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Submission + - Lenovo Announces WinXP ThinkPads...Today

BBCWatcher writes: It's December 6, 2007, and Lenovo just announced new ThinkPad T61 models preloaded with... Microsoft Windows XP. Ironically they're called ThinkPad T61 "TopSeller" models. Lenovo says they're aimed at small and medium sized businesses. The XP TopSellers are available immediately, and the part numbers are 6465-03U, 7658-04U, and 7664-06U (PDF links). "Lenovo recommends Windows Vista Business"? Not so much.
Sun Microsystems

Submission + - OpenSolaris Demonstrated on IBM Mainframe

BBCWatcher writes: Sine Nomine Associates, the same team heavily involved in bringing Linux to the IBM mainframe, appeared at Gartner's Data Center Conference in Las Vegas this week to demonstrate publicly OpenSolaris running on IBM System z. Sine Nomine's David Boyes says, after 18 months of work, OpenSolaris for z (codename: Sirius) will be available "soon" and that the open source community will get it all. He says the port is mostly feature-complete and supports the Linux ABI, although they've got more testing to do. Boyes says the primary value is to help companies move their applications (usually C/C++) from large distributed Solaris server farms to a much smaller and more reliable IBM mainframe footprint — he simulates a CPU failure in the demo. However, all their Solaris administrative skills and even disk storage still apply, but they don't have to change their code. They can also avoid expensive data center expansions and reduce energy use. The demonstration is on YouTube in 5 parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - "Art of the (Mainframe) Sale" 2nd Series D

BBCWatcher writes: Comedy Central's staff picked series one as a favorite. Now IBM's mainframe sales "trainee" is back, with his "mentor," learning "The Art of the Sale" in series two. In these three new (and even funnier, IMHO) episodes (4, 5, and 6), we learn the importance of a good metaphor, not to surprise trainees before their first customer call, the "mainframe 3 Cs," and the value of ink. Each is roughly 99% entertainment and 1% advertisement (Web address on screen at the end). I searched Google and confirmed that "Bob Hoey" really works for IBM, and his IBM picture matches. If you missed episodes 1, 2, and 3, Slashdot remembers; watch them first.

Submission + - Move to a Mainframe, Earn Carbon Credits

BBCWatcher writes: As Slashdot reported previously, Congress is pushing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop energy efficiency measures for data centers, especially servers. But IBM is impatient: Computerworld says IBM has signed up Neuwing Energy Ventures, a company trading in energy efficiency certificates, in a first for "green" computing. Now if your company consolidates, say, X86 servers onto an IBM mainframe, on top of slashing about 85% off your electric bill each megawatt-hour saved earns one certificate. Then you can sell the certificates in emerging carbon trading markets. IBM's own consolidation project (collapsing 3,900 distributed servers onto 30 mainframes) will net certificates worth between $300K and $1M, depending on carbon's market price. Will ubiquitous carbon trading discourage energy-inefficient, distributed-style infrastructure in favor of highly virtualized and I/O-savvy environments, particularly mainframes?

Submission + - First Actual CPU Energy Use Statistics Published

BBCWatcher writes: InformationWeek and CNN among others report that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in August asked server manufacturers to develop "miles per gallon" ratings for their equipment that would provide accurate assessments of energy efficiency. IBM says it is now providing "typical usage ratings" for its line of z9 mainframe computers, in addition to previously available maximum power ratings. More than 1,000 z9s around the world started reporting (with the owners' permission) on May 11th their actual installed power and cooling demands, so IBM can publish statistics such as how much energy is required to turn on an additional processor to run multiple Linux virtual servers (answer: only about 20 total watts). "Over time every vendor is going to be asked to provide typical energy use numbers for their equipment. It's what the EPA wants, and this allows us to move beyond simple performance benchmarking to energy benchmarking."
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Master the Mainframe Student Contest Starts Oct. 1

BBCWatcher writes: It's back for its 3rd year, and "no experience necessary": the 2007 Master the Mainframe Contest. Students can register now to try to win t-shirts, $100 cash cards, Nintendo Wii consoles, or free trips to the mainframe factory in Poughkeepsie, New York, also home to Vassar College. (Just sayin'.) Details are sketchy, but in the past two contests students worked through several z/OS-based exercises, including some mainframe haiku. IBM may also feature you in a low budget YouTube video. Almost everybody wins a t-shirt just for showing up, but the stakes may be much higher: a couple of 2005's and 2006's winners are now listed in IBM's employee directory. (Slashdot also covered last year's contest.)

Submission + - IBM Challenges Microsoft with Free Office Suite

BBCWatcher writes: The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and several other news outlets report that IBM will announce a free, downloadable office suite today in a direct challenge to Microsoft. The news comes only a week after IBM announced it is joining and dedicating 35 developers to the project.

IBM is resurrecting an old name for this brand new software: Lotus Symphony. The new Symphony, based on Open Office, is yet another product to support Open Document Format (ODF), the ISO standard for universal document interchange. There are about 135 million Lotus Notes users, and they will also receive Symphony free. IBM support will be available for a fee. There are no details yet about platform support, but IBM is supporting Lotus Notes 8 on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows, so at least those three are likely.

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