Blogs

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. :)

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: Should IBM have changed the name when the launched the replacement for the old AS/400 computer?

The AS400 was replaced by the iSeries. The iSeries was replaced by the System i. The System i was replaced by the Power System. Operating system has evolved and been rebranded with each new system hardware upgrade -- from OS400, thru I5OS to IBM i. That is an internet fact. 

<RANT>

For some hugely frustrating reason, there is still a sizable group of IBM i Software Developers who insist on referring to the latest and greatest IBM i Power machine by the incorrect name of it's twenty year old predecessor. This machine is NOT an AS400. It is not "THE 400". It's not even an iSeries. The AS400 is an old computer system from the last century! The AS400 hardware could not run the modern operating systems we use. The AS400 was invented before the advent of email, before facebook, Hell... it was around before the internet! Calling IBM POWER SYSTEMS an AS/400 is insulting and automatically puts the picture of an old legacy computer system into our users heads. Not good. When a new model of a computer is released with brand new hardware and a different name (to differentiate it from the old model) use the correct name. I just don't understand this resistance against the new machines branding. As I.T. Professionals surely it's the information technology that fires us up. Surely it's the excitement of modern computers that wakes us up every morning? We are all IT Professional, surely that makes us all Star Trek Nerds, which in turn means we all understand that "Resistance is Futile!"  ;) 

</RANT>

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 heard from one of my old customers from the 1990's and my software is still running on their 400 - bloody good machines these iSeries boxes

Cool! But I wouldnt thin they are still using the old iSeries hardware. Probably on a more recent 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.

Telly: PLEBS chuckling at Romans

  • Posted on: 26 February 2014
  • By: NickLitten

I found this by accident and it's yet another Telly series which reminds by just how funny and irreverent English TV can be.

Plebs is based in Rome at the time of the Roman British invasion - an easy play on the Latin word 'plebeians' -- and if you don't know what that word means that you need to jog back to school and give your history teacher a swift kick up the arse. Plebs is filled with stupid British comedy, occasional naughty words and frequent innuendo and sexual comments it just about sums up British comedy at its best. It's The Inbetweeners meets Ancient Rome:

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.

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.

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.

ibm i technology releases are like vintage sports cars?

  • Posted on: 19 February 2014
  • By: NickLitten

I always wanted a TR6 or even its pointy cheese wedge cousin the TR7... but this blog isnt about that. It's about the much more geekish IBM Technology Releases for IBM i operating system..

Steve Will, IBM i Chief Architect, talks about some of the highlights of #IBMi TR6 and TR7 that were delivered in 2013:

If you dont see the embedded youtube video then watch it here

The technology refreshes are key components for the IBM i operating system that are released in between major operating system changes. TR6 came out in mid-2013 and TR7 arrived for Christmas... these enhancements included lots of goodies ranging from

  • the ability to use USB for backups
  • mobile device support
  • PHP enhancements for the ZEND Server
  • SQL service integration (this is huge as it allows application developers to access IBM i data from anywhere)
  • and with TR7 we finally got /freeformat RPG   Huzzah!

I could gush on and on about RPG at this point... but I wont... I'm going to surf off and google images of TR6's instead   

RPG is finally set free

  • Posted on: 14 February 2014
  • By: NickLitten

Since the introduction of the latest Service Pack for IBM i V7 -- cunningly entitled 'Technology Release 7.1 -- RPG programmers can now finally eschew the old fixed column coding and roam around a modern free format language. Lovely jubbly.

Long overdue and in the words of Jon Paris (RPG Guru and all round Nice Geezer):

1) I hate F-specs.

I can never remember which letter goes in which column, and of course the more I use embedded SQL, the less frequently I have to code them. I almost always end up either cloning or using the prompter in RDI (about the only time I ever use it) and even then I'll get at least one thing wrong.

I also find it frustrating to have to specify every little detail. For example, if I say it is a printer file, then of course the thing is output. How many input-capable printers have you ever encountered?

Forget that the new F-specs are free-format. For me the most liberating thing about them is that they assume sensible defaults! For example, suppose I code this:

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".

Example:

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