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Tuesday, March 19, 2002
Clowns, pantomimes and bagpipe players, or the CeBIT 2002 report:

What if you buy used equipment to keep the initial investment of your own capital in a startup low? Well, nearby all manufacturers are cool with that, they sell different service levels, spare parts etc. separately and do onsite (seller) checks and certification if requested. This group includes Sun, IBM, HP, Compaq, EMC and many others. The highlight was Brocade, as they have the philosphy to include a lifetime warranty and all the service in the initial purchase price, thus if you buy their switches used it is the same thing than purchasing them new. Flat and no additional costs. On the other side there is Cisco: Either you buy from us and new, or we won't even talk to you in case of any problem (at least in the enterprise/service provider segment and EMEA region). And if your product ID doesn't match the one of a sales contract you have with us, we also won't sell you any spare parts for that system.

Compaq says that the commitment to the SSI Linux project should lead to a new foundation of it's NonStop computing platform within the next two years. The future of UML in that and Compaq's context was something they couldn't or didn't want to talk about (more info at www.opensource.compaq.com). According to the Linux HA on standard Intel project manager at Compaq, Scyld is working on extending the reach of Beowulf beyond technical/high performance computing. In general there was an impression, not only at Compaq's booth, that the focus of the exhibitors sligtly changed, away from the developer aspect and towards marketing and sales.

Mobile Gadget-o-Rama: The Ericsson P800 is bigger than expectect, has a huge display and is, like many Ericsson Mobiles in the past, slow, even creeping, but on the other hand it's labeled alpha. Nice to use: The Chatpen, unfortunately it needs special paper, but stand alone products for various Bluetooth mobiles and PDA's and working on any paper will appear soon, creating a great interface. SonyEricsson also had the best Executive and Developer area, the reason for that impression was the open dialogue that had much more substance than the superficial marketing trash found elsewhere. An isle of calmness and a great conversation with people from Symbian and Metrowerks. The Nokia 7650 on the other hand, has about the same size, weight as well as the identical underlying OS (Symbian), but already is stunning fast (WhatYouPressIsWhatYouGetImmediately) and in general more fun to use. Fathammer showed a fast 3D engine for the 7650, using bluetooth to compete against others, all while the phone is still fully operating (System requirements: 100KB ROM, 300-800KB RAM and at least a 16 MHz ARM7). They also had the same for the Gameboy Advanced tucked away (Screenshots here). What both smartphones have in common is the incredibly high display resolution, which exceeds the now common number of pixels by at least four times, and can actually be found only in Sonys latest Clie. It's successor, the NR70 is a pleasure to use and, when connected to a mobile via Bluetooth, a great communication gadget featuring a nice thumb-operated keyboard.

Using Creo's SixDegrees software makes a lot of sense if you work on many topic-related projects involving lots of mails, files and people, like Creo's customers in the imaging and pre-press industry. Not sure if it does the same for users not meeting this criteria. I have something like 5 files on my computer which are related to more than one email or person.

Mobile operators will try to control (and make money of) as much as they can. Third party providers using location based services for example, will have to assign about 25 cents per ping, and therefore are not able to offer most LBS applications being buzzed at the moment.The sentiment right now looks like: Be optimistic if you work with Vodafone or start feeling gloomy if T-Mobile is your partner, with many shades in between.
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