A modern AS400 application starts with RPG Modernization

  • Posted on: 17 September 2013
  • By: NickLitten

This machine needs to be modernized!

...seems to be the chant of the moment.

But I put it to you that it is not the Computer System that needs modernizing: It is the applications that run on the system... and more importantly the *expectations* of the users and developers that need modernizing.

Most IBM midrange systems out there have been upgraded/replaced over the last five+ years with the latest IBM hardware - IBM Power Systems. Do IBM Power Systems need upgrading?


Even if you are one of the few IBM midrange shops out there running older system architecture like the older models of IBM iSeries Server, its not that they need modernizing - because I'm sure they are humming along quite contentedly. If your old iSeries Server is running latest version IBM i operating system then does it still need upgrading?


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>


Land Rover LR3 V6 2006 - the Big Boris Breakdown

  • Posted on: 16 August 2013
  • By: NickLitten
landrover break down

The Full Boris

This damn problem has been going on forever. I’m sick of it. Sick sick sick bleeuuuuurgh!

So come on people… someone out there must have a solution? It’s a totally weird starting problem but at least its now showing a repetitive solution. So lets go through it in clear English (well as clear as I can make it) and perhaps… just perhaps someone will kindly put me out of my misery.

CARFAX Vehicle Description: 2006 LAND ROVER LR3 SE

VIN: SALAD24436A347352



Engine: 4.0L V6 FI

Here we go:

This starting problem is utterly random. It might work perfectly for days, weeks on end then suddenly refuse to start. It happens when the car is hot, cold, wet, on a hill, in the sunshine, in a garage, while refueling or anywhere at any time basically. When the car is running it runs perfectly. When it starts it starts perfectly. It never misfires or does anything else naughty.

When the car is refusing to start – it will totally refuse to start. I have tried setting the alarm, immobilizer and even opening manually with the key override. Boris will not start.

I have tried leaving the car for an hour and then trying again. Boris will not start.

F$%#^K#$ing Landrover LR3

  • Posted on: 14 August 2013
  • By: NickLitten

I am angrier than a very Angry Bird.

Boris the Landrover is once again proving that it can refuse to start in nearly every State in the USA...

What makes it worse is that last Friday - I just got it back from the Garage who happily told me the problem was fixed. "A new battery, alternator and a full service will do the trick" I was happily informed. More dollars came spilling out of a wallet that was already empty and filled with dust and cobwebbs.

For a glorious five days he has been running nicely and I've been all happy thinking the curse has finally been broken.

But... *sigh*... BUT.... it firking hasnt.

Today its back!



The power of Christ did not compel these engine demons to leave  :(

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

Caveat Emptor with Boris the Landrover LR3

  • Posted on: 8 August 2013
  • By: NickLitten

Just like Lazarus, Boris lives!

After last weeks engine death – well kind of choking spluttering whimpering suicide - I waited for the AAA recovery truck and had Boris truck to a local garage that foolishly admitted to working on Landrover. All the time thanking the Gods that I signed up for AAA car recovery last year.

Anyway, the garage called me last night confidently saying  “Boris is fixed! It was the alternator, which was shorting out and causing the electrical glitches. It finally died, caused a direct short which drained the battery in a minute flat and this caused the breakdown”. Now a more skeptical man than myself may not believe this explanation. I know for a fact that all these engine problems over the last two years are down to the engine being haunted, and not due to any physical problem on this plain of existence. But, as they also told me it has cost me $720 and that includes a new battery, alternator, oil change and mini-service – well who am I to complain?

But I’ve been here before haven’t I?

So, lets review the number of visits to a garage (or *shop* as you yanks say) since that cursed day in September 2011 when I took ownership of Boris the Landrover:

Stop spam users from registering drupal accounts

  • Posted on: 31 July 2013
  • By: NickLitten

If you have a Drupal website then you will be well aware of the near daily battle with annoying spam trying to get a free ride of your sites visitors.


Obviously, I'm not talking about the delicious pinkish world war two meaty thing made of Pork, water, sugar and some starchy stuff... but instead, I'm referring to those annoying little people submitting links to their porn, holiday, credit card and dating websites.

I've tried Mollom, CAPTCHA, ReCaptcha, AntiSpam and just about every spam module out there over the years... but I do believe I have now found the right balance.

So if you're using Drupal then what modules do you need to download?

Mollom 7.x-2.7 Automatically moderates user-submitted content and protects your site from spam and profanity.

Mollom is an "intelligent" content moderation web service. By monitoring content activity on all sites in the Mollom network, Mollom is in a unique position to determine if a post is potentially spam; not only based on the posted content, but also on the past activity and reputation of the poster. In short, Mollom handles incoming posts intelligently, in much the same way a human moderator decides what posts are acceptable.

AntiSpam 7.x-1.5 Use the anti-spam service to protect your site from spam

Is this the End? Did Boris finally splutter his last breath?

  • Posted on: 25 July 2013
  • By: NickLitten

An excruciating new chapter in the Book of Boris (no relation to The Book of Mormon)

Land Rover being TowedDriving to a client office today all hell broke loose on the dashboard... every warning light blinking, alarms sounding, star-trek doors whooshing open and closed and phasers set to KILL! Engine computer was reporting suspension failure, HDC failure, break failure, *everything* failure... after swearing loudly I managed to quickly pull into a Shell Station which was conveniently only a hundred yards down the road.

Boris quietly pulled up to a pump.. before spluttering and dying.

Insert Key and absolutely nothing happens.

Pop open bonnet (which is a hood to you Americans) and only a faint whiff of electrical burning smell. *gulp*

I'm typing this after it was towed off to a local garage for investigation.


If I had started numbering my vehicle breakdowns over the last two years I wonder if this one would have put me into treble digits?