Notes from the Field

SAN MATEO (01/28/2000) - New career? New house? It's all change in Bobby's life at the momentI NEARLY BOUGHT a house in San Jose last week. The only reason I didn't is that I got talking to one of my potential new neighbors, and she warned me about the fascist homeowners association: From what she described, it sounds like they run the place like a prison camp, complete with garage inspections to make sure that residents' garages are being used for cars and not junk.

Kiss my ASP

Moving to San Jose would put me closer to Intel, and from what I'm hearing, I could maybe pick up some consultancy work there -- the company seems to need some good advice.

One source tells me that the company is rethinking its Intel Online Services ASP (application service provider) initiative because it's not sure in which direction the market is headed. Apparently it has cancelled an order with Compaq for the computers to run the system, and wants to hold back for the time being.

If I don't get work at Intel, maybe I'll give Silicon Valley start-up Interwoven a try.

The reason is that Interwoven has a unique approach to recruitment -- it's giving away BMWs to new employees. The Sunnyvale, Calif., Internet software company said last week it will reward new recruits in its engineering division with a two-year car allowance on a 2000 BMW Z3 model, which sells for around $35,000.

Of course, I'm no engineer, and given my limited talents (there's not that much of a market for beaten-up old journalists) I'll probably only be rewarded with a Yugo.

Back to the future

One reader wrote in last week, asking if anyone is experiencing the same Y2K-related problem: The user says he has about 250 Compaq Deskpro EN series computers. Despite the fact that these were claimed to be Y2K-compliant, he says that after Jan. 1 hit, they have started jumping into the future. About 90 out of the 250 are jumping years, he said, with some displaying the year as 2036, and others putting it as 2086. He says he went into the Compaq CMOS setting and changed the date to the correct one, saved all changes, and restarted the systems, but to no avail: They still went back to the future.

Compaq was unable to fix the problem, and eventually dispatched an engineer who changed the motherboard, the reader says. The only difference in motherboards from what he could see is that the old one was made in Mexico and the new one is made in Hungary.

Who's taking the blame?

Finally, a PR flack for Wireless Knowledge got in touch to tell me off for saying that the Revolv Exchange Email service had experienced Y2K problems. The flack said it was the AT&T server that had gone down, not Revolv (although the Revolv service was unavailable as a result of the problem). Of course, if I was a Revolv user, I wouldn't care which bit of the system wasn't working, just that I couldn't send e-mail. But anything to keep the PR folks happy ...

BECAUSE MY JOB and house-hunting have gone so badly, maybe I'll rethink this whole "fresh start" thing. I guess what I really need is a new positive outlook on life in the wake of Rose's departure. I intend to make every effort, and by this time next week I should be feeling like a new man.

Getting a tip would make me feel like a new man. You can call (650) 312-0555, fax (650) 286-2775, or e-mail

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