Everyone gather around the campfire. Your uncle Jester is going to tell you a story.
Sooner or later, the source of language and tradition always gets lost. I'm still re-watching Babylon 5... now in season 5.(1) In one of the mid-season episodes, Londo tells G'Kar a story about a palace guard who was set to guarding an empty courtyard, day after day. Why was he guarding an empty courtyard? Because two hundred years prior, one of the Emperor's daughters had ordered the palace guards to prevent anyone from stepping on the first flower that had bloomed in that place after a long winter. The order was never withdrawn, orders hardened into habit, then into tradition, then into myth. The palace guards had always guarded that courtyard, so they guarded that courtyard, long after the reason for doing so was lost.
EVE Online: Crucible is being released on Tuesday, 29 November 2011.
For the most part, new releases of music, software, DVDs -- purchasable media in general, really -- happens on Tuesdays. Sure, every once in a while, you'll get a midnight Friday release or a release associated with a marquee date (11.11.11, anyone?). But usually, new releases happen on Tuesdays. Have you ever wondered why? It's a reason that hardened into habit, and now is hardening into tradition. But it turns out I know why, so I'll share the story with you to prevent it hardening to myth for a bit longer. I swear to you that so far as I know, the following story is completely true.
Once upon a time, there was a little company called IBM. In 1964, IBM released a computer system called the System/360, and for the next 15 years or so, mainframes based on System/360 were in the forefront of big-business mainframe computing. One of the reasons the System/360 was so popular was because there was a wide range of software available for it, and new releases and updates for that software were extremely frequent. Entirely new software products for the System/360 were also frequent. At this time, IBM was retraining thousands of former typewriter repair people and secretaries as computer programmers, and those programmers were kept very, very busy.
IBM, with great fanfare, would always release these new software products on Mondays.
IBM's CEO during this period was a man named Thomas Watson, Jr. Watson was a dedicated businessman and was extremely dedicated to IBM's key products, including the 360 and its software. He liked to be in personal attendance at the announcement meetings for major new products. Watson was also a pilot and a sailor. He owned a series of sailboats during his life, and sailing was probably his favorite weekend hobby. One weekend, he decided to extend a sailboating trip into Monday to take advantage of the fact that the lake he was sailing on would be less crowded. Problem was, there was a major software release scheduled for that Monday. Watson missed being in attendance at the announcement, and reportedly was unhappy about it.
Some overzealous IBMer decided that henceforth, all IBM product announcements would happen on Tuesdays to prevent this ever happening again.
IBM's mainframe market competitors, who were forever trying to overshadow IBM's product annoncements, followed suit. They started announcing all of their products on Tuesdays, too. When IBM released the first IBM PC in 1981, it was announced on a Tuesday and made available the following day. Microsoft timed their announcement of MS-DOS to correspond with IBM's announcement. Because of the close relationship at that time of IBM and Microsoft, future Microsoft announcements also corresponded to IBM's Tuesday announcements. Microsoft's competitors started timing their announcements to try to overshadow Microsoft's announcements, also on Tuesdays.
I repeat: so far as I know, this story is completely true. :-)
Repeat and expand over thirty years or so, and that's where we are today. Media of all kinds are now released on Tuesdays, and the reason is a man named Tom Watson... and his sailboat.
(1) Maybe it's nostalgia and maybe it's because there hasn't been something quite as good on TV in a long, long time, but this time around, season 5 doesn't seem as bad to me as it has in the past. Oh, it's still not up to par with the first four seasons, but it's still a hell of a lot better than much of what's on TV today.