Dear Chris

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Chris Tom at AMD Zone is not happy with me.

The blurb contains one charge, and a number of complaints. Let’s deal with them in that order.

Not Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

Part of the article says, “. . . [T]hey don’t give me credit for news I break anyway . . . . I don’t like having my ideas stolen.”

What appears to be in question is this article, in which I cited a few introductory prices for socket 939 chips.

Shortly thereafter, I got this email:

From: “Chris Tom”


Subject: what i don’t get credit for finding those prices?
Date: Sun, 23 May 2004 12:15:17 -0500

This rather surprised me because I hadn’t gone anywhere near AMDZone for a while. I backchecked the places I had been to that day, and replied as follows:

From: “Edward Stroligo”

To: “Chris Tom”

Subject: Re: what i don’t get credit for finding those prices?
Date: Mon, 24 May 2004 08:51:16 -0500

Because I didn’t get that information from your site, that’s why. I saw the item over at HardOCP. which came from DSL Reports.

Out of curiosity, what did you think about what the article had to say?

Just so you can see for yourself, you can find the item here, dated Saturday May 22, 2004, [H]ardNews 3rd Edition, 3:40 PM, second item.

When we have news items, we generally cite the original source, or as close to it as possible, so we cited the actual price webpages, which we looked at and did some additional interpretations.

This is also the first complaint I can recall we’ve ever gotten of this nature from Mr. Tom; he actually writes me pretty rarely.

As you can see, I didn’t get the news item from AMDZone, but despite my email, Mr. Tom went and said what he said.

It’s just not so.

The Rest of the Story…

The Rest of the Story

The remainder of the article complains about a few things we undoubtably have been doing.

First, he says that we’ve been complaining about AMD a lot, but he says it like it’s a bad thing. 🙂

One can certainly take issue with what we say, but if you do, then you have to actually take issue with what we say. That means saying how and why we’re wrong in saying what we’re saying.

In short, is what we’re saying true or not?

What have we been saying?

In a nutshell, we’ve been saying that AMD has mismanaged the positioning and pricing of their desktop Hammer product, and losing a lot of sales because of that without any long-term benefit to the company. We believe AMD can achieve its goal of getting more money overall for its product with a more temperate approach, and we’ve said what that approach ought to be.

So the end goal of our complaining is for AMD to sell more Hammers and make more money the next few quarters.

If someone thinks that our suggestions are wrong, he ought to say why this wouldn’t be a good approach to take and give reasons for it. He doesn’t do that; he just complains about our complaining.

Frankly, we believe it would do his site more than a little bit of good if he found something wrong with AMD every once in a while. Believe me, we can help; steal all the ideas your little heart desires from us on this subject. 🙂

If it’s bad we can’t say anything good about the organization (no matter what our reasons are), isn’t it just as bad to hardly ever say anything bad about it?

Ironically, the only point somewhere around this point is to say that AMD released the Athlon 64 2600+ because customers wanted it. Of course the customers want it, they’ve wanted that because the initial Hammers cost too much!

We’ve wanted it too, like six-nine months ago. If AMD had introduced mainstream-priced, lower-speed Hammers back then, a lot more of you would have one right now.

The Pot Calling The Kettle Black?

Mr. Tom says “Overclockers fatal flaw is they think everything revolves around the needs of the overclocker.” Well, gee whiz, when the site is called, and you’re talking to overclockers, whose needs ought we be addressing instead?

The irony is this hasn’t been terribly true on this issue. We’re quite aware, probably more aware than most, that overclockers don’t exactly rule the computing world. We’re quite aware that the pricing structure we’ve suggested is still too rich for the blood of many if not most AMD fans.

We have said again and again and again that insofar as AMD’s well-being is concerned, the low level of pickup by OEMs is much more important, and it’s only been picking up lately due to . . . lower-speed cheaper Hammers. That’s good, but they could have done the same thing last fall.

It’s a situation where, yes, what we suggest does benefit overclockers, but it would have much greater positive impact for AMD in the non-overclocker market.

If AMD were doing well selling Hammers to everyone else, and they sold all the Hammers they could make, we wouldn’t argue with success. We’re arguing because they’re not doing that.

Finally, if we’re not supposed to advocate for our cause, then just what has Mr. Tom been doing for years at his site?

If the purpose of the site is to advocate AMD, well, perhaps the advocate would benefit if he stopped advocating for a moment and listened to what the AMD fans are saying and thinking about this. Most of our audience consists of AMD fans, and on the whole, they’re not exactly thrilled with what’s been going on, and they’re not buying into Hector’s mirage vision.

Dog Vs. Cat Loyalty

If you drill down to the root cause of this little tiff, it boils down to the nature and degree of loyalty.

There’s dog loyalty, and there’s cat loyalty. Dog loyalty is blind allegiance to the cause. Choose your side and back it to the hilt through thick and thin. It’s very simple: Us Good, Them Bad.

Then there’s cat loyalty. So long as things are working well, fine, but when that stops, well, there’s going to be some screeching, and if that doesn’t work, later.

Another way of putting it is loyal to something for what it is as opposed to being loyal to something for what it does.

We have cat loyalty. There’s been times when we’ve preferred Intel, times when we’ve preferred AMD, right now, we don’t much like either. Personally, we believe that websites ought to be loyal to their audience rather than to a company, but even there, we’re cats. We know AMD needs to make more money than they did during the Athlon era or there isn’t going to be a team to root for; so you don’t see us screaming for $50 Hammers even though our audience would like that.

The vast majority of AMD fans are cats, too. Yes, they do like AMD, but when push comes to shove, the vast majority like AMD for what it does (give them cheap CPUs), not for what it is. That’s why few of them are buying Hammers now; they expect a better deal than what’s on the table, and they’re going to wait until they get it.

Now it’s possible that I’m the preacher hearing the choir, but when I go over to forums at other sites, that’s the impression I get there, too. Look at the number of XP threads compared to Hammer threads if you want to see for yourself. I really don’t think it’s because there’s a ton of Edroids out there. 🙂

It’s a little harder being a cat, but there’s a lot more cats out there than dogs.



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