HelpSystems Blog

IBM i: What's in a Name?

To promote the IBM i effectively and for it to be seen as a modern solution for a modern world it means we have to pack up our kitbag and leave the old names behind. You know, names like AS400, “the four hundred”, “the iSeries” that other people associate with the word ‘legacy’.

The terms that make us feel inclined to adopt a defensive stance at meetings; to justify to others outside ‘the community’ when, if you look carefully in their eyes, you can see them thinking ‘Oh, that old thing’.

Well, he sure opened a can of worms judging by the comments – some thinking that by not referring to the old names and the legacy – we were somehow doing the platform and the community a disservice. I found it interesting that, and Steve makes a good point, the community that once used the RS6000 now have no problem referring to the platform as AIX.

Was it because AS400 is such as catchy name and RS6000 didn’t have quite the same ring to it?


I suspect that, as we all know, the AS400 had a passionate bunch of followers and to be clear, the word “passionate” was how IBM described them. In fact of all the user groups the most passionate bunch of followers, according to IBM. (I read passionate – as attended user groups, go to conferences, and be very vocal to IBM Rochester if things were changed and not to your liking!)

It’s hard to shake off the sentiment of your first love, especially if it was a fantastic relationship. But the trick to moving on is to convince the world, (and yourself), that living in the new world with a new partner really is the future and one you are very much committed to.