IBM Research and Development’s Eberhard Pasch has such a strong mainframe pedigree, I’m a little embarrassed to have overlooked his blog here at Big Iron Works for as long as I have. His Linux And Mainframe is an excellent, living resource dedicated to the meeting of Linus’s kernel and big iron. Any blog that celebrates the 40th birthday of IBM’s VM/370 virtualization layer is a blog I’m duty-bound to link to!
The format of Mr. Pasch’s content is also a throwback to the engineering logs that the weblog grew out of. It’s a log of issues and resolutions on the web. As such, it’s a perfect addition to any mainframer’s subscription reader. Terse, valuable descriptions and contexts. Love it.
The DEC EAI 640: FORTRAN in the sunshine
Over at Ars Technica there’s a timely reflection on the marketing history of mainframes between the Kennedy and Carter administrations. There’s quite a bit of fun learning about how the classic business marketing techniques of the era worked. The industry produced lots of print ads with art direction portraying a future where data entry clerks lounged and let the hardware do all the work. Sometimes even outside, such as in the above photo – presumably because stacks of punch-cards were somehow impervious to 1960s wind and weather?
For the full experience of the DEC EAI640 marketing, take a peek at a PDF of the full EAI640 brochure.
Most of the images in the Ars piece come from the truly awesome Computer History Museum of Mountain View, CA, the one place in Silicon Valley where the technologies and problem-solving of yesteryear aren’t forgotten by reflex.