Friday read: Wimbledon’s other servers

LONDON—Outside, it’s about 35 degrees Celsius (95F) and close to 100 percent humidity. Hat-wearing tennis lovers fan themselves with genteelly flailing limbs, or whatever else they have to hand, while they sip on a cup of Pimm’s. Down here, though, away from the punishing sun and thronging crowds, I’m bathed in the soothing susurration of servers (of the computer variety), and—more importantly—some really powerful air conditioning.

At the heart of Wimbledon lies the IBM bunker – Sebastian Anthony, Ars Technica (2 July 2015)

Read the full piece.

All rise and sing a song of praise to your employer

Look, I worked for the BBC and we didn’t sing about it. We came close: we were so enthralled by the idea and the ideal of the corporation that we took lower pay and kept higher hopes, but still, there are limits. We used to get very, very sarcastic about the motivational signs around the offices. I can’t imagine how we would’ve reacted to having to sing songs about the Beeb.

But I’d like to. I’d like to imagine it. I’d like to have seen what we made of being asked to sing lyrics like this:

Thomas Watson is our inspiration,
Head and soul of our splendid I.B.M.
We are pledged to him in every nation,
Our President and most beloved man.
His wisdom has guided each division
In service to all humanity
We have grown and broadened with his vision,
None can match him or our great company.
T. J. Watson, we all honor you,
You’re so big and so square and so true,
We will follow and serve with you forever,
All the world must know what I. B. M. can do.

—from “To Thos. J. Watson, President, I.B.M. Our Inspiration”

Altogether now.

That’s from a book called Songs of the IBM – and if the phrase “the IBM” doesn’t pin this down to a certain time for you, I will. It’s 1937. ‘Square’ was a compliment and workers were willing to compliment their bosses in 4/4 time.

Go take a look at Ars Technica’s coverage of this historical gem. No, don’t look, take a gawp.