• Subject: Re: 1998 Predictions
  • From: DAsmussen <DAsmussen@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 18:00:24 EST
  • Organization: AOL (http://www.aol.com)


In a message dated 97-12-22 08:23:04 EST, you write:

> Love ya!  I've done some snipping and adding my 2 cents...BTW my daughter
> me some GREAT Ethiopian beans which I've slammed into the obligatory 
> occupational IV and full valved the sucker!  Gotta love that java. ;-)

Figures.  Just like Seattle, you can't find a decent bite to eat but _GREAT_
coffee (ducking!).  Some snips and comments of my own follow:

>  DAsmussen wrote:
>  > Hello All!
>  >
>  > As usual, these predictions are meant to be fun rather than prescient, so
>  > don't stake your portfolio on them (regardless of the outcome of last
>  > flock)!
>  >
>  > 1.  AS/400 sales will remain flat, due in equal parts to most companys'
>  > on the Y2K issue rather than technology enhancements, and IBM's _IDIOTIC_
>  > pricing decision for V4 which has alienated the group that would have
>  > "first in line" with JAVA solutions for the AS/400.
>  Like I said, gotta love that java...I'm not sure that 1998 will see a total
>  line.  There are still too many in denial. It may slow down due to some
>  but IMHO the true hardware flatten will occur in 1999 when their face is
>  REAL HARD against the reality checks.

Agreed, but 1998 won't be a "banner year" either.
>  > 2.  Network station sales will remain flat as well, precluding an
>  > from IBM that allows users to run PC-based applications without the
>  > NT server requirements.  The hardware has fallen in price, so where is
>  > software?
>  NC's will sell to the larger companies that want to control costs and
>  to goofing off on a PC.  AFAIK NT Server is not a requirement today. Oh,
you said
>  PC-based applications, but you must have meant Win doze based. I stand 
>  corrected :).

True.  That's why I specified PC applications.  What good is an NC if all you
use it for is a color terminal?
>  > 3.  Lou G will resign as head of IBM, seeking "new opportunities".  Real
>  > reason?  He's made all of the management changes he can at IBM, and will 
>  > leave to allow the company to "sink or swim" based upon its own
>  > and a new leader that will pursue that focus.
>  There always is the unspoken third outcome...swim poorly...not sinking, no
>  medals..plain vanilla.

IBM cannot afford to swim poorly.  Someone "up there" may have been listening
to us on AS/400 advertising lately, but the new technology (and advertisements
for it) must keep coming if the anti-IBM bigots are to be kept at bay.  If IBM
wants to enjoy the fate of UniSys, just keep pushing the services...

>  > 4.  "Native Notes" will fail at inception, because nobody has time to
>  > implement it _AND_ Y2K compliant software.  Should have come out with it
>  > year...
>  Unless it's marketed as a "solution". But I think you're right.

Not that they couldn't do this, but most of us would know better.

>  > 5.  IBM will announce several hardware platforms to "fill the gaps" in
>  > current product lines, most of which will be met with a "big yawn" due to
>  > above stated pre-occupations with Y2K over hardware.
>  Nitch solutions will still find their place.  If a software products fills
>  company's needs it's real nice to have hardware with a robust Y2K compliant
OS >  to run it on. Holey windows Batman!

Indeed, but niches won't be enough to ignite the industry.

>  > 6.  JAVA/400 will gain a real foothold over other languages/400 because
>  > vendors that are already Y2K compliant will focus their efforts there.
>  > Vendors that were averse to converting their software to C++ for the
>  > reason that UNIX wasn't as "OPEN" as most would have you believe will
>  > to port to JAVA.
>  That works for the UNIX folks trying to marry up, but for the rest of us
>  already have Y2K compliant RPG/400 code we're looking at broadening a 
>  customer
>  base to smaller users (read as more support calls, higher cost, lower
>  etc.) so from a purely business view point would you rather have a single
>  installation of 200 users of RPG or 10 installations of 20 users of
> JAVA, or 40 installations of 5 users of changing JAVA? (I think the keyword
> is "changing")

Ah, but _THAT_ is just the point!  In a world where producing new products is
equated with the success or failure of software companies, and there is an
overall shortage of developers, JAVA may well "make or break" your company.
New talent is generally savvy regarding development tools.  Say company A says
"come on in, we're state of the art with ILE RPG and bound modules" (which run
only on the AS/400), and company B says "come on in, were using JAVA/400 and
are first in line for the Beta release of San Francisco frameworks" (which
will run on any platform).  Who do you think the candidate will go for?  While
JAVA might not be "ready for prime-time" by our standards, SUN is releasing
new JDK and JVM modules this year that may "level the playing field".

To make a long story short (well, too late for that), the IT challenge for the
coming years is recruiting new talent -- _NOT_ maintaining the status quo.
Yes, maintenance is going to be a nightmare.  Yes, productivity gains will be
miniscule (if even present at all).  Yes, systems will be unstable for a
while.  All bad results, but how will your company survive as people leave due
to Y2K burn-out and nobody new comes in due to technology stagnation?
>  > 7.  The US Justice Department will _FINALLY_ deliver Microsoft its come-
>  > uppance -- have you _seen_ the c###, uh stuff, that MS tried to pull?
>  The last I heard, a judge got on a PC, moused over to the IE icon, pressed
>  (how apropos) button, selected "delete", got "are you sure", replied "yes",
>  concluded: Removal of IE is not as difficult as M$ argued.  The wheels do
>  slowly but they sure do grind. :)  :( but then again, the last judge that
>  that got replaced.)  BTW, what's the going price for a judge now a days?

Not much, given the cases that even make it to court these days ;-)...

>  > 8.  OS/2 will finally bite the dust, although undeservedly.  IBM's
>  > incompetence, rather than OS/2's relative value, will finish it off.  The
>  > revenue stream is just too small for the effort required by the
>  > to "keep it current".
>  That may very well be true stateside.  The Euro community has AFAIK slam 
> dunked M$ for OS/2 in 1996.  At least that's the last I heard when I was a
hot and 
> heavy OS/2 bigot.

I can only hope that you're right.  I _REALLY_ prefer OS/2 (running NT W/S and
3.1 at home, but OS/2 at work).  The sad thing is, OS/2 has gotten its "bad
rap" in the US due to poorly performing _WINDOWS_ applications.  At my current
primary client, we scrapped OS/2 because it couldn't be used for VB
development and Windows app's (mainly Visio and AmiPro) crashed repeatedly.
Guess what -- Visio and AmiPro crash _MORE_ frequently under Windows than they
did under OS/2!!!  To date, Visio and AmiPro are the only application that
have managed to crash my NT machine.  When the network crashes on site, guess
who still holds a connection to the AS/400 and S/390?  Yep, old CM/2 that
"don't need no stinkin' network"!

>  > 9.  Y2K will have all of us busy for the next four years, at least.
>  True.  I'll we've received from our clients is a smiling confidence that
they will
>  be taken care of in the future as they have in the past, change topic,
what's on
>  the plate for today.  The ball just gets lobed back to our side of the
>  The individuals have today to worry about, it's our job to worry about
today and
>  tomorrow.


>  > 10.  As with last year, we'll all meet here next year and be equally as
>  > If we meet last year's averages, that wouldn't be a bad thing, would it?
>  >
>  Well just between you, me and the fence post last year was great.  Next
year will
>  be better, and 1999 will be better yet. Why?  Because of a line from a
> I heard a long, long time ago: "Lack of planning on your part does not 
> consitute an emergancy on my part."  The same one's who have denied reality,
> budgets and man
>  power requests today are going to do some real hard back peddaling
>  Just make sure that all of your requests are in writting and cc'ed up the
line, '
> cause when they are in the corner they just might get ugly! ;-)

Point well taken!

>  Peace and a joyous holiday season to all.

Again, Indeed!

Dean Asmussen
Enterprise Systems Consulting, Inc.
Fuquay-Varina, NC  USA
E-Mail:  DAsmussen@aol.com

"The difference between a consultant and a contractor?  A consultant's job is
to eliminate his/her position -- a contractor's is to perpetuate theirs." --
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