Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

IBM Turns 100

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the ai-can't-blow-out-candles dept.

IBM 189

adeelarshad82 writes "On this day in 1911, IBM started as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (C-T-R). It wasn't until 1924 that the company changed their name to IBM. Needless to say that a 100-year milestone is quite the feat. While some of us might know IBM for its recent "Jeopardy"-playing Watson computer, a look back shows that IBM has a long history of innovation, from cheese slicers (yes, really) and the tech behind Social Security to the UPC bar code and the floppy disk. One of the most notable leaps of faith IBM took was in 1964 with the introduction of System/360, a family of computers that started the era of computer compatibility. To date the company has invested nearly $30 billion in technology."

cancel ×

189 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Zero to Godwin (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36462438)

Let's not forget helping the Nazi's round up undesirables!

Re:Zero to Godwin (2)

creat3d (1489345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462566)

I'd mod you up if I could, this should've been in TFA.

Re:Zero to Godwin (0)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462710)

IBM: Let's build a smarter oven.

Re:Zero to Godwin (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462828)

IBM: Let's build a smarter oven.

International Burning Machines?

Re:Zero to Godwin (2, Informative)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463548)

Actually they sold the machines which helped to track the jews their death numbers etc.. the ovens probably were built by Krupp.
The gas btw. was manufactured by IG Farben.
All of these companies still exist, although IG Farben now has a different name.

Re:Zero to Godwin (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463664)

Actually also dont forget about the Bush family, they earned a shitload of money with their Nazi ties as well. Without Hitler there never would have been George Bush and George W Bush have been president of the US.

Re:Zero to Godwin (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463788)

Prescott Bush.

Convicted war profiteer, indicted for trading with the enemy.

Re:Zero to Godwin (1)

careysub (976506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464142)

Actually they sold the machines which helped to track the jews their death numbers etc.. the ovens probably were built by Krupp. The gas btw. was manufactured by IG Farben. All of these companies still exist, although IG Farben now has a different name.

IG Farben helped operate Auschwitz so that it could use its slave labor in its chemical plants, but the Zylon B gas was manufactured by the Degussa AG subsidiary Degesch. Degussa AG still exists under the same name.

Happy Birthday IBM (5, Insightful)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462450)

A fantastic achievement, Here's to the next 100 years.

Re:Happy Birthday IBM (3)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462576)

I wonder if they'll make it another 100 years?

I mean, they got this far by spotting tech trends and successfully parlaying them into products. They don't seem to be doing much of that anymore.

Re:Happy Birthday IBM (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36462684)

They are more likely to go the next 100 years than any of us.

Re:Happy Birthday IBM (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462904)

That's not really saying a whole lot, is it?

Re:Happy Birthday IBM (1, Insightful)

FriendlyPrimate (461389) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462906)

Agreed. IBM hasn't been doing much innovation over the past 10 years. It's all been about increasing the stock price through cost cuts (layoffs, no travel, no perks, not even COFFEE!).

IBM's new business model is cannibalizing other innovative companies, gutting them (through layoffs and offshoring), and then using the ensuing short-term profits to continue the cycle. It's evil and demoralizing for employees of IBM who always have a Damocles sword of "resource actions" hanging over their head regardless of profitability. But it seems to be working well as a formula for shareholders. And IBM really only cares about shareholders nowadays anyway.

Re:Happy Birthday IBM (1)

Khue (625846) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463144)

IBM's innovation is occurring in non advertised or non consumer level markets. Currently they are a huge threat to EMC and NetApp in the storage sector with some of their products. Also aren't they leading the development charge in that new racetrack tech?

Re:Happy Birthday IBM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36463398)

IBM's innovation is occurring in non advertised or non consumer level markets. Currently they are a huge threat to EMC and NetApp in the storage sector with some of their products. Also aren't they leading the development charge in that new racetrack tech?

Could you give some examples? Aside from the SVC, I'm not entirely sure I see what innovation IBM itself is responsible for in the storage space in the last few years. I do think that XIV is an innovative product, but they purchased it from somebody else. At this point, in fact, a lot of their storage products are either OEM'd from somebody else (DS3000, DS5000 and N series) or purchased along with the company that developed it (XIV, ProtecTier).

Re:Happy Birthday IBM (2)

jonwil (467024) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463342)

Its not just IBM, far too many companies have abandoned everything except short-term shareholder gains.

I think the root cause of this (and other problems plaguing the western world and its companies) comes from the changes in the mid-late 20th century where the typical shareholder mix of public companies changed away from businessmen and rich people who cared about the companies they bought to investment funds, managed funds, brokerages, day traders and others who see shares as a short term investment to be bought and sold on a daily basis and the companies they are buying and selling as nothing more than names on a computer screen.

Re:Happy Birthday IBM (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463766)

The federal government in the US was a large part of the problem. If they graduated the capital gains tax phase in such that you needed to hold stocks for a couple years to get the full benefit of the capital gains rate, increased the short term holding substantially and limited people to only having one round trip trade per day, a lot of these problems would go away.

Enron, as big a mess as that was, resulted in far more people making money than losing money, due to the way in which is collapsed. A relatively small number of people were left holding the bag as everybody made a run for the door.

Re:Happy Birthday IBM (0)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463418)

IBM? This is a worldwide trend that all companies are going through. Sack the human part of your corporation, bask in the short term profit and quickly run before the ship sinks. Customer support is getting offshored, reduced, quality control is down the drain, designs are as cheap as can be, customers are a herd to be exploited...

I just hope that trend ends sooner rather than later because it's becoming entirely ridiculous and, unlike what all the suits say, it does not help the company in the long run.

Re:Happy Birthday IBM (2)

AlecC (512609) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463436)

IBM has converted itself from a company based on selling boxes, and providing services as a side effect, to a company selling services who may sell you some boxes to run the services. That means that IBM's innovations will no longer (or at least far less) be in the field of hardware and software, which is of interest to Slashdot readers, and much more in the field of packaging and delivering services. It doesn't mean they have stopped innovating at all, it means that they are innovating in an area that is much less visible and interesting to Slashdot.

Of course, the services industry, being much softer, is much much more difficult to get a lock-in. It took twenty years for the world to break the lock-in that IBM had with its mainframe business. But the world did it, eventually, and it nearly killed IBM. Whereas it would only take three or four years of not having their eye on the ball for other companies to steal IBM's services business,

Re:Happy Birthday IBM (1)

Aeros (668253) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463198)

Well seeing as they recently past Microsoft in value I ($207B +) would say they are doing pretty well.

Re:Happy Birthday IBM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36463830)

It did not last long (less than a day I think.)

Current values : IBM 197.26B / MS 202.56B

That said, MS used to be worth a lot more than IBM, but their stock price has been quite stagnant lately.

Re:Happy Birthday IBM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36463450)

They don't seem to be doing much of that anymore.

They're sure generating patents though.....last year IBM was ranked highest in the number of U.S. patents issued with 5,866.
http://www.ipo.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Top_300_Patent_Owners&ContentID=29856&template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm [ipo.org]

Re:Happy Birthday IBM (2)

hoytak (1148181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463786)

I'd disagree, It seems there's a steady stream of articles in IEEE or other magazines about cool research that IBM is doing (e.g. http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-06-ibm-graphene-based-circuit.html [physorg.com] ). I think the issue is that the current problems driving innovation in companies as big as IBM are much more technical and thus more difficult to explain to a general audience, except as "20% faster" or other forgettable phrases. I suspect there's a lot of cool stuff going on.

Re:Happy Birthday IBM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36462580)

Happy birthday, glad I got out of there before I could get laid off!

Re:Happy Birthday IBM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36462702)

Happy birthday, glad I got out of there before I could get laid!

There, FTFY.

Re:Happy Birthday IBM (2)

careysub (976506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464280)

A fantastic achievement, Here's to the next 100 years.

I tend to think of IBM as being older than 100 years because the punch-card tabulating equipment, invented by Herman Hollerith, that was the mainstay of its dates to 1889, and I have viewed his Tabulating Machine Company (formed in 1896) as the true origin of the business that is IBM today. Anyone who remembers the days of punch cards remembers those Hollerith codes -- a coding scheme in use for nearly a century. It has always seemed to me the "senior member" of the four-way merger, the only one that was truly essential.

Other uses IBM found for its technology (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36462466)

IBM and the Holocaust [ibmandtheholocaust.com]

IBM and the Holocaust on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36462514)

> Implying the holocaust actually happened

> LaughingZionists.jpg

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462612)

Yes, somehow they conveniently skipped that part.

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (5, Insightful)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462666)

Hitler used IBM punchcard systems purchased in the 30's to facilitate the Holocaust. Of course, if IBM hadn't sold them the punchcard machines, the Holocaust would never have happened.

Next up, we'll tackle Boeing's complicity in 9/11.

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (2)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462740)

You must have missed the part where IBM's wholly owned subsidiaries in Germany and Poland operated closely with the Nazi regime to design, create, and maintain the various census and camp-tracking systems.

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (4, Informative)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462980)

In 1933. And the Hollerith machines were not "designed" in Germany. In fact, we'd been using such machines since 1890 for OUR census. IBM's entire revenue revolved around selling tabulating machines.

Also, Hollerith machines were not designed for "camp-tracking." Census machines were re-purposed for that task.

you missed the other part (3, Informative)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464048)

where IBM kept in contact with its Switzerland headquarters, was in trouble several times with the government for dealing with 'blacklisted' countries, the strings it pulled to get around those limitations, and one of whose officials was denied entry into the US after the war.

and then there are the ways that the subsidiaries, after the war, were brought back into the fold of IBM, along with all the profits they had reaped from their wartime experiences, which were meticulously recorded.

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36462998)

You must have missed the part where those were subsidiaries is a fascist state, it's not like they had much choice.

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (5, Interesting)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463016)

You must have missed the part where the Nazi regime decided to stuff people they didn't like into camps while starving them, beating them, working them to the bone, then executing them.

Personally, I believe if you're going to hold IBM (or Ford or Bayer or any other trendy 'you helped the holocaust' company) responsible, then you should also hold trees responsible. Trees provided the wood that built the guard towers, that held the barbed wire fences in place, and built the barracks. Bricks, fire, lead, and rope should also be investigated.

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36463192)

what about Hugo Boss? or VW?

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (2)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463288)

Ford's a different story from the others. Henry Ford was known as a Nazi sympathizer and anti-semite who received senior Nazi officials to his home.

please i invite you to read Mr Black's book (2)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464110)

it is not propaganda. almost every line in the entire book is well cited and documented.

we are not talking about Ford here. a truck can be used for anything.

the punch card systems had to be specifically designed, and then an IBM technician had to specifically go and maintain them, they were massively maintenance-intensive pieces of equipment. and punch cards were at the center of a lot of SS operations, including the holocaust (there were machines in the death camps), but also stuff like the Night and Fog decree (there was a hole punch coding for non-existant prisoner or something like that).

Also please remember the first concentration camp was built in 1934, at Dachau. IBM did not stop dealing with Dehomag right up until the US got into the war. It also dealt with subsidiaries in the Netherlands, Hungary, and several other Nazi occupied countries, sometimes surreptitiously through its headquarters in Switzerland.

in France, there a guy, Renee Carmille, who sabotaged the punchcard system, thus saving tens of thousands of Jews from certain death.

we are talking about misconduct, during the war, on a large scale.

All IBM has to do to clear this up is to open it's archives, like every other company has done.

IBM refused to do this.

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (5, Informative)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463214)

You also must have missed the first few years of the World War where the US knew about the atrocities but decided to do nothing about it or Ford-Werke, the division of Ford in Germany or the 'neutral' Swiss supplying weapons and bankrolling the operations with Jewish deposits.

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36463348)

I'm in the AC you replied to. No, I didn't miss any of that. I believe all companies and nations who aided the Nazis should be held accountable. I mentioned IBM only because that is the only one relevant to this particular story. Just because other companies aiding in murdering people does not mean it was okay for IBM to do likewise.

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36462746)

"Of course, if IBM hadn't sold them the punchcard machines, the Holocaust would never have happened."

So then that makes it okay?

Your post misses the point completely.

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36463082)

Congratulations, you have won an award for your keen ability to detect sarcasm. Please click the X button at the top of the window to claim your fabulous prize!

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36462814)

Poor logic is poor. No one is saying IBM was fundamental to the Holocaust happening. But IBM did help to make their killing camps more efficient.

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463024)

And is that complicity?

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463986)

Okay, let's say someone wants to gun down students in a school. You know they want to gun down students in the school. Instead of calling the police, you meet the guy who is going to gun down the students and see what his plans are. You laugh at his idea to go in with an old, rusty M-1 and blaze away. You instead help him pick out a good sniper rifle with a scope. You teach him the finer points of camouflage.

Yes, you did not actually cause the school massacre and some sort of school massacre would have happened anyway. But, did you really need to make it that much easier for him?

they have tried to cover it up (2)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464144)

that is IBM's main problem. Companies like Ford and IG Farben have opened archives and they have even participated in restitution programs.

IBM has not.

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36463018)

"Of course, if IBM hadn't sold them the punchcard machines, the Holocaust would never have happened."

Of course that's not the argument.

Rather the argument is that without IBM punchcard systems the nazis would not have been able to process the number of people that they did. In other words: without IBM's help not nearly as many people would have died in the Holocaust.
Someone else would have helped? No, because at the time IBM was the only corporation that had this technology.

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463076)

Then let us arrest all technological development, lest it facilitate some future evil.

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (2)

Himring (646324) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463028)

Godwin's! No Quirk's Exception!

--Bentsen

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (3, Insightful)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463040)

Computers in the 1930s weren't the general purpose machines we have today. You didn't just buy a computer, bring it home, and plug it in. There was no off-the-shelf software. Computers came with a team of IBM engineers in white lab coats.

If Boeing's engineers had been in the cockpit on 9/11 and had been paid to fly in to buildings, then Boeing would be as complicit in 9/11 as IBM is in the Holocaust.

And no one is saying it would not have happened without IBM. But that does not diminish IBM's role.

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (4, Informative)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463430)

Yes, that's actually the thesis of that (national award-winning) book. "[W]ithout IBM's machinery, continuing upkeep and service, as well as the supply of punch cards, whether located on-site or off-site, Hitler's camps could have never managed the numbers they did." (p. 352) Germany had plans for a long-delayed census of ethnicity, which was not feasible until IBM came to the rescue in 1933, which was followed soon afterward by laws barring Jews from citizenship or marrying Aryans. Early predictions of ~500K Jews in Germany were revised upwards, identifying 2M afterwards.

"This activity was not only countenanced by Thomas Watson and IBM in America, Black argues, but was actively encouraged and financially supported, with Watson himself traveling to Germany in October 1933 and the company ramping up its investment in its German subsidiary from 400,000 to 7,000,000 reichsmarks — about $1 million.[17] This injection of American capital allowed Dehomag to purchase land in Berlin and to construct IBM's first factory in Germany, Black charges, thereby "tooling up for what it correctly saw as a massive financial relationship with the Hitler regime."[17]" (from Wikipedia, etc.)

More generally, if we're going to gush about IBM's history, intellectual honesty demands that we include the well-known black marks, too.

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36463980)

"Jewish people, homosexuals and handicapped need tabulating like everything does."
a napkin from the business plan development units archive, German section, 7th shelve, third box.

and other as well ... (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463596)

Re:and other as well ... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464102)

Also, don't forget Hugo Boss designing the SS uniforms. Many companies in existence today did business with the Nazis. It's nor surprising.

Re:and other as well ... (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464240)

My examples are a bit more serious than Hugo Boss or IBM. Bell and Ford ideologically supported the Nazis. (Spreading antisemic books, pushing eugenics laws in California.) Check out my links above. It's worth it.

Re:Other uses IBM found for its technology (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464366)

You missed this one M1 carbine [wikipedia.org] . Personally I just find it humorous since it seems out of their area of expertise, but I guess they did have precision manufacturing capabilities.

Here's to the Big Iron! (2, Funny)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462482)

Here's to the Big Iron! Happy Birthday IBM!

Outsourced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36462502)

And won't make another 100. This company has sold out the American worker and America the country that made it what it was. Get lost IBM and take the last American sell out corporate greed company with you. What do they even make anymore?

Re:Outsourced (4, Funny)

dingen (958134) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462588)

What do they even make anymore?

About a $100 billion a year.

Re:Outsourced (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36462604)

The current so called leadership of IBM has become so short sighted that another 100 years is just impossible. In GTS it has moved more and more from keeping an outsourcing contract going and more about signing new outsourcing contracts. Just the other day I got a legal notification to keep all documents related to one account because it looks like the customer is going to breach the contract due to IBM's failure to perform. Second account I know of going this way.

Then add Indian support that can't understand English for most service desks. I'm still amazed anything ever gets routed correctly.

Grats! (0)

Tickety-boo (1206428) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462506)

IBM, UBM we all BM for IBM!

Couldn't resist.....

The things IBM made... (5, Interesting)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462564)

I worked for a large organization in Chicago that had the "gold" IBM support contract back in the early 90s; they would show up at 2 am Sunday morning to replace a keyboard if necessary. Our main contact was a guy who had been with the company for 30+ years and he would mention some of the things he'd had to fix, in addition to the standard computer stuff: scales for weighing meat in the meat packing district and the thing that was most surprising: the clock on the Wrigley Building. Apparently IBM didn't actually out-and-out make the clock mechanism but had bought some company that had and they inherited the support contract. He mentioned having to get some gears specially made when it broke down.

The thing I thought was so ahead of its time was the wireless device he had that was essentially a large, two-line blackberry that he'd carry on his shoulder with a strap; it would beep and he'd flip the cover open, read the message, then type some sort of response. I remember he'd use it to order parts and within an hour(!) another guy would show up with them, a new ps/2 mouse, a monitor, or a reel-to-reel tape drive for the as/400. I was surprised IBM never thought to market that device; much like Apple is reluctant to talk about their ipod touch-based POS terminals, he wasn't too keen about showing it off or even talking about it.

Re:The things IBM made... (2)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462870)

Having had one of those devices back in the early 90's it was just a 2 way pager, They never got really popular, the prices made early text messages seem cheap, water cooler talk placed it at 25 cents for each outbound message but no idea what they really cost. You can still get the modern versions have a client that thinks pagers make more sense for on-call so they are still passing around a clamshell 2 way pager. They looked at me funny when I told them the monitoring software could take care of dispatching based on a schedule and send text messages/emails to peoples phones.

Re:The things IBM made... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36462922)

I remember those; they were frequently referred to as "The Brick" by the techs. You could also use them to IM other techs. Very unique, at the time.

Re:The things IBM made... (1)

motherjoe (716821) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463752)

The two way device you mentioned is what an IBM CE (Customer Engineer), would refer to as a, "Brick". It kept them in touch with NSS dispatch and the parts distribution application and warehouse out of Mechanicsburg, PA. Before they carried Bricks it was all done with Motorola hand radios. :)

Take care,
Joe

Re:The things IBM made... (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464208)

much like Apple is reluctant to talk about their ipod touch-based POS terminals

Supposedly Apple is doing very quiet testing with third parties for that system (Old Navy/Gap is apparently testing them), which Apple calls EasyPay. It's quite sketchy, but it appears Apple has been inundated with requests for more information about them so they could be deployed elsewhere.

Only 30 billion? (1)

softWare3ngineer (2007302) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462572)

Does 30 billion seem small to anyone else? I assume that number is not normalized for inflation for each investment.

Re:Only 30 billion? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36462600)

From TFA:
The company invested $5 billion in [system/360], about $30 billion today, but the gamble paid off.

Summary is wrong.

How much profit? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36462726)

Did they make in dealing with the Nazis? As I recall they sold lots of gear that was used at concentration camps in Nazi Germany.

30 Billion on Research? (1)

wren337 (182018) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462856)

That's my new yardstick for insane figures. When someone says we spent 700 billion bailing out the financial companies, I'm going to picture 20 IBM sized companies funding 100 years of research.

Re:30 Billion on Research? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36463244)

Next time don't base your world view on slashdot summaries, because this one, like most, is completely wrong. IBM has spent a shitton more than $30 billion on research over the last 100 years, even if you don't normalize.

Re:30 Billion on Research? (4, Informative)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463428)

Except that the $30 billion is just what they invested in researching and developing the system/360. Summary is wrong.
Also, most of the $700 Billion of that bailout were loans that have been paid back. There's still a ludicrous about of wasted money, like the $200 million that a bankers wife took, and then deposited in a bank, and reaped the interest! But in general, it was a short term loan to keep the economy moving. And it worked. Get over it.

contrarian (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464212)

the 'bailout' was a lot more than the 700 billion TARP money.

fannie and freddie, for example.

I'll wager $723.42 that IBM goes another 100 years (3, Interesting)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462888)

It is amazing to me that - back when I graduated university in '92 - people were foretelling the death knoll for IBM. Next thing I know, I'm working on programming ASP.NET using JCL on zSeries machines fifteen years later.

Now, we're using Rational and Eclipse to manage Websphere projects.

Go figure.

Re:I'll wager $723.42 that IBM goes another 100 ye (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463172)

*knell

Re:I'll wager $723.42 that IBM goes another 100 ye (3, Funny)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463388)

It's easy to get confused when it's all three letter acronyms: IBM death knell - JFK death knoll (yes I went there) - D&D death gnoll, it just goes on and on and on.

Re:I'll wager $723.42 that IBM goes another 100 ye (2)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463264)

The colossal size and huge brand reputation of IBM is enough to keep a company going for a very long time. Long enough, in fact, to change its business model significantly before having to actually face real danger of going under.

We see companies disappearing all the time, but a lot of the time, it's actually due to a merger or acquisition. As long as you can avoid being acquired and having your assets sold at a fire sale by some short term raider or a competitor, businesses have a good chance of weathering bad times if their long term fundamentals are good. Additionally, having sound business practices can also provide you the money and tools to resist being bought out by people who are not in it for the long term.

Of course, today we are used to companies that are built on vapor and return to vapor soon after. Those are basically money pinatas for Wall Street types.

Re:I'll wager $723.42 that IBM goes another 100 ye (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463492)

And IBM damned near did die then. But they saw what was happening before they actually stopped breathing, and pulled out with a huge change of direction - and a very large number of layoffs.

Re:I'll wager $723.42 that IBM goes another 100 ye (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464238)

Having worked on their z series machines and put up with the living hell that is z/OS and most of its related products, I think a big part of the reason they're still around is that PHBs will buy from IBM because they trust the name, even if what they're buying is overpriced and nowhere close to the 'best of breed' product. In many cases, the support is not even particularly good. I dread working at a place where you still hear the phrase "we''re an IBM stop". It still amazes me that people actually pay them (large) fees for using their processors. The cost/performance ratio is awful ... I assume that because the money came from operating budgets rather than capital it made some sort of sense to someone.

Nazi coding system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36462914)

They also gave us that.

And Thinkpads.

I think the latter makes up for the former.

Re:Nazi coding system (1)

creat3d (1489345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463064)

I'm not sure if you're modded down because you're a coward or because a lot of people STILL don't know about their collaboration with the Nazis, but if the spergin' IBM defenders really find that little-known fact so hard to swallow... just look up "Prescott Bush".

Re:Nazi coding system (0)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463584)

Ah yes Georgie Ws father... the Bush family made a shitload of money with the Nazis as well.

IBM = Innovator? Not in my lifetime. (0)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463030)

IBM as an innovator? Didn't see that coming.

When I was growing up, it was the Personal Computer revolution, led by Microsoft, Apple and (for a while) Commodore. IBM missed the boat on what PCs meant to corporate computing and let something called a "server" into the datacenter as a result. In response, IBM retreated and launched its insanely profitable services division built around...wait for it...selling other people's innovations ("best of breed" solutions). And then there was the world wide web.

Anyway, while there have been some gimmicks (the chess-playing computer, the Jeopardy-playing computer), as long as I've been around (thirty-some years), IBM is not what I think when someone says "innovation".

Re:IBM = Innovator? Not in my lifetime. (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463280)

Check out the Power Systems platform, you know, the one that Watson runs on. Single level storage (every byte on disk has a main memory address), programs that can be upgraded from one architecture to the next (32-bit to 64-bit, CISC to RISC) without recompiling and the ability to change partition parameters without rebooting and you will see some serious innovation that others just fantasize about. This was innovative when it came out in 1980 as the System/38 and remains so to this day.

Re:IBM = Innovator? Not in my lifetime. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36463412)

When I was growing up, it was the Personal Computer revolution, led by Microsoft, Apple and (for a while) Commodore. IBM missed the boat on what PCs meant to corporate computing

What are you smoking? IBM invented the term PC. When I was growing up (also 30ish), computers were either "IBM compatible", or an Apple. Floppy disks were "IBM format". Hell, I still know people that refer to a non-Mac PC as "an IBM". IBM is synonymous with the PC revolution where I'm from (the US), but maybe it's different where you're from.

Re:IBM = Innovator? Not in my lifetime. (1)

Pop69 (700500) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463756)

You grew up during the "Personal Computer revolution" and managed to entirely miss that corporate desktop computing is based on the IBM PC ?

Re:IBM = Innovator? Not in my lifetime. (4, Informative)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463992)

You seem to be confusing 'hype' with 'innovation' if you think it was led by Microsoft and Apple. There is a reason that there were basically 2 PC architectures - Apple, and (wait for it) 'IBM PC Compatible'. One of those completely swamped the other.

You might want to check out whose systems are behind almost any financial transaction you process. At the other end of the scale, you might want to check out whose processors are in every XBox/360, PS/3, and Wii.

Maybe you have a GPS - want to take a guess on whose semiconductor (SiGe) technology is in there?

From all that to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36463038)

...Indian Business Machine in only the last 20. RIP IBM.

IBM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36463158)

What do they do? Other than being another greedy American outsourcing company what do they do? I don't think they will make another 100 and if they do they won't be in America. Get lost IBM and take the last corporate greedy American company with you you dirty outsourcing sell outs to the country that made you what you are. IBM always did play dirty.

Lying about their age (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463196)

I seem to recall they were in business in the nineteenth century, not as IBM of course. I was working for one of their large customers in 1980, and they said something about being 100 then. I guess they will say they became 'IBM' 100 years ago in 2024. too. Any excuse for a marketing campaign.

the original guy didn't incorporate at first (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464248)

he was just a dude selling stuff. and fighting patent lawsuits (some things dont change)

100 years (-1, Troll)

jeaster (600452) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463226)

Happy birthday, and fuck you IBM. I hope your execs end up in jail, or India.

Re:100 years (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463784)

In fact, quite a few of them are in China.

Was wondering... (1)

lurking (51269) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463582)

WTF the balloon with "100" on it meant when I walked into the office this arvo. /contractor /for just 3 more weeks. /Was fun till the outsource crap.

Anybody have an IBM Clock? (1)

PinchDuck (199974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463606)

They used to be in the old terminal at Detroit Metro (since remodeled) and in a few GM plants.

Influence (1)

nkovacs (1199463) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463650)

Has there been another company that has driven more change over the last 100 years other than IBM? I think largely because IBM stays out of the consumer markets these days many people in the public don't realize how many back end systems in the world are driven by IBM technologies. Congratulations IBM on 100 years! I wish more companies were able to spend $30 billion on R&D.

Re:Influence (2)

RespekMyAthorati (798091) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463858)

Possibly Bell Labs (transistors, lasers, sound movies,...), including numerous Nobel prizes in physics.

Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36463944)

My first job was way back in 1990. I was a "tape monkey" in a data storage and processing centre, working on IBM mainframes, the graveyard shift finishing at 1am. When I was finished for the night I would sneak round to the centre's R&D area and stay there until around 5am reading the manuals and books on the newly emerging PC market and learning about stuff like Oracle and and Ingres. Playing with the PCs and the software ( and making offsite backups of course! ). Learned such a huge range of bits and pieces on all that IBM kit, means I don't mind having a go at anything handed to me these days. Great days and set me up for a career in IT which I still enjoy.

pff (1)

Jeek Elemental (976426) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463966)

Big deal, Id do it in half the time.

Just wanted to thank Slashdot (1)

equex (747231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464376)

I don't see a thread about this, so I will take the opportunity to say: We bitch when they mess with the site but now they got back the comment counts and tags on the front page. That's a good thing. Also cheers to IBM!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>