once an AS400 always an AS400

  • Posted on: 11 December 2012
  • By: NickLitten

I was reading an interesting thread on Linkedin this morning, discussing another article about the much loved AS/400

Being as I am an old-school S/34, S/36, S/38 guy from back in the Reagan/Bush days ~ I will still call it “the 400” ~ (iSeries / Series i / Power systems never caught on with me). The original “Silverlake” project started over 25 years ago, and the 400 is still cranking. I raised my children from diapers to degrees while programming on this durable box.

There have been many improvements to the 400, heck IBM even switched it from plain ugly tan to cool sleek black – but the fundamental machine is still the same. It has not tried to be something that it is not. The 400 has not been “improved” beyond what is reasonable. It has remained as steady (and ubiquitous) as the ordinary cup holder – which is pretty extraordinary these days.

[original article]

Windows 8 Shortcut - Win+PrtScrn

  • Posted on: 19 November 2012
  • By: NickLitten


Windows Key + PrintScreen: Screen capture

I've long used the SHIFT-ALT-PRINTSCREEN technique to capture screen shots in Windows XP thru 7.

But in Windows8 there is a new PrtSc function - when you press WindowsWindows-PrtSc it not only captures the screen but also saves the screen short as a PNG FILE into the Screenshots folder located in your picture library.

The old methods of a simple copy to the clipboard can also be used by pressing the PrtScrn key or Alt-PrtScrn for the active window only.


Update WebSphere Development Studio Client to Version

  • Posted on: 16 November 2012
  • By: NickLitten

So, you've installed WDSC7 now what?


1 - Automatically update to WebSphere Development Studio Client, Version

Install the fix pack with the same user account that installed the product.


  • WebSphere Development Studio Client for iSeries, Version 7.0,,,, or must be installed.
  • The product cannot be open when you install this fix pack.

To find and install WebSphere Development Studio Client, Version as an update:

Download and Update WebSphere Development Studio Client WDSC7 for free

  • Posted on: 15 November 2012
  • By: NickLitten
free rpg source edit alternative to seu

I'm an IBM i RPG Developer - do I choose SEU, RSE or WDSC?

If your caught between using SEU (Stoneage Editting Utility) and RSE (Really Stupidly Expensive) for your IBM-i code development environment - you have one other glaringly obvious choice - WDSC (Wonderful Double Super Codetool).

Personally, I like WDSC because its $FREE and I'm cheap :)

This was the last iteration of the Websphere Development suite before IBM, rebuilt and rebranded it as the 'Rational Developer Tool' and decided to charge $900 per copy. For Freelance RPG Programmers like me that just puts the tool completely out of my budget. how could IBM possibly justify $900 for a single code editor application that was previous free. Compare this to Microsoft MSDN charges where I gladly pay $300 for a license for every single piece of Microsoft Software out there! That is a big thumbs up for MSDN subscriptions and a big raspberry for IBM's RDi/p costs.

Single Black iSeries looking for a lasting relationship with the latest IBMi operating system

  • Posted on: 14 November 2012
  • By: NickLitten
as400 thrown out for trash. unable to buy operating system so they are useless

I love programming (RPG, JAVA and CL) on the IBM i Server range... but it feels like IBM are trying to stop me. Aaaaargh!!!!

"But Nick, whats the problem old Chap?" I hear you askcome on ibm i expect better customer service

Here I am - a huge advocate of IBM i technology. I've grown up through the ranks of IBM System 3x systems and evolved alongside IBM through the AS400 and 'i' years. I've excitedly played with the quiet, yet groundbreaking changes in hardware and software that came with the iSeries/eServer range of Servers. I've scratched my head slightly at the i5 branding. I've shook my head at the weirdly blurred focus on Linux. I've cheered at the Power5 Processor range and final (hopefully) name consolidation of the Power Server Hardware and IBMi software. I'm an i-vangelist in the strongest sense.

What does IT Consultant really mean?

  • Posted on: 12 November 2012
  • By: NickLitten

being a computer programmer is a great job

I am not a fan of the 'IT Consultant' moniker because its kind of generic, non-descriptive and dull. Sadly, it's the industry standard so I'm stuck with it. :(

I would like to describe myself as a Programmer in the same way that a person who is a Butcher, Dentist, Mechanic or Carpenter is clearly defined. But then people think I am just a code monkey. *sigh* So, I'm back to writing 'IT Consultant' in any form that asks for job title. So I suppose in my case, being an IT Consultant means I am a software developer, IBM i evangelist, RPG language lover, Drupal enthusiast, software change management tinkerer, early adopter, proponent of open source and hopeless web addict. All of these things add up to one easy to chant mantra

"Yes, I am a Programmer and I am proud to Program - Veni, Vidi, Programmum"

My main fields of expertise are

Query Management Queries are Queer

  • Posted on: 8 November 2012
  • By: NickLitten

So, I was emailed the following hints and tips document discussing the ubiquitous Query Management Qeuery object type on the IBM Power Server (the artist formerly known as AS400). It's useful to refer to so, here it is:

QMQRY - QUery Management Query


The key to making a query dynamic is converting it into a form that can accept variables. The easiest way to do that is to convert your query to a Query Management Query (QMQRY). A QMQRY is simply an SQL statement stored in a source member. Once the SQL statement has been placed into a source member, you can replace hard-coded values from your original query with variables that can be replaced at execution time. If you've never worked with SQL before, you needn't worry; we will make use of an IBM command that will construct SQL statements for you.

We'll begin by creating the source file used to store your QMQRYs: QQMQRYSRC. To create this source file, use command Create Source Physical File:


Be sure to specify a record length of 91 (source length of 79, sequence number length of 6, date length of 6) instead of the command default of 92, as QMQRY requires a length of no more than 79 bytes for the source statement. If you specify a length of more than 91 on the CRTSRCPF command, you will not be able to run your SQL statements.


Boris the LR3 gets a new crank sensor

  • Posted on: 1 November 2012
  • By: NickLitten
This is not the cursed LR3 this is my most excellent Defender

Courtesy of the very nice chaps at Kensington Motor Cars here in Las Vegas -

landorver lr3 crank sensor jobbie

A new engine crank sensor!

Now... this might seem like a tiny little bit of plastic and metal but is it the savior or haunted LR3 engines everywhere?

After many, many, many discussions with the garage owner (Bill) and Customer Service girlie (Trish) we decided this was the next angle of attack. Apparently this little gadget looks at the engine and decides to tell the starter motor wheter it should start - or crank as these Yanks call it - and if its a little bit whoozy or drunk then maybe it wont tell the engine computer its started. Or maybe it will tell it that its started - even when it hasnt. AHA! This could be it. I'm excited.

And guess what... changing the crank sensor seems to have fixed it!

It's now been three weeks and still going strong. Boris has starteda every time.

It's a miracle.

So much for the famous Exorcist quote - I've revised it to "The power of the crank sensor compels thee"


Camp Bow Wow Las Vegas - Pet Hotel with a difference

  • Posted on: 30 October 2012
  • By: NickLitten

My hound, Bailey Version Two, is staying with the wonderful chaps at Camp Bow Wow Las Vegas this week.  I'm Hurricane dodging on the East Coast, and didnt want to risk flying him over here with all the potential air travel problems. So, he's shacked up for ten days with his buddies at Camp. I did laugh this morning, when I discovered that Bailey had taken time from his busy canine-play schedule to email me:

How are you?? I am just fine at Camp. I miss you soo much but dont you worry about me.. I am keeping nice and busy with all of my pals and the counselors, too! Here are a couple cute pictures of me for you to enjoy while we're apart. Hope you like them! Miss and love you lots and cant wait to see you ! XOX
Furry Regards,
Bailey the Springer Spaniel
Love those Camp Bow Wow folks... its the little things like this that make them my preFURd pet people in Vegas   :)

using %REPLACE to Scan Replace in RPG4

  • Posted on: 25 October 2012
  • By: NickLitten

So, I want to do a SCAN and REPLACE in RPG - What's the easiest way?

Using the %REPLACE built in Function is easy and efficient allthough code wise its a little cumbersome:

// Update email address                                  
Dow %Scan('L#EMAIL': %TRIMR(SrcDta )) > *Zeros;          
    SrcDta  = %Replace(%trimr(ParmEmail) 
              :%Scan('L#EMAIL' : %TRIMR(SrcDta ))

In this example, I am scanning a program variable (SRCDTA) looking for any occurence  of the word "L#EMAIL" and replacing it with the contents of "PARMEMAIL". The email value is %TRIM'ed which means that any blanks at the end of the email address are ignored.

I use a similar process in the PROJEX Service Program and then you can easily run a SCAN/REPLACE on a single line of RPG code.

So lets say I wanted to scan for the word 'bob' and change it for the word 'Fred' within a string i could do it like this using this Prototype:

 = #Scanreplace (  : 'bob' : 'Fred' )

Much simpler than using the complex %REPLACE BIF I'm sure you will agree. 

Here's the Prototype: