by Anura Guruge
You can find this on Facebook.
Click to ENLARGE and read. It says (in case you have trouble reading it): “What has processed 5 billion transactions in the time it took you to read this? CICS”.
CICS = Customer Information Control System
is an old, much beloved and widely used
computer system for managing
large database-oriented systems.
Think: banks, airlines, financial institutes,
utility companies, car rental etc.
Yes, granted that this is VERY nerdy and obscure joke BUT it is cruel.
It basically pokes fun at aging IBMers (I being one of them), especially those that worked on mainframes, trying to mock their APPARENT lack of awareness of modern technology and their supposed unfamiliarity with large numbers.
OK. Let me explain. The 5 BILLION number is a huge, huge, huge exaggeration.
Most people can read about 8 – 10 words per second. So 16 words = 2 seconds.
So this is saying that IBM CICS systems (and there are a LOT of them still in use) are processing 5 Billion instructions in 2 seconds.
So that is 2.5 Billion instructions a second.
And that is the BUTT of this joke.
2.5 Billion/second is just PLAIN WRONG. And that is the POINT of the joke. Anybody who wears this is going to get thought of as ‘soft’.
Per IBM (see below and use this link), and this person, from Hursley (where I worked for IBM), would know and would have no reason to make a false claim, states 10 Billion CICS transactions a DAY.
Click to ENLARGE and read here. Use link cited above to access “Computer Weekly” original.
The real number is 1.1 MILLION transactions/second or 2.2 MILLION transactions in the time it takes to read the T-shirt blurb.
The 1.1 (1.15) million number is pretty well known. Here is another credible reference to it:
Click to access original which quotes IBM’s CICS newsletter.
Attempts like this to belittle aging IBMers, such as I, upset me. Yes, we are getting old and are no longer as swift as we once were. But it doesn’t mean that we have become complete mindless, drooling dinosaurs. We can still hold our own against the new generation of IT folks. Don’t try to trip us up by trying to get us confused as to whether it is an ‘M’ or a ‘G’.
This T-shirt was uncalled for and callous. The guy who came up with it should be ashamed of himself.
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by Anura Guruge