Re: The end is near: Coca Cola switches to UDB

From: joel garry <>
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 2009 17:12:48 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <>

On Oct 10, 2:56 pm, John Hurley <> wrote:
> On Oct 9, 4:47 pm, joel garry <> wrote:
> snip
> > > I don't think DEC was ever a major player in the computer field the
> > > way that you appear to think they were.
> > Whaaaaaa?  "At its peak in the late 1980s, Digital was the second-
> > largest computer company in the world, with over 100,000 employees." -
> Then what happened to them?  At all of the shops I was at thru mid
> 90's there was little if any DEC equipment and a whole bunch of IBM.
> By the late 90's oracle workloads seemed to be running mostly on sun
> and hp systems.  If they were that big then they must have imploded
> pretty quickly.

Mladen's point exactly. In 1989 it seemed pretty plain to me that oracle/unix was a good bet. I wish I had bet more than my career on it, it turned out to be more successful than I saw - having barely broken even getting out of my DEC stock before it crashed and burned, I was thinking the investment advice of "invest in what you know" was pretty lame. At the time it wasn't at all clear that Oracle would do better than Ingres or Sybase. MS betting on Sybase was perhaps the only reason it survived at all. Of course, anyone who bought (or was granted options on) Oracle or MS stock at that time and then held onto it is now thought to be genius.

What happened to DEC? It's called "the bigger they are, the harder they fall." Also, a big part of both Oracle and DEC's success was military/gov contracts, so when the big lump of VAXen had gone through the snake, it hit DEC hard, but Oracle not so much, since Oracle ran on the hp/sun replacements, and there were still requirements for things to run on Oracle. See "Later Career History".

Oddly enough, by the mid-90's having expertise in both DEC tech and Oracle/unix made me valuable as people dumped one for the other but still needed their apps to work. Nowadays I look at the stuff that is supposed to replace Oracle and just kinda feel like staying a dinosaur until the asteroid comes. And still work on the descendants of the system I worked on in 1980, having then found this amazing Relational thingee, even if database-independence is like, so 90's.

Oracle won't fall like DEC because it explicitly recognizes greater future value in apps than databases. Some publications seem to think it might fall due to over-reliance on Larry, but such a statement is certainly undervaluing Henley, Phillips and Catz. I mean, they can't be too wimpy if they are keeping Larry happy, eh?


-- is bogus.
Received on Sat Oct 10 2009 - 19:12:48 CDT

Original text of this message