Sun Microsystems Sues Island of Java

  • Posted on: 18 September 2012
  • By: NickLitten

Mountain View, CA — Sun Microsystems today filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the island of Java* over the use of Sun’s Java* trademark.

Responding to criticism that the island has been called Java* for centuries, Sun lawyer Frank Cheatham said “Yeah, and in all that time they never filed for a trademark. They deserve to lose the name.”

Rather than pay the licensing fee, the island decided to change its name. They originally voted to change it to Visu Albasic, but an angry telegram from Redmond, Washington convinced them otherwise. The country finally settled on a symbol for a name — a neatly-colored coffee cup which still evokes the idea of java. Since most newspapers and magazines will not be able to print the name of the island, it will hereafter be referred to in print as “The Island Formerly Known As Java*”.

The Island Formerly Known As Java* bills itself as a cross-landmass island, but so far has only been implemented in production on the Malay Archipelago. Africa is been rumored to have implemented it on Madagascar, but it is still in alpha testing.

Lawyers from Sun would also like to locate the owners of the huge fiery ball at the center of the solar system. They have some legal papers for them…


You need to start now in planning for the Year 10,000 Crisis.

  • Posted on: 18 September 2012
  • By: NickLitten

Washington DC -  Not long ago we all went through the Year 2000 crisis. If you were in the computer and software industry you recall the many headaches in converting and changing databases and software so the Year 2000 would be a smooth rollover. No one thought 20 years earlier that their software would still be around, but it was and the two digit year fields caused big problems.

Well, how do we know our software isn’t going to be around for the year 10,000? All our 4 digit year fields will have to be converted to 5 digit fields. It’s never too early to start planning for this major event.

What happens when the year 10,000 hits? Can your systems handle a year of 0000? Most systems will crash and burn if left unchanged. The task of converting every date and changing every program that uses date logic is huge. This is one project that has a deadline set in stone! It can’t be moved or missed! You need to start now in planning for the Year 10,000 Crisis.

Another big list of AS400 technical, practical questions and just plain brain teasers

  • Posted on: 26 July 2012
  • By: NickLitten

So, last night I was nosing around in the dim dark corners of an old network share on my homeserver. I stumbled across an old TXT document from the late 90's, I think. It was sitting in a text file called "AS400 brainteasers" -it's obviously old (look at the as400 model numbers question).

It was fun to scan through these questions and answers. I got a about 98% right... there were a couple where I dropped the ball and I blame that on the vintage questions and my fading senility... 

Test yourself and see if you can be classed as an AS400 specialist:

AS400 Questions

a vintage as400 server

What is the Configuration of the AS/400 system on which you have worked?
System E35(Model 9406), 24MB main memory, 3.2GB of HD and supports 49 terminals (7 Port).

How many terminals can be connected to a port?
7 terminals

What do the terms CUA and SAA stand for?
Common User Access Systems Application Architecture

What are the communication protocols supported by AS/400?

free rpg code editor for windows - Visual RPG Express

  • Posted on: 23 July 2012
  • By: NickLitten
rpg source code editor

I'm a big fan of WDSC7 (Websphere Development Studio Client for Windows) for my RPG/CL/DDS/SQL/whatever coding when I'm using windows.. but there are a few others out there. I would love to use IBM's RDi (Rational Developer for IBM i) but while IBM insist on charging around $900 for the program it puts it firmly out of my wallet range. Quite frankly, its such an utterly ridiculous price for a piece of software I cant ever see myself championing it.

I found this article over at Midrange News:

[quote]Visual RPG (aka "CodeStudio") is a PC Windows XP-based editor for RPG IV, DDS, and other languages. It was original sold to AS/400 developers as a "CODE/400 for Windows" product when there was no Windows-based "CODE/400" (they only did an OS/2 version). Later it was renamed to "CodeStudio" and that trademark was purchased by a multi-national corporation and the product name was changed back to its original "VisualRPG" and provided at no-charge with no support. It uses FTP to pull down the source from the host and save it back up to the host, hence the source statement change dates are lost.[/quote]

Here are the instructions (over a decade old but if they help someone out then TADA!)

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]

Annoying Drupal Error - Notice: unserialize() [function.unserialize]: Error at offset 1066 of 1068 bytes in variable_initialize()

  • Posted on: 19 April 2012
  • By: NickLitten

So, for the last several months I've been getting this very annoying drupal error message on virtually every page on the website:

Notice: unserialize() [function.unserialize]: Error at offset 1066 of 1068 bytes in variable_initialize() (line 943 of /home/projex/www/www/includes/

I had researched it... tried hacking some little PHP snippets... tried cleaning up the SQL database... all to no avail. But today is a cause for celebration and dancing in the streets. Because its gone! Huzzah! All thanks to a couple of smart drupal chappies and chappettes on various websites who have probably forgotten more about the Drupal Database than I will ever know.

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:

What is the best change management tool for IBM i?

  • Posted on: 1 January 2012
  • By: NickLitten


IBM i Change Management Software Review


Today's SCM (Software Change Management) systems are as focused on productivity gains for the programmer as they are on "controlling" or managing the source and objects. Anything that can be done to make programmers more effective and more efficient in their development process is a very worthy investment.

Software configuration management (SCM) is an umbrella term that has come to mean a wide range of automation functions for application development all SCM product features have potential benefits and other functions that may require changes to your business practice.


The Big Three

What follows is a listing of products that provide SCM functions for IBM-i application development.

IMHO, the three big players are:

  • Turnover V100 - SoftLanding Systems (acquired by Unicom in 2010)
  • Aldon LMe- Aldon Computer Group (acquired by Rocket Software group in March 2011)
  • Implementor -  MKS Inc (acquired by PTC in May 2011)

These vendors are the heavy hitters in the IBM-I arena and all have Eclipse user-interface plug-ins for their solutions, which can integrate with IBM's WDSC and RD-i.

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.