A lesson in fashion from IBM

Big Blue's archives show why you should sometimes just say no

Despite our unabashed lust for the latest stuff, Crave occasionally feels obligated to advise temperance to those who share our addiction. So in this public service announcement, we offer a case study illustrating how things can go awry when technophiles fail to exercise self-restraint.

Witness this example from the archives of IBM. The company, once known for its stringent dress codes, apparently had a moment of self-reflection in posting this gallery of attire at Big Blue throughout history. As one can plainly see, men's ties gradually widened then grew narrow again as decades progressed. By 1997, IBM's protocols loosened up enough that ties vanished altogether.

Let this be a lesson to us all: Chasing the latest fashion--whether it be an MP3 player or a leisure suit--can be a dangerous thing.

(Photo: IBM)

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.


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