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Is It Time To Party Like It's 1999?

Google's stock price flirts with $200, giving the company a stratospheric valuation well beyond any reasonable expectations. Cisco sells switches and routers like there's no tomorrow. Untested technologies like WiMax put a new gleam in investor's eyes.

Is it time for networking folks to party like it's 1999?

Anyone who lived through the dot-com boom and bust can be forgiven for feeling like its deja vu all over again when they see Google's stock price hovering around the $200 mark. But I, for one, don't think it means we're about to embark on another boom-and-bust cycle.

I'd like to think we're all a little smarter now. Google, after all, is Google, and so investors can be forgiven a little irrational exuberance. But we're not seeing companies that sell dog food over the Internet come up with billion-dollar valuations. And journalists like me aren't being hounded by PR flacks from companies with wacky dot-net business plans to cover the latest flash-in-the-pan buzz word that could make them into multimillionaires overnight.

Instead, as a general rule, I get inundated with very mundane products - routers, switches, network appliances, security software - that make the world go round in a very unspectacular and very satisfying way.

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