by Gary Wisniewski - formerly President and founder of Apex Software
Iíve been taking a long-awaited vacation from the computer industry, and have managed to tuck myself away in a distant and remote part of the planet until the NEXT BIG IDEA occurs to me. Here, I look out over unspoiled rivers and lakes, commune with nature, and spend 12 hours a day on the Internet and play around building OLE Automation Servers.
This morning, I sat on my usual perch near the river musing about what kind of article I would write. I was almost drifting off into a daydream when one of the large ravens so common around here flew up and perched next to me. Ravens are large, noisy birds, similar to crows, but about the size of your average alley cat. Some say that you can even teach them to talk.
So, imagine my surprise when my friendly black companion crowed out what I swore was the phrase "think of four". Then again: "four". This, I thought, must be some kind of omen. The number four was clearly important, but how? I took a chance and said (feeling rather silly), "What did you say?". Yet again, the raven said "think of four", "think of four" and as I listened intently I realized it was saying "Think of four ... Vee Bee four!" though you really had to listen hard to understand him ... maybe it was "Vee Cee four".
After a few minutes, I believe I had its trust. Though his words were quite clear, they were mysterious and full of symbols. The bird talked of things which would happen soon. Four weeks, it said. It mentioned strange incantations, and even broke into a mexican chorous ending with a vibrant Ole!. Automation servers were not far from my mind as the bird rattled on about DLLs, new kinds of code editors, colors, toolbars, and utilities.
I started asking it questions. "Is this about Visual Basic?" I asked, and the bird just said "four". "Is there a new version? Controls?". Soon, the bird was a flurry of activity, its ominous message degenenerating into fits of squaks. I struggled to hold its attention, but soon, it flew away. I heard its mysterious incantation: "four... four... four...".
So, here it is, August 9th. Maybe Iíll know what its all about
soon. Sounds like it may be very soon. Four weeks? Perhaps it
will be something to crow about.