Timothy Prickett Morgan
Timothy Prickett Morgan is President of Guild Companies Inc and Editor in Chief of The Four Hundred. He has been keeping a keen eye on the midrange system and server markets for three decades, and was one of the founding editors of The Four Hundred, the industry's first subscription-based monthly newsletter devoted exclusively to the IBM AS/400 minicomputer, established in 1989. He is also currently co-editor and founder of The Next Platform, a publication dedicated to systems and facilities used by supercomputing centers, hyperscalers, cloud builders, and large enterprises. Previously, Prickett Morgan was editor in chief of EnterpriseTech, and he was also the midrange industry analyst for Midrange Computing (now defunct), and its editor for Monday Morning iSeries Update, a weekly IBM midrange newsletter, and for Wednesday Windows Update, a weekly Windows enterprise server newsletter. Prickett Morgan has also performed in-depth market and technical studies on behalf of computer hardware and software vendors that helped them bring their products to the AS/400 market or move them beyond the IBM midrange into the computer market at large. Prickett Morgan was also the editor of Unigram.X, published by British publisher Datamonitor, which licenses IT Jungle's editorial for that newsletter as well as for its ComputerWire daily news feed and for its Computer Business Review monthly magazine. He is currently Principal Analyst, Server Platforms & Architectures, for Datamonitor's research unit, and he regularly does consulting work on behalf of Datamonitor's AskComputerWire consulting services unit. Prickett Morgan began working for ComputerWire as a stringer for Computergram International in 1989. Prickett Morgan has been a contributing editor to many industry magazines over the years, including BusinessWeek Newsletter for Information Executives, Infoperspectives, Business Strategy International, Computer Systems News, IBM System User, Midrange Computing, and Midrange Technology Showcase, among others. Prickett Morgan studied aerospace engineering, American literature, and technical writing at the Pennsylvania State University and has a BA in English. He is not always as serious as his picture might lead you to believe.
February 20, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
As expected, IBM rolled out a Valentine’s Day surprise for its IBM i and AIX customer bases with a new pair of machines aimed at giving a low powered, lower cost option for the customers running its legacy applications instead of Linux, which is the darling of the Power Systems business these days even though it does not come even close to representing the majority of the Power Systems revenue stream.
The Power Mini or IBMini, as I have been calling the machine affectionately, turns out to be a variant of the existing single-socket Power S812 system that IBM has …Read more
February 13, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Back in the day, when IBM wanted to get customers to move ahead to new iron and the Moore’s Law increases in processing capacity meant that it needed to gear down boxes to bring customers forward, IBM actually did something about it and offered a cut-down machines with lower – and competitive – prices.
Remember the AS/400 Model 150 machines launched two decades ago, and then the breakthrough “Invader” AS/400 Model 170 machines, using the “Apache” and then “Northstar” PowerPC processors that followed them in 1998 and 1999? These systems, in a very real sense, saved the AS/400 business. Back …Read more
February 8, 2017 Doug Bidwell
For the past nineteen years now, Doug Bidwell, the PTF slinger who owns IBM midrange business partner DLB Systems Associates, has been putting together a guide to help OS/400, i5/OS, and IBM i shops figure out what to patch in their operating systems for midrange gear every week.
For as long as we can remember — and that is not long as we are getting a bit gray or white, depending — we have been publishing Bidwell’s IBM i PTF Guide, and we are thrilled to be getting it back on press and to be incorporating it into the …Read more
February 6, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
We have been talking for a long time about the impedance mismatch between some IBM i shops in terms of what processing, memory, storage, and I/O capacity they need and what IBM delivers to them with each new generation of Power Systems iron. For many shops, even the smallest machine that Big Blue currently delivers is too much of a box.
This is a testament to the efficiency of the IBM i platform and its integrated relational database management system in that it takes very little iron to get useful work. It also shows that for many customers, transaction processing …Read more
February 6, 2017 Jon Paris
In my previous “Fundamentals” tips, I discussed the importance of making sure parameters are the correct size and how to correctly handle omitted parameters. In this tip I want to address what has to be the most frequently asked question about parameters.
The most frequently asked parameter question comes in many forms, such as:
- “How do you pass them from the command line?”
- “Why do I see garbage in the back end of my character parameters?”
- “Why are my numeric values passed incorrectly?”
Usually these questions arise when a programmer wants to simplify the testing of a program and does …Read more
February 6, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
We didn’t expect any major announcements from IBM’s Power Systems division here in the first couple of weeks of the year, but the company has made done a bunch of little things that might affect some IBM i shops that you ought to be aware of just the same.
In announcement letter 117-013, which was put out on January 24, IBM made good on its promise to make the new I/O peripherals and memory cards that came out with the midrange Power 850C system announced last year available on the prior generation Power 850 box, which debuted in May …Read more
February 1, 2017 Larry Bolhuis
Only so many times can you see something and not say something. Time to say something.
Most of you know I spend most of my time working on the most reliable, capable, flexible, and modern business system anywhere. And, of course, that would be IBM i on Power Systems. What you may not know is that I spent time driving a bus. I drove a very large bus with a huge wide bumper backed by an air horn. It was 40-feet long and 11 and a half feet high, weighed 40,000 pounds loaded, and was propelled by a supercharged V8 …Read more
January 30, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
For as long as we can remember, every couple of years or so IBM has changed the executives that have been in charge of its midrange systems and over a slightly longer term, of maybe five to seven years, it has rebranded or somehow significantly changed the marketing message driving those midrange systems. It looks like 2017 might be a year for both.
In a series of brief internal memos put out by Ginni Rometty, the company’s president, chief executive officer, and chairman, and Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president of IBM Systems group, IBM is rejiggering its executive lineup and …Read more
January 30, 2017 Susan Gantner
People often talk to me at conferences or via email about ways they wish RDi worked differently, or about a built-in function that RPG should have, or about other changes to IBM products that they think would make life better for IBM i developers. Sometimes I agree that they are great ideas and I wish IBM would implement it, too.
Sometimes, even if I do think it’s a good idea, I think there are other more important things to be done before that. Occasionally, I struggle to understand why anyone would want that feature. I suspect many of you have …Read more
January 23, 2017 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It is a new year, and we are all looking forward to a growing economy and some much needed competition for compute in the datacenter as there is a resurgence of interest in the Power processor and a growing probability that ARM server chip makers, particularly Qualcomm and Applied Micro, are going to see some traction this year.
It is with this in mind that we ponder IBM’s fourth quarter financial results, which were announced last Thursday, and more specifically think about what may be in the cards for the Power Systems platform in 2017 and beyond. First, let’s go …Read more