Third Party Watch
Shawn M. Gordon
President of S.M. Gordon & Associates

We should now be firmly entrenched in a new year and a new Presidency are you making more money or feeling more secure? I don’t know if I am, since it is only November right now. I am happy to say that Vladimir Volokh seems to have recovered very nicely from the surgery that I mentioned in a previous column. Seems Alex Woc from Adager had the exact same surgery at almost the exact same time. I hope that doesn’t mean that working with computers is hazardous to your health.

Has anyone else noticed all the different software packages on the HP that are doing pseudo-windowing lately? I think it’s a great trend, it’s kind of funny, in that the capability has always been there, but it took MS Windows to come out to get most of us off our lazy butt’s and write one. Anyway my point is that I got a chance to look at a nifty little utility called FileManager/3000 recently thanks to Terry Blankenships review in Interact that reminded me about it. For you PC types out there it is very like XTREE. You could think of it as MPEX with a graphic interface. Well he has a new version coming out that has a more PC like directory tree structure and also has an optional command interface so you can work it like MPEX. Now if he can get it working with the POSIX stuff on iX 4.5 when it comes out, that would be pretty nifty.

A lot of people have heard of Con Am and know that they sell HP hardware, what some of you may not know is that they also offer HP hardware support, as do several other 3rd parties. However Con Am is now gearing up to offer integrated software and hardware support. They want to be able to support just about any third party utility package as well as any HP system stuff that they can manage. This would allow you to make just one phone call for whatever problem you might be experiencing. I think this has a lot of potential, I hope HP doesn’t get upset because it’s a great service. I don’t know how they are going to implement it, but it should be available by the time you read this.

Well Rob Apgood of Strategic Systems fame has recently sold off the UNIX portion of his company. For those of you who don’t know SSI marketed PROBE one of the first and nicest system performance monitoring packages. They later ported it to UNIX, where I am told it was doing quite well. Apparently well enough to get a large IBM performance software vendor to buy it. Congratulations Rob.

I want to take a moment to slap all you people on the wrist. Why am I doing this? Well I hear a lot of people complain about software prices and how high they are. However you have no one to blame but yourselves. I can’t tell you how many vendors I have talked to that have said they would like to charge less for their product, but no one would take them seriously. For the most part this is true too. How can you help to start driving these prices back down? Start to look seriously at the lower priced products, you may be very happy with what you find. If the big vendors start loosing sales to more inexpensive software, you will see their prices start to drop. This means that you have to do more work in researching products and can’t just rely on the glossy mailers. I have high hopes that we can help start to drive some of these extravagant software prices down.

As a follow up to the Bradmark announcement about free Superdex level 1, I just received word that around 1000 people have taken them up on this deal. Not to bad eh? Heck, I even took them up on it, and it seems to be working quite well.

I promise that I will be sending in a new picture soon that reflects my sunny nature better than the terrorist looking one that is currently on display. So until next month I leave you with these words of wisdom. “Why pay me more for what I’m not good at?”.