IBM (INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION) is an American
multinational technology company headquartered in
Armonk, New York ,
United States , with operations in over 170 countries. The company
originated in 1911 as the
Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR)
and was renamed "International
Business Machines" in 1924.
IBM manufactures and markets computer hardware , middleware and
software , and offers hosting and consulting services in areas ranging
from mainframe computers to nanotechnology .
IBM is also a major
research organization, holding the record for most patents generated
by a business (as of 2017) for 24 consecutive years. Inventions by
IBM include the automated teller machine (ATM), the PC , the floppy
disk , the hard disk drive , the magnetic stripe card , the relational
database , the
SQL programming language , the UPC barcode , and
dynamic random-access memory (DRAM). The
IBM mainframe , exemplified
by the System/360 , was the dominant computing platform during the
1960s and 1970s.
IBM has continually shifted its business mix by commoditizing markets
focusing on higher-value, more profitable markets. This includes
spinning off printer manufacturer
Lexmark in 1991 and selling off its
personal computer (
ThinkCentre ) and x86 -based server
Lenovo (2005 and 2014, respectively), and acquiring
companies such as
PwC Consulting (2002),
SPSS (2009), and The Weather
Company (2016). Also in 2014,
IBM announced that it would go "fabless
", continuing to design semiconductors , but offloading manufacturing
GlobalFoundries . As of 2017,
IBM has the most patents in "Cloud
Computing" in the world.
Nicknamed BIG BLUE,
IBM is one of 30 companies included in the Dow
Jones Industrial Average and one of the world's largest employers,
with (as of 2016) nearly 380,000 employees. Known as "IBMers", IBM
employees have been awarded five Nobel Prizes , six Turing Awards ,
ten National Medals of
Technology and five National Medals of Science
* 1 History
* 2 Headquarters and offices
* 3 Products and services
* 4 Research
* 5 Brand and reputation
* 6 People and culture
* 6.1 Employees
* 6.2 Board and shareholders
* 7 See also
* 8 References
* 9 Further reading
* 10 External links
History of IBM
In the 1880's, technologies emerged that would ultimately form the
core of what would become International
Business Machines (IBM).
Julius E. Pitrat patented the computing scale in 1885; Alexander Dey
invented the dial recorder (1888);
Herman Hollerith patented the
Electric Tabulating Machine ; and
Willard Bundy invented a time clock
to record a worker's arrival and departure time on a paper tape in
1889. On June 16, 1911, their four companies were amalgamated in New
York State by
Charles Ranlett Flint forming a fifth company, the
Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) based in Endicott, New
York . The five companies had 1,300 employees and offices and plants
in Endicott and Binghamton , New York;
Dayton, Ohio ; Detroit,
Washington, D.C. ; and
Toronto . They manufactured
machinery for sale and lease, ranging from commercial scales and
industrial time recorders, meat and cheese slicers, to tabulators and
Thomas J. Watson, Sr. , fired from the National Cash
Register Company by John Henry Patterson , called on Flint and, in
1914, was offered CTR. Watson joined CTR as _General Manager_ then,
11 months later, was made _President_ when court cases relating to his
time at NCR were resolved. Having learned Patterson's pioneering
business practices , Watson proceeded to put the stamp of NCR onto
CTR's companies. He implemented sales conventions, "generous sales
incentives, a focus on customer service, an insistence on
well-groomed, dark-suited salesmen and had an evangelical fervor for
instilling company pride and loyalty in every worker". His favorite
slogan, "THINK ", became a mantra for each company's employees.
During Watson's first four years, revenues more than doubled to $9
million and the company's operations expanded to Europe, South
America, Asia and Australia. "Watson had never liked the clumsy
hyphenated title of the CTR" and in 1924 chose to replace it with the
more expansive title "International
Business Machines". By 1933 most
of the subsidiaries had been merged into one company, IBM. NACA
researchers using an
IBM type 704 electronic data processing machine
In 1937, IBM's tabulating equipment enabled organizations to process
unprecedented amounts of data, its clients including the U.S.
Government , during its first effort to maintain the employment
records for 26 million people pursuant to the
Social Security Act ,
Third Reich , largely through the German subsidiary
Dehomag . During the
Second World War
Second World War the company produced small arms
for the American war effort (
M1 Carbine , and Browning Automatic Rifle
In 1949, Thomas Watson, Sr., created
IBM World Trade Corporation, a
IBM focused on foreign operations. In 1952, he stepped
down after almost 40 years at the company helm, and his son Thomas
Watson, Jr. was named president. In 1956, the company demonstrated the
first practical example of artificial intelligence when Arthur L.
Samuel of IBM's Poughkeepsie, New York, laboratory programmed an IBM
704 not merely to play checkers but "learn" from its own experience.
In 1957, the
FORTRAN scientific programming language was developed. In
IBM developed the SABRE reservation system for American Airlines
and introduced the highly successful Selectric typewriter. In 1963,
IBM employees and computers helped
NASA track the orbital flight of
the Mercury astronauts. A year later it moved its corporate
New York City
New York City to
Armonk, New York . The latter half
of the 1960s saw
IBM continue its support of space exploration,
participating in the 1965 Gemini flights, 1966 Saturn flights and 1969
lunar mission. An
IBM System/360 in use at the University of
Michigan c. 1969.
On April 7, 1964,
IBM announced the first computer system family, the
IBM System/360 . It spanned the complete range of commercial and
scientific applications from large to small, allowing companies for
the first time to upgrade to models with greater computing capability
without having to rewrite their applications. It was followed by the
IBM System/370 in 1970. Together the 360 and 370 made the IBM
mainframe the dominant mainframe computer and the dominant computing
platform in the industry throughout this period and into the early
1980s. They, and the operating systems that ran on them such as OS/VS1
MVS , and the middleware built on top of those such as the CICS
transaction processing monitor, had a near-monopoly-level hold on the
computer industry and became almost synonymous with
IBM products due
to their marketshare.
George J. Laurer developed the Universal
Product Code .
IBM and the
World Bank first introduced financial
swaps to the public in 1981 when they entered into a swap agreement.
IBM PC , originally designated
IBM 5150, was introduced in 1981,
and it soon became an industry standard. In 1991,
IBM sold printer
IBM posted a US$8 billion loss - at the time the biggest in
American corporate history.
Lou Gerstner was hired as CEO from RJR
Nabisco to turn the company around. In 2002,
IBM acquired PwC
consulting, and in 2003 it initiated a project to redefine company
values, hosting a three-day online discussion of key business issues
with 50,000 employees. The result was three values: "Dedication to
every client's success", "Innovation that matters—for our company
and for the world", and "Trust and personal responsibility in all
IBM inventions: (clockwise from top-left) the
hard-disk drive ,
DRAM , the
UPC bar code , and the magnetic stripe
In 2005, the company sold its personal computer business to Chinese
Lenovo and, in 2009, it acquired software company
SPSS Inc. Later in 2009, IBM's
Blue Gene supercomputing program was
awarded the National Medal of
Technology and Innovation by U.S.
Barack Obama . In 2011,
IBM gained worldwide attention for
its artificial intelligence program Watson , which was exhibited on
Jeopardy! _ where it won against game-show champions
Ken Jennings and
Brad Rutter . In 2012,
IBM announced it has agreed to buy
Kenexa , and
a year later it also acquired
SoftLayer Technologies , a web hosting
service , in a deal worth around $2 billion.
IBM announced it would sell its x86 server division to
Lenovo for a fee of $2.1 billion. Also that year,
announcing several major partnerships with other companies, including
Apple Inc. ,
Cisco , UnderArmour
VMware , CSC , Macy\'s ,
Sesame Workshop ,
the parent company of
Sesame Street , and
IBM announced two major acquisitions: Merge Healthcare for
$1 billion and all digital assets from
The Weather Company ,
Weather.com and the Weather Channel mobile app . Also that
year, IBMers created the film _
A Boy and His Atom _, which was the
first molecule movie to tell a story. In 2016,
IBM acquired video
Ustream and formed a new cloud video unit. In
April 2016, it posted a 14-year low in quarterly sales. The following
IBM accusing it of patent infringement, two months
Groupon of patent infringement in a separate
HEADQUARTERS AND OFFICES
IBM CHQ in
Armonk, New York in 2014 Pangu Plaza, one of
IBM's offices in
IBM is headquartered in
Armonk, New York , a community 37 miles (60
km) north of Midtown Manhattan. Its principal building, referred to
as CHQ, is a 283,000-square-foot (26,300 m2) glass and stone edifice
on a 25-acre (10 ha) parcel amid a 432-acre former apple orchard the
company purchased in the mid-1950s. There are two other
within walking distance of CHQ: the North Castle office, which
previously served as IBM's headquarters; and the
IBM Learning Center
(ILC), a resort hotel and training center, which has 182 guest rooms,
31 meeting rooms, and various amenities.
IBM operates in 170 countries as of 2016, with mobility centers in
smaller markets areas and major campuses in the larger ones. In New
York City ,
IBM has several offices besides CHQ, including the IBM
Watson headquarters at
Astor Place in
Manhattan . Outside of New York,
major campuses in the
United States include
Austin, Texas ; Research
Triangle Park (Raleigh-Durham), North Carolina ; Rochester, Minnesota
; and Silicon Valley, California .
IBM's real estate holdings are varied and globally diverse. Towers
1250 René-Lévesque (Montreal, Canada), Tour
Descartes (Paris, France), and
One Atlantic Center (Atlanta, Georgia,
Beijing, China ,
IBM occupies Pangu Plaza, which is the
city's seventh tallest building and overlooks
Beijing National Stadium
("Bird\'s Nest") , which was home to the
2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics .
Other notable buildings include the
IBM Rome Software Lab (Rome,
Hursley House (Winchester, UK),
330 North Wabash (Chicago,
Illinois, United States), the
Cambridge Scientific Center (Cambridge,
Massachusetts, United States), the
Toronto Software Lab (Toronto,
IBM Building, Johannesburg (Johannesburg, South Africa),
IBM Building (Seattle) (Seattle, Washington, United States), the
IBM Hakozaki Facility (Tokyo, Japan), the
IBM Yamato Facility (Yamato,
Japan), and the
IBM Canada Head Office Building (Ontario, Canada).
IBM campuses include the
IBM Somers Office Complex (Somers,
New York). The company's contributions to industrial architecture and
design include works by
Eero Saarinen ,
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and
I.M. Pei . Van der Rohe's building in Chicago, the original center of
the company's research division post-World War II, was recognized with
Honor Award from the
National Building Museum .
recognized as one of the Top 20 Best Workplaces for Commuters by the
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2005, which
Fortune 500 companies that provided employees with
excellent commuter benefits to help reduce traffic and air pollution.
In 2004, concerns were raised related to IBM's contribution in its
early days to pollution in its original location in Endicott, New York
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
List of IBM products
List of IBM products InterConnect, IBM's annual
conference on cloud computing and mobile technologies Blue
Gene was awarded the National Medal of
Technology and Innovation in
IBM has a large and diverse portfolio of products and services. As of
2016, these offerings fall into the categories of cloud computing ,
cognitive computing , commerce , data and analytics , Internet of
IT infrastructure , mobile , and security .
IBM Cloud includes infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a
service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) offered through
public, private and hybrid cloud delivery models . For instance, the
Bluemix PaaS enables developers to quickly create complex websites
on a pay-as-you-go model.
SoftLayer is a dedicated server ,
managed hosting and cloud computing provider, which in 2011 reported
hosting more than 81,000 servers for more than 26,000 customers. IBM
also offers Cloud
Data Encryption Services (ICDES), using
cryptographic splitting to secure customer data.
IBM also hosts the industry-wide cloud computing and mobile
technologies conference InterConnect each year.
Hardware designed by
IBM for these categories include IBM's POWER
microprocessors , which are employed inside many console gaming
systems , including
Xbox 360 ,
PlayStation 3 , and
Nintendo 's Wii U
Secure Blue is encryption hardware that can be built into
microprocessors, and in 2014, the company revealed it was investing
$3 billion over the following five years to design a neural chip that
mimics the human brain, with 10 billion neurons and 100 trillion
synapses, but that uses just 1 kilowatt of power. In 2016, the
company launched all-flash arrays designed for small and midsized
companies, which includes software for data compression, provisioning,
and snapshots across various systems.
IT outsourcing also represents a major service offered by IBM, with
more than 40 data centers worldwide. alphaWorks is IBM's source for
emerging software technologies, and
SPSS is a software package used
for statistical analysis . IBM's
Kenexa suite provides employment and
retention solutions, and includes the
BrassRing , an applicant
tracking system used by thousands of companies for recruiting. IBM
The Weather Company , which provides weather forecasting and
includes weather.com and Weather Underground .
Smarter Planet is an initiative that seeks to achieve economic growth
, near-term efficiency, sustainable development , and societal
progress, targeting opportunities such as smart grids , water
management systems, solutions to traffic congestion , and greener
Services offerings include Redbooks , which are publicly available
online books about best practices with
IBM products, and
developerWorks , a website for software developers and IT
professionals with how-to articles and tutorials, as well as software
downloads, code samples, discussion forums, podcasts, blogs, wikis,
and other resources for developers and technical professionals.
IBM Watson is a technology platform that uses natural language
processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts
of unstructured data . Watson was debuted in 2011 on the American
Jeopardy! _, where it competed against champions Ken
Brad Rutter in a three-game tournament and won. Watson
has since been applied to business, healthcare, developers, and
universities. For example,
IBM has partnered with Memorial Sloan
Kettering Cancer Center to assist with considering treatment options
for oncology patients and for doing melanoma screenings. Also,
several companies have begun using Watson for call centers , either
replacing or assisting customer service agents.
Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New
York , is one of 12
IBM research labs worldwide.
Benoit Mandelbrot discovered fractal geometry in 1975.
Research has been a part of
IBM since its founding, and its organized
efforts trace their roots back to 1945, when the Watson Scientific
Computing Laboratory was founded at
Columbia University in New York
City , converting a renovated fraternity house on Manhattan's West
Side into IBM's first laboratory. Now,
IBM Research constitutes the
largest industrial research organization in the world, with 12 labs on
IBM Research is headquartered at the Thomas J. Watson
Research Center in New York, and facilities include the Almaden lab in
California, Austin lab in Texas, Australia lab in
Melbourne , Brazil
São Paulo and
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , China lab in
Shanghai , Ireland lab in Dublin, Haifa lab in
Israel , India lab in
Bangalore , Tokyo lab , Zurich lab and Africa lab in Nairobi
In terms of investment, IBM's R
Gerd Binnig and
Heinrich Rohrer , of
the Zurich Research Center, in 1986, for the scanning tunneling
microscope ; and
Georg Bednorz and Alex Müller , also of Zurich, in
1987, for research in superconductivity . Several IBMers have also won
Turing Award , including the first female recipient Frances E.
Current research includes a collaboration with the University of
Michigan to see computers act as an academic adviser for undergraduate
computer science and engineering students at the university, and a
partnership with AT">
IBM ads at John F. Kennedy International
Airport , 2013
IBM is nicknamed _Big Blue_ in part due to its blue logo and color
scheme, and also partially since
IBM once had a de facto dress code
of white shirts with blue suits. The company logo has undergone
several changes over the years, with its current "8-bar" logo designed
in 1972 by graphic designer
Paul Rand . It was a general replacement
for a 13-bar logo, since period photocopiers did not render large
IBM has a valuable brand as a result of over 100 years of operations
and marketing campaigns. Since 1996,
IBM has been the exclusive
technology partner for the
Masters Tournament , one of the four major
championships in professional golf , with
IBM creating the first
Masters.org (1996), the first course cam (1998), the first iPhone app
with live streaming (2009), and first-ever live 4K Ultra High
Definition feed in the
United States for a major sporting event
(2016). As a result,
Ginni Rometty became the third female
member of the Master's governing body, the Augusta National Golf Club
IBM is also a major sponsor in professional tennis , with
engagements at the U.S. Open , Wimbledon , the
Australian Open , and
French Open . The company also sponsored the
Olympic Games from
1960-2000, and the
National Football League from 2003-2012.
In 2012, IBM's brand was valued at $75.5 billion and ranked by
Interbrand _ as the №2 best brand worldwide. That same year, it
was also ranked the №1 company for leaders (_Fortune _), the №2
green company in the U.S. (_
Newsweek _), the №2 most respected
company (_Barron\'s _), the №5 most admired company (_Fortune _),
the №18 most innovative company (_Fast Company _), and the №1 in
technology consulting and №2 in outsourcing (Vault ). In 2015,
IBM the №5 most valuable brand.
PEOPLE AND CULTURE
List of IBM CEOs New IBMers being welcomed to
IBM Austin, 2015 Employees demonstrating
capabilities in a
Jeopardy! exhibition match on campus, 2011
IBM has one of the largest workforces in the world, and employees at
Big Blue are referred to as "IBMers". The company was among the first
corporations to provide group life insurance (1934), survivor benefits
(1935), training for women (1935), paid vacations (1937), and training
for disabled people (1942).
IBM hired its first black salesperson in
1946, and in 1952, CEO
Thomas J. Watson, Jr. published the company's
first written equal opportunity policy letter, one year before the
U.S. Supreme Court decision in
Brown vs. Board of Education and 11
years before the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 . The Human Rights Campaign
IBM 100% on its index of gay-friendliness every year since
IBM providing same-sex partners of its employees with
health benefits and an anti-discrimination clause. Additionally, in
IBM became the first major company in the world to commit
formally to not use genetic information in employment decisions; and
IBM was named to _
Working Mother _'s 100 Best Companies List
for the 30th consecutive year.
IBM has several leadership development and recognition programs to
recognize employee potential and achievements. For early-career high
IBM sponsors leadership development programs by
discipline (e.g., general management (GMLDP), human resources (HRLDP),
finance (FLDP)). Each year, the company also selects 500 IBMers for
IBM Corporate Service Corps (CSC), which has been described as
the corporate equivalent of the
Peace Corps and gives top employees a
month to do humanitarian work abroad. For certain interns ,
has a program called
Extreme Blue that partners top business and
technical students to develop high-value technology and compete to
present their business case to the company's CEO at internship's end.
The company also has various designations for exceptional individual
contributors such as Senior Technical Staff Member (STSM), Research
Staff Member (RSM), Distinguished Engineer (DE), and Distinguished
Designer (DD). Prolific inventors can also achieve patent plateaus
and earn the designation of Master Inventor . The company's most
prestigious designation is that of
IBM Fellow . Since 1963, the
company names a handful of Fellows each year based on technical
achievement. Other programs recognize years of service such as the
Quarter Century Club established in 1924, and sellers are eligible to
join the Hundred Percent Club, composed of
IBM salesmen who meet their
quotas, convened in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Each year, the company
also selects 1,000 IBMers annually to award the Best of
which includes an all-expenses paid trip to the awards ceremony in an
IBM's culture has evolved significantly over its century of
operations. In its early days, a dark (or gray) suit, white shirt, and
a "sincere" tie constituted the public uniform for
During IBM's management transformation in the 1990s, CEO Louis V.
Gerstner, Jr. relaxed these codes, normalizing the dress and behavior
IBM employees. The company's culture has also given to different
plays on the company acronym (IBM), with some saying is stands for
"I've Been Moved" due to relocations and layoffs, others saying it
stands for "I'm By Myself" pursuant to a prevalent work-from-anywhere
norm, and others saying it stands for "I'm Being Mentored" due to the
company's open door policy and encouragement for mentoring at all
levels. In terms of labor relations, the company has traditionally
resisted labor union organizing, although unions represent some IBM
workers outside the United States. In Japan,
IBM employees also have
American football team complete with pro stadium, cheerleaders and
televised games, competing in the Japanese
X-League as the "Big Blue
IBM started giving employees the option of choosing either a
PC or a Mac as their primary work device, resulting in
the world's largest Mac shop. In 2016,
IBM eliminated forced rankings
and changed its annual performance review system to focus more on
frequent feedback, coaching, and skills development.
Many IBMers have also achieved notability outside of work and after
leaving IBM. In business, former
IBM employees include
Apple Inc. CEO
Tim Cook , former EDS CEO and politician
Ross Perot , Microsoft
John W. Thompson , SAP co-founder
Hasso Plattner , Advanced
Micro Devices (AMD) CEO
Lisa Su ,
Citizens Financial Group CEO Ellen
Alemany , former
Alfred Amoroso , former AT Wisconsin
governor Scott Walker ; former U.S. Ambassadors Vincent Obsitnik
Arthur K. Watson (France ), and
Thomas Watson Jr. (Soviet
Union ); and former U.S. Representatives
Todd Akin ,
Glenn Andrews ,
Robert Garcia ,
Katherine Harris ,
Amo Houghton , Jim Ross Lightfoot
Thomas J. Manton ,
Donald W. Riegle Jr. , and
Ed Zschau .
Michael J. Massimino , Canadian astronaut
Julie Payette ,
Harvey Mudd College president
Maria Klawe , Western
Governors University president emeritus
Robert Mendenhall , former
University of Kentucky president
Lee T. Todd Jr.
Lee T. Todd Jr. ,
NFL referee Bill
Carollo , former
Rangers F.C. chairman John McClelland , and
recipient of the
Nobel Prize in Literature
J. M. Coetzee . Thomas
Watson Jr. also served as the 11th national president of the Boy
Scouts of America .
BOARD AND SHAREHOLDERS
Warren Buffett 's
Berkshire Hathaway is one of IBM's largest
The company's 14 member
Board of Directors
Board of Directors are responsible for
overall corporate management and includes the CEOs of American Express
Ford Motor Company ,
Dow Chemical ,
Johnson and Johnson ,
IBM became the first technology company
Warren Buffett 's
Berkshire Hathaway invested in. As of 2016, he owns
8.51 percent of IBM's shares.
List of companies of the United States#I
List of mergers and acquisitions by IBM
List of international subsidiaries of IBM
List of largest Internet companies
Top 100 US Federal Contractors
List of electronics brands
List of largest manufacturing companies by revenue
* Tech companies in the
New York City
New York City metropolitan region
Information technology portal
* Companies portal
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For additional books about IBM, biographies, memoirs, technology and
History of IBM § Further reading .
* Henry Bakis (1987). "Telecommunications and the Global Firm". In
F. E. Ian Hamilton. _Industrial change in advanced economies_. London:
Croom Helm. pp. 130–160. ISBN 9780709938286 .
* Roy A Bauer; et al. (1992). _The Silverlake Project:
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press .
Edwin Black (2008). _
IBM and the Holocaust : The Strategic
Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful
Corporation_. ISBN 0-914153-10-2 .
* Paul Carroll (1993). _Big Blues: The Unmaking of IBM_. Crown
* Doug Garr (1999). _
Lou Gerstner & The Business
Turnaround of the Decade_. Harper Business.
Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. (2002). _Who Says Elephants can't Dance?_.
HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-715448-8 .
* Greulich, Peter E. (2014) _A View from Beneath the Dancing
Elephant: Rediscovering IBM's Corporate Constitution_ MBI Concepts
Corporation. ISBN 0-9833734-6-9 .
* John Harwood (2011). _The Interface:
IBM and the Transformation of
Corporate Design, 1945-1976_. ISBN 978-0-8166-7039-0 .
* Robert Heller (1994). _The Fate of IBM_. Little Brown.
* David Mercer (1987). _IBM: How the World's Most Successful
Corporation is Managed_. Kogan Page.
* David Mercer (1988). _The Global IBM: Leadership in Multinational
Management_. Dodd, Mead. p. 374.
* Mills, D. Quinn; Friesen, G. Bruce (1996). _Broken Promises: An
Unconventional View of What Went Wrong at IBM_. Harvard Business
School. ISBN 0-87584-654-8 .
* Emerson W. Pugh (1996). _Building IBM: Shaping an Industry_. MIT
* Robert Slater (1999). _Saving Big Blue: IBM's Lou Gerstner_.
Ulrich Steinhilper (2006). _Don't
Talk – Do It! From Flying To
Word Processing_. ISBN 1-872836-75-5 .
* Ernest von Simson (2009). _The Limits of Strategy: Lessons in
Leadership from the Computer Industry_. iUniverse. ISBN
Thomas Watson, Jr. (1990). _Father, Son & Co: My Life at
Beyond_. ISBN 0-553-29023-1 .
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