I have a pet peeve I'm going to talk about today.
There are a lot of cases of mis-used and over-used words, and one that really drives me over the edge is the term "superstar".
For one example, let's look at a news item on a country singer's tour bus getting getting destroyed in a fire. The article refers to the singer as a "superstar". Wait a minute - talented, yes, perhaps fairly well known in country music circles, but a superstar?
Let me give you my definition of a superstar - it's someone who is so famous that people who do not follow whatever area of endeavor the person is in still knows them. So for instance, people who don't follow golf still know who Tiger Woods is. Folks who wouldn't know a basketball from a water polo ball still know who Michael Jordan is.
Another I would put in this category is Frank Sinatra. People don't have to know all the details of his singing and acting career to know that he was really something special.
Are there examples in the computer field of machines that hold this sort of fame? I would argue yes - examples being the IBM System 360 (the original "mainframe"), the IBM 3420 tape drive (which still shows up in movies from time to time as a "computer system"), and of course the beloved IBM PC - right down to the rose.
How about superstar systems for folks who do know what a computer is? I would argue that us techies would vote for the IBM POWER chip (which swept all other *IX systems from the marketplace), the ESS/DS8000 line (which revolutionized speed and reliability of large storage systems), and so as not to be parochial, the DEC Alpha chip and the CRAY-1 supercomputer, both astonishing technical advances for their day.
The humidity is dropping to humane levels where I live in Maryland in the United States, so I may get to see some stars tonight myself - Polaris, Sirius - real stars.
Let me put in a quick plug for IBM Systems Technical University 2015, which you can sign up for here. The event itself is from 05-09 October 2015 and coming up fast, so if you're not already registered, please do so. You won't regret it!