Boca or Bust

October 25, 2001

I’ve been reading a book about the development of the IBM Thinkpad. It’s written by two members of the team and it not that bad of a book. Obviously there is a pro-IBM slant to it and they do talk about some of the layoffs and internal squabbles in the development. Interesting read, but it also shows what is wrong with a big company like IBM.

I was looking around the internet after my lunch last week at the Chattanoogan. The same company that runs that facility also runs two country clubs in New York state for IBM. Why does a company need a golf course? They had massive layoffs and were recruiting secretaries to learn C++ and OS/2 programming. IBM is both smart and dumb. It’s a strange combination. They build some nice machines, but then they let other projects hang out in the wind_cough_NetObjects_cough_OS/2_cough_. This company doesn’t know what they have. Netsphere is awesome, it should be kicking the .Net initiative’s ass. But IBM isn’t good at marketing itself. The Thinkpad commercials are great, but why not do the same thing for their Linux/AIX solutions and Websphere? (mk-I saw an IBM server commercial last night during “Enterprise”) They had a superior product in OS/2, but they didn’t know how to market it. They were even going to use OS/2 on a PowerPC. They buy Lotus and then they don’t market it to defeat Microsoft. 1-2-3 is a good spreadsheet program, Approach is a good database program (easer and more userfriendly), and Domino and Notes rocks. This alone should be the reason that .Net will not work….but it’s not.

Apple has been doing a good job of securing their niche. The new iPod is Mac only. Appleworks is still a Mac only product. But they are turning out some sexy machines. I’m sorry but a Titanium laptop looks cool and does appeal to the yuppie in me. Can’t afford it just like I can’t afford a BMW. If Apple stays on it’s course, although they had better release a new iMac soon, they can move ahead. I think with the release of OSX, some of the Mac faithful who have been running PPC Linux varieties have moved back into the Mac-fold. It runs Linux programs…but more importantly, it is damn snazzy. PCs are so boring, at least Apple spices up computers. Only Sony does it as nice. I’m getting bored with Windows. OSX looks good, but I don’t know about jumping into a new OS.

Phew, sorry that Thinkpad book was wearing on me.