Sunbelt W2Knews Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Jan 6, 2003 (Vol. 8, #1 - Issue #407)
2003 Crystal Ball Issue & New Year's Wishes
This issue of W2Knews contains:
- EDITORS CORNER
- 2003 Crystal Ball Issue & New Year's Wishes
- TECH BRIEFING
- And Here Are The 2003 Predictions
- W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
- This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
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2003 Crystal Ball Issue & New Year's Wishes
So, once a year I'm using the newsletter for something completely
unrelated to IT but something that affects us all: World Peace.
One big mystery question existing on the subject of terrorism and
9/11/2001 is - how come these people want to blow us up, anyway?
Shortly after 9/11, a dialog on National Public Radio on the history
of Islam provided some insight on the issue. The program gave a
rundown on the history of Islam and the Near East over the last 300
years. An historian on this show related that around 1700 a movement
rose up around the teachings of a cleric called Wahab, who advocated
following a pure form of Islam earlier practiced around the 8th
century. Since the appearance of Wahab, the history of the greater
Arabic world has been a back and forth game between the adherents
of this very strict 8th century approach called Wahabi's (of which
Osama Bin Ladin is a follower) versus the other Muslim sects and
non-Muslims. For the last 300 years, the Wahabi fundamentalists
have considered any of the other Muslim sects as heretics and suppressed them to varying degrees every time the Wahabi's were in a position of power.
As you have probably noticed, the rest of the Muslim community did
not exactly run to the defense and assistance of the Taliban regime.
The reason is that the non-ultra fundamentalist Muslim sects (which
compose the majority of the members of the Muslim faith) have been
subjected to religious intolerance from the Wahabi's for the last
Two weeks after 9/11, a reporter from CNN asked an imprisoned Taliban
terrorist just what it was he was trying to accomplish. The terrorist
said he was ridding the world of deviates from the true teachings
of Mohammed. The interviewer asked him - well let's say you beat the
USA, would you then go blow up all the Muslims in Pakistan who aren't
fundamentalists? The terrorist said: "Of course." I don't know how
many people are looking at it this way, but from my viewpoint intolerance of religious belief plays a vast role in this scene.
Intolerance of religious beliefs is a driving force in a "holy war",
waged against not only the "infidel devils" from the USA but even
the rest of the Muslim world. Looking over the history of religious
pursuits on this planet, it is a volatile history in the extreme. In
China today, and since the cultural revolution of Mao, psychicatric
prison hospitals have served as a deterrent to the pursuit of an
understanding of life other than devotion to state. Since 2000,
practicing any religion besides those approved by the Chinese state
carries a death penalty.
Protestants and Catholics have been going at it with a vengeance
since Luther broke off in the 1500's, and they are still killing
each other in Belfast. Before that, Christians were served for
supper to Roman lions. The point is, this question of "what is
life?" and "what is the meaning of all this?" is not only an
activity pursued by every man but history itself has been a chronicle of the fighting and dying for the right to carry out this pursuit.
So here is my New Year's Wish for 2003. Let us respect each
other's religions and World Peace just might come a little closer.
The United Nations has a great page with the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights. Religious tolerance is right up there in Article 2:
(email me with feedback: [email protected])
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And Here Are The 2003 Predictions
The issue that is the shortest of the year but takes the longest
to write has finally arrived. Here's my view from the crystal ball
with the blue haze.
My personal 2003 wish list has only one item: [grin]
- IT MARKET IN GENERAL / MS in particular: The general trends are
going to stay much like 2002, with only some pockets (like Wi-Fi)
improving. Growth rates are going to be in the 3-6% area if that.
Microsoft is currently one of the few bright spots in IT, and will
barrel along as usual, helped by increasing penetration of the
mid-range server environment. It will be hard for MS to grow
further into the OS desktop space, since they still own over 90% of it.
Their only problem is how to continue growing. That means they have to
move into other markets where they are the underdog. MS moved into
game consoles, but now competes with the likes of SONY in that
space. They fight a battle in the portable phones market but ran
into Nokia there. This is the real mortal combat MS is involved
in. My predictions for 2003? They will do the usual: come out with
a "V1.0" that doesn't quite make it yet, learn from the experience,
and later versions will be hot enough to penetrate the market at
bargain prices. They have the money and persistance to make it
go right. But it's going to be a messy and uphill battle.
- OPERATING SYSTEMS: Linux is going to eat Unix alive. If Linux
were to grow exponentially on the desktop as well, MS would be
in trouble. No such chance. Recent IDC research shows that it
costs roughly the same to support either for 100 users over 5
years. MS will further eat into the Unix RISC-based Server space,
as midrange server sales are going to climb again. Sun is going
to have a rough year as people replace Sun with Linux based
Intel gear. India and China are going to be contrarians; they will
both use and push Linux hard. MS will release Windows .Net Server
this year, but the uptake will be slow.
Migration will mainly be forced by the
fact tech support for NT and W2K expiring. This year, we will
see Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 and perhaps 5. It may very well
stop after there. A bright point in the market is that Linux will
force MS to compete on quality.
- Since I have predicted for years that Novell would be acquired,
and it still has not happened, I'll continue this tradition. ;-)
Better chances in 2003 as they are doing well with their
eDirectory for authentication, and the NMAS product for user
management. Web Services and XML are THE 2003 hot areas outside
- HARDWARE: Some enterprising company this year will create a
combo card: Wi-Fi with GPRS, and it will work with the iPaq/Pocket
PC handhelds. This combo is going to blow the smithereens out
of older platforms like Blackberry. - Servers based on Blades
are going to take off this year, only problem is software to
manage these puppies. Companies that do this will do really well.
- Tablet PCs will move slowly but steadily into the notebook and
laptop space. Just a trickle in 2003, the tablet will become a hot
item in 2004. - Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) will get
stronger and stronger, 2002 was already doing pretty well. Using
Voice over IP (VoIP) gets real popular to obtain bottom line gains,
but 64-bit computing adoption will go very slow in 2003. Intel is
going to invest in Wi-Fi like mad. Laptops will be Wi-Fi enabled
in 2003 or should be. Do not buy a laptop without it. - Flat Screens
are going to be the bomb in 2003, expect 20-30% rise in sales for
both TVs and Desktop Screens (or combo's of both which I just got).
Look for a glut in memory chips and systems fully loaded with RAM.
- NETWORKING: Wi-Fi goes mainstream. End 2003, pretty much any
airport, coffee shop, bookstore, or hotel will provide wireless
Net connectivity using the "Wireless-Fidelity" 802.11b standard.
Also, many companies will allow their guests non-WEP (Wireless
Encryption Protocol), Internet-only access and give employees
802.11b or 802.11a (54 MB) access to the full network using
encryption and WEP.
- HOME AUTOMATION: There is going to be a whole slew of new devices
coming out in this arena. Stuff like residential Internet gateways
for delivering broadband content and services. Intelligent small
devices all communicating (wireless of course) with a main home
server. Look for lots of Wi-Fi gear at rock bottom prices. If I
would play the stock market (which I don't) I would buy into two
Taiwan companies that produce Wi-Fi gear: Gemtek and Ambit.
- GADGETS: The hottest things this year will be things like the
Archos Multi Jukebox Media Player; a $400 player that not only
plays songs and takes pictures but also plugs into your TV and
records the latest episode of your fave shows. And in a similar
vein, look for SonicBlue's new palm-size portable hand-held video
player that will hold about 50 hours of video! Last but not least,
check out the Xact WristLinx, which is a combo of a watch and a
walkie-talkie, just the item for techs-like-us. [grin]
- SECURITY: The U.S. corporate networks will still be vulnerable
by the end of 2003. It is likely that a coordinated attack will bring
the Net to it's knees for a day or two. But the biggest story in 2003
will be the identity theft of a large
company database (could be a wi-fi hack) filled with tens of
thousands of customers' Social Security Number and Credit cards,
resulting in the largest "Internet Heist" ever. Implementation
of security policies, particularly in small- to medium-sized
businesses and organizations will increase. Of course a few more
worms will be released, perhaps one as a retaliation for invasion
of Iraq. Keep your systems secure, and get your data offsite
real-time as part of a robust disaster recovery plan. Remote user
security and OS Patch management, separately and together will be
two very important issues this year. I would hope that security
is a main target at the START of software development this year.
No More Buffer Overflows! The certification to get this year is
CISSP, which shows you have in-depth knowledge of multiple
- SPAM: Will rise to a maximum of about 25-35% of all email
traffic and then level off. The numbers vary wildly, but research
shows it costs companies between $8 and $26 per employee per month
in lost time dealing with unwanted email. In 2003, the total number
of emails sent will rise 30 percent to 40 billion a day. One
prediction I'm sure will come true is that Sunbelt is going to come
out with a super slick MMC-interface spam filter for Exchange 2000
that will blow all other solutions out of the water [grin]. The
iHateSpam Server Edition Beta is out next week.
- FINANCE: By the end of 2003, the Five Tech Giants; Microsoft,
Cisco, Intel, Dell and Oracle will have ammassed well over a
$100 Billion in cash and liquid investments. They are at 87B
now, and this will only go up. They are not as 'sick' as the
press wants you to believe. Each of these giants is grabbing
market share helped by their very deep pockets. Google is going
to be elected the sexiest high-tech company of the year. Dell
will become the 800 pound gorilla of the PC bizz, beating HP on
the PC front. But HP will start doing a better job at the high
end of playing IBM's service game and maintaining a commanding
lead in the printer business (with Dell snapping at its heels).
The Compaq/HP merger will be exposed during 2003 as the train wreck
it really is. Both market share and sales are down, but expect their
PR to spin this into wildly positive news. (I predicted this correctly
in the last 2002 crystal ball issue. See this link:
Corporate IT budgets are slowly edging up again, but no more
than single digits. The 'Return On Investment' (ROI) concept will
be replaced with the 'PONI' concept. (Price Of Non Investment)
Example: Wall Street did not invest in email archiving systems.
Now they'll have to--after they pony up $8.25 million in fines.
(Tip 'o the Hat to Frank Hayes from ComputerWorld for this one)
- 2003 MILESTONES: IDC expects a number of significant milestones
to be passed over the course of the next 12 months. By the end of
2003, there will be more than 600 million PCs and 1.5 billion
portable phones worldwide. There will be more than 700 million
Internet users, 250 million mobile Internet users and over 80
million broadband households worldwide. And more than 1 billion
email boxes will have been created by the end of 2003.
I want a PDA+cellphone+GPS in one waterproof unit with the
color hi-res screen about the size of a PocketPC. I want it to
be powerful enough that I could plug it into a docking station
and use it as my primary home computer/entertainment device - docking it up to a 54" widescreen hi-rez plasma TV/monitor, a "real" keyboard, a cordless optical mouse, broadband internet and my surround sound system. It should also handle a USB digital camera/camcorder interface somehow. And multiplayer
joysticks/gamepads. External hard disk/DVD recorder unit is an
optional accessory, with a TiVo-like functionability built-in.
And continue to build stuff that I can hook onto it for the
next 3-4 years instead of being obsolete the moment I buy it!!!
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
Using 802.1x Authentication on Computers Running Windows 2000:
HackerWhacker, see your site the way hackers do:
Let's start 2003 with a fresh initiative. Abolish the IRS, kill
income tax completely and replace it with a National Retail
A SysAdmin Speaks. Life in the trenches. Interesting article:
The drawbacks of antispam real-time black holes. Interesting
The vaporware Top 10 of 2002. Products in eternal "betaness":
There is a beta build of Windows 2000 SP4 floating on the Web.
w2ksp4_4.027_en (sp4) comes in at a whopping 136,217,552 bytes.
It seems to be a preview release of the sp4 beta. If you do not
mind completely destroying a machine, download it at techconnect.
PS, You need to be/get registered on that site to get this.