So, back in June 1986, at the tender age of 19, I went looking for a summer job. After seeing an add saying ‘Warehouse Help Needed‘ in the local job centre, I rode my Yamaha DT125 down to a local company who needed young fellas to move boxes around a warehouse during the summer break. “Sounds simple enough” I thought and the possibility of driving a forklift truck spun me into a frenzy of excitement.
Who knew, that being denied the job on the basis of being ‘over qualified’ (ie: I had good school grades) I was ushered upto a beige coloured room with a huge star-trek like computer in it. After a brief chat with a chap wearing 1970’s coloured trousers I was offered a job as a trainee programmer working on the project to migrate from the companies System/36 to the new and shiney System/38.
A couple of years later, with rumours of the new Silverlake system or Olympic System or ‘application system 40‘ or AS/400 system about to land on British shores, I was already a confirmed IT-junkie. The AS/400 transformed the midrange computer industry. It’s kept me employed and enjoying my work for the last twenty some years. The AS/400 sucessor, the IBM Power System running IBM i operating system is poised to do it all over again.
Dr. Frank Soltis reflects on how a simple idea became a revolutionary system that transformed the computer industry.