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Frank Soltis Calls It Quits


Amid rumors of layoffs in Rochester, Minnesota, Dr. Frank Soltis, creator of the technology-independent architecture used in the System/38, AS/400, and subsequent i systems, is retiring from IBM after a long and enviable career. There's a bit more to the backstory, of course, plus a bit of supposition, and maybe even a dose of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. It seems as if the news publicly broke last week viaa note shared by Neil Palmer on the Midrange-L mailing list titled, "IBM's Frank ...


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Discuss this Blog Entry 21

Charles Allen (not verified)
on Nov 19, 2008
I think these changes and events will continue as our System I group continues to age. I myself wonder what the future holds for me as I am 48 years old and still have many years to work.
on Nov 21, 2008
Thank you Dr. Soltis, for creating the best OS in the world.
on Nov 19, 2008
The end of an era. I've always enjoyed the opportunity to talk to Frank or listen to his keynote speeches over the years at Northeast IBM conferences. Thank you Dr. Soltis, for creating the best machine in the world and inadvertantly providing me with a fruitful career.
on Nov 19, 2008
Thanks for the info, Chris. As an IBM midrange (that's an old reference) consultant since 1979 (S/34, S/36, S/38, AS/400...), I owe much thanks to Dr. Soltis for creating the greatest system to develop and work on. It's given me a terrific livelihood. I hope he still keeps his hand in it. Thanks, Dr. Frank.
Christoph Cuscoleca (not verified)
on Nov 19, 2008
It was always great talking with "Dr. Frank" - I hope he still will be on the COMMON Events - otherwise he realy will be missed.
Bill Phillips (not verified)
on Nov 20, 2008
Years ago I suggested to one of the iSeries (as it was known at that time) publications that "If IBM was not interested in promoting and leveraging the iSeries they should sell it to some who was!" ....Dr. Soltis are you ready for a second career? If not, thank you for your vision and developing it into the paramount business platform of our time. No matter what it’s called "i" is the standard that years from now others will still strive to obtain.
Larry Wood (not verified)
on Nov 19, 2008
Fortress Rochester will never be the same. Good luck to one of the best minds that graced IBM and the rest of us.
on Nov 19, 2008
Wow - Tempus freakin' Fugit.
Orn S. Kaldalons (not verified)
on Dec 1, 2008
Making an architecture that survives for 3 decades, first in S/38, then in AS/400 up to System-i, that is some achievement - if not a world record in this ever-changing world of computers. Congratulations Frank! Greetings from Iceland! Come again sometime!
Pat Botz (not verified)
on Feb 2, 2009
Blair, agreed....and in my book, you're just as amazing as the amazingly great Frank :-)
lawrence verity 1985 (not verified)
on Oct 18, 2011
hello blogs.systeminetwork.comers this seems great site !!! its my first time here and thought i would say hi
Jimmy (not verified)
on Nov 20, 2008
As one of the people that I have grown to know and appreciate, albeit somewhat vicariously, you are definitely one of my favorites. I would hope, however, that you would lend your not inconsiderable talent to help guide this architecture and community from the outside. I have appreciated IBM's efforts but as always they could definitely use some assistance.
Anne Lucas (not verified)
on Nov 19, 2008
Frank has been the tops in his work for IBM but mostly for this community. His vision truly changed technology for businesses of all sizes! He has more than earned retirement!! God bless you, Frank!! Anne Lucas
Steve Richter (not verified)
on Nov 24, 2008
"...Thank you Dr. Soltis, for creating the best OS in the world. ..." I dont think Dr Frank invented the OS. He was hardware and the SLS. The MI interface to the hardware instruction set, object oriented OS, integrated database, a common call stack for all languages, joblog messages, ... that was all G Glenn Henry and others. Consider that since the initial revolutionary achievement of the S/38 design and implementation back in the 70s and 80s, the system has not improved much. Dr Frank was there all the time. If he had invented it all, I would guess he would have been pushing to improve it. But that did not happen. -Steve
on Nov 19, 2008
I met Frank for the first time in Rochester in May of 1987 (or 88). We were part of a team brought in by IBM to convert our applications to the AS400 and try to break it (and break it we did). Frank was a guest speaker on architechure and concepts. What a great mind he has. Way past any of us and will probably always be way ahead of us. Congraulations Frank, well deserved.
Blair Wyman (not verified)
on Feb 1, 2009
I had the distinct pleasure of speaking at some length with this amazing man one morning in Ireland as I traveled for a conference there. The way I heard it, though I'd much rather hear it from him over a lazy tumbler of fine scotch, is that the single-level store addressing scheme was another solution to the scaling necessarily undertaken as registers widened and more wires fit into the same space. MVS solved it one way as 24, 31 and 64 bits schemes evolved. The sheer genius of the AS/400, IMHO, is the notion of taking all that address scaling out of the picture. Boom. You want storage, well OK... Here's a 16-byte handle to it. What? You wanna MESS WITH IT. Sorry, you gotta use it AS IS. No messing with that and I can TELL if you DO. Talk about a smart planet. If you ask me IBM should donate AS/400 to the government and let it REALLY have some fun. Thanks for the place to blog. I've just invented something on facebook called "Wall Stomping"... I hope it doesn't get me fired, 'cuz I sure love my job. Something is in the air, though, and this country is just about to show the world how we can rise to challenges together. Finally.
Keng Siau (not verified)
on Nov 24, 2008
Thank you Dr. Soltis. What a career!!

You have contributed much to the System i community and I am sure you will continue to contribute even after your official retirement.
Bob Burnham (not verified)
on Nov 19, 2008
Frank Soltis has always been at the top of the iSeries pyramid. For the past 25 years my customers and I have been grateful for such a stable family of machines and look forward to many more years of supporting the product line.
Rick Flagler (not verified)
on Feb 2, 2009
Dr. Frank and his team at IBM Rochester inadvertantly created the best and most long-lived computer archicture ever invented. Let's hope that "i" continues to evolve and the community continues to thrive for another few decades! Thanks to Dr. Frank and all the others for providing many of us with interesting careers in the process. Best wishes for retirement! Come visit NHMUG in the future.
claudio cuzzi (not verified)
on Nov 19, 2008
on Nov 20, 2008
In this time of hype over substance, It was reassuring to know our systems had minds such as his behind them. A great dedicated man sadly missed. Best wishes Frank.

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