New year

Okay, now that I have your attention I’d just like to say that yes, 2001 saw many bad things happen. You would have to be a die-hard optimist (and asleep to boot) to not acknowledge that fact.

There was the economic crisis, which is obviously still going on, and will be until who-knows-when. There were layoffs and budget cuts galore littering the IT sector, while Internet and e-mail viruses and worms reached new heights of damage. Also, the stock market wasn’t a fun place to be playing if you were a so-called high-tech company (or almost anyone else, for that matter) and then there was, of course, Sept. 11.

Many people looking back on last year will remember the events of September as the time when they lost their optimism about the until-then-projected economic turnaround and the promise of all the good things it would bring with it. But the reality is that things were pretty grim long before September.

For one thing, while the penultimate year really saw the “dot bomb” – so-called “new-economy” companies taking a collective nose dive, 2001 will be remembered for older, seemingly more stable tech firms such as Cisco, Intel, Nortel, JDS Uniphase and countless others making headlines with substantial hits to their earnings reports, their staff numbers and their stock values. There were so many employees let go in this industry that the term “pink slip party” became a catch phrase. For the first time in its history, PC sales, as measured by IDC and Dataquest, declined in North America and Europe. So, while the terrorist attacks on the U.S. added to these problems – I’m not denying that – they certainly didn’t cause them.

At the risk of seeming insensitive (always a risk when stating one’s opinion), I, for one, am tired of hearing about it. Yes it was a terrible, awful event. But, the pages of history, not to mention the pages of daily international newspapers, are filled with terrible things. It’s time to move on; it’s time to stop blaming terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre as the reason for every economic glitch, failed business venture, drop in tourism, airline bankruptcy and less-than-stellar quarterly earnings report. It reminds me of how every warm day in December is blamed on the El Ni