The Unbundling of IMAGE (1990)
Alexander "Sasha" Volokh

(in the style of "The Man from Snowy River"
by A.B. "Banjo" Paterson)
written at the 1990 INTEREX conference, Boston

There was movement down in Boston, for the word had gotten out
That IMAGE was unbundled by HP.
And the vendors all decided not to sit around and pout,
So they got together up on Level 3.
All the wise and noted vendors from locations near and far,
They mustered at SIG IMAGE Monday night.
For it's easier to make a fuss where all the users are,
And where people think that things are not so right.

There was Gary Ho, a technical employee of HP,
And Robert Hill, another HP guy;
And Steve Cooper (of this IMAGE SIG a leader once was he),
And Alfredo, who was also standing by.
Roger Lawson was invited to fill in an empty chair,
And O'Brien (Terry), who sells OMNIDEX.
And Brad Tashenberg of BRADMARK was another person there,
Whose new product has the name of SUPERDEX.

Now the Hewlett-Packard panelists had such a thing to say:
There are rumors going round, which aren't true.
HP isn't killing IMAGE; it's committed all the way.
IMAGE, just like SQL, is what we do.
And we've talked with DISC and BRADMARK about working with their stuff
To make IMAGE's performance have no peer.
And we're still supporting IMAGE (though we think it's kind of tough)
So our users don't have anything to fear.

Then Alfredo thanked HP for all its work with DISC and Brad;
Brad and Terry also thought the plan was swell;
And they didn't think the concept of relationals was bad,
But we shouldn't have to jump to SQL.
Brad thought the best transition would be gradual and slow.
Alfredo said to have an open ear
To Steve Cooper and some other IMAGE experts whom we know
So that all the nice suggestions they could hear.

Every year, SIG IMAGE sent a few suggestions to HP
As to what to put in IMAGE that was new.
One of these, key item updates, on the list would always be
But HP would never want that thing to do.
Cooper said that, next to actions, HP's words speak very soft --
This commitment from HP I don't believe.
For I cannot say that changes have been implemented oft.
I'm concerned about unbundling -- thus spake Steve.

Now Fred White had written IMAGE and was sad, as you can guess.
He said the word "unbundling" was a lie.
IMAGE isn't like a product, but is part of FOS
And that's why you get it when HPs you buy.
But IMAGE, it has always been mistreated by HP
And I wouldn't like to think the end is near.
And I'm working with Alfredo, but in this, I speak for me,
'Cause if not for me, you wouldn't all be hear.

And Wirt Atmar had a letter to the people who're in charge
Of the marketing of those HP machines.
The unbundling, he said, was a mistake, and it was large,
Since about the user, HP don't care beans.
It used to be that users, they came first in HP's thought,
And the vendors, then, were happy campers too;
To make pricing-based decisions -- that is not what HP ought!
Engineering plans are what HP should do.

Of the people at the meeting, many men agreed with Wirt
That from under them was being pulled the RUG.
People asked, Why is HP treating us vendors just like dirt?
If we've no time to adjust, our grave is dug!
And another thing was talked about by Larry Simonsen,
Now we're forced to buy HP's with SQL.
Then Steve Cooper was elected as the chairman once again.
I hope this whole affair will turn out well.

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