Readers weigh in on . . .

Re: On the six (May 2)

The only constant is change in our industry. I agree with you that we all want to see this through, because when the market is hot it is an exciting place to be.



Robert Blondin
Director, VAR solutions
Decision Software Inc.

Re: Musical Fruit (April 30)

I enjoyed your thoughts which touched areas not covered in the flood of articles on the Web. But your characterization of Apple’s market as “”home computers,”” while recognizing their efforts to expand their user base by emphasizing this market, appears to exclude their other efforts.

Their servers are price competitive and have received positive reviews. I expect to see their 64-bit IBM chips in them this year along with an updated OS. Once the onus of Motorola’s difficulties is bypassed with this new chip generation, I expect Apple to become more aggressive in the general PC markets. They are already making a comeback in the science and university markets. An expanded server line is likely as well. You are probably aware of the utilization of Macintosh clusters for backups to, and inexpensive mimicking of, supercomputers in scientific and weather analysis.

I expect to see more consumer projects and an emphasis on wireless connectivity from Apple. If their music store for PCs is launched successfully this year along with iTunes for Windows, their influence in Web commerce will expand and make for better relationships with corporations. I expect their emphasis to be on media companies. This, along with their penetration of the scientific research companies, provides a credible foothold in corporations.

Robert Boylin

Re: Musical Fruit (April 30)

Good article with one exception. The comment about Macs being more expensive to buy and load with software may be true, but one fact that always escapes journalists is that over the years, it has been proven by many independent studies that Macs are in fact less expensive to own.

I can attest to that as a Mac owner for over 17 years. I have 10-year-old Macs still working effectively and my days in the repair shop can be counted on one hand. This in contrast to my friends and associates with PCs — “”Oh my hard drive fried,”” or “”Now with my new printer, my scanner won’t work.””

Tell the whole truth in the future. Besides, if we had to depend on Gates for innovation, we’d still be using DOS. Anyway, us beleagured Mac owners thank you for the press.

Petr Siemens

Dave Webb responds:

I’m certainly not anti-Mac. I work on a G4 for compatibility with the art department. And I well remember my old SE, which had no hard drive: when the weather’s damp, my elbow still hurts from all the disk-swapping I had to do.

Re: It just gets better and better (April 23)

I am a corporate trainer/consultant and your ideas on leadership and future investment really resonate with me. Collecting business intelligence meets with much the same fate — the reaction to an anticipated deluge results in managers stifling potentially useful stuff on a daily basis.

Rodger Nevill Harding
Harding International & Associates Inc.

Re: Canadian e-Biz Initiative sees dearth of talent for SMEs (May 1)

As someone who has the broad range of skills which is apparently so hard to find, I can say from personal experience (and from experiences of many of my colleagues) that many, many programmers and analysts down-sized out of their jobs have reacted by becoming self-employed. Although not easy, being self-employed is at least a situation where the individual has control. In such a case, where is the incentive to going back (backward?) to being employed?

Keeping my options open, I indeed have occasionally applied for a job, but found the pay scale inadequate or the working conditions unacceptable. I do happily accept contract work, but on my own terms.

The bottom line: there is plenty of experience and skills out there, but SMEs could look harder and more creatively to identify formerly-employed individuals who now want to work only on a contract basis.

There are lots of one- and two-man operations out there that would be glad for the work!

Mike Luckham

Re: Project completion only half the battle (April 22)

While it is interesting to read about your series of testimonials on project managers’ performance, I can’t help but chuckle a little. Who on earth are these CEOs, CFOs and other so-called Cs? So they think they are the only ones that know how the world ticks?

Maybe they ought to take on responsibility instead of, what looks like from your description, fluffing it off on hard-working project managers who by definition are bound to work within the scope of a project.

It sounds like the Cs want the cake and eat it too. Responsibility, however, should be placed where it lies, with the decision executive.

They hire the project manager in the first place to execute a “”project”” and should therefore be 100 per cent accountable. The project manager stands up for 100 per cent delivery of scope only.

I fully appreciate the aspect of business rather than technology driving a project, but cannot escape the location of responsibility and accountability for the whole exercise and that clearly, in my view, is the Cs headache.

Roland K. Orlie
RKO Consulting Group Inc.

Re: True to forms (April 22)

What a nuisance — and sometimes they’re used to draw for door prizes, so you can’t just hand them in blank. Who would want to leave without a T-shirt that doesn’t fit, or a pen that doesn’t work? And most of the personal data they ask for was included in your registration. Who is going to rate a speaker as incompetent, then include your name on the form? The way to avoid stress is to realize how meaningless they really are, and limit your time to complete them to no more than 30 seconds.

And yes, I usually do want my money back.

John Stoll
IT coordinator

Letters to the editor must include the writer’s name and company name along with an e-mail address or other contact information. All letters become the property of Editors reserve the right to edit submissions for length and content.

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