So it looks like the worst is over. The sun is coming out from behind the downturn cloud, the green shoots of recovery are poking out of the soil and a bunch of optimistic springtime metaphors are tumbling out of the mouths of analysts and so-called gurus.
Clichés? Maybe. True? Definitely. With PC shipments up by 13 per cent again last year - including an impressive fourth quarter that saw a 17 per cent improvement on Q4 2002 - it is clear that even the most cautious of IT managers may be dipping their hands in their pockets in the near future.
Although most VARs have spent the past few years inching away from shifting PCs and moving more into services, the market still dictates that they are the staple diet of many a dealer.
To me it's like the Atkins diet. Not selling PCs (or eating carbohydrates) and moving into services (or proteins, or fat) is all very well if you want to win that particular deal, or fit into that particular pair of jeans without looking and feeling like some sort of Status Quo throwback.
But to actually make it last, to permanently remove yourself from membership of the Quo or its swelling fan club, giving up carbs completely, like moving away from selling PCs, requires a complete lifestyle or business change.
And while it's good to cut down on your business's reliance on merely shifting PCs, it's important that you don't forget which side your bread is buttered.
The staple diet of PCs has changed, like the lunchtime diet of carb-rich sandwiches. No longer consisting of grubby-looking cream screens and unsightly towers, the PC has evolved, with the rise of sleek silver and black casings, LCD screens and numerous fancy peripherals.
It's rather like the rise of Pret A Manger: once famous for its fattening, carb-overloaded selection of sandwiches, it has evolved by selling low-fat wraps, salads and sarnies made using low-carb bread.
The lowly PC, just like the potato or wholemeal loaf, may not seem much, but it's what you put with it that counts.
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