world on several different paths, each leading to a radically different outcome.

Emerging technologies

In a publication like InfoWorld, it is always more fun to sing the praises of an emerging technology than to highlight its faults. Unfortunately, the job requires both — and this week we analyse two very promising technologies in which the rough edges remain visible.

The trials of Jobs

As did the ill-fated prophet Job, Apple's Steve Jobs has seen his share of setbacks and tribulations.

The magic-bullet myth

German physician Paul Ehrlich once famously described his quest for disease-fighting drugs as the search for a "magic bullet" that would kill germs without harming the people they infect.