Nothing to see here, says IBM, Redbooks are still a thing. Move along please

That thing about discontinuing technical content was all a 'misunderstanding'

IBMers were last week treated to a re-enactment of the Hokey Cokey*, sources claim, as staff working on Redbooks technical papers were told of planned reassignment, only to be told days later by the architect of the change that it was all a "misunderstanding."

Redbooks is technical prose created and published by IBM Garage. "We develop and deliver skills, technical know-how, and materials to IBM technical professionals, Business Partners, clients and the marketplace in general," says IBM's blurb.

A well-placed senior insider told The Reg that Chris Konarski, IBM veep of worldwide technical sales and lab services, informed employees working on Redbooks content that they would be redeployed from 1 November to support technical sellers.

"All work," our source said, was to "stop immediately, books would have to be finished off probably by editors or contractors, all resident writers [were] told to stop work immediately on any Redbooks related projects and that there would be none next year."

But then it all seemingly changed after clients reacted "rather badly" to the news. Our source says a number of employees working on Redbooks had even been assigned new managers.

This looked like a potential disaster in the making as plenty of group strategies rely on Redbooks and this threw those that internally fund Redbooks into "disarray," or so our source claimed.

Perhaps sensing a disturbance in the force or responding to the higher-ups – IBM management, not the Almighty – Konarski took to Twitter on 20 October to calm nerves and assure folk that Redbooks was not going the way of the dodo.

The response was positive, with one saying: "Good to know, the message that came out earlier in the week was very worrying." Another urged: "Please don't 'improve it' as was done to [technical sales support] Tech Docs," while another asked if it would continue "with existing team members or new?"

Others expressed absolute relief. "Redbooks are IBM's best resource for showing how their systems work in real use," said Jay Maynard (the Tron Guy), a sysadmin and programmer. "I'm also given to understand they're a lot of fun for the folks working on them. I'm happy to hear they're not going away."

An IBM spokesperson in the UK told us:

There was no backtracking here. Despite some misunderstanding, there was never any intent to shut down IBM Redbooks. As you saw in Chris's tweet, Redbooks will continue to provide the technical insight and guidance its followers have valued and depended on for years.

We asked if the staff simply imagined they were being told to move. "All I can say for certain is that there was a misunderstanding," IBM's press handler added.

One source claimed: "It was exceptionally clear what he [Konarski] wanted to do. But he's been inundated with emails and calls to reverse it." ®

* Or Hokey Pokey, depending on where you live

Similar topics

Narrower topics

Other stories you might like

  • Ex-Qualcomm Snapdragon chief turns CEO at AI chip startup MemryX

    Meet the new boss

    A former executive leading Qualcomm's Snapdragon computing platforms has departed the company to become CEO at an AI chip startup.

    Keith Kressin will lead product commercialization for MemryX, which was founded in 2019 and makes memory-intensive AI chiplets.

    The company is now out of stealth mode and will soon commercially ship its AI chips to non-tech customers. The company was testing early generations of its chips with industries including auto and robotics.

    Continue reading
  • Aircraft can't land safely due to interference with upcoming 5G C-band broadband service

    Expect flight delays and diversions, US Federal Aviation Administation warns

    The new 5G C-band wireless broadband service expected to rollout on 5 January 2022 in the US will disrupt local radio signals and make it difficult for airplanes to land safely in harsh weather conditions, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

    Pilots rely on radio altimeter readings to figure out when and where an aircraft should carry out a series of operations to prepare for touchdown. But the upcoming 5G C-band service beaming from cell towers threatens to interfere with these signals, the FAA warned in two reports.

    Flights may have to be delayed or restricted at certain airports as the new broadband service comes into effect next year. The change could affect some 6,834 airplanes and 1,828 helicopters. The cost to operators is expected to be $580,890.

    Continue reading
  • Canadian charged with running ransomware attack on US state of Alaska

    Cross-border op nabbed our man, boast cops and prosecutors

    A Canadian man is accused of masterminding ransomware attacks that caused "damage" to systems belonging to the US state of Alaska.

    A federal indictment against Matthew Philbert, 31, of Ottawa, was unsealed yesterday, and he was also concurrently charged by the Canadian authorities with a number of other criminal offences at the same time. US prosecutors [PDF] claimed he carried out "cyber related offences" – including a specific 2018 attack on a computer in Alaska.

    The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that Philbert was charged after a 23 month investigation "that also involved the [Royal Canadian Mounted Police, federal enforcers], the FBI and Europol."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021