The iSeries Blog

Apr 23 2008   6:00PM GMT

More user feedback on the i operating system name change

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

So far the feedback on renaming the operating system from i5/OS to i or IBM i has overall been mixed, although there are some detractors who have some strong opinions. This one comes directly from an IT employee from an Arizona-based general contracting company:

Changing the name of the operating system to just “i” is just another idiotic idea from IBM, probably initiated by the same stupid “marketing geniuses” that dreamt up the latest super dumb campaign starring brainless “Gil” and his young clueless “geek” buddy, whose name (thankfully) escapes me.

IBM could have at least dropped the “5” and made it i/OS or or i-OS or OS/i or OSi or something beyond just the single letter “i.”

Are they going to now change z/OS to z??

Fictitious scenario, similar to Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First” :

  1. What operating system do you run ? i.
  2. I what ? Just i.
  3. Just you ? No, not me – i.
  4. (repeat 2 and 3 above, ad infinitum)

Who would be stupid enough to choose a non-capitalized first-person pronoun to represent absolutely anything (beyond its normal English meaning/usage) ?

Lastly, the really nice thing (not), is that until IBM either reverses this name change or until the next (inevitable) name change, everyone in the AS/400 (yes, I said it) community gets to perpetually respond to their Microsoft Outlook client spell-check feature (F7) to “Ignore” every instance of i.

Even enclosing the i inside quotation marks still “throws” a “Not in Dictionary:” error. The only viable alternative is to tell spell-checker to “Add” “i” to its dictionary, after which the spell-checker forever loses its ability to find a bona-fide yet accidental neglect to capitalize a legitimate reference to one’s self, via the pronoun I. Between the above two choices, I will begrudgingly be forced to continually inform spell-checker to “Ignore” every occurrence of an i (to refer to the OS).

Even though no other words — other than “i” — in this e-mail are misspelled, it still took me about 15 seconds to respond “Ignore” to all of the occurrences of i in this e-mail. Hopefully, IBM’s bone-head decision to call the operating system “i”, will cause it to spend many thousands of dollars when its own employees are forced to do the same.

Most disheartening is that (to my knowledge) the user-community wasn’t even queried for suggestions as to whether to change the name or, given a name change, what to call it. They could have even made a contest out of it, and given away a “blade” (or would that be an i-blade?).

Don’t take this personally, because I know it’s not your doing; however please feel free to forward it to anyone in IBM who 1) would care; and 2) would actually be instrumental in rectifying this mistake (like that could/will happen).

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

3  Comments on this Post

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  • Nigel Rees
    How about Fastest Universal Computer Known?
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  • Tarheelz
    Well, it would certainly be an acronym that no one would likely forget!
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  • Mike
    On a recent tech support call with IBM, the IBM folks I was talking to kept referring to my system as an "AS/400". That's good enough for me..
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