Before the AS/400 Roamed the Earth – Looking Back at Early IBM

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It’s fun for me to talk about the birth of the AS/400 because I was fortunate enough to be a part of it and there are so many loyal fans of it. But plenty of programming took place decades before the AS/400. I came across an IBM film/commercial shown at the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels. It’s called The Information Machine, Man, and the Data Processor. Fair warning. It’s almost 10 minutes in length. But it has some great animation starting with primitive man (a cross between Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble) who walks the earth and stores what he observes in his personal memory bank, and leads to the creation of computers which are animated as the giant boxes they were back then.

Interestingly, the video closing line is, “This is the story about a technique in the service of man.” If you are an IT Manager, programmer or operator, it frequently seems the other way around.



The Big Blue Question

Ever wonder why IBM is sometimes called Big Blue? Take a look at this retrospective of early branding and the link at the end of the story that unravels the mystery. Or does it? If there are any readers that want to weigh in, please share!

brand evolution ibm

Try, Try, Try.

Finally, in the same great group for IBM alumni that like to reminisce, there is an intriguing infographic posted about persistence. It’s the most common trait of people who succeed. But the battles the well-known figures in the chart went through to succeed were surprising and inspirational.


ibm branding, ibm i, as 400Photo Credit: Funders and Founders


I think our community of IBM i users shares a respect for not just the stability of this veteran power server, but for the rich history that was in the forefront of a technological revolution.


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