If only the SW were the equivalent of that clean new 32-bit architecture, the
analogy would be complete :-) (02)
On Aug 30, 2012, at 9:48, John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote: (04)
> The wonderful new opportunities for ontology, Big Data, and
> the Semantic Web are constant themes in Ontolog Forum. But I
> keep emphasizing the point that the new systems must accommodate
> the huge amount of legacy software that will not go away.
> I learned that lesson when I was at IBM. Following is a recent
> article about IBM mainframes (a few excerpts below).
> For another ancient legacy, just consider the Intel X86 architecture,
> which they considered obsolete in the early 1980s. It evolved from
> Intel's first microprocessor, the 4004. That had a 4-bit data path
> with a maximum RAM of 1K bytes. It was extended to the 8008, the
> 8080, the 8086, and the 8088.
> In the 1980s, Intel designed a clean new 32-bit architecture to
> replace it. But customers wanted upward compatibility, and Intel's
> shiny new chip was a failure. They continued with the 286, 386,
> 486, and Pentium.
> In the 1990s, Intel considered the Pentium the end of the road,
> and they developed the new Itanium, which was not a bad design.
> But it was incompatible with x86. So the latest and greatest
> new chips from Intel still have the oldest and ugliest detritus
> from the 4004 buried in their structure.
> Fundamental principle: Any revolutionary new designs for ontology,
> logic, Big Data, the Semantic Web, or anything else *must* support
> a smooth growth path from the old systems. The legacy systems can
> evolve to support the new, but they will never go away completely.
> John Sowa
> Excerpts from "I.B.M. Mainframe Evolves to Serve the Digital World"
> The death of the mainframe has been predicted many times over the years.
> But it has prevailed because it has been overhauled time and again. In
> the early 1990s, the personal computer revolution took off and I.B.M.,
> wedded to its big-iron computers, was in deep trouble. To make the
> mainframe more competitive, its insides were retooled, using low-cost
> microprocessors as the computing engine.
> Like any threatened species that survives, the mainframe evolved. It has
> been tweaked to master new programming languages, like Java, and new
> software operating systems, like Linux.
> “The mainframe is the most flexible technology platform in computing,”
> said Rodney C. Adkins, I.B.M.’s senior vice president for systems and
> The sale of mainframe computers accounts for only about 4 percent of
> I.B.M.’s revenue these days. Yet the mainframe is a vital asset to
> I.B.M. because of all the business that flows from it. When all the
> mainframe-related software, services and storage are included, mainframe
> technology delivers about 25 percent of I.B.M.’s revenue and more than
> 40 percent of its profits, estimates A. M. Sacconaghi, an analyst at
> Sanford C. Bernstein...
> A mainframe costs more than $1 million, and higher-performance models
> with peripheral equipment often cost $10 million or more. Yet even young
> companies and emerging nations, analysts say, find the expense worth it
> for some tasks.
> Comepay, for instance, is a fast-growing company that says it operates
> more than 10,000 self-service payment kiosks in Russia, where consumers
> pay for products and services ranging from Internet service and
> cellphones to electric bills. Comepay handles millions of transactions a
> day, and the volume is rising. The Russian company bought an I.B.M.
> mainframe in 2010.
> “Mainframes are extremely reliable,” said Ruslan Stepanenko, chief
> information officer of Comepay. “It keeps working even when the
> transaction load is very high.”
> Last year, the Senegal Ministry of Finance bought two I.B.M. mainframes
> to help monitor all the imports, exports and customs duties at the
> African country’s 30 border checkpoints...
> Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
> Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/
> Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
> Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
> To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J (06)