I always liked those computers and software packages that stopped you before you could even open the box with a small brochure that said "Read me first." If you stopped yourself long enough to read the brochure, you came away with what you needed to get started quickly with the product, without having to wade through complex, intricate sets of instructions. One of IBM's rivals in the PC industry was particularly good at that so-called "out of box" experience, where the user could unpack a computer and get something useful done almost right away.
System z has never shipped with something that says "Read me first," and probably for good reason: It is just a little harder to get your mainframe up and running (but probably a lot easier than most people might think).
But now we have the next best thing: a set of web pages you can go to if you are just starting to consider System z. The IBM New to System z page is a great place to start if you're trying to decide whether the mainframe is right for you. There you'll find what you need to figure out why you'll want to move to System z and how you can get started taking advantage of its energy efficiency, cost savings, and total cost of ownership benefits.
So -- go ahead. Read this first: http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/z/advantages/newtosystemz/
PS IBM Systems Magazine has also started a three-part series called The Gen Xer's Guide to the Mainframe. This is another great place to get started, and I'm sure it will soon appear on the New to System z page, as well. Part one of the article is hot off the presses at http://www.ibmsystemsmag.com/mainframe/enewsletterexclusive/20410p1.aspx.
Read me first