View Full Version : AS/400s at MS?
01-01-1995, 02:00 AM
For both sides of the story, go here: http://www.vnunet.com/News/1114383 Dave
11-28-2000, 05:03 AM
My guess is that the truth is somewhere in between. Someone on a news group suggested that MS is, indeed, back on 400s but is outsourcing the work so they don't have to own a 400. BTW, I have NEVER heard anyone refer to Frank Soltis as "AS/400's Elvis". As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure what it means. Steve
11-28-2000, 06:56 AM
The Microsoft representative said: "This is definitely a case where we eat our own dog food: we are very much a company that believes in using our own products." Now there's a marketing phrase I would never have thought of! Nothing says that you're proud of your products like comparing it to dog food.
11-28-2000, 07:01 AM
Gotta admit, after nearly 20 years in the Army, I've never heard the 'Dog Food' comparison. Heard lots of other things we've eaten or taken, but never dog food. Course, dog food might have been preferable over some of the meals I've had to eat in the Army. -bret
11-28-2000, 07:05 AM
Multiple choice smart-aleck remarks: - Well, there IS a truth-in-advertising law. - Wonder if any dog food makers will sue MS for slander. - Talk about DEFINITION of character! - So that's where my Win98 CD disappeared to . . .
11-28-2000, 07:26 AM
Shannon, Larry Elison made the same statement a while back in an Eweek article. A later story said that he was prepared to eat dog food during the interview but his "handlers" would not let him. Here is a link to the original article: http://www.zdnet.com/eweek/news/0825/27eorac.html David Morris
11-28-2000, 10:06 AM
Oh man! Is this the new catch phrase like "Where's the Beef?"? If it is, I'm not using it! ha! Seriously though (or not...), I can't read that phrase, "eat our own dogfood" without immediately thinking of the phrase from the Bible from 2 Peter 2:22-'They make these proverbs come true. "A dog returns to it's vomit", and "A washed pig returns to the mud."'. It leaves a rather unsettling mental image in my mind.
11-28-2000, 10:09 AM
Perhaps the justice department will order the immediate divestiture of Microsoft's dog food division :-) Dave
11-28-2000, 10:46 AM
As my employer manufactures an extensive line of Pet Foods, I must mention that we take great pride in the award winning quality of our product. Regarding consumption -- I recall a David Letterman program, some five years ago, wherein a representative of a spunoff foreign subsidiary (which retains our name) created a minor sensation by consuming a selection of the premium cat food line for the national audience. Such 'stupid pet' tricks may have influenced the MS comment.
11-28-2000, 11:16 AM
A search of the web will find many references to eat your own dog food, some columnists who recall hearing it many years ago. It is a strange saying and seems limited to commercial software developers who are proudly disparaging their own software. Oracle and Microsoft can call their software dogfood because they're successful. You can smirk all you want while the AS/400's are wheeled out to be replaced by NT and Unix boxes. Can you say Nero? The whole concept is obviously alien to this forum because the whole point of writing AS/400 software is to use it to run your business. The number of commercial software companies who could run their business on their own software is somewhat limited, so the saying doesn't have that much applicability and therefore wouldn't be heard much. The two companies that are saying it, Microsoft and Oracle, successfully migrated their multi-billion dollar companies from mainframes to NT and Unix, respectively. They run nearly all the web servers in the world and all the ERP's that now sell.... Oracle, Peoplesoft, SAP, Baan, JDE. The AS/400 now only runs web servers. Yet the two ERP's which now run with web pages, Oracle 11i and Peoplesoft 8, do not run on the AS/400 with its vaunted web serving capability. Somebody had better get a clue instead of fiddling. Ralph email@example.com
11-28-2000, 11:37 AM
Very good points Ralph and I tend to agree with your assessment. I'm also cognizant of the fact that this is an AS/400 forum.....so, as with other religions, you will get cheered when you badmouth the other guys and preach to the choir....you'll get booed for anything that reflects negatively on your own.
11-28-2000, 11:47 AM
Ralph & Mike - Geez, you guys must not be much fun at parties! :-) Steve
11-28-2000, 12:26 PM
PRONOUNCEMENT, as heard at the VAST BARBEQUE known as the BUSINESS SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY (NERO presiding): "Primus, hereby let it be known that the COMMON WISDOM is now that BUSINESSES will run their MISSION CRITICAL SYSTEMS on software only from those MOST WONDROUS ARTISANS, known as MICROSOFT and, fittingly, ORACLE. Let it also be known that the BILLIONS of lines of BUSINESS SOFTWARE currently running on IBM MIDRANGE SYSTEMS are hereby rendered MOOT and INCONSEQUENTIAL, as the COMMON WISDOM prevails. "Secundus, let it be decreed that those who insist that QUALITY, RELIABILITY, STABILITY and PERFORMANCE be prerequisite attributes of BUSINESS SOFTWARE are hereby found to be ZEALOTS and HERETICS of the worst sort, since only HUGE CORPORATIONS can develop MEANINGFUL SOFTWARE. Also, IBM is no longer considered a HUGE CORPORATION for purposes of this discussion, since the IBM MIDRANGE PLATFORM is by COMMON WISDOM a DEAD PLATFORM, far outperformed by NT and UNIX. "Tertius, the fact that MICROSOFT owns the desktop marketplace through CUNNING and RUTHLESS MARKETING PRACTICES means their SOFTWARE has become, by decree, HIGH QUALITY. Selling huge amounts of ALPHA-QUALITY software to CAPTIVE AUDIENCES makes said software PRODUCTION QUALITY, since by the COMMON WISDOM, SOFTWARE may now be purchased only by HERD MENTALITY. "Finally, let it be known that the NEW SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT MODEL will now consist of getting (PRE-)BETA PROTOTYPES to MARKET quickly, and that SECURITY, MAINTAINABILITY, SCALABILITY, and COMPATIBILITY from RELEASE to RELEASE are no longer to be considered during the REVIEW PROCESS. "Therefore, it shall henceforth be required that ALL BUSINESS SOFTWARE come from ONLY the ROYAL ARTISANS, MICROSOFT and ORACLE, and all other vendors shall be considered as only SPEAR CARRIERS. Remember, whereas IBM has brought you MULTIPLE RELEASES of A SINGLE OPERATING SYSTEM, each ALMOST ENTIRELY COMPATIBLE with PREVIOUS RELEASES, requiring ALMOST NO CHANGE TO EXISTING PACKAGES, MICROSOFT has brought you MANY, MANY OPERATING SYSTEMS, each with its own UNIQUE STYLE and each INCOMPATIBLE with THE OTHER and even with PRIOR VERSIONS, each release requiring MORE SOFTWARE PURCHASES, MORE HARDWARE PURCHASES and MORE TRAINING. This sort of wisdom is the wisdom we would like to see in all our BUSINESS VENTURES. "This is decreed, and so shall it be, as the will of the COMMON WISDOM." P.S. This is satire. I'm pretty sure Nero didn't say this.
11-28-2000, 12:30 PM
<blockquote><tt> Ralph & Mike - > Geez, you guys must not be much fun at parties! > :-) > Steve </tt></blockquote> I guess I lost too many corporate battles to NT and Oracle to see the humor. It's our very livlihoods and profession on the line here, and the firm ground we once stood on has been turned to quicksand. I have trashed Microsoft as the evil empire for years (we at Z-Soft wrote Paintbrush for Windows to give M$ something to ship with Windows 1.0 to show it off - I joined during the Windows 2.0 enhancement and the flip flop from tiled to overlapping windows - but I digress - M$ used us until Windows got some momentum, then gave Z-Soft a take it or leave it offer so as to not pay any more royalties - they have stabbed every business partner they ever had in the back and destroyed the PC software industry - I have no fondness for them). So I wish I could forget watching the AS/400 die a slow death over the last three years, and I wish I could laugh at Microsoft trying to run real software, and I wish I could forget how quickly the VAX plunged into the ocean, and could forget who hired the VAX/OS's architect to transfer the VAX magic to the NT... Ralph firstname.lastname@example.org
11-28-2000, 12:33 PM
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the damned, I preach no evil, for I am but a humble developer, who has no desire to be married to a platform that the creator refuses to market.
11-28-2000, 12:48 PM
Mike, I'm donning a toga and joining whatever procession Joe and you have going through that valley.... I can't really add anything to those posts... Ralph
11-28-2000, 03:22 PM
I read an interesting article recently. "The Innovator's Dilemma - When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail". From the article, a couple point follow: Digital Equipment Corp. had so much forward momentum in the 70's and 80's that Business-Week likened it to a freight train. (If my memory serves me, Oracle was developed first on DEC) Then, in 1989 Business-Week ran a post-mortem about what had gone wrong in this once-great company. Not surprisingly, the writers were highly critical of DEC's management. But, the writers missed an important point. DEC wasn't the only company that fell. Nearly every mini-computer company with a proprietary OS seemed to go over a cliff - nearly simultaneously. Data General, Prime, Wang, Nixdorf, and Hewlett-Packard. Most survivors in the mini-computer business consolidated around UNIX. The notable exception is the AS/400, which sustained growth through the 90's. We are often critical of IBM's handling of the AS/400, but in this light, it can be considered a big success. PC's were a technology that disrupted the mini-computer market 10-12 years ago. Today, the Internet is disrupting the PC market. Hence, Microsoft is scrambling to redefine Windows as an application server technology. Will it work? All I know is that the AS/400 is in a prime position to grow, because its technology and legacy are ideal in a market that's application server centric. Its so much simpler than Microsoft's n-tier proposition.
11-28-2000, 04:45 PM
Nathan Andelin wrote: "Nearly every mini-computer company with a proprietary OS seemed to go over a cliff - nearly simultaneously." Nice analysis, Nathan, but it is a mistake to talk about proprietary OS's. I won't go into the theoretical possibility of a non-proprietary OS, but DEC tried to move the VAX to Unix as well. It is not that Unix survived and non-Unix other than OS/400 didn't. Proprietary hardware was the issue. Intel PC's, particulary Novell networked PC's, provided a much more cost effective solution to midranges and their expensive proprietary terminal interface based hardware. Running Unix on expensive hardware just made it an expensive Unix box, which was okay if the hardware was that much more powerful, but it wasn't. The Route 128 brotherhood was no match for Intel. Of course, the AS/400 remained an expensive proprietary hardware box. It thrived because of choice of software - not system software - but application software. No one in this forum needs to be told of the substantial lineup of AS/400 business software that existed. A premium was paid for both the hardware and software. Now that same premium is being paid for Oracle, Peoplesoft, and SAP. IBM would like that premium to be paid for a Websphere web server, which has free equivalents on other OS's in Apache Foundation software, and a smorgasboard of proprietary development tools tied to Websphere and Notes Domino web servers. People buy apps. It's why the AS/400 survived then, and why it isn't now. Those killer green screen systems were written by smart, ambitious, driven programmers who went on to run multi hundred million dollar software companies with software that was sketched out on their kitchen tables, the software equivalent of starting a company in the infamous garage. But every person like that today, ex IBMers, Oracle, and Sun alumni, are writing software which requires Unix or NT. Even purely web page software. What software will the superior serving AS/400 that you see serve? Home grown web page software written with net.data? We are told by IBM and others here that our green screen systems can run on the web and transcend the green screen to modern civilization, not that I believe the green screen isn't a still valid business solution. Where are those web conversions of thousands of green screen systems that sold the AS/400 all these years? Why after all these years of talking do we not have a palpable presence in the software market? If it's so possible, why hasn't it happened? If it's happened, why don't we know about it? What does it take to make it happen? If IBM adds a uniquely capable visual front end to the AS/400, will smart innovative programmers once again gather around the kitchen table to sketch out the future? Ralph email@example.com
11-29-2000, 06:14 AM
Bruce, If I'm not mistaken, don't the guidelines implemented a few years ago require that the food be processed in such a fashion as to be edible by the human population. Not that I endorse it, but I have tried MilkBone (r) bisquits. Finsished Ranger School in the Army and some idiot bet me $50 cash that I wouldn't eat one. He lost.... -bret
11-29-2000, 06:23 AM
Actually Joe, I think he had just finished this speech when the population exploded into a fury not seen since Pompeii. They torched the town and all of it's buildings and farmland. 'Course it was Emperor Nero who got the blame for....fiddlin' around with the system.... : -bret
11-29-2000, 06:27 AM
I have tried MilkBone (r) bisquits. Finsished Ranger School in the Army and some idiot bet me $50 cash that I wouldn't eat one. He lost.... Bret, did you eat the whole thing???
11-29-2000, 06:34 AM
Ummmm, so you're saying the guy who MADE the bet was the idiot??
11-29-2000, 06:38 AM
Heck yes, I ate the whole Milk Bone (r) doggy bisquit. I was 22 year old Corporal in the Army and wanted (needed) that $50 bucks. I ate worse than that in some other un-conventional schools I attended. 'Course the bad part is: I got the $50 bucks. 10 or so years later, Mel Gibson got Millions for being in a movie where he took a bite (Just a bite) or two of one. -bret
11-29-2000, 06:40 AM
"A fool and his money are soon parted." and all that rhetoric jazz. -bret
11-29-2000, 06:57 AM
Variations: A fool and his money are soon elected. A fool and your money are soon partners. Dave
11-29-2000, 07:21 AM
<font color=blue>Heck yes, I ate the whole Milk Bone (r) doggy bisquit.</font> If you're ever in Mississippi, Bret, drop by the house & we'll grill some Gainesburgers! <IMG > SRC="http://home.earthlink.net/~tmeinen/faces/smilewink.gif" ALT="wink" WIDTH="15" HEIGHT="15"> <font color=blue>I was 22 year old Corporal in the Army</font> I thought all E-4's were Spec 4's. I thought they quit using the rank of corporal.
11-29-2000, 07:32 AM
Infantry, Artillery and Specfial Forces still used the Corporal rank. The idea is that if the SGT is down, there is still an NCO (Non Commissioned Officer) to take charge. With the Artillery, its a matter of having to have an NCO take responsibility for firing the actual round or be the FO (Forward Observer) who marks the target and/or impact area. When I joined the Army in 1981, the Specialist rank went from E-4 to E-7, equivilent in pay of Corporal, Sergeant, Staff Sergeant and Sergeant First Class, but without the responsibility. Again, these were given to people who specialised in a field, such as Electronics, Topography, Journalism, etc, who deserve the pay, but would not (normally) be placed in a position of authority. When the Army did away with the Spec-5 to Spec-7 rank, there was one soldier who refused to wear the 'Hard Stripe' Sergeant First Class rank. This was the executioner at Ft. Leavenworth. He had been a Spec-7 for over 15 years of his 35 year career and he saw no reason to change. He was allowed by the Post Commander to retain the insignia on his uniform until his madatory retirement 8 months later. -bret
11-29-2000, 08:55 AM
I bet you had fresh breath and a glossy coat. J
11-29-2000, 09:52 AM
Breath is okay, but the glossy coat is diminishing on top as age sets in. -bret "Ruff!"
11-29-2000, 01:01 PM
<FONT COLOR=BLUE> A fool and his money are soon elected </font> Well I do wish one of the fools would finish getting elected so the rest of the world can get some local news back onto the front page. It must be very wearying for you guys. By the way, Bret, How did it taste? Likely to worry the Iced Vo-Vo people? Russell
11-29-2000, 01:13 PM
Russell, Don't know what an 'Iced Vo-Vo" is, but really it did not taste bad. Had a more neutral taste with no aftertasted. Sort of like a plain unsalted cracker. Perhaps a bit of tobasco or guacamole? -bret
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