Telly: The Worst Week of My Life

  • Posted on: 10 March 2014
  • By: NickLitten

Only one week to go before the marriage of Howard and Mel which quickly escalates into the week from Hell. The series follows the bumbling Howard as he lurches from one appallingly embarrassing disaster to the next in the week leading up to his wedding.

A fairly typical modern British sitcom - but based around a stuck up, middle class, fussy couple how love each other but just get themselves ina pickle. Funny, amusing and romantic. The missus loved it and it made me smile consistently. Soft Anglocomedy but, something anyone who likes British RomCom/Sitcom will enjoy. :)

When is an AS400 not an AS400?

  • Posted on: 5 March 2014
  • By: NickLitten
ibm as400 is black not white

IBM Power Servers are NOT the same as the old IBM AS400 serversThis has been an ongoing argument disagreement in our IBM i and RPG programmer communities for well over a decade. For some reason, there is still a sizable group of IBM i Software Developers who insist on referring to the IBM i Power machine by an incorrect name. When a new model of a computer is announced, and this new model has brand new hardware and a different name (to differentiate it from the old model) I just don't understand this resistance against the new machines branding. We are all IT Professional, surely that makes us all Star Trek Nerds, which in turn means we all understand that "Resistance is Futile!"  ;) 


Anyway, back on topic of the AS400 -> iSeries -> System i -> Power System upgrade discussion

Last night, I was reading a frustrating discussion on Linkedin about this very subject. The core of the conversation goes like this

"I found one of my old customers from the 1990's and my software is still running on it - bloody good machines these iSeries"

"Excuse me, but that's not an iSeries it a new IBM Power System running the IBM i operating system"

Telly: PLEBS - Veni, Vidi, Laughum

  • Posted on: 27 February 2014
  • By: NickLitten

Funny Roman Slaves wandering around and being slavish. Modern twist on a vintage anglo-sitcom style.

PLEBS follows three desperate young men from the suburbs as they try to get laid, hold down jobs and climb the social ladder in the big city - a city that happens to be Ancient Rome. The series stars Tom Rosenthal (Friday Night Dinner), Joel Fry (Trollied) and Ryan Sampson (After You've Gone) as the three young men - Marcus, Stylax and their lazy slave with an attitude problem, Grumio.

Fun with AS400 to IBM i Modernization

  • Posted on: 26 February 2014
  • By: NickLitten

Modernize old AS400 applications on IBM i and set them free!

If you have read any of my mumbling blogs about RPG programming on the IBM i operating system, you will know that I have long been a fan of modernizing legacy RPG source code. The benefits of taking ten or twenty year old applications and rinsing them through a modernizer are more obvious than the simple (a) the code looks modern (b) the programs run faster and (c) its just good fun to resurrect old programs in a modern style.

Profound Logic Software offers a solution on modernization which does the lot - it modernizes your AS400, iSeries and IBM i application software. With minimal programmer requirements it very simply upgrades RPG code to utilize the latest techniques IBM have to offer, as well as simplifying the whole web-enabling process. Want to see an example of a modernized screen - AS400 RPG Program using modernized DDS (DSPF) on the web? Just click here

Jordan Antanoff, business development manager at Profound has written this excellent blog article that sums up the approach:

Telly: PSYCHOVILLE - double u tee eff?

  • Posted on: 26 February 2014
  • By: NickLitten

Psychoville is very reminiscent of A League of Gentlemen - not the movie, but its dark and twisted telly cousin. I love it.

Psychoville is weird, humorous, silly, serious and still scary but funny and sometimes disturbing.... confused enough? I sure was. The Clown is pure genius. The Silent Dancer is somehow super scarey. The blind old man, serial killers, porno dwarves and crazy nurse make this satirical comedy series something very special indeed. Pour yourself a stiff glass of WTF and enjoy it.

Some profound changes to RPG

  • Posted on: 25 February 2014
  • By: NickLitten

RPG is a vibrant modern programming language and its getting moderner.

is moderner a verb? it should be :)

If you are an established RPG programmer, its just too easy to use the same old tried and tested techniques when coding. Doing things the good old fashioned way (or perhaps you call it the tried and tested way) generally means no SURPRISE delivering program code to your customers, or Bosses... but... are you taking advantage of all the terrific new opcodes and programming techniques that have been flooding into our IBM i RPG arena in recently?

How do we know whats out there?

There's always the "good ole" RPG Redbook -- Who Knew You Could Do That with RPG IV? A Sorcerer's Guide to System Access and More -- which is probably still the best place to start learning about the more advanced part of RPG programing. This redbook  has a bit of everything. Written for OS400 V4R2 (before the IBM i rebranding?) I think so a fair bit has changed. But it was partly written to show previous generation RPG developers how and why they should make the switch to RPG IV. Even years later, it has some neat programming techniques that still strike me as modern and just plain cool.

HTML for the RPG Programmer - HTML5 the basics

  • Posted on: 30 January 2014
  • By: NickLitten

Over recent weeks I've been discussing career options with my eldest mini-me -- Nathan, who is nearly 15 and at the stage of life where he is asking the "what am I going to do with my life?" big questions.

Obviously, the 'make money in your career' options are "Son, get into Medicine or Law!" but I am obviously biased in my thoughts that you can make a decent living and enjoy laying your hands on a keyboard and sinkning your mind into technology...

An easy way to get into website design and a brilliant over is courtesy of the free online book : "Dive into HTML5".


What is the best media player for Android, Apple and Windows mobile devices

  • Posted on: 18 January 2014
  • By: NickLitten

So, you've downloaded some video but your standard media player doesnt seem to want to play it?

Video media comes in all shapes and sizes: AVI, MP4, MP5, MOV, XVID, yadda, yadda, yadda

​I cant be bothered with downloading a media player for each format when one player will do the lot. But with various operating systems on the devices in the walls of Castle Litten these are my favorites for my Android Phone, Tablet and also for Windows, IOS7 and Ubuntu Desktops:

For ANDROID the winner is BS PLAYER FREE

bs player free plays everythingSitting on various planes, trains and automobiles this is my favorite solution for watching media. It plays everything!

What is the RPG Open Access Handler all about?

  • Posted on: 8 January 2014
  • By: NickLitten

What is open Access

Rational® Open Access: RPG Edition provides a way for RPG programmers to use the simple and well-understood RPG I/O model to access resources and devices that are not directly supported by RPG.

Open Access opens up RPG's file I/O capabilities, allowing anyone to write innovative I/O handlers to access other devices and resources such as:

  1. Browsers
  2. Mobile devices
  3. Cloud computing resources
  4. Web services
  5. External databases
  6. XML files
  7. Spreadsheets
  8. And more

An Open Access application has three parts:

  1. An RPG program that uses standard RPG coding to define an Open Access file and use I/O operations against the file.
  2. A handler procedure or program that is called by Open Access to handle the I/O operations for the file.
  3. The resource or device that the handler is using or communicating with.

Open Access is the linkage between parts 1 and 2. Licenced program 5733-OAR is required to use Open Access at runtime. Open Access is a full-featured version of the limited support provided by RPG SPECIAL files. It provides a way for RPG programmers to use the simple and well-understood RPG I/O model to access devices that are not directly supported by RPG.

use LIBHTTP to talk SOAP to websites using RPGLE on IBM i

  • Posted on: 18 December 2013
  • By: NickLitten

Thankyou -- Scott Klement!

HTTPAPI (LIBHTTP) on IBM i is the bomb. Luckily I am not boarding a plane at the moment, so I can use that kind of language without getting strip searched by some burly TSA agents.

Firstly, I have never met Mr. Klement but (like almost every IBM i Developer out there) have read many of his excellent articles about programming and tinkering with IBM i systems. Secondly, the man is a genius and I owe him a very large beer. After spending far too long investigating various techniques to get my IBM i system to talk to an external website ( in this case) and being led down many wrong roads... I stumbled across scott's collection of open source RPGLE programs called HTTPAPI.

In Scott's words:

Download HTTP API source:

This is an RPG IV service program that uses socket calls to implement the HTTP 1.1 protocol. The HTTP protocol is the data transfer protocol that is used to transfer documents over the World Wide Web.

This service program can, optionally, also do "https" (HTTP over SSL) requests to an SSL-enhanced web server.