Re: Good toys, bad toys (July 10)

I agree wholeheartedly with your take on gadgets and gizmos being an excellent marketing tool. The companies I remember most are the ones who give

out useful things like key chain flashlights and screw drivers with a pocket clip. I can’t count the number of times I’ve actually used these on the job to make a quick repair on someone’s PC because I couldn’t locate our actual tool set. (The help desk guy here has a tendency to misplace our tools).

It is a shame that companies are reluctant to give these sort of things out. To be honest, its the one reason I didn’t bother to come down this year; I even have a free pass sitting beside me from one of our vendors. Obviously, I can’t speak for this year, but my experience with “”educational”” sessions is that you could probably learn more from the company’s Web site than some marketing intern who got the opportunity to speak at Comdex.

These types of events are usually a draw for myself and my peers. I’ll be finishing my final year at Ryerson in Information Technology Management. My fellow students and I try to make all these conferences to network, and speak with companies about our program at Ryerson. We try to encourage companies to come see what we are about, so hopefully they become potential sponsors for student events, or attend speaker’s nights we hold twice a year. Those little marketing giveaways (especially t-shirts, like you said) go over very well in a student environment, and keep these companies fresh in their minds for when they are looking for a job, or for a product to recommend on the job. Evidently, we aren’t their prime target, but in three to five years these B. Comm. grads will be.

Christopher C. West
IT technical analyst
Globalstar Canada Satellite Co.

Re: Good toys, bad toys (July 10)

While there might not have been “”any goodies”” available as per your editorial, I wish that Comdex would deliver what they print in their Program Guide.

I attended the second keynote with Compute Associates (CA) co-founder and executive vice-president Russell Artz. He was listed to speak on the trends in technology and its impact on business. While he referenced some security convergence, his main talk was on CA’s product offering eTrusts 20/20. I can see why Comdex is dying when they allow such senior management to present what was basically a ‘Vendor Pitch’. No wonder there was a steady flow of people leaving during the presentation.

The Comdex Program Guide indicated that Artz would provide a intriguing look at where technology may be leading us. In a funny way, I guess he did provide an insider view, but it was CA’s product/technology that he felt was intriguing to share with us. I certainly didn’t feel intrigued.

Marshall Postnikoff

Re: Behind the scenes at Comdex Canada (July 5)

The problem with Comdex is that it takes longer to drive there and park than it does to visit any meaningful vendors with new hardware/software.

Steve Flinn
Data Access Technologies Inc.

Re: Behind the scenes at Comdex Canada (July 5)

It’s nice to see even more formal education available at Comdex, i.e. the ICCP (Institute of Certification of Computing Professionals) review course and CCP (Certified Computing Professionals) exams.

Ken Metcalfe

Re: Behind the scenes at Comdex Canada (July 5)

Comdex Canada has been too consumer focused which has kept me away. For me I find more value in attending industry speciality shows, which are about the same size as the “”New Comdex”” but offer a lot more value for my time – Codex seems to be about 1/10 the size it was in the early '90s.

Stephen Tucker
Director IT
Baycrest Centre

Re: I don’t need your freedom (July 5)

In his viewpoint piece “”I don’t need your freedom”” Dave Webb bemoans the death of the free Internet.

There never has been a “”free Internet”” in financial terms — somebody, somewhere has to pay for it.

Hotmail and Yahoo! accounts are anything but free. The advertisers pay for those services. Who pays the advertisers?

On the other side of Webb’s free coin is the freedom to link to anything on the Internet. Right from the beginning some sites had restricted access. Anybody who can afford it can create a Web site and post anything he or she wants on it, subject (mostly) to the laws of the land. That person can also control who is given permission to view the contents of the site. The information on the Web site can be given away or can be sold. It is the option of the Web site owner.

The Internet does not exist in a vacuum. It is part of our global social and economic environment. In that environment, generally speaking, if you use something, you pay for it. There are many distortions to this rule so that the person consuming the resource doesn’t pay the total cost. Webb may be upset that a particular distortion that benefited him is disappearing.

Edward C. Bodfish

Re: I don’t need your freedom (July 5)

Although you have a point, you missed the big one. The big one is ISP/bandwidth monopolies. The “”comoditization”” of the Internet. The “”pay for play”” concept as opposed to the “”flat fee”” concept. This is all an artificial creation of greedy corporations.

From bandwidth control to increased pricing schemes, tiering, etc. it all boils down to “”pay more (a great deal more) for a lot less.”” What’s next? Don’t hold your breath: content control. Well, some people may call it censorship but who wants to use this ugly word, right?

The principle is very simple: the more you control the more you can charge. The more you charge, the more you can subdivide to charge even more. How about this issue for a new Viewpoint?

Tim Nehsus

Re: Rogers quietly slows down speeds (July 4)

You can add Shaw to your list. They are actually below 1 Mbps on the last 10 tests I have made at various times throughout the day over the last few weeks. They can blame it on congestion, but it doesn’t add up. I have done trace routes to see response times from various routers as well. They were fine, which leads me to conclude they have reduced bandwidth.

Vince Ornato

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