HP's grunge muse inspires dig at Sun

Who knew that a top executive of Hewlett-Packard's high-end server group is a fan of the distorted guitars and psychedelic grunge rock of Seattle band Soundgarden? Or that he could transform that liking into a jab at rival Sun Microsystems?

Rich Marcello revealed this musical proclivity on his blog Wednesday, saying he would always "turn the radio way up" when Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" played. Most recently, he heard it while he was driving to work, leading him to free-associate to astrophysicist Stephen Hawking's work on black holes.

Marcello's thoughts then carried him to a not-so-subtle metaphor interpreting the Unix server market.

"The gravitational field of the black hole prevents any light or pretty much anything else from escaping if you are within the event horizon. So, if you happen to be unlucky enough to be around a black hole forming from a collapsing sun, the trick is to make sure you are outside of the event horizon before it's too late."

Sun executives--some of whom offer their own self-promotional parables that wander from subject to subject--likely see different signs in the stars. But it's hard to disagree with Marcello's conclusion: "It's funny how the mind connects things."

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About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.


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