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A Comdex Fable
Larry and Ted's Excellent Adventure
by Rick Smith (June 1997)

In the beginning, there was the stick. Then there were marks in the sand. Database technology then became more advanced when ...

To make a long story short, there was Bill and he had a vision - a vision to make money - lot's of it and he did. He made so much that he went past his fingers and his toes to count his billions. So he got a wife and he then used her fingers and toes and still - more billions ......

Meanwhile, Larry sat alone - no wife - no Operating System and more importantly - he could count his billions on his fingers, he didn't even need his toes! - This made Larry very, very sad - One day Larry thought about his life. "Let's see", he said, "What does Bill have that I don't have?" The items that came to his mind were an operating system, a suite, a wife and especially no 40 billion.

(Oh, by the way, the "suite" he thought of was not a tool used to get the wife. Larry means an office suite like Novell and IBM had - because everybody wants to have a Suite to go with their Operating system! - Hey, don't laugh - look what happened!)

"My, my, what am I going to do?" he said. "The way I see it I could surpass Bill or I could drag Bill down. Let's figure out a way to get everyone to ditch Windows and the suite product. But who will listen? I need everyone to help me. Hmmmm. I could use "the lack of wife" as an excuse. - Yeah, I'll go on Oprah and tell her that I am looking for a wife - she'll help me find one. I might even get lucky - after all, most women stop counting at the first billion, but not me - Gotta beat Bill, Gotta beat Bill."

So off to Oprah we go, and I talk about net terminals. The women respond and I get overwhelmed. The net terminals didn't go off like I wanted. "What to do, What to do."

"OK, the kids at the school that I "gave" the computers ("net terminals") to, want to be more like Mike, maybe I can try to be more like Bill. Let's look for some other things I don't have."

"Hey, Bill has that MS network thing. Well, I have the Orekkel channel, but that's really marketing talk for my courseware and doesn't really count."

"OK, how did Bill do it? He partnered. Who do I know who is heavy into media? Well, I burned the Oprah contact with that "help me find a wife" ruse. I don't really trust Fox - besides he's as rich as me and he's foreign. Need to find an American - hey - what about Captain Outrageous - Mr. Ted from Atlanta? After all, he married Barbarella and owns sports teams." So the events unfolded like this -

"Bill has a network and now I have one to - OK it's not as good as Bill's with Katy and all, but it's a start - and I will take the high ground with all that content. Oh, yeah I'll even use this event to try to slow Bill down and his operating system - I got it - I'll pull the cord out of the back of the PC during the demo and show the "real" solution. Hee - Hee - It's a Net Terminals! Grrrreat! - 40 billion here I come! If I had great developers I could have make a GPF occur when I wanted but that would be too hard."

Well, Spring Comdex 1997 has come and gone and it was great, but I really wish that the Larry and Ted's Excellent adventure (their Keynote address) started out something like this:

Scene: A darkened room at the Georgia Omni dome. Hundreds of Comdex attendees eagerly await this event. The music builds to a crescendo and then fades. A spotlight comes on stage and two people walk out (Larry and Ted).

(Larry) My name is Larry.

(Ted) And my name is Ted.

(Together in unison) We're billionaires - and you're NOT!

(Ted) Hey Larry, let's look old and wear glasses!

(Ted) Did you forget yours? Jeepers, you did! I can't take you anywhere!

And that's the way it might have been for Larry and Ted's Excellent Adventure at Comdex

P.S. This is a fable and some of the names have been changed to protect the guilty and my posterior!

Have fun, Y'all!

Copyright 1997 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

   
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