IBM (was Re: Please help me unsubscribe)

W Bauske wsb at
Fri Jun 9 13:55:31 PDT 2000

"Robert G. Brown" wrote:
> On Fri, 9 Jun 2000, W Bauske wrote:
> > "Robert G. Brown" wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > > <chortle>
> > > I would have written this as "IBM was once a great company in a lot of
> > > ways, and adopting linux across the board will help."
> > > </chortle>
> > >
> >
> > I guess the fact businesses spend $60-70 billion on them each year makes
> > them a has been and Linux will add huge amounts more revenue to their
> > pitiful bottom line. Get real...
> Whoa, I was just kidding, in a wry sort of way.  That'll teach ME to be
> terse;-)

OK. Just pointing out how your comment sounds to those folks
who look at computing from a business perspective.

> To explain my remark further, I really do think that Linux is an
> essential part of IBM's strategy for maintaining those huge revenues.
> OS/2 tanked after they were basically betrayed by Microsoft, and it is
> difficult and expensive for IBM to maintain their own "private" systems
> group with non-mainstream operating systems that are not compatible or
> portable across all their various platforms, however lucrative the fish
> they have shot in these particular barrels have been in the past.  Ask
> DEC, Honeywell, etc (long list) just how long a multibillion dollar
> mostly-hardware company lasts when their software is too nonstandard or
> their price point too non-competitive.

See my other comments. Pricing is fine for people who
have a business case and know how to work with IBM.

> On the other hand, IBM does nothing except in the hope of making money
> (while providing good services, of course) and aren't moving to linux
> out of dreams of revenge on Microsoft or because their other OS's aren't
> currently profitable.  They're betting on the horse they think will win
> the race and preserve those lovely revenues, while (I'm sure)
> anticipating that in the long run they can eventually save a lot of
> moneyby NOT having a multiple competing incompatible mainline software
> operations.  IBM's hardware has always been excellent, but their
> software over the years has not infrequently left something to be
> desired and some of it would never have sold at all if their hardware
> customers had had a choice.

Exactly what is wrong with making a profit? IBM interest in Linux is 
to first, provide customers with another option for using their systems 
and second, to perhaps persuade companies outgrowing Linux based small 
servers to look at IBM equipment as the next step. Most business types 
are more comfortable when you say you're buying a solution with IBM in it.

As to their SW, I've also used much of IBM's SW and HW and while
at times they make life difficult for a programmer, particularly
on the mainframe side, I've found their AIX systems quite standards
conforming and have had little difficulty with them. Maybe I got
lucky or something but I've used AIX for 10 years or so. Pretty
much each UNIX flavor has it's own quirks and AIX or Linux are
no better or worse than anything else I've seen. In fact, Linux/Gnu
is not a single system. Each packager makes things slightly different
so Linux/Gnu is itself, quirky for each comapny that releases a
version of it.

Back to Beowulf things now.

Wes Bauske

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