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4/30/2004
06:17 PM
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Letters To The Editor

Smart Move

I enjoyed reading "Hotel Chain Puts Pressure On Third-Party Travel Sites" (April 20, 2004). I'm a travel writer and have been saying this for some time. It makes perfect sense for travel providers to rein in distribution costs and keep consumers directed toward their proprietary sites.

Joel Widzer
Author, JlwConsulting, Irvine, Calif.



Software Vendors Win

The only group that benefits from subscription-based software is the software company ("Power Shift," April 19, 2004). It has a guaranteed revenue stream, no incentive to produce a better product (just frequent "new" product releases), and, once embedded into your company, is near impossible to dig out.

Patrick McGouirk
Systems Administrator, WMAZ, Macon, Ga.



Security Is The Real Issue

Achilles' heel ("Linux's Achilles' Heel," April 19, 2004)? Perhaps Fred Langa believes Fortune 1,000 CIOs think sound-card operation is more important than the constant need for patches and virus cleaning imposed by Windows. I disagree.

The only time I've heard a sound card employed for business purposes has been during PowerPoint presentations. If Linux silences the PowerPoint Posse, so much the better!

Cliff Kachinske
President, Clifford Consulting, Marietta, Ga.



It's Better With Linux

I had the exact reverse experience as Fred Langa between Windows and Linux. Most hardware products come with the "Windows-compatible" logo, not a "Linux-compatible" logo. This would suggest that it should work better with Windows, but that hasn't been my experience.

Tom McLernon
Contracts Administrator, Syncrude Canada,
Fort McMurray, Alberta



What's Up With Intel

I, too, have experienced problems with sound chipset support. That's why I keep in stock an $8 generic 5.1 sound card.

I've been installing Linux in commercial settings since 1995. I've learned that not everything works with Linux, and that the answer is to work around the problems.

If I were Fred Langa, I'd be asking Intel why it provides such poor Linux support for its Wi-Fi and sound gear. Intel and Microsoft enjoy a love-hate relationship, a rocky marriage based on public threats and private beatings. Why would Intel, a member of the Open Source Development Labs, hold back on the open-source community?

Brian Thurston
Owner/Operator,
Network Services, Vancouver, British Columbia



Wrong Direction

Customers who purchase rooms online don't want to go to a chain's Web site ("The Right Balance," April 12, 2004). These people are inherently comparison shoppers. Hotel chains may even lose market share to the smaller operators if they try to force the market out of the customers' comfort zone. How will that help a chain gain trust? Faster transactions will cost the chains lots of money with very little result.

Have the big chains asked customers what they want and why they buy the way they do? Have they done a cost-benefit analysis based on real data for the changes they want to make? Or are they just looking at the $962 million and thinking how great they'd look to the board of directors if they could grab a chunk of it?

This is penny smart and pound foolish.

Thomas A. Myers
CIO, EntertainMeUSA.com

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