ShadowRAM: July 19, 2004

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The e-mail follies continue.

The Google folks might have a sense of humor with their new e-mail service, but their system outage messages are getting increasingly lame. Last Thursday morning, the system was down and some poor folks trying to sign in received this message: "If we knew what the problem was, we would tell you instead of giving you this useless error message. Actually, if we knew, we would most likely have fixed it already."

Apple solution providers represented under the Apple Specialists banner had the biggest booth at last week's Macworld show in Boston. Approximately 65 members made the trip, and they say they are posting solid sales growth in the Mac market. Apple solution provider Tech Superpowers showcased what it was calling a "geek my ride" Lexus. That's right, a Lexus outfitted with $25,000 worth of computer equipment, including a Philips 42-inch plasma TV mounted in its trunk, a 3.5-Tbyte Apple X-Raid server, a video mixer, FireWire 400, and two 15-inch Samsung flat screens mounted on the dashboard.

Macworld was the first show at Boston's new
$800 million Convention and Exhibition Center. The show claimed to draw some 10,000 attendees (hard to believe). SAP simultaneously hosted a corporate meeting for 10,000 of its employees at the same spot.
Press wasn't invited, but we got the lowdown from spies, who tell us SAP was briefing its sales staff on an RFID blitz. SAP singled out partners Accenture, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Deloitte and Bearingpoint.

About 5,500 solution providers took off into the Great White North in Toronto for the Microsoft partner lovefest last week. Several lighthearted videos during the keynotes drew chuckles, including a "Trading Places" spoof featuring Microsoft exec Orlando Ayala and his brother, Oscar, who just submitted to a high-tech makeover of his hobby shop.

One casualty of the 400 or so layoffs at ailing hard-drive vendor Maxtor will be Stephen DiFranco, vice president of corporate and brand marketing, whose last day at the company will be Aug. 13. Most of the other headcount cuts will come from engineering areas.

The executive stars also are shifting at Cisco. The networking maker gave a big boost last week to Charles Giancarlo, naming him CTO. Giancarlo will continue to lead Cisco's voice and home networking businesses as well as serving as president of Cisco-Linksys. He used to report to Cisco Chief Development Officer Mario Mazzola, but now goes to the top of the class"reporting to the big man, Cisco President and CEO John Chambers. Our channel sources tell us it's a sign of the stepped-up importance of home networking, and small and midsize businesses.

Go Charlie, go.

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