Readers Respond to “IBM Changes Name Back to AS/400 . . .”
April 8, 2008 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Last week’s spoof story, IBM Changes Name Back to AS/400, Promises Return to Glory, TV Ads, generated lots of reader feedback. Some readers realized that the story was an April Fool’s joke and appreciated the humor. Others, however, believed that it was a real news story. Alas, the IT Jungle extends an apology to any readers who feel they were suckered into believing this story was true.
— Alex Woodie
I only wish the story were true!
I really think you should grow up and print actual articles, not make things up. You had my IT director in my office telling me about this today. I had to explain to him how you published a phony story. Not very professional I must say!
Hi Alex, Great work! Much truth is said in jest. IBM’s not-invented-here syndrome still rules the day. If the IBM planners had just one more great idea, it would be lonesome. If it were not for the parochialism and downright bias that shades our industry as well as the IBM company itself, an objective look at just a few of the notions captured in your piece could clearly demonstrate how poorly managed the IBM company has been from time immemorial and how just plain stupid many of its decisions are when seen in the light of day. Look at Rolm, DiscoVision, Satellite Business Systems, and other foreign cultures that IBM could not absorb, and it is no wonder that i5/OS will be entombed as just another OS built by a company that forgot how to sell. Don’t forget the machine called the Peanut that could have started the iPod revolution 20 years sooner, but IBM chose to name it PC Junior. (Junior is always less than senior.) That name, by the professional IBM Naming Society, as you know, gave the notion that the little unit was less than the senior . . . and not just its own innovative unit. Anyway, thanks for the big smile you put on my face today.
— Brian Kelly
Ahhhh, we have a “Smart-Alex” in the group, eh? Tell him that one was so good my boss actually believed it! I almost fell for it, until I got beyond the first paragraph. Too many clues. Very funny though guys, it is great to see you have a sense of humor in an often times humorless business. Thanks for the laugh!
Absolutely FANTASTIC article about changing the name back. I forwarded it to 2,000 end users. . . . You can’t believe the number of e-mails I received back with many people “believing” the story!
If this is an April Fool’s joke, it is a cruel one!
As I understand it, everyone was sticking an “e” in front of everything they could. IBM, jumping on the bandwagon, decided that they were selling eServers. Unfortunately (so I heard), another company was already using “eServer,” and had copyrighted/trademarked the phrase. Not to be outdone, IBM decided that using a logo for the “e” would bypass the legality of the other company’s copyright/trademark. In court, the judge agreed with IBM’s argument that the “e” wasn’t really a letter, but a graphic. So (perhaps as part of the settlement) to prevent future lawsuits, IBM was required (?) to use the logo, or mention “e(logo)Server” whenever they couldn’t insert the graphic.
I can’t help but notice that this article has appeared on 4/1. Perhaps “Cervantes” has tilted at too many windmills?
You had me for about one full second. But as our former IBM user group ambassador in Houston, Randy Lackner, once said, “If IBM can’t kill the AS/400, no one can.” And not from want of trying. I’m waiting with baited breath for the announcement tomorrow. Typical of the midrange mentality, this doesn’t seem to be available live over the web. (“Who would want to do that?”, asked Joe Schmoe, President of COMMON.) OK, so Steve Jobs and Scott McNealy have spoiled us all for cool CEO live webcasts. Still, “System pi” has been a long time coming, foretold by Soltis long ago in “Fortress Rochester,” so I will be reasonably happy. As you often point out, the proof is in the pricing, and my hopes for a low-end developer machine with OS/400 are as dim as ever. Almost enough to consider making the effort to extend the Linux Bash shell to execute SQL commands against MySQLwithout firing up a separate console window. Oh, wait a minute, even the “integrated” System i doesn’t do that.
Just got off the phone with one of my vendors and he was saying how someone in his office thought Cervantes’ article about the AS/400 name change was the truth, and he was passing the word. I guess this is your version of Orson Wells War of the Worlds. Just wondering. With so many gullible people getting sucked in on this one, I wonder if this might call for a follow-up article explaining to the faithful that, no, IBM isn’t changing the name back. Just a thought.
I am not a 4/1 advocate. I have no humor when it comes to these kinds of details. You just caused me to now question your integrity, after I sorted out the details. I will have to access the usefulness of the detail benefits received from this Web site. I take this gaff very personally. We do not need this sort of “s…” being crafted and added to the confusion. I will no longer forward any postings from this medium.
OK, what kind of evil joke are you trying to play on the AS/400 faithful today? At first I jumped with joy, but with the realization that today is “April Fool’s Day,” and given IBM’s penchant for name changes, I find it very hard to believe this article is for real. Who is this “Cervantes” person that wrote the article? Mark Shearer “body surfing” at COMMON? TV ads, and a promise to “return to glory?” Come on dude, did IBM give you a packet of special Kool-Aid to drink today? And if so, where can I get some?
I usually don’t reply to things like this. I can honestly say that many of us here were happy to hear the announcement when one of our colleagues sent us an e-mail with a link to this article. Unfortunately, our bubble was burst when we read further and ex-IBMer who works with us stated that IBM would never do that! That is when we realized it was April Fool’s day. Thanks guys, for making our day!rnP.S I still wish this article were true!
Good job, writers! LOVED IT.