Life with Bailey the English Springer Spaniel

  • Posted on: 10 September 2013
  • By: NickLitten
Bailey Version 2 - happy lunatic springer spaniel puppy only a few weeks old

This is Bailey Version 2.0

bailey the springer spaniel after his first haircut

He's my wing man and constant companion. He never nags, never complains and is always thrilled to see me whether I have left him alone for a minute or for a day. To test if your dog loves you more than your wife - trying locking your pet and your wife in travel cage, in the hold of a plane, for 6 hours. See which one is more pleased to see you when you land. ;)

Bailey has flown around the USA with me and should have his own air-miles account. He was my car companion on our cross country drive from Charleston (SC) to Las Vegas, then a year later up to San Francisco and finally back to Charleston, SC. Six months later we cruised over to Texas for a few months. I should have a gold card membership at various doggie day care facilities, where Bailey spends his days during business hours. He's friendly and loves to chase balls, squirrels and just about anything that scampers, runs or slithers.

PDM user defined options

  • Posted on: 27 August 2013
  • By: NickLitten

Brief: PDM's user-defined options can enhance your productivity by reducing the need to key frequently used commands. This article offers some practical tips on how to implement user-defined options into your programming environment.

PDM's predefined options allow you to perform various tasks against libraries, objects, and members. But did you know that you can create your own user- defined options to execute almost any command including your own? You can also optionally, have PDM fill in or prompt command parameters.

User-defined options save you from having to enter frequently used commands. For example, if you often key the Work with Spooled Files (WRKSPLF) command, you could save time by creating a user-defined option called SP. Then, when you need to access your spooled files, you can use option SP. In this article, I'll give you some tips on configuring and using PDM's user-defined options. For additional information on using PDM, see "Getting the Most Out of PDM," MC, July 1992.

Creating an Option File

IBM i Emails with IFS attachments from RPG and CL using SNDSMTPEMM

  • Posted on: 22 August 2013
  • By: NickLitten
<p>Life as a <strong>IBM i</strong> Software Developer is fun, but life as an <strong>AS400&nbsp;software maintenance programmer </strong>can be a bit a grim.</p>

<p>I seem to spend the bulk of my time maintaining older applications - archaic code monstrosities that started life in the&nbsp;AS400 generation. "The AS400&nbsp;generation?" You remember these days in the early 90's when email was a new an exciting thing, Yahoo was the search engine of choice and the phrase 'social networking' hadn't been dreamed up. So, when I find that a new exciting snippet of IBM i Software has slipped passed&nbsp;my radar it gets me all twitchy.</p>

<p>Guess what I found out today?</p>

<h1><em>SNDSMTPEMM is a native IBM i command that will send emails with IFS attachments!</em></h1>

<p>By native I mean, it comes quietly packaged with the operating system. I can now send emails from within RPGLE programs or from the command line by simply entering the command. I can attach any kind of files from the IFS (PDF, TXT, HTML, XML, yadda yadda) and I can even format the body of the emails using HTML to make it look all pretty.</p>


Turnover runs on IBM i not on 'iSeries'

  • Posted on: 13 August 2013
  • By: NickLitten

Turnover (from Soft Landings Inc) is a pretty cool Software Change Management system running on ISERIES *cough* IBM i.

NOTICE FOR SOFTLANDING SYSTEMS You are marketing your Change Management Product as 'Turnover for iSeries V100'. But IBM no longer sell the iSeries systems. In fact, IBM haven't sold this machine for a few years now and as we all know - a year in IT is a decade in the real world.

The hardware is the IBM Power System and, as we all know, the operating system is IBM i.

So, isn't it time to rebrand your change management software and call it - Turnover for IBM i V100?

when does iseries become IBMi

how to import OPML playlist into Juice

  • Posted on: 10 July 2013
  • By: NickLitten

This week I be mainly listening to:

Music... schmoozic!

When I'm programming and need some musical background sounds, I tend to prefer acoustic tinkering, mellow electronica or even a dose of classical from time to time. I simply reach for Pandora and let it do its magic. 

But when its a voice I want to hear either muttering in the background or actively engaging my forebrain I reach for my podcast list (during last years Transamerica drive I listened to 30+ hours of downloaded radio shows from the UK. I can honestly say, it made the journey more enjoyable and had me laughing out loud on a number of occasions with my traveling companion, Bailey the super dog, looking at me quizzically).

This blog and link of my regularly exported OPML file is really just for me. To give me somewhere to store my OPML file - what is this? It's a kind of data file storing all my podcast subscriptions. It can be imported, and exported from Juice so I can always just download this copy onto any new device and run a synch to get lots of listening material.

If you're wondering what I'm listening to this week:

I remember the IBM AS400

  • Posted on: 9 July 2013
  • By: NickLitten

Discussing a data interchange process with a software vendor today (who shall remain nameless), they told me that their product could talk to an AS400 but had no experience of iSeries or IBM i.... *sigh*

I am not telling you the company name because I can tell you they are idiots... ahh thats better:

  • The IBM AS400 hardware with OS400 operating system was around 20 years ago!
  • The IBM ISERIES with i5/OS operating system was around 10 years ago!
  • The IBM Power System with IBM i operating system has been the market leader for 5+ years

/me mutters 'DUH' and slaps himself on the forehead

what is an as400 and how is it 25 years old

IBM have manufactured many diverse computer systems over the years... the IBM AS/400 (Application Server 400) was the model they released, following the massive success of the IBM System/36 and System/38. I remember when I first got to play with my first ever AS/400 model -- the B30 -- it was this kind of huge super computer, the size of a room, all shiny and white like a prop from '2001 a Space Odyssey' . Connected with Twinax, or this cool new network concept called 'Twinax' which eventually lost out to the cheeky competitor; Ethernet. It could talk to its usual dumn terminals and even... shock... could *talk* to those modern things called 'personal computers'. The AS/400 was cool modern and futuristic. It was around for a few years, enjoyed major success but as hardware abilities bloomed, it was soon upgraded and replaced by its successor the IBM iSeries in the late 1990's. Yep -- over ten years ago (nearly twenty years ago). 

RPG coding tip #73 - using [H SPEC COPYRIGHT]

  • Posted on: 20 April 2013
  • By: NickLitten

RPG4 (or RPGLE as its sometimes known) has a neat and little used header specification command called 'COPYRIGHT'

Presumably, this h-spec function was originally implemented by IBM so that software houses can embed their object copyright within the program source. But us RPG developers are a resourceful lot, and the copyright statement is an excellent way of storing the current modification version of any given program object. 

rpg programming hint

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

Whats better - Hard work, Knowledge or Attitude?

  • Posted on: 10 October 2012
  • By: NickLitten

Here is a little something a friend sent me that is indisputable mathematical logic. Nerdish and silly but I suppose it appeals to the dark mathematical side of my soul. But the message is very true.

It goes like this:

What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?

The New IBM Network Boy

  • Posted on: 18 September 2012
  • By: NickLitten
its a game boyyyyy

Rochester MN - With the recent news of IBM’s intent to acquire the Nintendo Corporation it was further announced today another joint development effort between IBM and Nintendo.

IBM is announcing the Network Boy, a small handheld device that communicates with your IBM i, System i  or AS/400 network via RF and allows the user to navigate the network using four simple buttons.

It has a small display screen that sports a mini-GUI and runs the Mario/OS operating system.

The advantages are simplicity, low cost, and zero training for the younger generation of users.