System i Blogger


March 13, 2008  12:37 AM

Bill Gates has no idea what he is talking about

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

First of all I am no fan of Microsoft. I have proven that fact over and over again. I do however respect Bill Gates, he is a smart guy with good form who knows his place in life.

But . . . Bill Gates has no idea what he is talking about when he says there are no decent Americans in the US willing to work for Microsoft. I know plenty of strong IT people who would work for Microsoft today if they had a way for them to get in and interview. I think there are a couple of things here going on.

1. Bill Gates is turning soft and forgetting about the country he has built his empire on, the USA, and is thinking he will be a global shill and pander to other “not so lucky” countries that would do anything to get here even work for less and not have as much “house hold goods” to move. It all comes back to money.

2. I would have worked for Microsoft if they would ever call anyone back. In the past 20 years I have read the Microsoft jobs web site and have found many positions I would like but have never even got so much as a call back on anything in 20 years. Getting into Microsoft, unless you are an H-1B visa holder, then they seem to be able to find you just fine.

3. Microsoft is now pandering to the country that is the second or third country to steal the most software from them. Most H-1B visa holders Microsoft wants to hire are from India, not Japan or China, but India and also a country that steals more software from Microsoft than the US.

4. Indians from India will work like crazy because they don’t want to go back to India and they don’t want to leave. If they work for $50 and hour 17 hours a day they and are only half as skilled as a seasoned US developer getting paid $120 an hour and only working 8-9 hours a day which looks better on the books? I have seen H-1B visa holders come over without any skills but the project leader who is India or the same nationality has moved them to the US only to have them learn the skills they need while in the US. Some I have seen come into the country as say Java developers, having never seen Java and work with a good developer so they they are lost in the shuffle, only later to find out the hard way they know nothing about Java, the team lead has been writing the code after work for them and they hold a position in a company a good hard working US citizen could fill but can’t. This happens a lot. It’s the H-1B visa shell game.

SO Mr. Gates. I urge you to look all over the US, there are developers here who are hard working US citizens and are willing to work for you for decent pay with decent work loads. PLEASE HIRE ALL THE US CITIZENS YOU CAN BEFORE YOU GO OVERSEAS. Another reason to buy an Apple I say!

March 12, 2008  6:02 PM

System i – Something big is about to happen at COMMON this spring

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

So if your doing any reading around the community you’re starting to get in tuned with some big things are about to happen at IBM and inside the System i world. This COMMON I predict will end up being another landmark event.

“I’ve been watching and reporting on IBM and the System i world for about a decade, and basically, when two high-powered IBM executives get on stage at the same time for some kind of meeting or announcement of an initiative — in this case, Mark Shearer and Ross Mauri — something big is going down. COMMON members will definitely want to attend this Town Hall Meeting.” and he also said this, “IBM will host a special Town Hall Meeting, where COMMON says Shearer, as well as Ross Mauri, IBM’s general manager of IBM Power Systems, will make a special announcement of an important initiative, ‘The New Power Equation’.”

Chris Maxcer, NEWS Daily Editor, System i Network, Penton Media, Inc.

I don’t have to clue you in as to why Mark and Ross are going to be on the same stage do I? Since the renaming of the systems in 2000 there has been that ever present, often ignored theory that the System i is going to go away and everything will end up being some AiX-i5/OS mutant that can run both workloads. I never thought it would happen quiet like that but over the past few years there has been some movement to this moment in time. When the lines between the System i and System p are going to be blurred. We have reached that point.

I have been known to make Macworld predictions before and have been pretty good at them but nothing huge really comes out of these meetings that we don’t already know much about. The 515 and 525 came out last year. We all knew a box to replace the old 170 and 270 line was coming but the surprised us all with the way they were charging for it.

After thinking about it I am not going to make any predictions about COMMON. It could be fun but I don’t think we need to talk about it. I do think we will see the platforms merge so that there is one hardware offering and many OS offerings. I hope they also port Ubuntu Server to power.


March 10, 2008  5:30 PM

Two things from IBM today. UC² and Lotus Symphony

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

While I don’t see anyone covering this, I figured I would so that IBM gets some fair play on the old blogs.

IBM has launched a pretty funny little movie about UC² that is about Unified Communications. Using Sametime and other Lotus based products to collaborate. I can assure you Lotus does this much better than any Microsoft product.

Lotus Symphony is being shrugged off as another Lotus product meant to deliver nothing and complicate the Lotus offering. I have found since I have started using it to be neither of the two. Lotus Symphony gives you an office product in your Lotus Notes 8 client. It’s well done and can only get better over time. If your a Word or Excel power user I think it’s going to take time before it’s that fancy but then again Excel didn’t get there overnight either. I can remember when people were complaining about Excel not being as full featured as Lotus 1-2-3? Link to article


March 10, 2008  1:30 AM

Saving trees at COMMON this year

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

I have decided not to let COMMON print my sessions so that they can save paper. If you want to have a hand out at my sessions you will need to print it out and bring it with you. I will have that posted soon. I am finding this years sessions harder to get done/perfect as it’s my first year giving most of them and I have to rewrite most of them from scratch.

Let’s talk about that for a bit too. Some people would ask why are you not having COMMON print those handouts and I ask, why would you want them to print all those handouts when we are knee deep in the digital age and your still wanting handouts to doodle on in my sessions?

Continued »


March 7, 2008  8:29 PM

System i name change ? Again

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

Being System i people the first thing we have all learned that we can’t depend on IBM being able to market or price it properly and that the name will change again before 2010.

With that all said seems like there is now talks all over the place about another name change coming. I have to blog about a blog but here goes the link to a thread on Maxed Out.

I do think the System i name should stick for a while but IBM does not see it that way I am sure. They are still charging to much for anyone to want to get in at the ground level with a System i. The sad little 515 is just that, sad. While I was excited about the 515 when it came out, I made no bones to IBM how much is disliked the price and the caps they placed on it. They fixed some of that but not all of it.

Mark Shearer says: “In my first two and half years in System i, I got an awful lot of feedback from clients that they wanted to pay for what they use, that they wanted us to improve the price-to-value ratio . . . and we relaunched our entire entry-level product line back in April — that ultimately drove more than 25 percent volume growth last year in System i.”

To that I say to Mark, then make me a System i server with Power6 under the hood that can run Linux on it for under a grand. I know you can do it, but will you. Like a 10 year old at the bus stop, I dare you!

Mark has vision, but I think the company behind him would have a hard time with it. I want a pizza box System i that runs Linux (Ubuntu Server) and is around a cool g note ($1000). While the blade idea is nice I want to be able to put a few pizza box 1U servers in my geek play room and do something nuts with it.

Let me also point out that a 1U System i with i5/OS or Linux would be a great place for people to start out. Do you need a Web Server? System i with Linux or you could even run i5/OS with HTTP/PHP/MySQL native. I think you all are starting to see the light. IBM needs to have a 1U offering that is not a Windows Server. I am not going to hide it, I don’t like Windows as a server. It’s a poor choice. I also am not sold on Linux some days either. So don’t come here asking for trouble thinking I am going after Redmond, becasue I am not. I do however think with the right hardware, System i, and the right OS you could offer something that the DELLs and HPs of the world would find hard to deal with is all.

Pizza Box 1U System i Linux Edition: System i 501

Power6 CPU ( for an extra $800 I get dual Power6 CPUs)
2GB of Memory
RAID Card
3 DASD Slots with 15K drives
1 300GB 15K Disk (Expandable to 3)
Dual Ethernet
Video Card – NO HMC Needed -Built into an embedded machine chip running of course Linux
CD-DVD
Single Power – With Redundant as an option

You all know you want it and I am going to ask for it at the next COMMON. So when a 250 lbs dude with dark hair and large shoulders comes up to you and asks for the pizza box from IBM you will know it’s me. I think it’s time my buddy Ken’s idea come to the surface. He was crazy for asking for it but I think now it’s time.

Lets see the posts here requesting change in the right direction. It would also really scare the hell out of DELL and HP if IBM did it.

Oh and I want an Open Sourced /Free edition of Linux for Power. I don’t want to pay for it. I should be able to download the ISO from IBM or other Linux companies. Isn’t LINUX supposed to be free and really it’s not now is it Novell and Redhat? Your charging for it and while I understand you have to make money I don’t like it and shame on IBM for not giving it away.

One last thing, can IBM call the UBUNTU folks and help them get a free Ubuntu Server for Power sooner rather than later. IBM supports Ubuntu all I am asking for is a little help. IBM has some of the brightest people on planet earth working for them and yet no Ubuntu Server for Power?


March 7, 2008  1:51 AM

Working on session material

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

I have been working on session material when I have not been working. So when you want to know what the heck is David doing and why is he not blogging. Cause I am working on stuff for the people, the members of COMMON. I know, I know, get back to work….


March 7, 2008  1:49 AM

Do you still need a good reason to attend COMMON

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

You asked to go to COMMON in Dec and your manager said, well see. Then you asked again in Feb and he said something about a budget problem, of course you hand not heard anything? The you asked last week and they now want a justification. Well if your managers are that thick then you will need some ammo.

I could tear into a rant about managers that don’t get COMMON or Lotusphere for that matter but I will hold off. You managers know who you are and if you can’t point them out in a room of all the other employees then the dim wit is you. Bingo!

So you need a plan to give you half witted manager that keeps asking you what the System i is for, duh. Here is what COMMON says are the good reasons to attend.

The conference will offer well over 500 educational sessions, hands-on labs, and all-day workshops. We’ve have tracks on hot topics like PHP, open source, and IP Telephony; all delivered by the most respected presenters of the IT industry. Hear a new speaker in the morning, attend a user experience session in the afternoon, and network with the experts in the evening. Quite simply, this is where the rubber hits the road of i5/OS education.

COMMON in Nashville will be just as large as our recent conferences; we’ve organized our education logically so it’s easy to select what will benefit you most. All sessions at the conference are grouped into broad topic categories called Courses of Study. Each Course of Study covers a specific area, such as RPG IV, and may also include Focused Education Roadmaps. Focused Education Roadmaps are pre-selected sets of sessions that form a learning path to help you master a particular subject.

COMMON in Nashville will be just as large as our recent conferences; we’ve organized our education logically so it’s easy to select what will benefit you most. All of the COMMON sessions are organized into Courses of Study (COS). Each COS covers a specific area such as DB2 UDB with clearly defined descriptions. Many COSs include distinct subsets of sessions, called Focused Education Roadmaps, intended to guide you through a specific skill path. Each Focused Education Roadmap includes a set of 6-12 sessions that provide definite educational goals and business objectives.

With that said now you need to build an email to help you win your battle with dummy in the office with the little water fall on his desk. You know the one that while in meetings spits on your notes. I have given you all the ammo you need, I hope. Now get your rear end to COMMON and when you do, make sure you grab me as say hello. I look forward to hearing more about the dude you have to work for.


March 3, 2008  10:01 PM

Comments please from the System i community reading this blog

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

I need feedback from you all. I know your reading the blog here I just need to know what your all thinking. I need to know if you like it or what? Please help me, help you make this place more interactive.


March 3, 2008  5:03 PM

COMMON common accronims

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

So your at COMMON and you run into me and my badge says SME? What the heck is an SME, is that? Do you have disease or something. What does that mean, or you hear a term in a meeting by some long time member and it makes you lose you concentration. You should have a look at this list:
Over the years, COMMON has developed a language of its own. With this handy guide, you’ll know what to say when someone at MoM asks if you met a SME at CUDS last night.

During the conference, you may hear acronyms that aren’t included on this list.

BOFS = Birds-of-a-feather sessions
SET = Strategic education team
COS = Course of Study
CUDS = COMMON User Group Discussion Socials – now called iSocials
DSA = Distinguished Service Award
HOBO = Honorary board official
JAC = Judicial affairs council
LUG = Local user group
MoM = Meeting of the Members
SME = Subject Matter Expert
SUG = Sister user group
TLC = Tactical liaisons to curriculum
VPS = Vendor product session
YIP = Young iSeries Professional


March 3, 2008  2:32 PM

Dreaming and thinking about COMMON

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

I know this is starting to look like the COMMON blog but you don’t have a System i community without COMMON and right now my day to day activities are very COMMON based. I don’t work on my COMMON sessions at work mind you but when I get home and the sun goes down I grab the MacBook Pro and fire up Pages and Keynote and get working on my session material. I have to have it all in this weekend. So the pressure is on to delver one a night this week and be done with it. If you have me on your sessions you should be able to download my material early next week to get a leg up. I will be posting an IMAGE of Ubunut too so you can tinker free of charge.


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