On Microsoft Maestro, Hunter S. Thompson, and Red Sox Bling


Today's column is presented in order of real-world importance.

First things first: Hunter S. Thompson died Sunday night, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The Gonzo journalist was an icon for multitudes of journos with perhaps more sanity and certainly less talent. A virtual moment of silence please. For more on Thompson, see this Marketwatch story.

Second, some die hard Bosox fans got to see "The Trophy" up close and personal last week. That's the one the Red Sox won after the much-talked-about 86 years of futility. And you know what? It was worth the trip and PERHAPS even that long wait.

A local company hosted a LinuxWorld shindig Wednesday and had the most treasured of all bling brought into a Back Bay bar for the night. The thing itself is nothing short of spectacular. You're allowed to touch the base but NOT the lovely gold flags. Apparently, when Johnny Damon passed around the prize at a Pats' game, one of the banners was damaged and Tiffany's had to be flown in for some ER work. Not good.

The host company itself shall go nameless because press types were not supposed to be there. (Ah what the hell: It was Virtual Iron.) The thing that REALLY struck home, was that although the prize was supposedly under surveillance by presumably-beefy Sox employees, I could have sworn that for about a half hour there I was the only one keeping a watchful eye on it. Scary. Only Boston could wait nearly a century for this bounty and then see some numb nuts spirit it away.

That trophy has made whistle-stops all over New England since October. It is the hardest-working piece of hardware in show business.

My host, a Yankee fan, pointed out that they use such trophies as doorstops in the Bronx. A class act as always.

Back to industry dirt.

ECLIPSECON 2005

Look for some interesting pairings to come out of EclipseCon 2005 next week. For one thing, BEA Systems is supposed to finally give up the ghost and officially join the Eclipse organization. Second, look for them and other Eclipsers Borland and Sybase to announce some kinda kumbaya partnership as well. I'm all a tingle.

WHAT'S UP WITH YUKON?

Those eternally on the alert for Yukon/SQL Server 2005 news should start looking for a beta of new Scorecards for the still-under-development database. These scorecards come out of the folks who brought you Solution Accelerators. The current SQL Server 2000 scorecards which help VARs put together analytic applications etc. are "useful but not startling," according to one integrator. The promised Yukon iterations are supposed to be "useful and startling," he says.

The new add-ons, being rewritten to take advantage of Yukon's full analytics and reporting capabilities, are code-named Maestro, sources said. There will be a beta of these probably separate from beta three of Yukon itself, but Maestro itself will probably ship with the final database, whenever that happens.

Microsoft would not comment on Maestro or Yukon-specific Scorecards.

Sources say they still expect Yukon Beta 3 in March but are not holding their collective breath for a summer release of the database itself. "Summer is starting to look a lot more like September than July," said one.