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2002, September 1 - 11

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. "The RISC Unix market is going through some changes," said Nancy Taylor, Senior Unix Analyst within IDC's European Server Group. "The high-end portfolio build-up of RISC Unix has been significant and had a positive effect on revenues, but everywhere else these systems are under immense pricing pressure from customers with tight IT budgets and Intel-based offerings."
Western European Server Factory Revenues Contract 17% in Second-Quarter 2002, Says IDC

Sun is #2 Unix Server Vendor in Western Europe

LONDON, September 11, 2002 – The Western European server market contracted again in the second quarter of 2002 after dropping by 22.5% in the first quarter, according to IDC. Western European factory revenues declined 17% from $3.5 billion in 2Q01 to $2.9 billion in 2Q02. The quarter also marked the first time that IBM was challenged and outrun by a major competitor — HP — for the leading position of overall server market revenue leader. HP's May acquisition of Compaq allowed it to pass IBM in terms of server revenues in 2Q02.
Sun is #2 Unix Server Vendor in Western Europe

Sun Boosts Sun Fire V100 Server Performance by 30%

Sun Microsystems Appoints Elie Simon VP EMEA

QLogic Introduces First Rackmount Server Remote Management Controller on a Chip

'Shame on you, Scott' Ad in the San Jose Mercury News

An Interview with Rave Computer's president and CEO Rick Darter

Megabyte the Mouse is 4 Years Old

Stonesoft Announces StoneGate Firewall and VPN Solutions for the Sun LX50

Sun Looking for OEMs to Resell Solaris x86

earlier news - archive
Megabyte saw great potential for speeding up his quest using infinitely strong rubber band technology.

Thoughts about Public and Private Days of Remembrance

September 11, 2002 - I knew I would find it difficult to write about this anniversary. The horror of that day a year ago still seems too vivid and fresh.

President Bush yesterday made a good speech at the Afghanistan embassy. During questions afterwards in a light moment he brushed aside reporters' attempts to ask him about his policy on Iraq, saying they would have to wait until his speech to the UN on Thursday, And he reminded us then what it was all about.

Tomorrow (September 11) will be a terrible day for many Americans - he said. Well, "tomorrow" is now today, and I guess he's right.

For all of us, the memory of that day September 11, 2001 will remain with us till the end of our days. How we first learned what had happened. The disbelief and the horror. I was lucky. I did not lose loved ones or friends. I know that many of you did. There is nothing that anyone can say to ease that pain. That loss has been a living nightmare for 365 days. The pain will not go away tomorrow, or next week when the rest of the world goes back to thinking about something else.

How long will the world remember?

At first my mind goes back to another tragedy in the last century - the Titanic. That was a disaster partly caused by the elements and partly by folly. That was 1912, 90 years ago. But September 11 was much worse than that. Your grandchildren may remember you as being really old, because you can remember where you were on that day. But the memory will live on much longer than that.

Christians still commemorate Good Friday, nearly 2000 years later. To those handful of people there at the time when their spiritual leader and guide Jesus was being executed it must have seemed that the world was coming to an end. For the christian faith, as we now know, it was only just a beginning. Jews still commemorate Passover, which celebrates the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt during the reign of the Pharaoh Ramses II, over 3,000 years ago.

As America and her friends mourn today, this first anniversary makes us strong. It keeps alive the memory of the loved ones and friends who died. Those who have suffered loss may feel some comfort from knowing that they are not alone.

September 11, is an unusual anniversary in another way, because in our society we are better at remembering happy things like birthdays or holidays like Thanksgiving.. This day, 9/11, helps us remember that at the end of life there is death. Those private anniversaries are different for us all, and on those lonely days we see the rest of the world go by and they do not see our sorrow.

October 22, 1999 - I get a phone call about 1 a.m. to say my young brother Charles has died. I can't believe it. We were only talking on the phone a few hours ago it seems. He was packing his case for a weekend vacation in Boston. We spoke on the phone several times that day, as we did every day. he was looking forward to making a lot of changes in his life when he got back, including working with me. He had tried it for a short time and enjoyed it. We were both looking forward to it. But he didn't know he was ill. He died of a sudden massive heart attack. For the next few months, like an idiot I comfort his friends and other members of our family and reassure them how happy he was in his last days. It's true. But while I try to cheer everyone else up with this thought I put off the process of my own grieving. It hits me very hard about 6 months later. There is something in my life which is gone forever, and nothing fills that gap. My wife and friends try to help, but I am in deep depression. I'm seeing my doctor for a health check up. My physical health is fine. But my emotional state is a mess. Prozac helps. It helps a lot. If I could worry now, I would worried that a little white pill can make so much difference. After a few months I can operate as a human being taking less pills and, then it seems safe to stop taking them.

August 4, 2002 - my young sister, Anna, has learned the results of her biopsy. Because she has had no symptoms apart from a few minutes loss of her speech, we were worrying more about the biopsy than what it might signify. An MRI scan a few weeks earlier had shown a small lump in her brain. The doctors said they didn't know what it was. Could be, she had had a small stroke without realising it at the time...

"You've got a glioblastoma multiforme type 4," the surgeon said. "It's bad, very bad. It's the most aggressive type of cancer, and because of where it is we can't operate. You'll see an oncologist in about 5 days and they will tell you more about it." Anna is stunned. Her husband Mark asks the question that you should ask when you have been told this kind of thing. "How long? Six months? A year?" The surgeon shakes his head. "I can't say, maybe three months." He goes away. A few minutes later a nurse comes along. My sister has made an excellent recovery from the operation, and they ask if she would mind going home that afternoon. They need the bed.

Our world has turned upside down. Anna says to me "You're the one who spend all his time on the web and is good at searching for things. Find out what a glioblastoma is. Find out if there any treatments. Find out if there are any survivors."

During the next few days and weeks I learn more than I ever wanted to know about this terrible thing. The web sites I visit now are not just computer sites, but a new world which I didn't know was out there:- to find out about research in this area, Quackwatch to get a counter view on so called "natural" remedies. But the best one is Young Adults Surviving Glioblastoma. When I read out some of the personal stories from that site we both cry, but she is pleased to learn that some people do survive this thing. The long term survival rate for a GBM type 4 , as we learn, is about 1%, and "long term" means anything over a year.

We're learning a lot from the web. As well as increasing our vocabulary which now includes new words like Temozolomide, Melatonin, Tamoxifen and PSK, we're also learning the difference between Phase I and Phase II FDA trials. Some researchers are keen to get my sister into a trial. The reason? It's a rare condition. Less than 15 people per million population will get a GBM type 4. Researchers find it difficult to russle up enough people to take part in a trial. We look at the data and decide against it. The problem with being in a trial is that the sponsoring doctor will not tell you about any better treatments which may be available. Mixing drug treatments invalidates their results.

Later we learn that some people with GBM type 4 have survived for years confounding the medical profession. One of them has written a book which is due to be published in the middle of August. I preorder it on Amazon and have it sent directly to Anna. She can still read, but her speech is slurring and she can't say some words. Also she can't write any more. That part of her brain is affected by pressure from the tumor.

August 31, 2002 - "You must read this book" Anna says excitedly on the phone . "It arrived in the post this morning at 7 o'clock and I've nearly finished it. The author had the same lump as me, and he survived. Buy your own copy though, I need to keep this for myself." The book, Surviving Terminal Cancer by Ben Williams, does indeed give hope.

He believes that oncologists are not sufficiently up to date with the data about treatments in this field, and will typically prescribe a limited range of treatments, even though they know that they will not work. His theory, which he practised on himself, is that patients can increase their chances of survival by finding out more and using supplementary treatments. He advocates using a cocktail approach for chemotherapy, to avoid the growback of resistant strains of tumor, and just as important says that some pills and potions and foods can help boost the imune system. The problem is that some vitamins which are good at preventing the onset of cancer actually interfere with the operation of the chemo, and diulte the effect. So you have to be sure not to take those vitamins on the days that you're taking the chemo. Also many health supplement and drugs companies make a living out of selling things which provide false hope. Trying to decide which may work and which don't needs careful evaluation of research data.

September 1, 2002 - Anna lost her speech today and had a series of fits. An ambulance takes her to hospital. Because they know she has a tumor they do a new MRI scan. It shows bleeding in the brain. She may die tonight. It's a long night.

September 2, 2002 - I still have a sister. She is alive but can't talk. This is what she feared most.

September 3, 2002 - The lady in the adjacent bed died today of MRSA, the hospital killer bug. This will be a day her family remembers.

September 5, 2002 - Great news. Anna can talk again, although it's very slurred. Her thinking is still sharp and focused. She is pleased to learn that some of my customers in the US are praying for her. She reminds me what she wants me to do with the children, if she and her husband Mark both die. Mark tells her not be so ghoulish. We should cheer up because tomorrow they may be letting her go back home. I return to my car. The drive to the hospital in Brighton was 110 miles, but they are rebuilding their car park. When I arrived the waiting time to get into the car park was estimated to be 90 minutes. I can't wait that long, because Anna is seeing the doctors in a few hours to be fitted up for a radiotherapy mask. So I drive around and discover that every street in the area is parked solid, and signs warn you that your car will be towed away if you park in an unapproved place. So I eventually park down by the beach half a mile or so away and walk. It's a beautiful summer day, and sailing yachts are skimming across the water. It's hard to believe that this is the same world as inside the hospital.

September 10, 2002 - My niece Laura (age 5) was playing this morning with a new friend. We discovered a few days ago that her father has a friend who was diagnosed with a GBM type 4 about a week ago. Anna thinks that's a spooky coincidence. Anna and the other little girl will both start their first day of school next Monday (Sept 16). The school thought it was a good idea that new children should know someone when they start their first day. I remember my own first day of school over 40 years ago, and I'm sure you do too. It's a lifechanging time. Laura will remember hers too, but for another reason. The oncologist has said that because Anna's imune system is weak from the chemo, she should avoid contact with groups of people who may be ill. She shouldn't go to the school gate on Laura's first day. My sister is a fighter and is determined to make sure that Laura is not remembered as that girl in the class whose mother died.

September 11, 2002 - we remember today the thousands of people who were murdered in America a year ago. Our thoughts go out to their families and friends, and all the millions who have been touched by those events. That memory will not fade.

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. "The grueling competition fueled by continually constrained budgets made its mark on the Western European server market again, affecting most but not all countries," said Thomas Meyer, Expertise Center Manager for IDC's European Server Group. "The UK continued to show annual growth but weakness in the German, French and Italian markets weighed heavily. As corporate budgets remained tight, vendors kept focusing on the SMB market, server and application consolidation issues and solution stack building."
In the first quarter after its merger with Compaq, HP managed to gain the No. 1 position in the Western European market in terms of factory revenues. Despite IBM gaining a percentage market share point and declining at a slower rate than HP, the combined portfolio of the historically No. 2 and No. 3 in the server market in factory revenue terms, translated into a $114 million lead. Of the top-tier vendors, Dell was the only company to show annual unit and factory revenue growth and, like IBM, gained one percentage point market share over the quarter a year ago. Sun Microsystems generated the highest annual unit growth, followed by Fujitsu Siemens.

On a sequential basis, Sun Microsystems was the only company to show positive growth in both units and revenues. As a result of this growth Sun Microsystems was able to hold on to top spot in the Unix RISC segment of the market, which showed an overall revenue decline sequentially of 6%, but narrowly lost out on the lead of the total Unix market, which again went to HP. ...IDC profile
Sun Microsystems Sun Boosts Sun Fire V100 Server Performance by 30%

SANTA CLARA, CA - September 10, 2002 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. has added the more powerful 550 MHz and 650 MHz UltraSPARC® IIi processor to its Sun Fire V100 rack-optimized, low end entry server. With the UltraSPARC IIi processor, the Sun Fire V100 server now delivers greater performance of up to 30%, twice the Level 2 cache and an entry configuration with double the memory at no additional cost to customers.

The Sun Fire V100 server which comes with a choice of 550MHz or 650MHz UltraSPARC IIi processor with 512KB of on chip Level 2 cache, 2GB of maximum memory, and up to 80GB of internal storage is available today directly from Sun and authorized Sun Resellers. The Sun Fire V100 starts at $995 list price U.S. and includes one 550MHz UltraSPARC IIi processor, 256MB of memory and one 40GB 7.2Krpm IDE drive. ...Sun Microsystems profile
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news image - Elie Simon - Sun
. "My main goal is to ensure that customers are truly satisfied with the products, services and solutions they buy from Sun," commented Simon. "Sun has a leadership position in the market in Europe and worldwide, great products and a compelling value proposition. I aim to use this position to add real business benefits to existing and new customers. I am very excited about leading the European team and delivering great results for Sun and for our customers."
Sun Microsystems Appoints Elie Simon VP EMEA

Geneva, Switzerland - September 6, 2002 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. announced today that Elie Simon, 42, vice president of Sun's Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa region, succeeds Robert Youngjohns, 50, as Vice President of the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. Sun previously announced Youngjohns appointment to the role of Executive VP for Sun's Global Sales Organization.

"Elie is taking over at the head of the EMEA region at a very exciting time for Sun," commented Youngjohns. "The whole industry has experienced a challenging 18 months, but Sun's vision and strategy has remained focused, enabling us to take share from competitors, win in new sectors and drive new, low cost products to market."

During his 15-year career at Sun, Simon has successfully grown Sun's presence in the Southern European and African region, as well as holding a number of other roles in Sun, including Sales, Marketing and Management position. Simon was appointed VP of the Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa region in 1998. Prior to joining Sun, Simon spent 3 years as a Project Manager at Schlumberger, specializing in the Oil/Gas sector. Simon holds a degree from ESIEE and an MBA from IAE. Simon will continue to work out of Sun's Geneva office and manage a senior team located in various Sun offices across the region. ...Sun Microsystems profile
. "QLogic is the first to consolidate the management features found in expensive remote management cards into a single, standards-based ASIC," said David Race, vice president and general manager, QLogic management products. "Major server OEMs including Dell, HP, Fujitsu, IBM, Intel and Sun are now able to include high-end features in their entry-level servers at a fraction of the cost."
QLogic Introduces First Rackmount Server Remote Management Controller on a Chip

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. - September 6, 2002 - QLogic Corp. today introduced a line of Remote Management Controllers (RMCs) that integrate the capabilities of expensive remote management cards into a single chip. Targeted at the market for rack optimized servers and bladed servers without PCI slots, the ultra-compact single chip RMCs enable system administrators to turn servers off, diagnose problems and restart servers-all from a remote management station on the LAN. Previously found only in high-end servers, the low cost of the single-chip RMCs also enables server manufacturers to provide these sophisticated remote management capabilities in their entry-level servers.

The Zircon UL & BL are a new class of remote management controllers that support the Intelligent Platform Management (IPMI) specification version 1.5. They meet the platform management requirements of IT administrators and data center managers via a highly integrated design that incorporates advanced management functionality into a small package. These RMCs provide baseboard management, remote management and virtual storage management on a single chip. These features allow system administrators to remotely access system configuration and status information, detect and diagnose errors, restart failed systems and install and upgrade component software.

The Zircon UL & BL architecture provides maximum design flexibility in the smallest possible package. It incorporates a RISC microprocessor with support for large addressable space, general-purpose input/output pins, and multiple interfaces including the Low Pin Count (LPC) bus, I2C and serial port. The Zircon UL and BL are 128-pin PQFP and 100-pin PQFP packages respectively. The Virtual Storage Interface provides the capability of booting the system from a remote boot disk and updating components such as BIOS and firmware. ...QLogic profile
Sun (Solaris x86) "Shame on you, Scott" Ad in the San Jose Mercury News

Editor:- September 4, 2002 - I rarely read magazines because the news etc is always out of date, but apparently print ads can be quite interesting. This following route is a bit tortuous, but bear with me... An article today in reports on an open letter to Scott McNealy (which was contained in an ad printed in the San Jose Mercury News). The point of the ad is to complain about Sun's policy regarding Solaris 9 on Intel architecture severs.

I don't normally condone print advertising about enterprise server products. because compared to web ads they're a rip off and achieve very little. But I guess that today the people who placed the "Shame on you, Scott" ad have got their money's worth. But hey guys, next time please remember that PR is a lot cheaper for this kind of message and doesn't waste trees. Also Sun has less of a stranglehold on the computer media than you might think (and they might wish they had.)
Rave Computer
news thumbnail - interview with Rave Computer
. Rick Darter, president and CEO of Rave Computer, Macomb Daily photo by David Dalton
An Interview with Rave Computer's president and CEO Rick Darter

Editor:- September 4, 2002 - if you'd like to know more about the thinking and operations inside Rave Computer (the #2 company on our top SPARC companies list) there's an extensive article which was published a few days ago in the Macomb Daily, a local newspaper based in Michigan.

In this interview with Rave Computer's president and CEO Rick Darter, we learn that Rave has started to supply systems to the U.S. military, and was recently designated as one of seven Technology Provider Partners by Sun Microsystems

There's a lot of other interesting information about Rave's customers and way of doing business which I didn't know before, and comments about the company from Sun. ...Rave Computer profile
happy birthday Megabyte
. was the second major publication to come out from privately owned ACSL, whose SPARC Product Directory has been a landmark publication in the Sun Microsystems compatible workstation and server market since 1992.

Editor:- The SPARC site got better as a result of formatting experiments which started out on the mouse site.
Megabyte the Mouse is 4 Years Old

Baughurst, Hampshire, UK - September 3, 2002 - Megabyte the Mouse, the cartoon character known to more than 0.5 million readers of is four years old this month. Four years is a long time in the life of a mouse, and also in the life of a fast moving market like enterprise storage. In that time hundreds of storage companies have disappeared from the market, as they went bust, or merged or got acquired, but the total number of storage companies listed in the web site has kept growing.

Since the slowdown during the US IT recession in 2001, the network storage market has been growing back upto the historic high levels of $24 billion achieved in 2000 according to a recent report by California based market research company Peripheral Concepts. However, an earlier (May 2002) feature on the mouse site, which looked at the fastest growing profitable US storage companies revealed the worrying problem that few if any storage companies are currently making a profit in a fiercely competitive market which makes the recovery look in many ways worse than the recession.

"I wasn't too sure how seriously people within the industry would accept the mouse site" admits publisher and editor Zsolt Kerekes. "But 2002 was our second year partnering with many of the most significant storage conferences and exhibitions in the USA and Europe, so I suppose has been accepted. At a time when the number of storage related publications on the web has risen to over one hundred, it's nice to see that our readership is still growing." ...ACSL profile
Stonesoft Stonesoft Announces StoneGate Firewall and VPN Solutions for the Sun LX50

HELSINKI, Finland. - September 3, 2002 - Stonesoft Corporation today announced the availability of StoneGate High Availability Firewall and VPN solution for the Sun LX50 system. StoneGate provides several distinct advantages for IT security administrators looking at the LX50 offering. The enterprise software includes clustering and load balancing out of the box, enabling multiple LX50s to function as a single firewall, and also allowing for load balancing multiple network providers and load balanced, high availability VPN tunnels. Multiple Sun LX50 systems can be added to a cluster to improve performance and throughput as demand grows, or removed for maintenance and upgrades—both transparently to network users.

"The availability and scalability of services is increasingly important to our customers, and the LX50 server running the StoneGate solution fulfills this need while helping decrease costs and speed time-to-market.," remarked Christer Juhl-Nielsen, Country Manager, Sun Professional Services, Norway. ...Stonesoft profile
Sun Microsystems Sun is Looking for OEMs to Resell Solaris x86

September 2, 2002 - an article in The Register says that Sun want to sign up server OEMs to resell Solaris x86 on their servers. With its recent LX50 launch, Sun walked back from its earlier decision to end of life Solaris x86. But the LX50 is a low end server. If Solaris on Intel architecture servers is to have a viable future, users have to know they can buy it to run on any size of server. (Like they did before.)

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