Still More Potpourri

1. Ian Bramley lists his Top 15 Reasons to Stay On/Move To the Mainframe.

2. IBM announces "Getting Started" prices for several WebSphere products running on z/OS. Nobody pays more, but if you need just a little bit of some WebSphere products then you'll pay less, even if you don't create a separate LPAR. Very nice.

3. David Kurtz at, one of the preeminent political blogs, comments on a report about the Pentagon's "antiquated" accounting system. The report quotes one ex-Pentagon IT director and blames "old-style" mainframes running COBOL, which Kurtz then characterizes as capturing the Pentagon's problems best.

But TPM's erudite readers pounced, correcting Kurtz on his factual misstep. To his credit, Kurtz quickly posted a follow-up from a reader: "As a coworker says, with only mild exaggeration, every 'regular' PC and server could blow up one day, and it would be an inconvenience; if every IBM mainframe stopped working, the world would basically shut down."

4. Micro Focus is trying to acquire NetManage. NetManage's best-known product is Rumba.

5. You can recycle your mainframe in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, for free, but don't try to recycle your furniture. Fax machines, hard drives, mobile phones, and radios are among the items they'll also accept without charge.

Of course what's really going on is that a private contractor charges county taxpayers $0.063 per pound they collect, then that contractor turns around and sells the metals and other valuable bits. It's just good business. If you'd also like to drop off your diamond jewelry and slightly used Toyota Camry, I bet they'll be delighted.

6. A major auto company lost a tape containing sensitive customer information. Come on, folks -- let's get those tapes encrypted, OK? I don't want to read any more of these stories. Thank you. [UPDATE: I read another one. :-(]

7. Larry Dignan ponders the Alpha and the Omega that is the mainframe. For more background, CNET interviews IBM Software Chief Steve Mills.

8. "Data Centers Are Becoming Big Polluters," observes The New York Times. Unless data center managers start buying a lot more mainframes, the IT industry is set to pass the airline industry by 2020 as a polluter.

9. Unisys's CFO has a contrarian view of the mainframe market: "As you know, our Clear Path server revenue is in long term decline as the mainframe market in general experiences industry-wide secular declines."

by Timothy Sipples May 1, 2008
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