Apple’s iOS 4: That’s Exactly What I Was Thinking!
June 14, 2010 Timothy Prickett Morgan
I know many of you are Apple fanbois and fangirlz and that you were goofing off at work last week, watching Steve Jobs introduce what was formerly known as the iPhone OS 4.0 and now known as iOS 4, to run, starting on June 21, on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad devices. It didn’t take long for the giggling to start among the AS/400 faithful, and many of you sent me emails just in case I didn’t see it and missed the several layers of irony. Here’s one:
As always, thank you for your phenomenal work and tireless efforts. Did you see that Apple is calling the iPhone/iPad operating system iOS now? So, is IBM going to sue Apple or finally admit that their crappy marketing and renaming of the 400 is finally rendered meaningless and come up with something better? I recommend a new moniker of Exadata and sell it as an all in one OLTP system. Oh wait, Oracle has that one. . . .
Like many of you, many of us here at IT Jungle think that IBM should have called the operating system that runs RPG and COBOL applications against a DB2 database on Power Systems servers i/OS, like it used to be called i5/OS during the Power5+ server generation. IBM gets annoyed when any of us call it i/OS, and was particularly unamused when The Four Hundred published an email exchange between the editors here about the issues involved with call the operating system “i”–not the least of which there is no way to end that sentence with the punctuation where it belongs and have it not look ugly, so I had to put in a dash and keep talking past the quote. (See OS/400: Is It IBM i, i OS, i 6.X, i/OS, Or What? for that charming little interchange.) In any event, when I have to use a proper noun for the operating system, I say “i For Business,” because that is what is on the logo rather than “IBM i” which is not a name but rather a vendor possessive and a name, “IBM” and its “i”–there’s that damned “i.” I had to avoid again. IBM wanted to avoid having “OS” in the product name at all, it being so retro.
Which is why Cisco Systems calls its network router and switch operating system the Internet Operating System, or IOS, and why Apple has gone to the trouble of licensing the trademark from Cisco so it can call the operating system for its growing band of, well, hand-held, touch-screen computers because that is what they bloody well are–I might even call them tricorders if I could find a third thing they can record (sound and vision, what’s the third thing?)
If iOS 4 is good enough for Apple, the coolest, hippest company on planet Earth, then I think i/OS 7 is perfectly fine for the modern incarnation of the AS/400 and its OS/400 platform. But I would settle for Power OS4, now that I just thought of it, and get rid of the damned annoying “i” all together. We could even upgrade it to Power OS7 and increment it as the hardware changes.
And yes, the day Apple is shipping iOS 4 for its iProducts is the AS/400’s 22nd birthday.