There was a period in the 1990s when automobile designers became infatuated with cup holders. They had it all, flip up, flip down, rubber gaskets – even one that popped out of the dashboard like a CD tray. I owned a minivan that actually had MORE cup holders than it could carry passengers! I am all for improvement and change, but why monkey with a design that works?
Being as I am an old-school S/34, S/36, S/38 guy from back in the Reagan/Bush days ~ I will still call it “the 400” ~ (iSeries / Series i / Power systems never caught on with me). The original “Silverlake” project started over 25 years ago, and the 400 is still cranking. I raised my children from diapers to degrees while programming on this durable box.
There have been many improvements to the 400, heck IBM even switched it from plain ugly tan to cool sleek black – but the fundamental machine is still the same. It has not tried to be something that it is not. The 400 has not been “improved” beyond what is reasonable. It has remained as steady (and ubiquitous) as the ordinary cup holder – which is pretty extraordinary these days.
Count how many desktops, laptops, operating system upgrades, AOL versions, Windows versions, et.al. that you’ve had since 1990. Consider all the remarkable advances in home and business computing over the past two decades. The 400 still does exactly what it as designed to do over 25 years ago. It is a fabulous DB2 machine, with a steady operating system, and hardware that rarely fails Basic, solid, dependable.
Thankfully, car designers got the message – and they’ve gone back to basics. So while your plain old cup holder keeps your morning coffee from spilling on the way to work, the “plain old” 400 is there waiting for you. If you consider all the changes in the world of EDP, DP, MIS, IS, IT over the past 25 years – there is a confidence level, cost savings and strong business logic behind keeping your ERP software on the 400.
Check back for Part 2 of Commuting and Computing – RPG/iSeries.