Did You Hear?

Wondering what the hottest toy on the market will be this Christmas? How 'bout one that increases awareness of the Year 2000 problem. Meet Millennium Bug. The 6-legged creature is orange, red and green, five inches wide and long and 2 inches high. Priced to sell at $9.95 apiece, Millennium Bug is the product of Eagan, Minn.-based Omni Advertising and is intended for customer/prospect promotions and in-company campaigns. Personalized messages can be added in the wing area.

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If you look up Windows 2000 on the Web, you likely won't get information on the operating system formerly known as Windows NT, but instead will be directed to a Web site of live camera views from around the world. Bob Kerstein, the operator of the Windows2000.com Web site holds the common law trademark to Windows 2000, but, much to the chagrin of Gates bashers everywhere, has no plans to take any legal action against Microsoft to force them to call what would have been Windows NT 5.0 something else.

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The salad days of the PC industry appear to be drawing to a close. Forrester Research (Cambridge, Mass.) predicts PC revenue growth will peak next year as companies replace outdated machines in time for the Year 2000, then fall sharply in 2000, ending 17 years of industry growth. Forrester predicts PC revenues will remain stagnant through 2002 as prices fall to stimulate demand and corporations turn to cheaper Internet appliances.

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Thanks to IBM, the PC user may never max out on hard disk space again. Big Blue has unveiled the world's largest hard drive, a 25-GB monster that's about three times bigger than the largest PC hard drives on the market today. Limited numbers of the mega drives will ship to PC makers to be used in models in time for Christmas. Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, and Micron Electronics, along with IBM, will all use the drives in PCs they make. A 22-GB version with faster response times -- a screaming 7,200 revolutions per minute -- will be available for the corporate market. IBM produced the first hard drive in 1956 which stored just 5 MB of data, though it was as big as two refrigerators.