[SIGCIS-Members] Jim Cortada's "Inside IBM"

James Cortada jcortada at umn.edu
Tue Feb 20 12:23:48 PST 2024

Thanks for the kind comments.  I think your discussion about names and
languages is more important, not only because some of its silly, but unique
nonetheless.  I have long that there is a very large body of serious
research that needs to be done--and that has yet to be started in any
serious way--about the entire vocabulary of computing.  IBM published a
number of dictionaries of IT terms, and these pubs carried thousands of
words, many of which continued to rapidly change in definitions and
specifics, many within just 3 to 5 years.  I keep hoping that a small
groupf English professors would take on this project.  Jim

On Tue, Feb 20, 2024 at 2:11 PM Ceruzzi, Paul via Members <
members at lists.sigcis.org> wrote:

> I finally had a chance to look at the summary of Jim's book from CBI, and
> I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I always found IBM's control over nomenclature
> noteworthy: "Electronic Data Processing," not "Computer"; "Diskette" not
> "floppy"; "pointing Device" not "mouse." And others. I remember being
> shocked – shocked! when IBM called its OS2 operating system "Warp." So out
> of place, but the world, and IBM, moved on.
> Now we see the proliferation of what I consider inappropriate names for
> software and services that have a serious place in society: Google, Twitch,
> Slack, Yahoo! When Tom Haigh & I were writing our Third Edition, we had a
> discussion about whether to include the exclamation point in Yahoo. We left
> it off. And when I suggested to my office mates at the Smithsonian that we
> adopt Slack, they thought I was joking. I'm glad we didn't adopt it,
> regardless of how useful it isd or isn't.  Could you imagine President
> Eisenhower issuing a Tweet? (General Eisenhower once said, in response to a
> RAND Corporation report, "There will be no software in this man's army!"
> Where did it all begin? Maybe from a programmer named Tom Pittman, author
> of Tiny Basic. He called his service "Itty Bitty Computers." This was
> around 1976 or so. Anyone have better information?
> Paul Ceruzzi
> _______________________________________________
> This email is relayed from members at sigcis.org, the email discussion
> list of SHOT SIGCIS. Opinions expressed here are those of the member
> posting and are not reviewed, edited, or endorsed by SIGCIS. The list
> archives are at http://lists.sigcis.org/pipermail/members-sigcis.org/ and
> you can change your subscription options at
> http://lists.sigcis.org/listinfo.cgi/members-sigcis.org

James W. Cortada
Senior Research Fellow
Charles Babbage Institute
University of Minnesota
jcortada at umn.edu
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.sigcis.org/pipermail/members-sigcis.org/attachments/20240220/6bb23db3/attachment.htm>

More information about the Members mailing list