Blogs

Upgrade my written CV to an 'Infographic Resume'

  • Posted on: 9 October 2013
  • By: NickLitten


The peeps at Vizualize.me say:

We believe that the traditional text resume is boring, lengthy and long overdue for a makeover. We are creating an online resume format that is beautiful, relevant and fun. We want to enable people to express their professional accomplishments in a simple yet compelling personal visualization. Our vision is to become the future of resumes.

Sounds groovy right?

The Vizualize website is in open Beta testing so I had to go and have a look... and its brilliant. Within seconds I had clicked a button to login with my Linkedin profile and the Vizualize website simply asked me if I wanted to import my resume from Linkedin and BOSH! It created this awesome infographic, with a cool URL (http://vizualize.me/nick.litten) and active pop-ups showing my work history.

IBM RPG sub-procedures are very saucy indeed

  • Posted on: 25 September 2013
  • By: NickLitten


This morning I got question from an old RPG3 chum of mine:

I know a couple of questions they will ask me, what are the different parms used on sub-procedures like *OMIT/*Nopass. Didn't we use those any way? I thought we were writing programs that did or did not necessarily get parms depending what called them using those keywords? To be honest, I know I can look it up but what the bloody hell is a sub-procedure?

My answer started off little then got into the huge waffling email stage. Bear in mind this is a very high level overview and not designed to get into the nitty-gritty of anything. Anyway, I just decided to copy/paste it here for future reference.

 


 

*OMIT/*NOPASS makes parameters funky

*OMIT - Lets you send a parameter as a value or as *nulls

Lets you use the *OMIT keyword when calling you program. So, if you just dont want to pass anything, you can say *OMIT - I think it just passes *NULLS and in the program that is being called you would say something like 

if %addr( parm1 ) = *NULL ;
  parmvalueinprogram = 'something';
else ;
  parmvalueinprogram = 'parm1';
endif ;

 

*NOPASS - lets you just neglect to pass anything at all

Don't even bother.  I think it just passes *NOTHING and in the program that is being called you would say something like 

IBM RPG sub-procedures are very saucy indeed

  • Posted on: 25 September 2013
  • By: NickLitten

This morning I got question from an old RPG3 chum of mine:

I know a couple of questions they will ask me, what are the different parms used on sub-procedures like *OMIT/*Nopass. Didn't we use those any way? I thought we were writing programs that did or did not necessarily get parms depending what called them using those keywords? To be honest, I know I can look it up but what the bloody hell is a sub-procedure?

My answer started off little then got into the huge waffling email stage. Bear in mind this is a very high level overview and not designed to get into the nitty-gritty of anything. Anyway, I just decided to copy/paste it here for future reference.

 


 

*OMIT/*NOPASS makes parameters funky

*OMIT - Lets you send a parameter as a value or as *nulls

Lets you use the *OMIT keyword when calling you program. So, if you just dont want to pass anything, you can say *OMIT - I think it just passes *NULLS and in the program that is being called you would say something like 

if %addr( parm1 ) = *NULL ;
  parmvalueinprogram = 'something';
else ;
  parmvalueinprogram = 'parm1';
endif ;

 

*NOPASS - lets you just neglect to pass anything at all

Don't even bother.  I think it just passes *NOTHING and in the program that is being called you would say something like 

Essential Software for the IBM i Developer

  • Posted on: 23 September 2013
  • By: NickLitten

Last week I was asked to help the Network Team to create an installable pc-image for a Win7 rollout to refresh the software builds for the IBM i Developers and other IT Techies. It's an exciting time at my clients site... with the haggle looking flustered and excited all at the same time.

 NOTE: HAGGLE is the collective term for a group of aging RPG programmers.

So, while everyone is frantically backing up their old XP machines, before getting the new image pushed down here, is a quick list of the software that's being added as part of the base machine - Windows 7 Enterprise [64Bit] and these are the goodies that I like to use when I'm wearing my 'IBM i Developer Hat':

 

IBM i Access for Windows

Client Access IBM i Access delivers the strengths and capabilities of IBM i to the desktop through easy-to-use screens and wizards. Since IBM i Access delivers new releases simultaneously with IBM i, desktop users can start using the new capabilities immediately. Loading it direct from the IBM i Server's IFS share means that the latest version is always easily accessible:

\\your-ibm-i-server-name\QIBM\ProdData\Access\Windows

Then decide if you want to install the 32 or 64 bit version... simple!

Gunnar RPG Computer Glasses

  • Posted on: 20 September 2013
  • By: NickLitten

Gunnar glasses for RPG Programmers

My first memories of wearing glasses were from my pre-teens; my Mum taking me down the local opticians to collect my big brown plastic NHS specs. Some seriously horrible, big brown plastic things. This led to years of school ground taunting being called a speccy-four-eyes and finally refusing to wear them and spending years squinting at blackboards or copying off people next to me… then into my late teens and invention of personal computers and my inevitable attraction to keyboards and monitors… my eyesight took a turn for the worse. By the time I was thirty, I was properly shortsighted (-5 in both eyes) and glasses and/or contacts were just a part of life.

I wish Gunnar optics were around in those days.

I’ve been thinking about wearing glasses specifically for computer work recently, and just today I realized that Gunnar have some glasses called the GUNNAR RPG. So, obviously, as an RPG Programmer they are designed for me!

I have joined the Technorati

  • Posted on: 18 September 2013
  • By: NickLitten

That sounds ominous doesn't it?

No, its nothing to do with a global world order. Which, incidentally, is frequently touted as a bad thing by hordes of conspiracy theorists here in the USA. Personally, I think it might be a good idea. I mean, look at Star Trek. One big world order headed by StarFleet - everyone talking English (even the aliens), everyone on the planet wearing cool uniforms and wars, religions and other infighting have been banned.

The Technorati is much less interesting I'm ashamed to say:

Technorati is a blog search engine. Designed to search the clouds blogs and help share the information. Social media being catalogued and shared to the masses.

But before I can become a fully fledged member I need to prove that I own this blog and tell them about my TECHNORATI CLAIM TOKEN : 4PDTGDFR7X2X 

Now, how long do I have to wait by the mailbox for my uniform to arrive?

 

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?

Nope

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?

Nope

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

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