By Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc. August 23, 2017
Steve Jobs’ 2011 launch of Apple’s all-new iPad seemed like a homerun from the start. Following three years of stunning iPhone success, the concept of a far larger yet still highly portable device with excellent battery life that also ran iPhone apps appeared to further polish Apple’s and Jobs’ reputations for go-to-market genius.
But after a couple of years, cracks began to show in the iPad façade, especially as regards Apple’s attempts to pitch it as a fully-capable replacement for PCs. That strategy ignored Jobs’ original vision of the iPad as a “third” device that logically fit between the capabilities of powerful PCs and highly portable smart phones. Plus, it downplayed or ignored the iPad’s inherent form and performance limitations. Continue reading
By Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc.
Popular references to artificial intelligence (AI) and other forms of computing that mimic human intelligence are so commonplace that it is easy to forget they depend on highly complex, highly robust fundamental technologies that continue to evolve.
That point underscores the breakthrough Distributed Deep Learning (DDL) software announced this week by IBM Research, and the remarkable results the company’s achieved. Saying IBM’s efforts blow away what people can expect from and achieve with Deep Learning and related projects might seem like an overstatement, but this is a case where undue modesty could lead to basic misunderstanding. Continue reading
By Charles King Pund-IT, Inc. August 9, 2017
It’s easier to talk-up destinations than it is the often lengthy, costly and sometimes fraught journeys they require. That shouldn’t be surprising since it’s been the case through much of human history, including vaunted opportunities in various “New Worlds,” the gold rushes of Alaska, Australia, Canada and California, conflicts and wars, and the public sale of commercial goods.
As a result, it’s fascinating when companies take the time and effort to illuminate the progress they’re making toward valuable destinations, along with the steps required to get there. Intel’s completion of its tender offer for MobilEye is a good example. Let’s take a closer look at that. Continue reading
By Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc. August 2, 2017
Context is critical for understanding compute performance. It is expressed most often in terms of speed or volume and the resulting percentage gain improvements new systems offer over previous generations. But situational details can also come into play. For example, their ability to survive extreme temperature, humidity and vibration/impact help underscore the unique qualities of ruggedized systems and solutions.
Additionally, there are cases where the work that solutions perform best defines their value. That’s clearly the case with the workstations and systems used to create or render computer generated imagery (CGI), including visual computing effects for films and interactive games. In fact, for more than three decades visual computing has essentially reinvented films and games, and revolutionized related businesses of every size and kind.
These points highlight the new Dell Precision solutions announced this week at SIGGRAPH 2017, the annual conference hosted by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in Los Angeles. Continue reading
By Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc. July 19, 2017
Predicting the future is easy enough. In fact, survey business and investing bestsellers and you’ll find dozens of books and authors who claim to have an inside track on what’s up ahead. Sadly, despite their sometimes impressive sales numbers, most of those trendy tomes deliver far more dross than gold, and many are also guilty of memorably howling errors.
However, these high-profile failures tend to detract from the future-focused work of more diligent researchers. That’s problematic on its face but is potentially destructive in swiftly changing industries, including IT. As a result, businesses that might profit from guidance can end up looking for it in the wrong places or pursuing costly initiatives that turn out to be costly mistakes. Continue reading
By Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc. July 17, 2017
Study IBM’s Z mainframe long enough and the sheer scale of the platform is what tends to stand out. I don’t just mean the physical size of the mainframe box which, given its imposing U.S. Navy Nimitz Class dimensions, tends to make even the most robust 42U systems look somewhat puny. It’s more a matter of what might be called “virtual scale” combining the Z’s massive physical memory storage capacities with its equally impressive transactional capabilities.
In more than one way, a Z mainframe resembles Doctor Who’s Tardis in being “bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.” Continue reading
By Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc. July 12, 2017
Thin clients inhabit an odd corner of business IT where enthusiasm for the technology can tend to outshine its relatively modest but constantly growing market share. That’s partly because the idea of thin clients and related technologies arrived well ahead of their time and initially didn’t respond to any real demand from the market. Continue reading