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Upside: Gina Smith's New Internet Computer plugs in

Jul 14, 2000, 11:38 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeff ST. John)

"Gina Smith, CEO of the New Internet Computer Co., can't believe how much people are willing to pay for an easy-to-use Internet appliance that retails for $199."

"It is Monday, July 10, and for the last 24 hours the New Internet Computer (NIC), the most recent incarnation of Oracle (ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison's oft-mocked "network computer," has been on the auction block at Amazon.com (AMZN). Final bids tendered this afternoon reached a staggering $1,650 for each of the 10 units at auction, which came with certificates of authenticity signed by Ellison, chairman and primary investor of the company."

"Smith, a 12-year veteran of consumer technology journalism who accepted the CEO job offer from Ellison in January of this year, won't be winning the office betting pool this time -- she guessed the highest bid would be closer to $1,000. Still, looking over the final results from her office in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco, she says she understands why the bidders wanted a NIC with Ellison's signature to themselves."

"It's a collector's item, right?" she says. "Imagine if you had bought one of the first Macs. Or, for that matter, one of the first Newtons?"

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