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Spencer describes the latest tugs in the push-me-pull-you tussle between Microsoft and Netscape.

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The Tabster gleans gold from gab at Scalability Day

"So, where is this Scamability Day taking place?" Spencer asked.

  "That's Scalability," answered the Redmond gendarme in the dripping tone of a New York maître d' prepared to seat you next to the men's room door.

  "Oh, excuuuuuuse me--scalability. Like King Kong going up the side of the Empire State Building," the Mouser mumbled into his whiskers.

Spencer had spent the night getting ready for the big Microsoft event by visiting Jimmy Glen's bar until the wee hours. Jimmy G's, the home of many an after-the-Katt party, proved far livelier than the 4-hour-long march of slides, videos and chest-thumping to prove that NT is ready for the big time. Spencer, never one to adopt the niceties of civilization, spent the entire time yakking on his cell phone and wirelessly answering E-mail during the entire event.

While the Katt brought severe discomfort to those seated nearby, his scratching was zippo compared with the abuse suffered by some Digital execs who had the misfortune to be seated in the front row at New York City's Comedy Nation the night before Microsoft's scalability love-in. Digital, trying desperately to prove you can be based in Maynard, Mass., and still be hip, invited a bunch of media scribblers to catch the humor. One act was so laced with bathroom and sexual humor and insults hurled at those in the front row that even some of the more jaded reporters were offended. Expect invitations to the symphony from Digital next time.

"Hey, did you know that if you are on the same network segment, you can snarf user names and passwords from clients connecting to NT servers?" Spencer said loudly enough to get some glares from the assembled Redmondians in the Equitable auditorium. Check it out at www.microsoft.com/ntserver/info/password.htm. Microsoft folks have posted a fix.

Maybe they should have Sun CEO Scott McNealy ship over a couple of Unix boxes to help bring some scalability to Microsoft's Web site. When Spencer checked the tip box at the end of Scalability Day, he was amused to find at least six messages noting that while the Redmondians were on stage championing a billion transactions per day, the Web site was coughing up "Server Too Busy" responses to those trying to access it.

The Tabby, of course, didn't mind being bounced from the Microsoft site, or from the Equitable Building. The wonder of wireless communications allows even the permanent bar-goers at Jimmy G's the opportunity to surf the Web. One favorite site for downloading to the hard drive is The Illustrated Guide to Breaking Your Computer (members.aol.com/spoons1000/break/index.html). Remember, as the guide states in the section on destroying keyboards, once the drill bit is properly attached, the trigger should be pulled several times while making menacing evil faces (see Fig 1.2).

Finally, one story making the rounds that will surely remain unsubstantiated and probably is not true involves the flacksters at Gateway 2000 getting up the nerve to tell Chairman Ted Waitt to take on a more corporate appearance, now that the company wants to chase big customers. They went so far as to get a Photoshop rendition of Ted in business garb, but scrapped the idea when the result was a dead ringer for Jack Nicholson in "The Shining."

Feed the Katt

Have a tip? Contact Rumor Central at (617) 393-3700; on MCI Mail, it's SKATT; on CompuServe, 72631,107; on the Internet, it's spencer_katt@zd.com; or try ZD Net's PC Week Forum on CompuServe; or fax the Katt at (617) 393-3795.

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