One of the true giants of the computer industry, Gene Amdahl, passed away this week. He was a hero of mine for his technical brilliance and entreprenuerial spirit. Although he was a competitor for a while, I always admired him and wished him the best (except for whenever he was selling against IBM, of course). The obituary says that none other than TJ Watson Jr called Gene the "father" of the S/360 - a huge milestone in computer development. The z13 is a direct descendant of the machines that Gene developed back in the 60s.
Speaking of an end of an era, I'd like to note another key development from IBM. For the first time ever IBM came out with a top of the line storage system in a 19 inch (482.6 mm) rack. Back in the days of the 3330, 3350, 3370, 3380, and 3390s the drives looked like a washing machine. As IBM storage transitioned to use RAID concepts and smaller drives we came out with the ESS E, F, and 800 models starting in 1999. These were commercial refrigerator ("double wide") size. The successor was the DS8000, launching in 2005. This was still a pretty good-sized machine, about the size of a big residential refrigerator. In October we announced the DS8880 series, which is rack mounted (by the way, this ships in an IBM rack - if you want it in your rack and plan to order a few dozen come talk to us. Talk to us in any case - we're always listening.). Now I know that we had the late, lamented DS6000 which went end of service in September of this year, but that was always a midrange device, not meant to be the king of the hill.
In my last post I talked about something to buy to keep to clear the snow off my driveway this winter. With the solstice only 5 weeks and a couple of days away it's time to start taking the matter seriously. So my son and I went out and bought a 1949 Farmall Cub with a front plow. This is definitely a restoration project. We think we are the third owners of this venerable iron. My son is clearing rust off, rewiring, cleaning the engine, you name it. I'll put up a picture or two of the project soon.