Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, November 15, 2021

Sun Microsystems‘ CEO Scott McNealy tried to put a sunny (pun intended) spin on his company’s decision to make its Solaris operating system nominally free and potentially open-source:

The result, Sun believes, will be renewed demand for its servers and services. The company also will charge subscription fees for Solaris support and service programs that are typically sought by the businesses and organizations that Sun targets.

“Hewlett Packard sells a printer at a low price and makes a lot of money on printer cartridges. Gillette gives you the razor and makes a lot of money on the blades,” said Scott McNealy, Sun’s chief executive. “There are different ways to drive market penetration.”

The real reason for this decision: It’s a Windows world for serious business, and Linux fills the role of the free alternative OS (there’s also Macintosh, but it’s really not relevant in this context). Between those two, there’s simply no room for Solaris, something that wouldn’t be compatible with the rest of the computing universe and, to boot, would actually cost something to maintain. Converting it to free was the only option, if Sun wanted to keep a horse in this race.

Which is questionable anyway. Even IBM gave up the ghost years ago when it pulled the plug on OS/2. If Sun is relying on an OS strategy to revive its fortunes, it’s already as good as dead.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/15/2004 11:20pm
Category: Business, Tech
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Yes, the venerable Kash n’ Karry grocery chain will be rebranded over the next few years, emerging as Sweetbay Supermarket.

Whether or not that will be enough to compete with the Publixes and Walmarts in the grocery sector, time will tell. But at least they’re having fun with the makeover:

In the parking lot, customers are cajoled to return their shopping carts with a line that “carts have feelings, too. Please return yours to its home.”

In the bakery, buyers are prodded to order custom cakes “because we like a challenge.” Shoppers are advised to pick from the handmade artisan breads because “your sandwich will thank you.”

The “Limited Reserve” wine selections are for “ever-changing, oh, so, intriguing, simply divine, get-it-while-you-can wine.”

VP of Marketing Steve Smith, who’s overseeing all these fine touches, saves the best for last:

A language buff who studies the history and meaning of print fonts as a hobby, Smith used the opportunity of creating new grocery store signs to correct one of his “pet peeves.”

He banned the improper usage “less than 10 items” or “under 10 items” found in most chains’ express checkout lines. The express lanes at Sweetbay are for “10 Items or Fewer.”

A grammatically-correct grocery store? I’m willing to bet that Smith is a fan of Lynne Truss’ “Eats, Shoots & Leaves”.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/15/2004 10:20pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business
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morphed stage
When downtown St. Pete’s American Stage first started pimping it’s production of Mary Zimmerman’s directorial interpretation of Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”, about four months ago, I made a mental note. I wondered if a small theater could pull off a pretty complex show like that.

Apparently, they did it with aplomb. Marty Clear’s review is so compelling that I’ve decided I’ll have to go see it tomorrow, if only for this:

The centerpiece for the set is a pool, maybe a couple of feet deep, that extends from underneath a walkway and out toward the audience…

[The] water is central to nearly everything that occurs during the play. It’s the setting for several near-drownings. An erotic scene is performed in, on and even under the water. Actors make entrances by appearing magically from beneath the water’s surface. Most of the performers are soaking wet, head to toe, through most play.

I’m so there. Besides, I’m a sucker for reinterpretive adaptions of classical literature (although given the choice, I’d take Greek over Roman any day).

The extra incentive? American Stage has a couple of “pay-what-you-can” nights each month, where instead of charging standard ticket prices, they ask for whatever you feel like paying for admission.

No, I’m not going to pay with loose change. But I’m not going to give up full price, either. They’re not going to go broke from me. Besides, the point of the promotion night is to hook people into coming back int the future, and they’ll probably get enough of that to more than recoup from the discounts they’ll give out.

The nicest feature about going to American Stage: I don’t have to drive there. It’s only a block away from my office, so I can stroll right on over after work (or maybe after a drink or two nearby).

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/15/2004 09:40pm
Category: Creative, Media
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TypoGenerator is a neat online utility that’s been making the blogosphere rounds lately. Input some text, wait a minute or two (or more) while the program searches through Google Image Search, and it’ll spit back some neat typography-based designs.

I think the site is unfortunately named, though. “Typo” implies an error, so it obscures what it’s actually about. Maybe something like “TypestyleGenerator” would have been better.

The image above was created using, naturally enough, the title of this blog/site. Once the initial search for images completes, you can cycle through alternate designs pretty quickly, and I got addicted to cooking up the different variations for a little while.

There are four other designs I liked enough to save; rather than plant them all automatically into this post and create an ungodly load time for slower connections, I’ve placed them below the fold for optional viewing:


by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/15/2004 09:07pm
Category: Internet
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