Tag Archive | Loudon

IBM: Should Floppy Disks & ‘Modern’ ATM Really Be Its Abiding Legacy.

hursley_site_detail.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:nationaltrust
>> Donate Hursley House To The National Trust.
>> Get rid of unproductive R&D — Feb. 2, 2015.
>> IBM’s 26% layoff is NOT enough — Jan. 27, 2015.

>>
Punch-drunk IBM, 40% layoff — Oct. 21, 2014.

>>
Continue to punish shareholder — Oct. 20, 2014.

>> Spin Off Watson — Oct. 8, 2014.
>> “Think” sign — Aug. 28, 2014.
>> Hursley’s John Fairclough … — Aug. 27, 2014.
>> Mainframe 50th — Apr. 7, 2014.
>> Gene Amdahl & I Mar. 29, 2014.
>> IBM Hursley pictures Mar. 16, 2014.
>> Malaysia flight 370: And ‘Poor’ IBM — Mar. 11, 2014.

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Search on “Hursley”, “IBM” & “mainframes” for other IBM (Hursley) related posts >>>>


During this week there has been quite an interest in my “IBM Layoff” posts. So this morning, while having coffee in bed, I did a Google, on my Android Pad, on “IBM layoffs UK”, since I was particularly interested in seeing whether there had been any cuts at my old IBM location, Hursley Laboratories (in the U.K.). I saw an entry for a U.K. Daily Mail (my favorite newspaper) article on “The Biggest Corporate Lay-off In History“. (See Below). Clicked on it. Then saw this ‘sidebar’ that said, “IBM: The Company Behind The Floppy Disk and First Modern ATM”.

Click to ENLARGE and read.

Click here to access the original, complete article.

WOW!

Those would NOT have been my choices IF I had been asked as to what IBM should be famous for — and I am a bit of an IBM buff.

Yes, I like many others would have immediately blurted out “S/360” — which celebrated its 50th anniversary, duly commemorated here (multiple times). But that probably wasn’t the right way to present that. What the S/360 was the first commercially significant and successful general purpose computer for corporations. And that is a mouthful. Remember we had the BUNCH — Burroughs, Univac, NCR, CDC and Honeywell.

Oh! IBM is not even CLOSE in terms of the modern ATM! Check this history …

Floppy disks are correct and that was the year that I joined IBM. Plus floppy disks were what inspired me to develop this, the basis for today’s serial number based software activation schemes. 

I am going to have to think about this, i.e., IBM’s abiding legacy in terms of just two inventions.

I have some ideas: synchronous communications (and we won’t have the Internet without that), FORTRAN etc.

But I think the key one has to be: Virtual Storage (VS).

You would not be using any kind of computer today IF not for VS, and I think that makes it more pivotal than floppy disks or ATMs.


IBM Should Donate Hursley House To The U.K. National Trust, Sell The Rest To Be Turned Into A Retirement Community.

.nationaltrustAnura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> Get rid of unproductive R&D — Feb. 2, 2015.
>> IBM’s 26% layoff is NOT enough — Jan. 27, 2015.

>>
Punch-drunk IBM, 40% layoff — Oct. 21, 2014.

>>
Continue to punish shareholder — Oct. 20, 2014.

>> Spin Off Watson — Oct. 8, 2014.
>> “Think” sign — Aug. 28, 2014.
>> Hursley’s John Fairclough … — Aug. 27, 2014.
>> Mainframe 50th — Apr. 7, 2014.
>> Gene Amdahl & I Mar. 29, 2014.
>> IBM Hursley pictures Mar. 16, 2014.
>> Malaysia flight 370: And ‘Poor’ IBM — Mar. 11, 2014.

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Search on “Hursley”, “IBM” & “mainframes” for other IBM (Hursley) related posts >>>>


As I tried to be as lucid as possible in my prior post 24 hours ago, IBM’s ‘applied research’ R&D facilities, the so called ‘Laboratories’, have not been pulling their weight for years.

Hursley House. IBM must donate it to the National Trust.

IBM, with its stockholders taking a beating, cannot afford to be sentimental anymore. Some of these Labs, especially the expensive European Labs, have to be closed down. In all cases IBM can make billions on their Real Estate investment. This was ALWAYS the plan from way back in the 1950s. Pick prime RE for the Labs so that if nothing else the RE will appreciate and be worth a fortune. That part has worked, and worked well. IBM is sitting on an absolute gold mine when it comes to RE — much of it associated with the huge sprawling campuses of the Labs.

Plus the original basic rationale for the European Labs is no longer relevant. In the 1950s IBM started building Labs in all of the major European countries to show its commitment to that country and as such gain favorable treatment when it came to doing business there. Those days are long gone. IBM having a Lab in a country is no longer a major factor. So why waste money.

IBM’s absolutely picturesque Hursley Park (where I used to work) is a case in point. Whatever is being done there these days can be moved to places with cheaper labor and much less expensive infrastructure costs. IBM no longer has the luxury of owning showcase locations like Hursley. That privilege now falls to the likes of Google, Apple, Samsung and Facebook.

hursley_site_detailHursley House, where the iconic Spitfire of Battle of Britain fame was designed, is historic and magnificent. It also still has, I hope, the Wedgewood Room which featured the eponymous china embedded into the wall. IBM should donate the house to the U.K. National Trust and get some Tax Credits and bucket fulls of goodwill. The rest of the campus should be sold to a developer to be made into a stunning, luxury retirement community. Basically that is what it is now. Actually most of the building could be easily converted into high end condos. Many of the IBMers working there could just move in there. They will all have good pensions from IBM.


IBM’s Upcoming Layoffs In 2015 Should Focus On Getting Rid Of Quite A Bit Of Its Sprawling, Unproductive R&D.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> IBM’s 26% layoff is NOT enough — Jan. 27, 2015.
>>
Punch-drunk IBM, 40% layoff — Oct. 21, 2014.

>>
Continue to punish shareholder — Oct. 20, 2014.

>> Spin Off Watson — Oct. 8, 2014.
>> “Think” sign — Aug. 28, 2014.
>> Hursley’s John Fairclough … — Aug. 27, 2014.
>> Mainframe 50th — Apr. 7, 2014.
>> Gene Amdahl & I Mar. 29, 2014.
>> IBM Hursley pictures Mar. 16, 2014.
>> Malaysia flight 370: And ‘Poor’ IBM — Mar. 11, 2014.

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Search on “Hursley”, “IBM” & “mainframes” for other IBM (Hursley) related posts >>>>


Research & Development has for long been IBM’s strength, its sustaining force. What IBM’s R&D has given us over the last century is monumental and as such much storied. Even now IBM files more patents a year than anybody else. Its portfolio of patents, the largest in the world, probably has a book value in the TRILLIONS!

But, as all successful Sales Managers have always asked their best salespeople on regular basis: “what have you done for me TODAY?”

And if you think about it that is IBM’s underlying problem.

Luftbild_IBM_Deutschland_Research_&_Development

IBM’s sprawling Boeblingen facility in Germany. Yes, it did some good work 1970 – 1990. What has it done of late?

Since the introduction of the Personal Computer (PC) in 1981 what game-changing BIGGIE has IBM given the world?

Even with the PC it missed out. IBM didn’t give us Windows, Office or PDFs.

IBM never came up with a Search Engine, a Browser, or any of the rampaging Social Media innovations. Nada. Zilch.

Yes, they continue to make enormous and very exciting breakthroughs in the semiconductor area and nanotechnology, but it is not a player in the mobile field.

IBM Watson, a work in progress that has been in the works for at least 25 years, is indeed very promising AND if IBM has a clue it would ask Watson what IBM should do with Watson. Very simple. Given that IBM’s highly compensated executives are floundering about, clueless, they might as well see if Watson’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help them get some bearings.

IBM, to be fair, as two types of research: Pure Research that does the esoteric far-out stuff, and Applied Research that supposedly should be working on tactical solutions.

But, these days it is Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Instagram that is doing all the cool stuff. Driverless cars? Google. Virtual reality goggles? Google. When was the last time you heard IBM talked about in terms of a ‘must have’ product. We get all this frenzy when Apple calls a product announcement. When was the last time you heard of an IBM announcement? 

ibm-la-gaude-lg

IBM’s scenic La Gaude facility in the French alps. They have been screwing up since the 1990s. One word: N(bloody)Ways! Case Closed. Facility should be closed too. Sell the campus to a property developer. IBM could get BILLIONS.

IBM can no longer afford to be sentimental.

They have to cut much and they have to cut deep.

They should totally get rid of some of the now totally redundant and unproductive European Laboratories! They no longer have a time and place in the IBM World. IBM bet on so many lost causes: OS/2, OSI, ATM, APPN, WebSphere …. Now it is time to pay the piper. Shutter some of these facilities. Liquidate the assets. Sell the lands. Give the poor shareholders a break.


IBM’s 26% Layoff Is NOT Enough To Pull It Out Of Its Terminal Downward Spiral. Needs A 40% Cut.

.ibmjan265yearAnura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> Punch-drunk IBM, 40% layoff — Oct. 21, 2014.
>>
Continue to punish shareholder — Oct. 20, 2014.

>> Spin Off Watson — Oct. 8, 2014.
>> “Think” sign — Aug. 28, 2014.
>> Hursley’s John Fairclough … — Aug. 27, 2014.
>> Mainframe 50th — Apr. 7, 2014.
>> Gene Amdahl & I Mar. 29, 2014.
>> IBM Hursley pictures Mar. 16, 2014.
>> Malaysia flight 370: And ‘Poor’ IBM — Mar. 11, 2014.

++++
Search on “Hursley”, “IBM” & “mainframes” for other IBM (Hursley) related posts >>>>


inm26layoff

From ‘MarketWatch’. Click to ENLARGE and read. Above stock price chart is also from ‘MarketWatch’.


What I said on October 21, 2014 — 3 months earlier.

ibm40cutblog


The problems being faced by IBM are not trivial. They are NOT easy to fix and it is possible that there might NOT even be a fix — ever! IBM, like say DEC or SUN, may just fade away to be acquired by Google, Oracle or possibly even Apple!

What so many people, normally smart people at that, just fail to grasp is that there has been a tectonic shift that has totally disrupted the very footings on which IBM has been anchored for so long. Analyst, mistakenly, because this is what IBM has fed them, refer to it as ‘legacy systems’. Try calling them ‘Proprietary Solutions’ and THEN you will quickly grasp what the problem is.

IBM, since the advent of the Hollerith punch card systems c. 1925 IBM thrived in selling and servicing Proprietary Solutions. The list of their MAIN Proprietary Solutions is long and storied and reads like: S/360, MVS, S/370, CICS, SNA, NetView, WebSphere, AS/400, z/OS etc. etc. Yes, this is why IBM, in the 1970s faced the largest anti-trust case leveled against any corporation.

It was easy to compete and make money when you were selling Proprietary Systems — especially if the products were marginally better than that of the competition and you had the BEST sales force in the Universe.

But to IBM’s chagrin the Web, Linux, PCs, the Cloud and everything to do with contemporary IT is NOT, by definition and design, not proprietary. IBM cannot provide enough differentiation.

Moreover, for the first time since modern computers came to be c. 1950, the MAJORITY of IT professionals, worldwide, are those that grew up, from day one, in a world full of PCs and Windows. For the first time, in nearly 4 generations of IBM management, IBM does not have the luxury of having a worldwide IT force that was in awe of the name ‘IBM’. The adage “you can’t get fired for buying IBM” can now be turned on its head. “You most likely WILL BE fired if you buy IBM (at their inflated prices”!

This, in a nutshell, is the problem.

Non-proprietary systems, and that includes ‘the Cloud’, being standards-based do not have the profit margins that IBM requires to finance its huge, bloated infrastructure. 26% cut is so not enough. 40% will be a decent start.

IBM also can’t provide enough specialized, differentiated, value-added expertise in today’s standard-based world. A kid in India, willing to work for $15/hour, probably knows as much about implementing a Linux-based server system as a smartly dressed, MIT-educated IBM consultant who has to charge $3,000/hour to meet IBM’s goals!

You can take it from here.

All the best. IBM was my life for 40 years! I would not be here if NOT for IBM. Everything I achieved in my professional life is because of IBM. I am very fond of IBM and proud that I am an ex-IBMer. That I was lucky enough to be “Mr. SNA” was a bonus. So I am the last person on earth that wants to see bad things happen to IBM. But, I also know IBM, at a level that few others do, and can spot the problems. I did that for a living for 30 years. Now I do it because I care.


A Disturbing Case Of Audacious Fraud On eBay?

scamrrttaa11Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
1. eBay USPS insurance scam.
2. eBay spinning off PayPal.
3. Selling train sets on eBay.
4. Pope Francis skull cap on eBay.

++++ Search ‘eBay‘, ‘scam‘ & ‘PayPal‘ for MANY other similar posts >>>>


ebayfraudmea1

Click to ENLARGE and read. From Maine CraigsList, “Rants & Rave” section.


Happened to see this on Maine CraigsList. I check it out, once in awhile, as a diversion. This post caught my eye because of its title.

The scary thing is that this could very well be TRUE, but this is also CL and CL is the world of fairies, fairy-tales and other twilight zone ramblings.

I can see much of this taking place and at Christmas 2013 I was at the other end of a eBay fraud. I paid $90 for a Lego set and a week later I got an e-mail from the seller telling me that I should file a claim for my money with eBay/PayPal because he was taking my money and closing his eBay account. To be honest I wasn’t too worried. I trusted PayPal and sure enough they refunded me the money quite quickly.

This was audacious and clever. But I am not sure it all adds up.

Ebay/PayPal can sure track the thief down irrespective of whether they closed their eBay account or not. I am sure there is a time limit, and I think it is 72 hours, by which you have to file a “item not as described” complaint. After that, that excuse does not work.

There appears to be more to this than what appears to be said in this post.

Yes, there is a lot of scams and frauds on eBay these days. It is not the friendly, fun place it was 12 years ago when I was doing a lot of selling and buying on eBay. Also, items no longer sell anything like they used to on eBay. I think droves of serious, genuine buys have fled eBay.

All this bothers me on two fronts. I do own a few shares of eBay and want to hold onto them until PayPal is spun off. But, I hate owning stock of companies that are unethical. So that is a personal dilemma. Plus, I think I like eBay — though I have not shopped eBay since the lens incident.

Just wanted to share.


eBay Sellers Trying To Scam U.S. Postal Service With Bogus Insurance Claims — Making Money Just On Insurance Claims.

scamrrttaa11Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
++++ Search ‘scam‘ for MANY other similar posts >>>>


It is actually quite ingenious. Simple and effective.

Here is how it works. Sell an item on eBay. If the buyer RETURNS it, as is often their right, just turn around the make a CLAIM against the USPS insurance, typically included (for I think $50), that comes with Priority Mail. Genius. The ONLY party that ends up LOSING any money is the U.S. Postal Service!

The buyer gets a FULL refund, including any shipping costs, from eBay (PayPal).

The seller gets the product back.

U.S. Postal Service is stuck with a claim for ~$35.

I saw it first hand recently and yesterday (Tuesday) decided to take action about it. I called up and gave ALL the details to eBay and then went to the Post Office, met with the Postmaster, and gave him all the details too. He was very interested and promised to report it to the fraud protection folks at the US Post Office.

It just rubbed me the wrong way. As I had to repeatedly explain to eBay and the Postmaster I do not have a grievance per se. I got all my money back. Actually given my track record ebay/PayPal, going back over 10 years, PayPal refunded my money as soon as they received automatic notification that I had posted back the item. [I get the same treatment from Amazon and sometimes Google. They give me my refund before they receive the return.]

I just hate to see anybody, even an agency, in this case the USPS getting ripped-off by scam artists.


November 19, 2014: 151 Anniversary Of President Abraham Lincoln’s Monumental Gettysburg Address.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
++++ Check Category ‘Events‘ for MANY other similar posts >>>>


It was delivered around 3:30 pm on
Thursday, November 19, 1863.

The ‘address’ was about 271 words long
and Lincoln delivered it in a few minutes.

It was part of a Memorial Service
coinciding with the reburial of the Union soldiers
who had died during the July 1 to 3, 1863
“Battle of Gettysburg”.

The MAIN speaker at the event was NOT President Lincoln.
It was Edward Everett,
a politician, preacher, diplomat, educator etc. from Massachusetts.
His speech, billed as the ‘Oration’
was entitled “The Battles of Gettysburg”.
It lasted 2 hours.

Lincoln spoke after that following
an interlude for an hymn, the “Consecration Chant”.

Lincoln’s short piece was billed in the program as
“Dedicatory Remarks, by the President of the United States”

It were these Dedicatory Remarks that came to the the
iconic “Gettysburg Address”.


Lincolnatgettysburg

An actual photograph, one of two that have been located. of Lincoln at Gettysburg ahead of the Address. From Wikipedia. Click to ENLARGE.


Haycopy-1

Click to ENLARGE and read. An actual copy of the Address, with corrections by the President, that had belonged to Lincoln’s then private secretary John Hay. From Wikipedia.


gettysbergaddressyt651a

A YouTube video of the Address. Click to access. Please remember there was NO recording or filming of the event in 1863!


Inexplicably Google has NEVER done a Google Doodle to commemorate this epi Address or for that matter ANYTHING to do with Abraham Lincoln!

It is possible that they have a policy of not doing anything political — BUT marking the Gettysburg Address. That kind of looks remiss. I might have to ask them, as I did with the Google Doodle Sri Lankan Independence


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