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Is the tech industry starting to catch on?
By Rick Grams


October 31, 2005

After working in this business for over 15 years, I have always been surprised at the success of companies such as Dell and HP/Compaq. Companies such as these have prospered during recent history through tools such as outsourcing and catchy marketing. However, just because a company is able to keep itself in the front line of the consumer's eye does not mean that is the best product to buy.

For at least the past three years (my own humble opinion) the Intel chip has been overrated within the technology industry. Computer companies that rely primarily on this chip architecture are providing one trait to their customers, a sales line. For those that do not know, inside PC style computers there are one of two brands of processors. The processor will either be an Intel brand processor or an AMD brand processor.

An article posted by The Register out of the United Kingdom highlights the technical details of the weaknesses in architecture that both Dell and HP continue to support

There's more to the subject of these two companies. It is bad enough that they emphasize marketing over that of a quality product, but they also support the concept of using the cheapest labor in the world to build their products. Reviewing the web site I found a "Company Hall of Shame" list that includes both Dell and HP as companies who sponsor "American worker replacement programs". In case you do not know what that means, it basically consists of Americans training non-American people how to do the American job. When that training is successfully completed, the American job goes away (it truly just ceases to exist) to a different country. This trend is completely anti American in concept and in practice.

However, once again there is a company proving the trend does not have to be followed in order to be successful. MPC computers (formerly known as Micron) continues to invest in the American workforce with high quality products. Reviewing news articles on companies that believe in America, I ran across a transcript from a Lou Dobbs broadcast. The broadcast focuses on the company's In-sourcing initiatives for manufacturing and technical support.

There is a point to all of this. Computers and technology have become the tools that run the world. The computer is part of a larger business plan within any company, and my hope would be for a business plan to include long term goals with an awareness of economic impacts within our American society. As our community of Ketchikan has felt a major economic punch due to the mechanisms of outsourcing and the availability of substandard products (examples include trees from other parts of the world vs. local trees, fish farming vs. wild salmon, and imported totem poles vs. hand made totem poles) I think it is important for all to be aware of this underlying impact on the business of technology that many take for granted.

Rick Grams

Ketchikan, AK - USA


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