If you’ve been following the IBM Watson “Jeopardy!” challenge, you probably know this already, but IBM celebrates its centennial this year. That’s right. IBM, a technology company, will reach 100 years of age.
The Watson challenge was the most visible event so far, but the whole year will be celebrated. In fact, if you haven’t seen it yet, there’s an impressive video explaining the important events – one for each of the 100 years. Here it is:
One of the ways IBM is marking the special year is to have a special website, IBM100.com, with related information (including the video above), and part of that site highlights “Icons of Progress” in the 100 years of IBM’s history. So far this year the site has highlighted more than a dozen icons, from “The Floppy Disk” to “The First Salaried Workforce” to, of course, “A Computer Called Watson.” Each of these icons has a brief description of the event or technology, how IBM is related to it, and a place for people to comment and discuss it. To help with the ongoing conversation, IBM has identified an IBM expert to be connected to each of the icons.
I thought I would mention it here in “You and i” because today the “Icon of Progress” is the System/360, and if you visit the icon page, you just may recognize the person connected to the page.
Though I wasn’t working for IBM yet at the point when the System/360 was first sold, I certainly recognize the importance of that system in the history of computing, the history of information technology, and the history of architecture. (Let’s see, 1964? I was three years old ... ) Many of the early lessons about the value of standardization and specification found their way into the development of systems in general and also specifically into the development of IBM i and all of its predecessors.
And while we’re justifiably proud of the unification that happened when System i and System p became POWER Systems in 2007, the initial unification in IBM’s history--in fact the first unification in the computer industry--was when the S/360 replaced all five of IBM’s computer product lines. You can read more at the icon page, but it really was a momentous event, and has been called one of the top three business accomplishments.
I’m proud and happy to be connected with this “Icon of Progress.” “You and i” may get a few people visiting it who aren’t familiar with IBM i, and I hope you will check out a few of these “Icons of Progress” throughout the year. This will be a great chance for some interaction among IBM user communities. It’s what social networking is all about!
#ibm100 #ibmwatson #ibmi