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IBM is obsolete

Thirty years ago, I completed a college degree and joined the millions of people who discovered that a college degree is completely useless and I want my money back. But that's not what this blog post is about.

My alma mater ran just about everything on a Burroughs A-9 mainframe. Burroughs was later acquired by Sperry-Univac and at some point they upgraded to a Unisys A-12 mainframe. Whatever. Today, they are still keeping track of class enrollments, grades, tuition, housing, and all the other day-to-day minutiae using the same software, but on "Unisys ClearPath" -- which of course runs on bog-standard AMD64 hardware and emulates the old mainframe.

Unisys people have accepted this fate. IBM people have not. Because they are morons.

From a purely subjective level, you know a platform is dead when the information stupidhighway is saturated with articles written by people who insist that it is not dead. Oh, it's so MODERN now, they breathlessly chant to anyone who is willing to listen (which is nobody, so they then move on to bothering people who don't want to hear about it). It has files and pipes and internet and cloud and rainbows and unicorns and all sorts of modern wonders!

This is very true with regard to AIX (sorry, "IBM p") which is so dead that IBM has sacked all of their AIX developers in the United States and moved support-and-maintenance to an offshore sweatshop. But it's *extremely* true with regard to System/38, which eventually got renamed to "AS/400" and is now known as "IBM i" and runs on the same hardware as AIX, using the same CPU that Apple abandoned two generations ago.

There's a litmus test. Simply ask yourself, "Would I build a brand new (greenfield) workload on this platform?" And I'm not talking about some bank or insurance company that has a bunch of old AS/400 stuff already running and just needs to add one more task. If you're opening a new organization with a new IT department and all new software, are you going to build them on "IBM p" or "IBM i"? No, you would get fired for that, and you would deserve it.

Anything from IBM is, without question, a legacy platform. You might be supporting existing workloads for a few more decades, but as a go-forward play it's dead. It's technical debt. Call it what it is, and stop trying to pretend otherwise. You sound like an idiot.

Posted by IGnatius T Foobar on Mon Apr 17 2023 00:10:33 EDT
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Thoughts from AWS re:Invent 2022

[DISCLAIMER: the opinions posted here do not necessarily represent those of my employer.]

To great relief, I am now back in the Northeast after a trip to AWS re:Invent 2022.  For the benefit of no one in particular I am now journaling my thoughts, in no particular order.

My biggest observation is, quite simply, to hell with Las Vegas.  It's not the place for me.  Very overstimulating.  Everyone and everything wants your attention, and there is almost no escape from it.  I can only imagine what my introvert daughter would do if she were there ... she'd probably curl into a ball with a blanket over herself and noise-canceling headphones on for the entire time.  There are not just lights, but jumbotrons everywhere.  On the sides of buildings, on the backs of trucks, there are flashing lights everywhere everywhere everywhere.  There is no keeping to yourself in Las Vegas; everyone and everything is in your face.

Amazon wasted a lot of space.  Their convention took up space in half a dozen different hotels.  And these aren't just ordinary hotels; each one of them is a mini city with a large convention center, a casino, an entire shopping mall, and thousands of rooms.  I believe they wasted a lot of space and they could have done the convention in maybe one or two of these hotels.  And they didn't have to spread it out all over the strip either.  How about using hotels that are all next to each other so you don't need buses to get between them!  Including the beautiful and fabulous Trump hotel, which they passed on because Amazon is full of the kind of people who work for Amazon.

How about the food?  The food in Las Vegas is overpriced.  It's good, but I'm from New York so I'm no stranger to good food.  It's just "good".  Not out-of-this-world.  But the food inside the convention?  Practically inedible.  Once again, it was put together by the kind of people who would work for Amazon.  Nearly all of it gluten-free, dairy-free, and taste-free.  Even the "ethnic" food was lousy: a man of Indian origin who sat at a table with me said "I have eaten a lot of curry, and this is not good curry."  Hey Amazon, how about you just put out a table full of hot dogs?  It's the easiest food in the world to serve to tens of thousands of people.  In the world of food, wide appeal is diametrically opposed to politically correct food fads.  After about the second day our team didn't even bother with the grub hall and we just went out for lunch.  Maybe they're counting on that.  (If I go back next year I'll probably hack the system by requesting a kosher meal.  Those looked edible.)

To be honest ... I really think that Amazon simply doesn't care.  They're the biggest name in technology right now and this whole convention is just a way for them to flaunt their bigness.  There's no pan-industry conference like COMDEX anymore, so "anyone who's anyone" simply shows up at re:Invent, sometimes with only a barely viable token connection to cloud computing.  And that's probably what Amazon is thinking: "bring the whole industry to here because we are the industry."  And for the time being, that is true, since "cloud" is the current mania.

(For the truth about cloud mania, read David Hansson's excellent blog post "Why We're Leaving The Cloud []" in which he correctly points out the places where hyperscale cloud computing excels -- at the small end of the market where a new organization can't afford infrastructure, and at the high end where massive elasticity is needed -- and that the stable, predictable middle is better served by other hosting setups.)

As mentioned in the disclaimer, my opinions do not necessarily represent those of my employer.  As an IT architecture professional I work in both public and private cloud spaces.  As a technolibertarian I want a level playing field, and my opinion is that both Amazon and its conference are too damn big.  The only relief I found was at a Denny's across the street from my mega-hotel, where I sat, late in the evening, in a room that was not overcrowded, without flashing lights in my face, without loud noise everywhere, sipping some good coffee and finding my zen.  In that moment, I found a peaceful space that mimicked home, until I could finally get home.

Posted by IGnatius T Foobar on Sun Dec 04 2022 16:28:31 EST
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NWO Spy Devices -- is one in your home?


We have learned this shocking new secret about the shadowy cabal of globalists who secretly control all of the power and wealth in the world. While their media outlets try to distract you by having their controlled opposition point you to the World Economic Forum, their Hitler-equivalent criminals such as George Soros and Bill Gates are still conducting all of their real business at the 

annual Bilderberg meeting. But you already knew that because you are smart!








What you didn’t know will shock you … perhaps literally!

As it so happens, the relationship between “Bilderburg” and