Blogs

words have power

  • Posted on: 17 September 2013
  • By: NickLitten

I don't like poetry.

I especially don't like it when people call it 'Poyetrey' in that weird pronunciation way. But this one poem, just blows me away:

IF - by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

IBM i is a radio star

  • Posted on: 13 September 2013
  • By: NickLitten

This morning I was hammering at my keyboard while listening to a weekly podcast from BBC Three Counties radio (my old local radio station back in Blighty). The show finished before I could get my cunning IBM i Journal Trigger process working, so I decided to take a coffee break and download a fresh podcast or two. I fire up Juice and spend a few minutes surfing to find something new to burble away in the background, titillating my back brain while my front brain was in RPGLE programming land.

Imagine my delight when I stumbled across an IBM i specific podcast!

Quite remarkably, its been out there since July 2011 and its none other than the chief i-architect at IBM - Steve Will

Steve is doing a telephone interview, with great audio quality and an absolute essential listen for anyone and everyone involved in the technical world of IBM i, IBM iSeries or even if you happen to be clunking away on a Russian Telly connected to one the 1990's AS/400 systems. If you work on this machine, or tinker around the boundaries of IBM i, or work at a company that has a machine they incorrectly call 'the 400' then you should really listen to this.

Warning though, its for Geeks only :)

Learn to bang a drum like a rockstar

  • Posted on: 11 September 2013
  • By: NickLitten
rob litten drummer with timshel

OK - So I must admit to being slightly biased as Rob Litten happens to be my cousin but... Rob has grown from the gangly kid that I remember into a quite astounding musician. When he's not drumming away on any nearby acoustic surface (my granite kitchen has never quite recovered) he is either being very loud playing in his band or... in professional mode.... he earns his living by being one of England's best known drum instructors and the force behind the astoundingly successful Drums the word website and youtube video phenom.

Rob Litten - Drums the Word

Rob is college trained and one of the elite few to achieve a National Higher Diploma in drum performance as well as BA(Hons) Degree in music specifically for the drum kit. A Percussion genius. Nuff said.

robert litten drumming god

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. in early 2014 we moved and settled in Sunny Southern California. Springers are active dogs and I should have a gold card membership at various doggie day care facilities, where Bailey spends his days during  many business hours if I'm at work for long periods. He's friendly and loves to chase balls, squirrels and just about anything that scampers, runs or slithers.

How do I check for numeric values using RPGLE?

  • Posted on: 9 September 2013
  • By: NickLitten

IBM RPG is a lovely language.

RPGLE (as the latest version is known) has got some heritage. Some might say its an old language, but it's kept young by its constantly evolving syntax. The current version of RPGLE (IBM i V7R1 at time of writing this) has free form code, multitudes of built in functions and handles big system database crunching with as much ease as it handles little web page servlets. RPG's evolved over 20+ years from an archaic and mystical thing bound by the rules of something called 'the logic cycle' into the modern power language for all IBM i Systems everywhere.

Personally, I find a few of the older functions still a bit annoying and wish there was a nicer way of handling them.

In this case, it's time to convict RPGLE's ability of checking data variables to see if they contain numeric or alphanumeric variables:

Your Honor - I present the defendant: TESTN

TEST(N) Is just a little bit smelly when it comes to really/truly finding out if a field is numeric or not.

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

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. IFS. DLS. DOS. WTF?

  • Posted on: 26 August 2013
  • By: NickLitten

So, an old colleague of mine just asked me:

Going to need your help here, it occurred to me that we don’t have a plan for backing up those Vendor Schedules we turned into pdf’s on the DLS a while back. QDLS is easy but IFS, well same thing really without the restricted dos naming but finding them is a bit more humpty than finding your folder in the QDLS. 

Can you either help me on what command I can use on IBMi to review folders with vendor looking documents in them or as I should have access to the network, any clues on a path that should work ?

Here is my email reply - remember this is all very much IMHO - Neatly copy/pasted into this blog in case it helps anyone else out there in IBM-i-land:

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

  • Posted on: 22 August 2013
  • By: NickLitten

Life as a IBM i Software Developer is fun, but life as an AS400 software maintenance programmer can be a bit a grim.

I seem to spend the bulk of my time maintaining older applications - archaic code monstrosities that started life in the AS400 generation. "The AS400 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 my radar it gets me all twitchy.

Guess what I found out today?

SNDSMTPEMM is a native IBM i command that will send emails with IFS attachments!

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.

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>

<blockquote>

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