By Larry Walsh
When you’re not relevant, you desperately want to be. But being relevant has its price — people start taking shots at you. So it must be a sign of the relevance of the Macintosh that:
In observance of Veterans’ Day, here are a few connections worth remembering between the military and IT:
The first modern computer was the ENIAC, developed by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly at the University of Pennsylvania for the military in the closing days of World War II. The purpose was to quickly calculate artillery shell trajectories. The war ended before ENIAC could be used for its original purpose, although it was later used in conjunction with the hydrogen bomb. The principles behind the vacuum-tube behemoth were later commercialized in the UNIVAC computer. Read more
Taking a break from following Larry Ellison’s testimony in the intellectual property case against SAP to prep for three Webcasts next week: on Tuesday, November 16, I’ll host a Webcast focusing on cloud and virtualization. Don Boulia of IBM will explain just why virtualization and cloud implementations go hand-in-hand – and how to improve efficiency, lower costs and increase business agility by bringing virtualization to your cloud. Read more
With the dust settling from Tuesday’s election results, it looks like there won’t be much change in policy affecting information technology – the same result of almost every election. It has always struck me as a bit odd that information technology, arguably the country’s most important industry, seldom factors into political debate, with the possible exception of the ever-unpopular offshore outsourcing.
For advocates of net neutrality, that’s bad – 95 Democratic challengers who favored net neutrality lost. (Declan McCullagh has done a good job taking the pulse, or lack of same, of net neutrality in the wake of the election. Grant Gross in Computerworld had some good post-election reporting as well.) Read more
The Giants are World Series champions, which proves, sorry Texas, that you have to show up to win — a point also driven home by World Series MVP Edgar Renteria, a very good if well-traveled player who wasn’t even a starter a few weeks ago, but may be ending his career on a high note that all players might envy. Both the Giants and Renteria are feel-good stories for sure.
Feeling complacent? Here’s a cure: As of today, China has taken the lead in supercomputing. Here’s another: Although President Obama has our marker in the game for the race to Mars, so do India, China and Russia. Do we want it more than they do? We are going to have to want to win, not just want to compete. Maybe it will come, but I’m not feeling that sense of commitment desperation at this point. It will be tough looking at Mars with a Chinese or Indian flag on it, especially after so many successful U. S. unmanned explorations.
Cognos 10, the new release of IBM’s flagship business analytics product, has a host of improvements, most notable among them being faster operation, support for Apple iPhone and iPad devices and integration with Lotus Connections for social networking (communities, blogs and wikis). The rollout of Cognos 10 headlines the IBM IOD (Information on Demand) conference in Las Vegas this week. (See eWEEK’s coverage here; InformationWeek’s coverage here.)
IBM got some choice public recognition this week when CEO Sam Palmisano accepted the Deming Cup from Columbia Business School for achieving operational excellence.
W. Edwards Deming, for whom the cup is named, was the world famous authority on improving factory production quality. His consulting work with Japanese automakers is largely credited with lifting the Japanese auto industry to the lofty quality pinnacle it has occupied for several decades.
When you leave a company at 54 and don’t have another job, something just wasn’t working. But that’s how Microsoft Corp. chief software architect Ray Ozzie, one of the most brilliant minds in IT, walks out the door at Microsoft.
Anyone who has had the privilege of interviewing Ozzie knows that he has a masterful grasp of software – and more than that, he is a highly energetic personality and a very convincing advocate for technology he believes in. When Bill Gates hired him as his replacement, most people thought Bill had chosen well. So, what wasn’t working?
Apple 2010; the 1927 Yankees; the 1986 Celtics
Let’s see, Apple’s stock is at $300 per share, an all-time high and up from $10 per share in 2003; Apple is the second-most valuable company in the U. S., behind only ExxonMobil. The Macintosh is at 10% of personal computer sales and Apple is the third largest maker of personal computers behind Hewlett-Packard and Dell; Microsoft is coming out with Office 2011 for the Mac – which will put it close to par with the PC version; a new version of MacOS is waiting in the wings.
It’s an amazing story. To appreciate Apple’s accomplishment you have to go back to 1997 when Apple was practically in life support and the hated Bill Gates threw Apple a lifeline in the form of a $150 million investment. The uphill climb to the pinnacle of today started there.