May 28, 2007
Upcoming Meeting Notice

Annual European Conference
Click below to get registered for the Annual European Conference, June 7-9 in Rome, Italy. Members and non-members are invited!  Learn how to grow your business and find out what NEW business opportunities are available to you. Hear updates from high level executives at IBM, HP, and more.  Enjoy some great evening events and networking opportunities!  (Click here for more information. )




Upfront
ASCDI Inside
Forecast
Intermec
Market
Microsoft
Op-Ed
Sun

 

Upfront

Hello and sorry for the duration since the last column.

I went to Las Vegas for the ASCDI (Association of Computer Dealers International) show. The other major trade group, CDLA (Computer Dealers and Lessors Association), collapsed years ago and I had not been a member of ASCDI until this show. After 22 years, old dogs learn to play dead or beg. It was quite funny: Many, if not most, of us rarely see our colleagues in the regular course of business. It’s even getting to the point that we don't even talk anymore. Instant messages and email have seen to that. So, there we were, at the ASCDI meeting and after parties, hundreds of us, wandering around looking down at the nametags in order to recognize our pals. I found the furtive glances at my nametag humorous. Now that's what it must be like for women to have men looking at their cleavage! "Hey, fella, I'm up here."

I knew what to expect at the casinos, but was still shocked to see the stacks of chips and wads of cash. The old slot machines had a distinctive sound as the winner's coins hit their bucket. Now the machines spit out paper receipts instead, and the machines play a recording of the "dink-dink-dink..." sound. I also expected the prices to be high, but I was shocked at the usury that went on. The snacks stand at the Cirque de Soleil charged $8.00 for a bottle of water. It was odd and quite tiring, being "on" for so many events. There was the requisite amount of small talk, endless cocktails, and not much deal-making that I could detect. Even so, it was great to get away from the office for a long weekend. Now that we are back in our saddles, let's get pumping!

I learned some interesting things from Dr. Frank Soltis from IBM. According to Dr. Soltis, we have reached the point of diminishing returns on the current crop of PC microprocessors. The heat issues are forcing the designers to move to multithreaded processors (Duo core, et. al.). Many applications cannot be run in multithreaded mode and will actually run slower on the newest PC servers. I suppose that there will be patches and updates from the major software vendors to try to adapt to the changes in basic design. This is mentioned as a background to elucidate the benefits of the IBM iSeries (AS/400, etc.) processors. Apparently, IBM's processors don't have the same heat problem as the aforementioned processors from Intel and AMD. Clock rates of over 6GHz were in production, with specialized processors running over 10GHz, all without any changes to applications.

Did you know that IBM's Power processors run all the latest game consoles? It has been said that these machines (Playstation, Nintendo, Xbox, etc.) are supercomputers in disguise. All that research and development has paid off. Also, did you know that Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) chips in IBM factories? I suspect that means that we will probably see the integration of AMD microprocessors in future frame releases. In the news is a soon-to-be-announced/released replacement for the venerable Advanced System 36.

The price of color laser printers continues to slide. The purchase price often includes "starter" supplies. Just wait until its time to refill. Ouch! More expensive than the whole machine was. Give them the razor and sell them the blades. Nothing new.

We have made some interesting and very useful changes to our web site. You can now use Paypal, or, if approved, we can put you on credit terms. We can even have the web site automatically reflect your discounts. Ask me for details.

Used equipment is abundant, as demand has slowed in our sectors. More and more users are falling into the trap. Buy the new machines, pay out the nose for toner. We use a color laser in house. It has been down cold for three weeks now as the manufacturer's technicians replace part after part. Now they will "have to replace the machine". So, another unit off the skid (ouch, my back), and another setup menu navigation. But it is shiny, the chrome gleaming like a Cheshire cat. Sure, they're inexpensive (relatively speaking), but the quality of the machines gives pause to new acquisitions. Buy it refurbed- if you are going to have issues, better it not be on a brand new machine at brand-new .

David T. Mendelson
dave@argecy.com
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ASCDI Inside

Joe Marion interviewed by Refurb Radio
Joseph Marion, president of the ASCDI and writer at Processor Magazine, is interviewed by Refurb Radio along with Erin Crumbley, IBM pSeries and xSeries portfolio manager for CIT Vendor Finance and Equipment Leasing.
Listen to the interview.

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Forecast

Economic growth to continue throughout 2007
Economic growth in the United States is sustainable throughout the remainder of 2007, say the nation's purchasing and supply executives in their spring 2007 Semiannual Economic Forecast. Expectations for the remainder of 2007 are encouraging in both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors. These projections are part of the forecast issued by the Business Survey Committee of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). The survey panel of purchasing and supply management executives remains optimistic with 62 percent of respondents predicting revenues to be greater in 2007 than in 2006. This is reflected in their expectations of a 5.6 percent net increase in revenues for the period. To support the revenue growth expectations, manufacturers expect to increase capital expenditures 5.8 percent for the year in spite of a lower current operating rate of 82.8 percent. The manufacturing industries expecting the greatest revenue increases in 2007 - listed in order - are: Primary Metals; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Chemical Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products. Fifty-four percent of non-manufacturing purchasing and supply executives expect their 2007 revenues to be greater than in 2006. They currently expect a 2.1 percent net increase in overall revenues, lower than the 6.4 percent increase that was forecast in December 2006. Non-manufacturing industries expecting greater-than-average revenue in 2007 are: Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Information; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Other Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Retail Trade; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; and Accommodation & Food Services.

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Intermec

Intermec teams up with Microsoft
Blue C Sushi implemented RFID (radio frequency identification) from Intermec and business process technology from Microsoft to track its food and automatically calculate customers' bills. The system of Intermec RFID readers and antennas, Microsoft BizTalk RFID, and integrator Kikata's Ebisu Live Inventory Management software tracks food as it moves from the kitchen to customers. Blue C Sushi restaurants are based on the concept of kaiten sushi where customers select plates of sushi from a rotating conveyor belt that winds through the restaurant moving past every table. Customers pay based on the number and types of plates they choose and plate colors indicate prices for specific items. RFID technology replaced the original tracking system, which used bar codes on the bottom of the plates. That system could only track the time a plate was put on the conveyor belt and that a customer had pulled it off. The new RFID system provides much more detailed business intelligence, like what item is on the plate, how long it has been on the conveyor, which chef produced it and which menu items are running short. The system uses the Intermec IF5 fixed mount RFID readers in conjunction with customized Intermec RFID antennas that are placed into the chefs' cutting boards and integrated into the conveyor. Intermec worked with 3M to create tags that adhere firmly to the bottom of the plates and can withstand restaurant wear and tear, including hot dishwashing cycles with harsh detergents.
Visit www.intermec.com.
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Market

BOS receives over $1.5 million of orders
B.O.S. Better Online Solutions Ltd. (BOS) announced that its subsidiary, Odem Technologies 1992 Ltd. (Odem), received orders from a major Israeli customer for a components supply chain program. These orders amount to over $1.5 million, and most of them are anticipated to be supplied during 2007. The orders were received under a program of a complete components supply chain solution now offered by Odem to its customers. This program accommodates the preference of hi-tech customers to work with a limited number of suppliers that will be able to provide a comprehensive solution to their needs, covering the entire variety of components.
Visit www.boscorporate.com.
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Microsoft

Microsoft unveils new VoIP devices
Microsoft says its 15 new VoIP-enabled devices will help ease businesses' transition through the changing communications game. For several years now, customers have been asking Microsoft for solutions that help people work better together, says Bryan Rushe, product manager, unified communications for Microsoft Canada Ltd. And he identified three main problems with regards to setting up business communications with people: scheduling, varying online identities and differing communications technologies. Unveiled at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2007, Microsoft and nine OEMs -- ASUSTek Computer Inc., GN, LG-Nortel Co. Ltd., NEC Corp., Plantronics Inc., Polycom Inc., SAMSUNG, Tatung Co. and ViTELiX -- are introducing a new generation of devices that connect the workplace phone to e-mail, instant messaging, real-time presence information, conferencing, VoIP and mobile communications. The new wave of phones and devices would become available for use in the public beta program of Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Communicator 2007, officials said. Microsoft is providing the device manufacturers with design specifications, helping to assure customers that the new phones and devices work easily with Office Communications Server and Office Communicator.
Visit www.microsoft.com.
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Op-Ed

Used network equipment dealers unite to drive best practices, fight counterfeit
Mike Sheldon, Network Hardware Resale

The elevated prominence given the secondary market during last month’s Cisco Partner Summit is the clearest evidence yet that providers of pre-owned networking gear continue to gain traction—and attention—at even the highest levels.

On the Partner Summit section of its web site, Cisco admits that used equipment dealers are effectively selling against the OEM in the government space while also winning on the small side of the SMB market. In response, the network equipment behemoth has fueled an international brand protection campaign with the message that genuine Cisco gear ONLY comes from Cisco and its partners.

So, does this mean customers who have purchased “genuine” Cisco gear now have equipment with little to no residual value? Industry observers equate this condition with how it would feel to drive a new car off the lot knowing it now was worthless.
Read entire Op-Ed.
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Sun

Sun Microsystems announces $3 billion share repurchase authorization
Sun Microsystems, Inc. announced that its Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of up to $3 billion of the company's outstanding common shares. The repurchase plan is designed to increase shareholder value and reduce the dilutive effect of Sun's equity compensation programs. The stock repurchase authorization does not have an expiration date and the pace of repurchase activity will depend on factors such as levels of cash generation from operations, cash requirements for acquisitions, repayment of debt, current stock price and other factors. Sun may repurchase shares from time to time on the open market or in private transactions, including structured transactions. The stock repurchase program may be modified or discontinued at any time. The Company's prior share repurchase program, which was authorized in February 2001, has been terminated.
Visit www.sun.com.


Sun, allies broaden open-source chip push
Sun Microsystems' open-source chip plan is bearing some early fruit, but the server and software company hopes to increase further involvement by sharing the designs of its forthcoming "Niagara 2" processor. Sun has two early takers--Simply RISC, with operations in England and Italy, and Polaris Micro in China. Both are designing variations of OpenSparc S1, the open-source version of Sun's UltraSparc T1 Niagara processor. But those companies and others will have more to work with in the future."It is our goal of eventually open-sourcing these Sparc processor designs," said David Yen, head of Sun's newly re-created microelectronics group, speaking of Niagara 2 and the Neptune networking chip derived from it. Sun has begun arguably the most aggressive transformation of its business from proprietary products to the polar opposite, open source. Most of its software is or soon will be open source--an increasingly common practice in the computing industry--but Sun is unusual in releasing hardware designs as well. As with its open-source software plans, the OpenSparc project is a bid for relevance first and revenue later.
Visit www.sun.com.
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ASCDI
ASCDI Meeting Information
ASCDI NOW Back Issues
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30 DAY FREE TRIAL OF THE ASCDI's DEALER EQUIPMENT TRADING NETWORK

atn

Only ATN offers safe, secure and closed-end trading with dealers only - no end users! Only the ASCDI Guarantee backs the ATN. Traders must adhere to the highest standards of ethical conduct or lose their trading privileges. Learn more, visit http://www.ascdi.com/pages/
about/atn.asp.



Sponsors

CTS

Ship with CTS - Now a member of World Cargo Alliance Computer Transportation Services, Ltd. is now a member of World Cargo Alliance, Inc. WCA is the world’s largest network of independent air and ocean forwarders in the world and was established in 1998 with no freight forwarders in ownership, thus preserving group neutrality and ensuring equal benefits for all members. Visit our innovative Ballpark Rates - www.ballparkrates.com, the instant online transportation rating program for blanket-wrap trucking, economy motor freight and time definite air freight services. Call 1-800-831-0030 or email Todd Partridge, todd@moveit.com for more information.

 

ASCDI At Your Service

DecisionOne - www.decisionone.com

DecisionOne announces ASCDI program launch
DecisionOne provides cost effective, local, reliable technology support services including remote, onsite and logistics services. We offer break/fix services nationwide for Sun, IBM, and HP used and refurbished equipment. Call now for pricing and check out our new website at www.decisionone.com.
Contact: Jim Lubeskie
Phone: 512-630-5168
Jim.Lubeskie@decisionone.com

Trident

Trident is a third party cross platform hardware maintenance provider for Sun, HP and Dell.  Trident services new and used equipment and can help equipment resellers and vendors increase their footprint with customers.  “End of Life” is a specialty.  Contact us for our new ASCDI 07 reseller remuneration packages.
Contact:  Steve Studley
Phone:  202-558-5527
sstudley@tridentusa.com
www.tridentusa.com

 

Olympic

Bulletproof your support and expand your maintenance budget. Independent Multi-vendor Enterprise Support from Olympic Support offers big discounts on manufacturers listed support costs and provides better coverage and fix times compared to vendor & OEM packages. Find out how you can profit from our success.
Contact: Roger Taylor
rt@olympicsupport.com
www.olympicsupport.com

 

Micro Memory Bank launches new on-line division
MemoryStore, a leading provider of computer memory upgrades for virtually every computer model and brand, old or new, announced the launch of its new online store at www.memorystore.com . MemoryStore.com now offers consumers even more choices. This is the only online store on the web where customers can instantly view side-by-side comparisons between brand-name, factory original and 100% guaranteed compatible computer memory upgrades, allowing them to decide what memory solution is best for them. Memory upgrades for Dell, IBM, Apple, DEC, HP, Sun and hundreds of others are all available for purchase online at MemoryStore.com or by calling 877-ADD-RAM9.

For the first time, customers do not need to know their exact model number. The Memory Wizard tells the customer exactly what computer memory they have and exactly what memory is needed. What separates MemoryStore.com from the competition is the Memory Wizard tool; a proprietary feature that enables the site visitor to find their exact memory type with the click of a button.
Contact: Bob Kanoff
Phone: 877-ADD-RAM9
Phone: 877-233-7269
Phone: 215-643-6020
www.memorystore.com

 

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