Blogs

ASUS EEE Pad gives APPLE IPAD a bloody nose

  • Posted on: 1 May 2012
  • By: NickLitten

Ipad to go with the Market leader? Android to go with the new contender? Windows device to see what happens with the big and powerful Microsoft?

[quote]I think it depends on what you want to use it for. I personally wanted a device that was as easy and convenient to use as my TV. One that I could carry for email access, web use, and occasional games/music/videos/books etc. I wanted good selection of apps and a (relatively) virus proof OS. For me that came down to the Asus EE Pad.[/quote]

sql is much faster than cpyf

  • Posted on: 18 March 2012
  • By: NickLitten


For the longest time I've heard about the performance difference between a true SQL INDEX and a DDS ACCESS PATH generated index on the IBM i operating system (or 'OS400' which was a ten year old, but very commonly used version of the the same OS). But is it true? I know that SQL creates its own special access path... and have heard vague rumblings about how it just does things different so its quicker... and I've read many times that us IBM i programmers should be creating files using SQL rather than the old DDS.

So, as part of the project I'm working on we have to copy data from a bunch of rather large files... so I did some real time comparisons and got some fascinating results.

Timings for the big Fight:

Using a physical file with 141,988,325 records in it I ran a (1) batch copy into a DDS version of the file using both CPYF and SQL INSERT and then (2) created a SQL/DDL version of the file and repeated the exercise. Both times running in a single thread job queue when the machine was quiet.

Times with a *PF created from DDS

Copy file with 142 million records on an IBMi DDS compiled physical file:

Sending email from IBM i embedding data using SQL

  • Posted on: 11 November 2011
  • By: NickLitten

Have you ever wanted to extract some data out of an IBMi/AS400 file using SQL and then email that data to someone as an Excel Spreadsheet?

Now you can… all from one IBMi command without having to write any CL code to do it.

Projex4i: DSTDTA command now handles SQL STRINGS for selecting data

send data from as400 to any pc using email as a spreadsheet for free

I added this new function to the PROJEX4i - Distribute Data command last night – so it can now take a bite of selected data using SQL and send it as a TXT, CSV, XML or PDF as EMAIL.

Huge time saver for me and has been on my wish-list for ages.

Example:

IFS on the IBM i - an Integrated File System

  • Posted on: 5 October 2011
  • By: NickLitten

Recently, I’ve been playing with the IBM i Integrated File System a lot more than usual. The IFS allows us to use and share data with Windows/Linux clients. It basically shares native IBM i (AS400) data with the windows world so that it looks just like a normal windows network drive.

as400 creates very modern outlook style emailYou may read about AS/400 IFS and QDLS. It can be confusing for people. The QDLS folders were orig created for OfficeVision, a discontinued product, but can (and have been) used for other purposes. These folders are DOS-compatable and therefore use DOS style name (8.3 format). Directories (as sometimes called folders) not under QDLS are Unix compatable - long filenames and case-sensitive.

That sounds complicated but to make it very simple

IBM AS400 security holes from the golden age

  • Posted on: 21 July 2011
  • By: NickLitten

Today, I was talking *techie* to a colleague in I.T. who still calls the IBMi Operating System - 'The AS/400'.  *sigh*

We bumped over a few technology sleeping policemen during the conversation. Software is easy to upgrade. Mindsets are sometimes overlooked. This reminded me of the importance of keeping our skill sets current. If we don't move with the times, then our knowledge in our field of expertise quickly becomes out of date and hence 'of less worth'. I never want to be deprecated in favor of a new version of me. I want to make my own Nick Two Point Oh.

Anyway, the gray haired dusty shouldered gentleman in question was proudly proclaiming that the AS400 would be around forever because it was the most secure machine on the planet. Then proceeded to spout some un-verifiable (and almost certainly delusional) points about the AS400 still being used to power Google Servers, the president has one and its the only machine that has never ever had a virus.

Much as I like the IBMi operating system, this made me think "exactly what is it that defines a Virus?" 

I'm sure I have written some virus-type code, playing tricks on coworkers, faking signon screens, remote controlling other peoples signons, etc. Does that count as an "as400" virus?

Anyway, Searching for some examples of old AS400 Security Holes, I came across the document (pasted below).

RPG Code Hints and Tips – using slash Title Mainline

  • Posted on: 20 April 2011
  • By: NickLitten

I'm in the middle of refactoring a load of old Projex400 RPG code from RPG3 upto RPG4 and using all the modern BIF's. It's a fun thing to do in the evening while I'm hiding in an hotel room in rainy Ohio. But I digress...    Inevitably my first compile will fail and I normally want to jump to the 'C' specs to have a look at what I've got wrong... this normally involves repeatedly pressin the page-down key until my finger tip gets numb.

rpg programming help

But wait, I stumbled across a neat little code snipper that saves time and looks good in the code as well.

Use the /title command in the source code to add a comment to your spool file listing.

This was used a lot in the old days of programming along with the /page and /eject codes. I have started using the ‘/title mainline’ as the first line of ‘c’ specs in RPG4/Column-Based, or just before the /FREE in RPG4/FreeFormat.

Why?

RPG Code Hints and Tips – using slash Title Mainline

  • Posted on: 20 April 2011
  • By: NickLitten

I'm in the middle of refactoring a load of old Projex400 RPG code from RPG3 upto RPG4 and using all the modern BIF's. It's a fun thing to do in the evening while I'm hiding in an hotel room in rainy Ohio. But I digress...    Inevitably my first compile will fail and I normally want to jump to the 'C' specs to have a look at what I've got wrong... this normally involves repeatedly pressin the page-down key until my finger tip gets numb.

rpg programming help

But wait, I stumbled across a neat little code snipper that saves time and looks good in the code as well.

Use the /title command in the source code to add a comment to your spool file listing.

This was used a lot in the old days of programming along with the /page and /eject codes. I have started using the ‘/title mainline’ as the first line of ‘c’ specs in RPG4/Column-Based, or just before the /FREE in RPG4/FreeFormat.

Why?

Web Services in native RPG straight from IBMi

  • Posted on: 11 November 2010
  • By: NickLitten

I've long been a follower of Mr Aaron Bartell - a nice guy and one of the most dynamic IBMi developers I have come across for a while.

His company, Krengel Tech, have some neat functions that simplify getting good old AS400 data out onto the internet. Yes, I know the AS400 was replaced by the iSeries andfew years ago upgraded and replaced by the more powerful IBM i running on an IBM Power system but sometimes I just like to type the old names to (a) tweak the search engines and (b) keep the gray haired programmers happy :)

In simplistic terms, RPG-XML Suite essentially is an RPG service program that allows RPG programmers the ability to compose, transmit, and parse XML along with many other supporting subprocedures. These three capabilities fully equip an RPG programmer to offer (or provide) web services on the iSeries as well as call (or consume) web services on remote machines.

Calling Web Services with RPG-XML Suite

The illustration below demonstrates how an RPG program on your iSeries can "call" a web service that resides on another machine. The RPG program composes and passes an XML stream from the remote web service on the Server/Client and receives back the response XML which it parses for its data contents. For example, the RPG program could send an XML invoice to a business partner to automate the billing process, or a purchase order could be sent to a supplier to automate the shipping of widgets to your company.

I miss tea and scones

  • Posted on: 17 October 2010
  • By: NickLitten


I miss tea and scones but couldn't imagine life anywhere else.

Life over here is awesome

So, shortly after relocating to the colonies I find myself riding around the country, wearing my red-coat outfit and searching for American keyboards to tap on. Trying to find somewhere to call home that is close enough for me to see my kids at weekends but far enough away that the evil-ex's witch-craft spells couldn't find me. Wait.. calm down... not on a public blog :o

So, after hunting around the USA working at locations as diverse as Chicago IL, Augusta GA, Las Vegas NV, San Francisco CA and New York NY - I finally stumble into Charleston and fall in love with the laid back life style, the great restaurants and bars, the palm trees, the beaches and promise of weekends spent strolling around in the sunshine.

Meeting a beautiful Southern Belle and living in a beach house doesn't hurt!

Nick Litten's Life Part 2 commences...

So, I’m having to learn to like Grits and Gravy, American lagers and country music. Yuk!

Projex400 Version 5 is well into its third trimester

  • Posted on: 12 September 2010
  • By: NickLitten
projex400 and projex4i the evoluion

I've been working on the new version of PROJEX400 V5.x over the last couple of months. It's running very well on one of my IBM Servers at home (the other one is sitting there waiting for me to source a copy of IBMi V5R4 from somewhere) and at least one client site.

I'm super busy working on various client projects at the moment so my spare time for Projex Development is strictly limited... But, it's basically ready for publishing and distribution all compiled at my current home server OS version of i5OS V5R1M3.

Now, I've just got to decide on a method:

  • Do I publish source code and make users upload source and compile?
  • What a REX procedure to do it automatically?
  • Do I stick with my current v5.1 OS400 or upgrade to IBMi v5.4 and recompile prior to release?
  • Do I simply package it up in a *SAVF and allow users to FTP it onto their IBM System-i?

Decisions, decisions!

While I'm waiting for my whirling dusty mental matter to coalesce into a solid decision I'm waiting for IBM to finally give me a price for IBMi Version 5.4 for Tom and Jerry (Tom and Jerry are my two iSeries Servers quietly humming away down in the "Projex Bat Cave")

and Finally....

It's always been called Projex400 -- obviously since the days of the AS400.

But now the venerable big cream box is long gone, replaced by the iseries and System i machines... should I rebrand?

Hmmmmmmm

 

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