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Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79

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did one thing right then

RS6000 spawned a line of profitable unix boxen. Good machine management in AIX to work with too. Common enough now but revolutionary then

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Re: did one thing right then

it was a sad day when the CV got revised to cull HP-UX, AIX, SGI IRIX, and I think even Solaris off the list of "stuffs that I does", and RS6000 off the list of "stuff I know where to hit with a hammer".

funny back then when Linux was seen as the yappy little dog snapping and the heels of the established big iron vendors. now it seems to be the sapling growing in the ashes of the fallen giants.

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SVV

Re: did one thing right then

Still keep RS6000 and AIX on my CV : incredibly robust bit of kit, and a delight to work with. Still prefer using IBM redbooks and simple tools like smitty to get things up and running to the fragmented, awash with options, spend ages searching for good info task that solid Linux installations can require. Still plenty of megacorps using it too, and although I've only used Linux since the turn of the century as it's become widely adopted on the server side, I think having the "feather in your cap" of IBM experience should always work as a selling point to those who really know their stuff.

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Without the IBM PC

Some 68000-based machine, perhaps an imitation Macintosh like the Atari ST or the Commodore Amiga, would have ended up the standard. Or an earlier command-line based machine, maybe even a CP/M derivative, would have done that.

The IBM PC had one thing going for it besides the IBM name; it made going to 16 bits inexpensive and safe. Somebody else would have done that, and the market would have coalesced in another direction. Maybe Motorola today would be where Intel is now, but micros would have eclipsed mainframes without the IBM PC, as the technology was growing at a great pace in any case.

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Incredible Business Machines

For the early 90's AIX 3.1/3.2 were a revolution in combination with the Power1 RS/6000 hardware.

- Clear boot codes during startup.

- Clear sysadmin menu smitty

- Software RAID.

- Fully functional disk volume management with logical volumes, even 2012 versions of another OS does not have this 25 years on.

- Fully functional patch and version management, with rollback etc.

- Excellent hardware support, some customers are still using RS/6000-F50's as database servers and get better support then others get on new x86 stuff.

- Hardware quality was super, only disks and tape drives broke on RS/6000.

If Akers made this, he did an epic job.

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Re: Incredible Business Machines @naive

I would not say that it was only disks and tape drives that broke. I've been involved with many other hardware failures across the spectrum, but the one thing RS/6000/pSeries/Power systems will do is actually tell you what is most likely to have failed.

It also had (actually, still has) very good hardware diagnostics (for AIX systems) to back up the POST and BIST checking, although almost everybody has forgotten them. Add in the HMC call-home and remote console functions that were added somewhere around the millennium for the pSeries systems, and you have a platform that is robust, stable and supportable, and is IMHO still best-of-breed (of the UNIX systems) when it comes to running a service.

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Anonymous Coward

One of his quotes

"Many things have changed over the years but the values of IBM then and the values of IBM today are what we have built on successfully all of these years"

This was in 2011. Oh, how things have changed since then!

IBM is still trading on their reputation, but are very quickly damaging it, such that it soon will no longer count at all.

I was working at IBM when he retired, and I'm still working on RS/6000 follow-on products, and with a little luck expect to still be doing it on the day I retire.

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Anonymous Coward

It's his fault...

...we got MS-DOS, Win 3.11, 95, 2000, XP...

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