COMPUTER WARS

HOW THE WEST CAN WIN IN A POST-IBM WORLD

An informed assessment of what's in store for the computer industry now that IBM is no longer showing the way. Before looking into the future, Ferguson (a computer analyst/consultant) and Morris (Iron Destinies, Lost Opportunities, 1988, etc.) chronicle the sudden shift away from mainframes to decentralized systems (built around work stations whose circuitry is mainly comprised of lightning-fast microprocessors), which caught Big Blue (plus other stand-pat manufacturers like Digital Equipment) in the undertow. They also recount how IBM fumbled its chance to retain control in PCs, whose emergence helped make the business as much a software as a hardware game. Among other matters, they note that IBM's top executives remain sales-oriented and ill-prepared to choose wisely among cutting-edge technologies that can determine corporate competitiveness in a mercurial market where today's breakthrough is tomorrow's museum piece. Having set the stage, Ferguson and Morris address the issue of which suppliers might thrive in a field whose bellwethers have lost their way. Their money is on what they call a ``third force''—i.e., nimble, mid-sized enterprises (mainly based in California's Silicon Valley) with managements who understand the volatile state of the electronic data-processing art and who have the resources to capitalize on it. With minimally prudent assistance from Washington (which has not always been helpful), the authors predict, American vendors can gain a vanguard position during the 1990's. Despite massive government aid, they argue, vaunted Japanese sources (along with their high-profile US counterparts) remain committed to megaprojects that could confine them to commodity niches. And Europe, Ferguson and Morris conclude, has long since ceased to be a factor in the brave new computing world already taking shape. An upbeat, albeit cautionary, analysis. The accessible text has charts and graphs throughout (not seen).

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-8129-2156-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Times/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1992

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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