IBM Corp may be a perennial underachiever in the J D Power & Associates polls of customer satisfaction among personal computer vendors – it appears that it always gets more brickbats than bouquets – but if you are a medium to large systems user, it still takes very good care of you, Computerworld finds. The top performers in the paper’s poll of mainframe and distributed systems users found IBM and Hewlett-Packard Co ahead of the field, and IBM’s AS/400 scored exceptionally high satisfaction ratings in nearly every category where it appeared – users baulked at the price, but its superior ratings in equipment quality, service and support, and database management puts the AS/400 in a league of its own, says Jim Connolly, Computerworld Technology Evaluation Editor. And HP had the same success with servers and in their networked printer business – it ran far enough ahead of the competition to be named the best on a statistically valid basis. In the survey, on a scale of four, HP rated 3.91, IBM, 3.86, Dell Computer Corp 3.85 for its servers, Compaq Computer Corp, 3.80, Sun Microsystems Inc, 3.78, Digital Equipment Corp, 3.74, and Unisys Corp, 3.70. Statisticians will want to know that respondents were self-selecting, so that the views are those of people prepared to respond to polls rather than a given population. The survey was mailed to 4,000 corporations and large organizations picked from Computerworld’s buyers’ database. The figures are drawn from the 1,690 respondents that returned surveys by the March cut-off date.