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October 2002

The buck stops in LA

NewsWire Editorial

Dave Wilde is a brave man. While other HP executives were giving lip service to the words “character” and “integrity,” Dave was living them at HP World, the first face-to-face meeting of 3000 users since November 14. Also, for the first time in memory, the first person singular was used on an HP slide during his keynote presentation. Wilde, the leader of 3000 experts that was once known as CSY, did not always use the global “we” but the very personal “I.” This made me wonder if Wilde won’t end up being the Harry Truman of CSY. While this didn’t happen on his watch, he’s the one who will be seeing it through.

HP’s choice to step away from the 3000 isn’t a popular one here, and people are making their feelings of anger, hurt, and betrayal very clear during this forum. Wilde has also made it clear that the buck stops here, with him, showing up at 3000 gatherings even when he is not required to. Stopping to listen to anyone in the halls or on the street, Wilde remains the embodiment of not the New HP, but the HP we all recall.

Like Truman, I believe Wilde will be remembered kindly by history, in the long view, for his leadership in the present.

• • •

I love HP World. And the HP e3000 Symposium. And the Greater Houston RUG conference. Like major holidays and birthday parties for in-laws I only see once a year, I love anything that brings family members together. Cities the size of Los Angeles and Chicago are dwarfed by our warmth, to become villages where you can’t go anywhere without seeing someone you know. On the streets, in shops, even right outside my hotel room door, there are people with whom I share a common bond. In fact, when I get home to Austin it’s always an adjustment to not be seeing friends in the grocery store or to wave to while grabbing a bite to eat.

For four glorious days, with everyone wearing name tags printed with type so large I didn’t need to be wearing my glasses, I know everyone’s name and everyone knows mine. Mixed in with all the technical information, there are conversations about daughters’ basketball games; sons growing taller than their dads; anniversaries celebrated with all things shaped like hearts; and wives who have advanced their careers with additional education. We share not only our computer expertise and opinions, but also our lives when we get together.

More than seven years ago at the 1995 Interex conference (now HP World) Ron and I drove to Toronto with precious cargo — a four-page prototype of our information idea, The 3000 NewsWire. Wanting to run it by people Ron had worked with and respected for 11 years, we drove to see if there was a place for our publication. One expert, now infamous around our house, is often quoted by his saying: “This is a nice idea for issue one, but what are you going to write about for issue two?” Seeing him at the LA HP World gave all of us a good laugh, because now more than ever, there’s plenty to write about.

This is the first issue of our eighth year. For 85 months we’ve been bringing you 3000 news. Our thanks for your readership, our thanks for your Sponsorship. We couldn’t do it without all of you. We’ll see you in Atlanta, San Jose and Houston. In the meantime, just like my mother used to say from the kitchen door as we’d start our drive back home “Don’t forget to write!”

— Abby Lentz
AbbyL@io.com, 512.331.0480

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