Reader Feedback On We’re Integrated, We’re A Platform
May 27, 2014 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The AS/400 (world’s single best brand dumped in the trash) wasn’t as integrated as IBM claimed. From a command line, why did I need to STRQSH to get a console for POSIX commands, or STRSQL to get a console for SQL commands? If I remember correctly, there are not any conflicts in command names. Yes, to a OS/400 newbie the king of Three Letter Acronyms would seem strange, but not any stranger than the operating system from AT&T extended by Berkeley CS students strung out on small pharma. SED? AWK? GREP? Are you kidding me? But maybe they had to, as they made longname, hierarchical filesystem naming coexist with 10-character flat libraries. Or is it actually, under the covers, the other way around?
Second thought, raised in this El Reg article, which argues the advantage of not tightly integrating a given set of hardware kit with software, because we should be able to easily throw hardware resources at a problem, on demand. To be fair, they also mentioned the higher efficiency of integration when workload demand is stable, as it tends to be at most midrange shops doing ERP gruntwork.
Personally, I would love for IBM to revive the AS/400 brand and lose the cash cow mentality of bleeding customers. But it really doesn’t matter to me much anymore, when I can keep a small Xen server alive on Rackspace for $15/mo and experiment with scaling up or out over a weekend for about $25 before reverting back.
I miss seeing your articles on The Register. Your brains and their British sub headline humor made a great combination.
The Linux front end was something I was thinking about a couple days ago.
As much as the move to web is required as well, wouldn’t it be great if you walked up to an HMC or remotely accessed an IBM i and it was fully GUI (Gnome or KDE desktop) system, using a Linux front-end, where you could choose to use Linux/Unix or IBM i command line as the user choses to? Where all the standard Linux shells, tools and desktop functions were integrated.
If IBM is going to spend the kind of money they are on Linux, shouldn’t their in-house OS systems also get the benefit? The days of not needing a GUI are quickly fading into the past. IBM i needs to find a way to get on board, and not just through web browsers.