Today's Potpourri

1. Japan Airlines (JAL) becomes the latest customer to adopt z/TPF. z/TPF is IBM's extremely high performance transaction processing system, ideally suited for industries such as travel and transportation and financial services. JAL values z/TPF's 64-bit architecture, familiar Linux-based development tools, and sub-capacity pricing aligned with their business volumes. The full press release, in its original Japanese, can be found here. JAL is the largest airline in Asia and a member of the oneworld alliance.

There are signs Japan's traditionally ultra-cautious enterprise IT market is transforming as many Japanese companies become much more savvy, exploiting new technologies to help their businesses. For example, IBM has already sold new System z10 mainframes in Japan.

2. So what's the price for IBM's C/C++ compiler for z/OS, an IBM-MAIN forum poster asks. As little as $6 per month is the answer. I paid more for lunch today, and it wasn't nearly as good.

3. Slashdot picked up the New York Times story that Kevin refers to. Fortunately most of the Slashdot commenters know what they're talking about when it comes to mainframes, although a few still have strange misconceptions.

4. Blogger Arthur Cole waxes less sanguine than most about where the mainframe is headed. What do you think? Stephen Swoyer has a much different take.

5. IBM's relationship with ACI Worldwide is deeper and broader than ever. The two companies have an aggressive partnership to help financial services customers move electronic payment and ATM applications such as BASE24-eps to System z. Now IBM is taking over management of ACI's internal IT needs.

6. Interesting article about Marist College and their 700-odd Linux servers running on a single IBM System z9 mainframe. The article touches on the convenience of virtual firewall protections which Marist has implemented. Some of the servers support internal Marist administrative needs while most of them are available to students for classwork and other projects. All the servers live in harmony, and the students cannot change their own grades or tuition bills, for example.

by Timothy Sipples March 27, 2008 in Economics, Innovation, Systems Technology
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New York Times: "Why Old Technologies Are Still Kicking"

Few readers of this blog are unfamiliar with Stewart Alsop's 1991 claim that in five years' time the last mainframe would be unplugged.  It's become a piece of good humor over the years - with even Stewart himself sharing in the laugh by appearing in the pages of one of IBM's annual reports to "eat his words."

Still, the issue has always been one considered from the point of "if."

On Sunday, the New York Times took a "why" look at the dynamics behind the comings and goings - and mostly the staying power - of various technologies.  The article is called "Why Old Technologies Are Still Kicking," and is certainly worth a read.

Front and center in this reporting is the IBM mainframe.  The article even includes a colorful (well, one of them is in color) pair of mainframe photos that not only show how far the mainframe has come, but how far fashion and hair style seem to have evolved during the mainframe's lineage.  See below (and be sure to check out the Times article).


by Kevin Acocella March 25, 2008 in History
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