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Two years ago, Al Gianini worked up a print ad touting Sacramento as Silicon Valley East.
He'd seen the reference in Kiplinger's California newsletter. If somebody else has given us that handle, he decided, why not use it?
The ad showed a computer screen displaying the big companies that have set up shop here - Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp., NEC Electronics, to name a few and the local business advantages: no earthquakes, affordable land and housing, reliable skilled labor, and so on.
The ad ran for a year and a half in Electronic News, a national trade magazine. The goal was to get more people in the technology business thinking about Sacramento.
But there was a problem, says Gianini, chief of the Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization:
"It never captured anybody's imagination."
How are we viewed? Tan Bajarin, a computer consultant in the Bay Area known for his analyses of Apple Computer Inc.'s market moves, says Sacramento's image among Silicon Valley types - the people who could make this area into a "Silicon Valley East" - has evolved in the last couple of years.
"Two years ago …