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 user 2007-05-14 at 10:37:00 am Views: 67
  • #18062

    Hello and sorry for the duration since the last column.
    went to Las Vegas for the ASCDI (Association of Computer Dealers
    International) show. The other major trade group, CDLA (Computer
    Dealers and Lessors Association), collapsed years ago and I had not
    been a member of ASCDI until this show. After 22 years, old dogs learn
    to play dead or beg.

    It was quite funny: Many, if not most, of
    us rarely see our colleagues in the regular course of business. It’s
    even getting to the point that we don’t even talk anymore. Instant
    messages and email have seen to that. So, there we were, at the ASCDI
    meeting and after parties, hundreds of us, wandering around looking
    down at the nametags in order to recognize our pals. I found the
    furtive glances at my nametag humorous. Now that’s what it must be like
    for women to have men looking at their cleavage! “Hey, fella, I’m up

    I knew what to expect at the casinos, but was still
    shocked to see the stacks of chips and wads of cash. The old slot
    machines had a distinctive sound as the winner’s coins hit their
    bucket. Now the machines spit out paper receipts instead, and the
    machines play a recording of the “dink-dink-dink…” sound. I also
    expected the prices to be high, but I was shocked at the usury that
    went on. The snacks stand at the Cirque de Soleil charged $8.00 for a
    bottle of water.

    It was odd and quite tiring, being “on” for so
    many events. There was the requisite amount of small talk, endless
    cocktails, and not much deal-making that I could detect. Even so, it
    was great to get away from the office for a long weekend.  Now that we
    are back in our saddles, let’s get pumping!

    I learned some
    interesting things from Dr. Frank Soltis from IBM.  According to Dr.
    Soltis, we have reached the point of diminishing returns on the current
    crop of PC microprocessors.  The heat issues are forcing the designers
    to move to multithreaded processors (Duo core, et. al.).  Many
    applications cannot be run in multithreaded mode and will actually run
    slower on the newest PC servers.  I suppose that there will be patches
    and updates from the major software vendors to try to adapt to the
    changes in basic design.  This is mentioned as a background to
    elucidate the benefits of the IBM iSeries (AS/400, etc.) processors. 
    Apparently, IBM’s processors don’t have the same heat problem as the
    aforementioned processors from Intel and AMD.  Clock rates of over 6GHz
    were in production, with specialized processors running over 10GHz, all
    without any changes to applications.

    Did you know that IBM’s
    Power processors run all the latest game consoles?  It has been said
    that these machines (Playstation, Nintendo, Xbox, etc.) are
    supercomputers in disguise.  All that research and development has paid
    off.  Also, did you know that Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) chips in IBM
    factories?  I suspect that means that we will probably see the
    integration of AMD microprocessors in future frame releases.

    the news is a soon-to-be-announced/released replacement for the
    venerable Advanced System 36.The price of color laser printers
    continues to slide.  The purchase price often includes “starter”
    supplies.  Just wait until its time to refill.  Ouch!  More expensive
    than the whole machine was.  Give them the razor and sell them the
    blades.  Nothing new.We have made some interesting and very useful
    changes to our web site.  You can now use Paypal, or, if approved, we
    can put you on credit terms.  We can even have the web site
    automatically reflect your discounts.  Ask me for details.Used
    equipment is abundant, as demand has slowed in our sectors.  More and
    more users are falling into the trap.  Buy the new machines, pay out
    the nose for toner.  We use a color laser in house.  It has been down
    cold for three weeks now as the manufacturer’s technicians replace part
    after part.  Now they will “have to replace the machine”.  So, another
    unit off the skid (ouch, my back), and another setup menu navigation. 
    But it is shiny, the chrome gleaming like a Cheshire cat.   Sure,
    they’re inexpensive (relatively speaking), but the quality of the
    machines gives pause to new acquisitions.  Buy it refurbed- if you are
    going to have issues, better it not be on a brand new machine at
    brand-new prices.
    David T. Mendelson