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Another Perspective


There is a lot more to the world of information technology than technical data and financial considerations.  Computing and communications technology have quite an impact on us all, at every level.  And the world kindly or unkindly reciprocates.
Computer folk are pretty smart and surprisingly thoughtful.  They know that once they've done the basic stuff that's in their job descriptions, they can often do more.  They can shape the systems they develop so they contribute more to the work and sometimes even the lives of others.  This is the case in many settings:  the labs, factories, and institutions where computers and software are developed; the corporate glass houses where the largest systems are housed; the more modest facilities where small and medium business houses its computers, information technology executives, programmers, and technicians; and the galaxy of end user venues, in business and even at home.
There is a place for ethical and aesthetic thought in every aspect of computing, and that's what this section is about.  We may approach serious issues with a light touch, but we haven't found anything about computing that can't benefit from a bit of joy or a sprinkling of levity.  Or another look from another perspective.

March 2017 iBIRD IN THE HAND OR iTOO IN THE BUSH Big Blue seeks the optimal balance in its i plans

February 2017THE NEXT (AND MAYBE LAST) MAINFRAME Dwindling mainfame sales may foster a new IBM strategy

January 2017AS GINNI BOWS OUT Rometty's Legacy May Be The Abandonment Of IBM's Legacies

December 2016GINNI AND THE JINNS Ginni Rometty's frustrations may be due to supernatural mischief

November 2016OF POSSIBLE INTEREST Interest rates may rise, causing IBM's prospects to fall

October 2016ACHILLES AND THE IPHONE The mobile device industry moves quickly, but it still cannot catch up to Apple

September 2016FROM HEGEL TO GOOGLE Times of great change call for bold ideas

August 2016VULCAN'S FURY IBM's disdain for hardware may lead to cosmic consequences

July 2016BREXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR MARKET Sometimes the turkeys vote for Thanksgiving

July 2016JIMMY CHOO HILL If computer industry executives die with their boots on, they will be sleek and snazzy slippers, not brogans

June 2016QUBIT'S RUBES IBM is providing developers with free access to its quantum computer

May 2016THE MAINFRAME WAS THE MESSAGE For more than half a century, the IBM mainframe was computing's medium and message

April 2016WINTEL OVERTURE The software and chips of the PC now overwhelm Big blue's own technologies

March 2016HER MASTER'S VOICE Siri, Alexa, Cortana and the unnamed Googlette lend the IT world their ears

February 2016LEGACY SYSTEM IBM is likely to change leaders by the end of 2017

January 2016PYTHIA AND THE TWO-LEGGED PIG The Oracle of Omaha is trapped within his huge investmentin IBM

December 2015TOASTING SAVONAROLA When a forceful reformist monk rose to power, the Medici temporarily dropped the reins of Florentine power

November 2015TIME, LIKE GAS, PASSES; LOVE, LIKE STARDOM, FADES Over The Hill With IBM and Bob Dylan

October 2015TORQUE IS CHEAP An Internet of Mechanical Things is growing exponentially

September 2015LAND, HOPE, AND GLORY Edwin Land, like Steve Jobs, invented an outstanding company; once Land was gone, Polaroid faded away

August 2015PUTTING ITS MONEY WHERE IT'S MALTHUS IBM's financial engineering cannot offset its pitifully low revenue per employee

July 2015IF IT DUCKS LIKE A QUACK (2 OF 2) IBM's Watson, playing doctor, may follow the paths of Drs. Perkins, Yale-educated father and son quacks

June 2015IF IT DUCKS LIKE A QUACK (1 OF 2) IBM's Watson, playing doctor, may follow the paths of Drs. Perkins, Yale-educated father and son quacks

May 2015BIG APPLE IBM hopes a love affair with larger, richer Apple will restore its well-being

April 2015NOT AS BIG BLUE IBM is getting smaller, to the chagrin of those with an interest in its prosperity

March 2015THE INNOVATORS' DROLL LEMMA Academics argue whether industrial oldies like IBM can learn new tricks

February 2015GROUNDHOG DAYS IBM's board, apparently expecting improved results, boosts boss Ginny Rometty's pay

January 2015NERVES OF STEEL Like Bethlehem Steel of old, which didn't survive, IBM is the dog of the Dow

December 2014IT'S THE APPS, STUPID IBM thinks its Apple deal will be a winner but it might be only half right

December 2014TWO CALVES AND CALVES NOT Machines are no longer part of IBM

November 2014PANDORA'S PITHOS Challenges are nothing new to IBM, but succumbing to them might be

October 2014POWER CUTS Ginni Rometty's personal style makes IBM look competent

October 2014BORROWED TIME IBM is hobbled by its huge debts

September 2014TWO-MINUTE WARNING IBM's departure from hardware could mean a new game . . . or game over

September 2014CRIMEA RIVER Amazon patiently builds its computer services empire

August 2014ON WHOM IBM NOW DEPENDS IBM's cloud services are hosted on ODM equipment from SuperMicro

July 2014FOOD CHAIN IBM's current interest in rapid delivery merchandising is just plain silly

June 2014THE SHOW ME STATE When IBM foolishly sold its rental base, it lost its greatest asset

May 2014ZIGBEE AND THE WAGGLE DANCE Zigbee networks empower and enliven the Internet of things

May 2014IBM, THE DACOIT, AND GANESHA'S MOTHER IBM misconduct and missteps are bound to upset customers

April 2014WHEN OXFORD WAS OBNOXFORD Industrial companies might be wise to mimic universities

April 2014WHO SAYS ELEPHANTS CAN'T DIE? If IBM slips, it might lose its place in the Dow Jones Industrial Average

March 2014ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL Managing mobile devices is quite different from providing PC security

March 2014WILL YOU STILL NEED ME WHEN ARM'S 64? ARM chips will compete with X86 and Power circuits

February 2014COINING MONEY IBM may have to do something new as its old methods lose their punch

February 2014NOSHING LIKE CRONUS IBM did well eating its children, as did Cronus, for a while

January 2014CURATES' EGGS For the most part, client operating systems stink

December 2013PILOTS OF THE CAROB BEAN Sapphire may become one of Apple's crown jewels

November 2013THE GERSTNER COMPARISON IBM's most apparent engineering skill is financial engineering

October 2013NICE CLIENTS, SHAME ABOUT THE SERVERS IBM's server business is taking quite a shellacking

October 2013WATSON, COME HERE, I WANT TO SEE YOU Server technology is changing, and with it the services business

September 2013I THINK WE'RE ALL BEZOS ON THIS BUS Amazon is redefining the information technology business

September 2013FOR BLUE IT'S DIFFICULT, FOR MEME IT'S EASY For IBM, when computing gets easy the going gets tough

August 2013DEFENESTRATION Windows has lost half its power and that's only the beginning of the end

July 2013DRONES WITH PHONES Robots and drones now patrol the frontiers of computing

June 2013WHAT HATH GOT BROTH? IBM may be adapting a new IT culture but alternatively it might be going mad

April 2013SERVER MAKERS SHIFT SHAPE, STRESSING LEGACY CUSTOMERS Server makes seem to believe they can make servers or make money but not both

March 2013CLOUDS GATHER OVER THE SERVER BUSINESS Observers minimize the severity of the server industry's problems

February 2013THE POST OFFICE AND DELL, DELIVERING LESS, HOPING FOR MORE Spreadsheets can't replace brains, or luck, for that matter

February 2013TAKE ANOTHER BOW, WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT AND IBM MAINFRAMES The portly, although out of style, triumphantly return to the stage

January 2013TYCHO BRAHE HAD NO NOSE.  HOW DID HE SMELL?  TERRIBLE. A little math goes a long way; a lot of math goes farther

December 2012THE HARDER THEY FALL The printer vendors fail to fully exploit the servers in their machines

November 2012ESTRANGED HERE IN A STRANGE LAND Investors believe Dell and HP are goners

October 2012THINKING ABOUT THINKSTUFF Lenovo, owner of IBM's former PC franchise, reports outstanding success

October 2012SHAMOON AND SIX TRENDS IBM says it's an IT jungle out there

August 2012THE MALADY OF ALL EMPIRES A classical issue: companies get old and then sometimes they die

September 2012HAS THE PC LOST ITS MOJO? PC makers are unable to cope with their current business problems

August 2012FOR WHOM THE TOLLS BILL E-ZPass has become a mobile payment standard across the USA

July 2012UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL Google, among many others, believes in NFC radio technology

June 2012OUTER BURROUGHS IBM educates its Indian competitors

May 2012GUN-BAE, GOOGLE, AND THANKS FOR ALL THE TUNA Inside the Galaxy Nexus mobile phone

April 2012DRIVERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE Mobile devices print via servers in the cloud

April 2012NOT WEATHER, NOT WHETHER BUT WHEN These days Willie Sutton would be robbing mobile phones

March 2012KENYA HEAR ME NOW IBM becomes a macro player in mobile micropayments

February 2012SLIM'S SIMMERING SIMS The richest man in the world builds a mobile client empire

February 2012THE CODD PIECE While almost invisible, SQLite has become the most popular DBMS in the world

January 2012ANGRY HURD Oracle has a hard time as one its big guns suffers performance problems

January 2012JUMPING THE SHARK IBM may be 30 years past its peak but it might be ready for a second life

December 2011THE MALTESE LOGON SoC processors are escaping phones and crawling into clients and servers

November 2011ARMS TO FARE WELL More evidence that SoCs are rising

October 2011PREOCCUPY WALL STREET Investors love IBM and snub its rival Hewlett-Packard

October 2011BIER OR HOSPICE, THAT PERSISTENT THIRST FOR LEGACY Not fading away, but not growing

September 2011GOODBYE KITTY CPU circuits are giving way to whole systems on a chip

August 2011HOW TO DOWNGRADE YOUR BUSINESS PARTNER The law: Sometimes an ass, sometimes a pain there

August 2011DEBIT AND TAXIS On the road with mobile payment systems and geolocation

July 2011SMART FELLERS IBM's Lotus struggles to compete with Exchange and Outlook

June 2011IN HACK SIGNO VINCES Hackers show IBM's who's boss, and it's not IBM

May 2011PTOLEMY AND SHORTER YOU HTML5 and geolocation change the computing experience

May 2011MONKEY BUSINESS IBM apes Intel and gets into the security dodge

April 2011COVER STORY Amazon turned a product crisis into a triumph of customer care

April 2011BOILING THE OCEAN Net neutrality is under threat

March 2011TABLET VIVANT, MEMORIES MORDANT Flash is becoming ubiquitous

February 2011THE DAILY NOTHING Dumb terminals meet dummies' terminals

February 2011TALKING TOKLAS IBM's Jeopardy flack fest

January 2011SOMETHING WIKI THIS WAY COMES Computer security should be prophylactic

January 2011THE SO-CALLED NETWORK Lotus hones its social skills

December 2010SHEETS FOR BRAINS IBM sees a big future for itself in Business Intelligence

November 2010NO BOUNCE IN BIG BLUE'S BELLY Hard times in hardware

November 2010WITHER THOU GHOST – THAT IBM-FORTINET HALLOWEEN DEAL Boo meets boo-hoo

October 2010ANY CLOUD PLATFORM YOU WANT AS LONG AS IT'S X64 Proprietary systems don't thrive in the cloud

October 2010BUILT LIKE A BRIC'S IT HOUSE Emerging countries pushing hard in computing

September 2010CRAFT NOUVEAU Software, including systems software, can learn from nature

September 2010SEISMICALLY ACTIVE STORAGE Data storage devices will bring disorderly progress

August 2010BACK TO SCHOOL Corporate clients are currently driven by consumer products

July 2010SMART CUBE IS IBM'S HALF-AS IMITATION OF APPLE Marketing that is way behind the curve

June 2010MARKET CAP AND PROPELLOR BEANIES Wall Street puts a high price on ingenuity

June 2010MICROCLIENTS:  THIN ENOUGH?  RICH ENOUGH? Inside some business laptops are embedded thin clients costing $50

May 2010HOT DEALS AND COOL SERVER NURSERIES These days, even corporate buyers are coupon cutters

April 2010WHEN ICARUS IS BLISS Apple is flying high and, perhaps, tempting fate

April 2010WHEN PRICE/PERFORMANCE OUTRUNS ELASTICITY Can IBM cut prices fast enough to spur demand?

March 2010THE TEAHAD PILOT, THE SYCOPHANT SENATOR, AND IBM Unintended consequences of greed and corruption

March 2010IT'S i OR DIE FOR POWER IN THE MIDRANGE IBM's server chips may be outgrowing customers needs and budgets

February 2010THE LOTUS REPOSITION Lotus is getting better but selection and installation issues are huge

February 2010ONE-TRICK PONY, BUT WHAT A TRICK! Windows 7 is taking off but not yet winning on the corporate desktop

January 2010ORWELL'S FLAT A smarter plantet may be too clever by half

January 2010IF TREES WERE FREE WOULD THE WEB BE? Net neutrality is under threat

November 2009THE FOX IN IBM'S STORAGE HENHOUSE IBM buys an unpronounceable storage company

November 2009MASHUP SMACKDOWN What do you get when you mix one web with another?

October 2009OY, CLOUDY US! Big Blue gives its special touch to cloud computing services

October 2009CIO, GET OUT OF THAT GLASS HOUSE And IBM study shows corporate politics can trump technical prowess

September 2009BIG BLUE'S SUN STRATEGY GAMBLE:  IBM WITHOUT I IBM tries to pick off nervous Sun customers

August 2009TERMS AND CONDITIONS Users may be satisfied with their installed client systems but vendors hope not

July 2009AIMING FOR THE CLOUDS In the cloud, IBM bumps into formidable rivals

June 2009PLAYING FOR KEEPS IN PEORIA It's hard to trust the security software companies

May 2009SOMETIMES YOU EAT THE BEAR, SOMETIMES YOU EAT ITS PORRIDGE Netbooks beat the bear market

April 2009THE AGE OF ACQUIRE US Here comes (and goes) the Sun

February 2009BITING THE HANDOUT IBM, Google and Microsoft could be bailout beneficiaries

February 2009THAT'LL TEACH 'EM After years of truancy, IBM is very much back in school

January 2009SHOES FOR CHEESES Computing, like other technologies, thrives on disruption

January 2009GOOGLE'S LOVE AFFAIR WITH IBM'S OFFSPRING Big Blue and Big Search hold hands in the cloud

December 2008POTLATCH SEASON A culture lacking a Kwakiutl soul can fruitlessly destroy its wealth

December 2008HOW BIG BLUE SEES LITTLE YOU IBM conducts extensive studies of midmarket CEOs

November 2008SOULS OF OLD MACHINES Emulated computers and emulated books ought to be friends

October 2008HOME DEEP OWE Economic tremors could reshape the landscape of computing

September 2008A BP BATTLE SHEDS LIGHT ON IBM MARKETING Tough on dealers, tough on users, too

August 2008NEWTONIAN ECONOMICS Business analysts are only three centuries behind, but learning

August 2008FOR SOME CUSTOMERS, THE MAINFRAME IS GREEN More work often means more efficiency

August 2008UNISYS:  CRUNCH FOR THE LAST OF THE BUNCH Persistent mainframer turns to Sun hardware

July 2008MISSION POSSIBLE Software technology has run to excess and needs to to get back to basics

July 2008IBM v PSI:  THE OPERATION WAS A SUCCESS BUT THE PATIENT DIED Unplugged compatible

June 2008IPHONE HOME The future might be more about pocket clients than thin or thick ones

May 2008SAYING NO NO NO Computing usually accentuates the positive, but not right now

May 2008IBM V PSI:  WHEN COASTS COLLIDE PSI says its California home lets it trump some IBM claims

April 2008BEARS' TURNS The glass house cannot be sealed again economic pressure

April 2008THE DB2 HERESY For some big iron shops DB2 might not be the only suitable DBMS

March 2008PLANE'S PEEKING Computing's leaders and wannabees try to guess the future

March 2008BANKING ON IBM IBM hopes its leasing deals for the z10 are irresistible

February 2008RECOVERING LOST PROPHETS New ideas are stirring up the disk array business

February 2008THINKING INSIDE THE BOX IBM spotlights virtualization and specialty engines in the z10

January 2008MICROSOFT TO IBM:  TOLERATE PSI OR QUIT EUROPE Redmond backs Platform Solutions

December 2007MOTHERBOARDING IBM is trying to consolidate its server hardware

November 2007IT'S YOUR GAUL Don't argue about fat versus thin clients; try them out

October 2007WIDER WIDER EVERYWHERE From TV screens to computer displays, there's a phi in your future

October 2007MAINFRAMES GO POWER WITH z6 Big Iron becomes kin to a Unix box (on steriods)

September 2007SYMPHONY FOR THE DEVIL Is this an Office they can't refuse?

September 2007HOSING z/OS.e AND OTHER WITHDRAWALS IBM thinks out its software

August 2007LEVERAGE IBM has shown it understands financial leverage very well, but that was then

August 2007SHARE NOT ALIKE Litigation has not made PSI shy at SHARE meetings

July 2007CLASSICAL ARCHITECTURE IBM might not be building 'em like it used to

July 2007THREE-DIGIT Z BOXES HEAD FOR HISTORY Secondhand z boxes become impractical

June 2007TO AVATAR AND AVATAR NOT A Dutch avatar company helps IBM avoid taxes

June 2007VSE MAY HAVE A BRIGHT PAST AHEAD An old Multiprise 2000 can be the best choice

May 2007MISSING INACTION IBM could, if it wished, get out of the hardware business

May 2007THE PIZZA DISCONNECTION Mainframe users haven't rebelled; Domino's franchisees have

April 2007HEARTS AND MINDS Free Software offers software developers a social philosophy

April 2007IBM REPLIES TO PLATFORM:  NO MORE COMPATIBLES If it looks like our duck, duck

March 2007THE CHINA SPIN DRONE Stock markets sneeze; server markets could catch pneumonia

March 2007FLEX-ES AND PWD:  CAN THEY BEND?  ARE THEY BROKEN? The road to Splitsville

February 2007PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS Some milestones are old; these are new

February 2007IBM V PLATFORM SOLUTIONS:  ESTOPPEL, OLD SHOW KEY Court becomes den of equity

January 2007BETWEEN Y O U AND I Apple's iPhone sends wireless telephony a wakeup call

January 2007VSE BECOMES AN INSTRUMENT OF STRATEGY z/VSE 4 is more than an OS upgrade

December 2006YOU SAY EMULATE, WE SAY LITIGATE IBM hauls Platform Solutions into court

November 2006GREETINGS SEASON There's lots more holiday spam than holiday ham

November 2006IBM'S LAST, BEST SHOT AT THE BIG IRON CLIENT Windows of opportunity

October 2006STAY THE RECOURSE SOA looks like an old wheeze in new battles

October 2006IBM AND FLEX-ES AT AN IMPASSE Resellers post martyrdom emails

September 2006BLOWING UP BUDDHA Statues and limitations

September 2006A JOINT ASSAULT ON THE MAINFRAME HARDWARE MARKET They're back

August 2006FREQUENT DENIERS' CLUB With friends like this . . .

August 2006LOOKING FOR MR GOODCODE Searching the searchers

July 2006FOR SOME, ENTRY z9 BC ENTRY MODELS ARE CHEAP Big iron, small price

June 2006BIG INDIANS, LITTLE INDIANS High tech should look for tipis in its tea leaves

June 2006IT'S MIPS AGAIN, FOR HARDWARE PRICING The M word returns to IBM's vocabulary

May 2006A SECOND CHANCE FOR THE z800 Why not?  It was too young to die, anyway.

April 2006PATENT DEPENDING The curious collision of free trade and monopoly

April 2006INFLECTION POINTIBM may be wearing out the patience of its VSE base

March 2006LINCOLN TO OPEN SQL DBMS vendors might lose their bases

March 2006A LOAD OF POLLUX IBM readies its last mainframe with unique CPU chips

February 2006HELLO COST DENIAL Costs and confusion are tripping up mobile telephony

February 2006GETTING A GRIP ON ZIIP A database coprocessor enriches the z9

January 2006VIRTUAL'S IMPATIENCE Computers break loose from grim, confining reality

January 2006HERCULES, SON OF Z'S Open source mimicry of mainframes from 360 to z9

December 2005PLENTY OF NEWTON Imagine that!  There's another browser war

December 2005MORE POWER TO YOU, UNFORTUNATELY Electric billing and cooling the invisible MIPS

November 2005HASTA LA VISTA, BUDGET Windows Vista means termination for small PCs

November 2005BEAN COUNTING Waiting for Platform Solutions' other shoe to drop

October 2005OMISSION ACCOMPLISHED It's the blind leading the Times

September 2005NEW MOTH With rising power costs, PCs may have to become more PC

August 2005THE GRINCHY CODE On a mainframe, "free" software is a linuxury

July 2005LIVE GATES For Microsoft's Bill Gates, charity begins and ends at home

June 2005IF IT WALKS LIKE SUDOKU It's not puzzling that Sudoku is a hit in the computer trade

May 2005COLOPHON WHILE IT LASTS Digital documents may not survive the way written ones do

April 2005THE PRINCESS AND IP VoIP might be the Ugly Duckling . . . or the Emperor's New Suit

March 2005HP SAUCE Hewlett-Packard, looking for a new leader, is missing obvious candidates

February 2005DARNED COYOTE Cosomological questions are only a little tricker than computing issues

January 2005TECHNICAL FOWL The new year arrives for IBM and its new best friends in China

December 2004THE DRY FISH AFFAIR A new school of thought in wireless networking

November 2004VOW TIPPING Pension plans, including IBM's, are not what they used to be

October 2004VULTURE CULTURE Sometimes to move ahead you also need to look back

September 2004SELL PHONES How a few intrepid manufacturers peddle 600 million mobile phones a year

August 20040110 NIGHTS AND A NIGHT Computer marketing is the same old wonderful story

July 2004TO HIVE AND HIVE NOT Software development teams are structured to keep things buzzing

June 2004PANDA TO THE MASSES Open Source changes the nature of computing's ecology

May 2004FLEA CIRCUITS Semiconductors keep getting smaller, but it's still hard to beat the heat

April 2004MUSHING THROUGH GORGES A dogged determination to preserve legacies

March 2004BONE APPETITE Many technology vendors and possibly a few engineers are cannibals

February 2004A LION IN THE SAND The next, best thing might be more of the last good thing

November 2003POST MORTEM Email is an example of higher technology and lower standards

October 2003SCRIPT KITTIES DDOS attacks are not the pride of the Internet

September 2003GRAVITY'S DRAIN BOWL A power outage reminds us to appreciate our infrastructure

August 2003FICKLE FLINGERS OF FAT Vendors throw their weight around with benchmark tests

July 2003NOVEL IDEAS Of course intellectual property rights are confusing; they're suppose to be

June 2003BATTLE OF ALL MUDDERS That's what makes horse racing

May 2003FROM CREDO TO GRIEF The code:  nothing personal, strictly business

April 2003OH MY DARWIN:  INCLEMENT TIMES Computers are smarter than dodos but that's not enough

March 2003CALCULATED RISKS Defying the logic of beancounters for incalculable rewards

February 2003WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN A patron saint for the Internet

October 2002THE GUI LAG ARCHIPELAGO Linux poses deadly challenges to IBM's legacy business

September 2002RADIO DECIDENDI Wireless networks, torpedos and the beautiful Hedy Lamarr

August 2002OOTAY EBAY ORWAY OTNAY OOTAY EBAY IBM presses iSeries users to upgrade

July 2002CANUTE, ROCK ME IBM battens down its hatches and tries to ride out a storm

June 2002GIBBET AND SOLOMON IBM talks about building an iSeries nation

May 2002COTTON BLATHER The standards lesson has to be learned again and again

April 2002HIERONYMUS BOSH Will customers care if a mainframe has Power chips inside?

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