Stories by Don Tennant

Contract attorney offers tips in case of IBM-Sun merger

Diana McKenzie, head of the information technology practice at Chicago law firm Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP, has specialized in IT contract law since 1987. On Monday, she spoke with Computerworld about what customers of IBM and Sun Microsystems Inc. need to know about contract law as IBM pursues its reported US$6.5 billion bid to acquire Sun.

Standing on principle

I'm not above engaging in a little shameless name-dropping, especially when I know the dropped name will spark a reaction. So while chatting with attendees at the LinuxWorld conference in San Francisco last week, I made no secret of the fact that I had interviewed Richard Stallman a few days earlier. I marveled at the awe and admiration on the faces of many of my listeners.

The bigger question: why do women and men leave IT

Kathleen Melymuka's Q&A with researcher Sylvia Ann Hewlett created quite a stir. Titled "Why Women Quit Technology Careers," the interview, posted on our Web site last week, has elicited well over 250 reader comments, many of them faulting Hewlett's statistics and conclusions.

Anne Mulcahy on getting the color back into Xerox

When Anne Mulcahy took over as CEO of Xerox in August 2001, the outlook for the company to which she had devoted 25 years of her life could hardly have been bleaker. Xerox was over $17 billion in debt, bankruptcy appeared inevitable, and the US Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating alleged accounting irregularities.

Our strengths and weaknesses are often the same

There's a fine line between commitment and focus on one hand, and obstinance and myopia on the other. Or perhaps there's no line at all. Maybe they only differ when the context differs.

The untold story of illegal peer-to-peer network activity on campus

A student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the US has written an article about an otherwise unpublicised case of a band of students that kept a peer-to-peer file sharing network running on campus so that users of the network could illegally obtain copyrighted material. The story needs to be told, so I'm running it here.

Bringing humor to IT life

When I wrote last week about the question of whether we have enough young people graduating from technology-related university programs, I did so in a way that was meant to convey the seriousness of the issue. But there's a not-so-serious dimension to the discussion that warrants equal attention.

Pro or parasite?

There are a lot of CIOs around who dismiss the idea of hiring graduates fresh out of college. I know, because I've spoken with many of them. They clearly have their reasons, and it would be foolish to claim that none of them are legitimate. But it seems like an awfully shortsighted approach to skills management.

Who are IT's substance abusers?

One of the reasons I enjoy covering the IT profession so much is that if you put five IT pros in a room to discuss a particular topic, you're likely to get at least six different opinions about it. So when I raised the issue of substance abuse within the IT industry in my blog last week, I fully expected to get the full gamut of reader comments. I wasn't disappointed.

Dell exec addresses service woes in run-up to IT-as-a-service launch

Steve Schuckenbrock, president of global services and CIO at Dell, outlined his company's plan to deliver a hosted remote-management offering that it calls "IT as a service." In the following interview, Schuckenbrock spoke about the plan and what Dell is doing to polish its tarnished customer-service reputation.

Emasculating Windows

If you Google the phrase "Microsoft's worst nightmare," the range of hits you get is entertaining for its breadth. Various pundits have proclaimed that the software giant's very worst nightmare is everything from Linux, Google and Firefox to software as a service, Cisco's digital home business and the Sony PlayStation.

One view of EMC

Perhaps you've read about the lawsuit filed against storage giant EMC by two of its former employees, charging the company with engaging in sexual misconduct and gender bias.

HP's Ann Livermore addresses services issues

At the HP Technology Forum user and partner conference in Las Vegas Monday, Ann Livermore, executive vice president of Hewlett-Packard's technology solutions group, spoke with Computerworld about a range of issues, including concerns about the performance of a services operation that's increasingly moving offshore. Excerpts from the interview follow:

CA CEO talks about legal, business challenges

In an exclusive interview with Computerworld editor in chief Don Tennant at CA World in Las Vegas on Tuesday, CA president and CEO John Swainson spoke candidly about a range of issues confronting his company, including the prospects for taking civil action against CA co-founder Charles Wang. Excerpts from the interview follow: