Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Strange phonecall...

I just got off the phone with John Cooley.

Now, I doubt that his name will ring a bell with anyone reading my journal, but he's fairly well-known in the electronic design automation (EDA -- CAD software for making chips) industry. He runs the DeepChip website and the Electronic Synopsys Users Group (ESNUG) newsletter. The latter is a monthly-or-so e-mail sent with selected letters and stories submitted to him; despite the name, it has expanded to encompass all of EDA rather than just Synopsys.

The letters in ESNUG are written by all sorts of people -- marketing droids, R&D grunts, the end users in the trenches, and sometimes an exec or analyst thrown in for good measure. The content ranges from marketing spin from EDA vendors to candid stories from the users. EDA marketing droids squeal with glee when they get positive spin in ESNUG, and recoil when the news is less than pleasing.

Anyway, I wrote him a fairly non-controversial update, mentioning the availability of a new open-source code management tool called Subversion which might be of interest to some of the readers. In a postscript, I mentioned that I enjoyed his recent presentation at the Cadence Usergroup meeting (entitled "Cadence: The good, the bad, and the ugly"), though one of my coworkers was disappointed because it was a well-balanced report rather than full of fireworks about all the crappy things about Cadence. (According to my coworker, "I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out.")

He apparently got a big kick out of this. The next thing I knew, he was on the phone, asking me about how others inside of Cadence felt, and wanted to know more about how the old Neolinear folks were doing.

It was a bit weird, because he is The Press, and only marketing spin droids are supposed to interface with The Press. But he wasn't really interviewing me or anything; just trying to get a feel for how things are inside of the beast-- er, Cadence. It's a bit like Wolf Blitzer giving George Bush a call to just shoot the breeze, but on a much smaller scale.

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