All posts tagged IBM

Getting past your own biases

I read Andy Grove’s Only the Paranoid Survive last week. I always figured it was an autobiography or memoir, not a business book. But it’s a business book.  A very good one. I avoided it because I didn’t like Andy Grove. I’ve never been a fan of Intel’s business practices during the 1990s and 2000s, […]

The Post-Dispatch may be giving the wrong idea about the dollar value of vintage computers

Articles like Top 10 collectibles for value, from the Post-Dispatch this week, frequently make me nervous, mostly because of statements like this one: [D]id you know that computer parts can bring home cash, too? Statements like that tend to get people’s hopes up way too high. I find the timing interesting though, seeing as a […]

Happy 30th birthday, PCjr!

It’s the Mac’s 30th birthday. Everyone knows that, unless they’ve been under a rock. But I don’t think anyone would hold it against you if you didn’t know it’s also the IBM PCjr’s 30th birthday. The PCjr is one of the biggest flops in computing history. Few people know much more about it than that.

Cutting through the fluff around the Target PIN breach

OK, so Target is back in the news, and it’s nowhere nearly as bad this time but there’s some posturing and some fluff in the news, so I’ll take it upon myself to demystify some of it. Some of it’s PR fluff, and some of it’s highly technical, so I’ll cut through it. I’m just […]

What on Earth is a Mainframe?: A review

I’ve been reading David Stephens’ self-published What on Earth is a Mainframe, (also available on Amazon) which is as close to z/OS For Dummies as we’ll ever see. I deal with mainframes at work from time to time. I interacted with an old IBM mainframe of some sort when I was in college, using it […]

Hacker chasing, circa 1987

I’m catching up on reading. Next on my reading list is The Cuckoo’s Egg, (Amazon link), Clifford Stoll’s memoir of chasing down a computer hacker in the late 1980s. In it, he describes a very different world, ruled by mainframes and minicomputers, where Unix was something special, IBM still made PCs, but desktop PCs and […]

A non-revisionist take on Ctrl-Alt-Del

Bill Gates said last week that he regrets the use of Ctrl-Alt-Del as a logon sequence, while David Bradley, the IBM PC engineer who built that feature into the first IBM PC, says he doesn’t know why Microsoft chose to use that sequence for logon anyway. Both of them, for whatever reason, are forgetting a […]

The 11 Neff Hall chop shop

I saw an IBM PS/2 Model 55SX at an estate sale this past weekend. It took me back to my first non-food service, non-retail job, doing desktop support at Mizzou. Well, as a precursor to doing desktop support, they tried me out just building and tearing down machines. I worked out of Room 11, which […]

Sculley on Jobs

John Sculley famously fired Steve Jobs in 1985, a move that’s pretty universally panned today. This week, someone asked Sculley about it. Here’s the money quote: “He was not a great executive back in those early days. The great Steve Jobs that we know today as maybe the world’s greatest CEO, certainly of our era, he […]

Bombshell: Ballmer steps down from Microsoft

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Steve Ballmer is retiring. It’s time. If anything, I agree with the people who say he would have been better off retiring years ago. But I really didn’t expect it. In spite of the immense pressure to step aside, at least in public he never gave any indication […]