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Last month I came clean about the creeping paranoia I've caught from storage vendors. Shortly after typing that, I was sitting in the audience at Storage Decisions 2002 in Chicago listening to HP's Howard Elias and EMC's Joe Tucci fall all over themselves to say nice things about each other's companies. Geez, I said to myself, you're just one cynical old guy.

Maybe you should phone in a rewrite before they change the name of the magazine to Curmudgeon?

Fortunately, I resisted the urge, something I can't say either EMC or HP did, as they had barely unpacked from the conference when lawsuits began flying, seemingly growing out of that whole API swap thing. It's not paranoia when everyone's really after everyone. Suddenly, "the next step forward" became a big step backward.

On an entirely different note, some of you have been getting your magazine with hideously colored triangles in the upper right corner of the cover. That means you are not yet a subscriber to this magazine. You have to deliberately request it to become one. And unless you do, we will assume that you don't want to subscribe and will stop killing trees and buying stamps to send it to you.

You can prevent that with very little effort. We've sent you the magazine so far because we know that you will most likely qualify for a free subscription. We need you to tell us more information about you, your job and your company to know whether you actually qualify. That's because we are able to pay for this magazine largely out of advertising revenues if we can guarantee vendors who want to advertise that you are real storage managers who buy real corporate storage products and services. You may think vendors advertise so that we will make sarcastic remarks about them and point out the shortcomings of their products, but actually they pay to reach you, not me. That's how this kind of publishing works.

The individual details we ask you are safe with us - we aggregate this information to prove to advertisers that our readership has an average buying power of so many dollars, manages so many terabytes and so forth.

So, if you haven't already, take a minute and go to and click on Subscribe in the upper right on the homepage. Just the process of subscribing will entitle you to access the growing body of articles on the Web site. Let any coworkers who might also be interested to know, as well. And hey, if you don't qualify, don't take it personally. Somehow, you don't fit the reader profile we market to vendors-but that doesn't make you a bad person. You can still read it online simply by registering. Or you can purchase a subscription for $99 in the U.S.-a bit higher elsewhere-the equivalent of two or three technical books at any bookstore. We leave it to you to calculate whether we deliver that value to you.

Meanwhile, we've made some changes we think you'll find useful. Check out our new column, Hot Spots, by Jon Oltsik. It's devoted to infrastructure issues, beginning with why you need a storage group-now. We also want to welcome Tom Pisello, who will help you analyze the cost of storage.

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