In 1997 the IBM computer Deep Blue beat the world chess champion Garry Kasparov.  This was a revelation, perhaps one of the greatest moments in information technologies’ history.  IT was the future and we would all come to rely on it.

Well we do, we can’t seem to get anything done nowadays without having a system solution.

What isn’t so well understood though is that Garry Kasparov was just one (clever) man; Deep Blue was 256 processors capable of analysing 200,000,000 moves per second.  It was so big it was a fire hazard, requiring special heat dissipating equipment so that it didn’t burst into flames.  It was programmed by an army of technicians.

Admittedly computers have moved on since 1997, but you get my point.

So next time you can’t get that improvement through because the IT budget won’t stretch to it, ask yourself what they would have done before Deep Blue, there is probably a simpler, easier, more elegant solution to the problem.

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