The iSeries Blog

March 23, 2007  12:50 PM

So we lost six months worth of work, big deal!

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele member Gary shares his blunder:  

Back in the early days of my IT career our small firm of four people did not have its own hardware, so we did all of our work at our client sites. At one point, we needed to reload all of our software on a customer’s System/36.  Knowing that we had faithfully backed up all of our software on a regular basis, we deleted all of our program libraries and tried to restore from the backup diskettes. We discovered that the diskettes did not contain any of our libraries, only the system library. We tried the previous set of backups. Same results. What we soon discovered was that the command we had been using “BACKUP xxxxxxxx” didn’t take any parameters and was used just to back up the system library. We finally found a set of backups from 6 months prior that contained our libraries. What saved us was the fact that since we didn’t have our own hardware, we always kept a current printed version of the compile listings. We recompiled all of the programs from the backup, printed the compile listings and then four people spent a full week comparing the two compiles for each program by laying them on top of each other at a window and bringing the source current. Needless to say, we never made that mistake again.  

Do you have a blunder to share? 

March 23, 2007  12:42 PM

Where did you say those backup tapes are kept

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele member David shares his blunder:

Years ago, in my first AS/400 job, the company I worked for had only one box to use for both production and development. (I cringe when I think about that, now.)  When we were developing, we would just copy the production data into our personal libraries so that we could do our testing.

So, the pattern went:

– Copy production data to personal library (using CPYF)

– Run my program over the data in my personal library

– Inspect the results and make program changes accordingly

– Clear the file in my personal library (CLRPFM)

– Go back to the first step and start again

As you can probably already imagine, during one testing cycle, I accidentally cleared the PRODUCTION table instead of the copy in my library. When my index finger was a millimeter away from the Enter key, I realized what I was about to do. But, it was too late to stop.Within a couple minutes, the end-users were calling me, asking, “What happened to my pricing quotes?”I turned to my manager (who sat in a desk directly behind me), and I told him what just happened. He smiled, he chucked, and he showed me where the backup tapes were stored.We restored the table’s data from the previous night, but that day’s data was gone.I don’t think we ever told the users why one day’s worth of pricing quotes needed to be re-entered.

Do you have a blunder to share?  

March 23, 2007  12:24 PM

The lights are on, but no one is home

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele member “Bud” shares his blunder:  

While recently putting the latest CUME & Hiper Group on our model 810, I experienced a failure for some PTF’s to apply for iSeries Access.  So, I downloaded what were the missing concurrent PTFs from Fix Central and tried to apply them.  It didn’t work, and at that point I couldn’t figure out what was going on so contacted IBM Support — on Saturday.  The contact guy sorted out what was going on, had me re-apply one of them and bounce the box.  Now, understand that at the time I was doing this I was talking to him (as in not paying attention to what I was doing).  He told me if I had any more issues to call him back.  So, for 45 minutes I’m staring at the front panel and everything looks normal to me (Normal mode: running on B side) except for a blinking light to the immediate right of the start button. 

In my defense, I was handed the job of software administration two years ago and have never performed any manual functions on the box. Anyway, to figure what the blinking light meant, I hunted it down at the infocenter (no mean feat) and read that it meant the “system has power.”  Also, since I’m in a room with lots of little fans spinning in lots of little boxes, the noise level is, well its noisy in there!  I finally caved in and called the guy back.  He said, “Um, your system isn’t powered up.”  But I see an illuminated panel and there’s power to the box.  “Yeah, but that doesn’t mean it’s powered up, it just means there’s power to the box,” he added. I felt like such an idiot.  Then he added, “Don’t feel bad, you wouldn’t believe the number of calls we receive on this.”

Do you have a blunder to share?

March 23, 2007  12:14 PM

Applied Logic Enhances Data and Backup Encryption Solution

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

Enhancements allow the easy encryption of iSeries save files, libraries, or individual physical files for backup or transport. Applied Logic Corporation, the developer of AS/400 productivity and security software, announces new enhancements to Pro/Encrypt— the software solution for encrypting selected data that was released earlier this year. Without relying on any specialized hardware, Pro/Encrypt allows iSeries or System i data to be easily encrypted and decrypted using Advanced EncryptionStandard (AES) 128, 192 or 256-bit encryption. Strong encryption provided by Pro/Encrypt addresses potential liability issues and meets or exceeds applicable regulatory privacy standards.

March 23, 2007  12:03 PM

Why is everyone taking a break at the same time – Oh no!

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele member Frank shares his blunder:

“I was a newbie contract programmer at an electric company.  My
desk was in their computer room, which had a large glass window.  I could
look out at 30 or so customer service employees diligently working in their
cubicles.  The amount of data that they needed to save on their nightly
backups outgrew their tape drives unattended abilities.  They wanted me to
save half the data on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the other half on
Tuesday and Thursday.  I was being especially careful, because I had to test
my CL program, which put their system in a restricted state.  After
completing the programming, I was able to relax a little.  The final piece
of the project was to put my CL into the Job Scheduler.  Afterwards, I
looked out the window and noticed one of the employees standing up from his
desk — then a second and a third.  That’s odd, everybody’s taking a break at
the same time?  Starting to feel a little panic, I looked down at my
terminal screen and it was exactly as I had last seen it.  Then it hit me,
I’m at the console!   I just put the system into a restricted state in the
middle of their workday!  I’ll never forget that the default date and time
on the scheduler is the current date and time.”

Do you have a blunder to share? 

March 23, 2007  11:33 AM

New HP-UX agents complete Tango/04’s UNIX monitoring capabilities

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

Companies relying on HP-UX servers can now improve the availability and performance of their critical applications and business services using the new dedicated HP-UX Agents of VISUAL Message Center, Tango/04’s IT operations monitoring and Business Service Management solution. Tango/04 Computing Group, a leading developer of software solutions for Systems Management, Security Auditing, Operations Monitoring and Business Service Management (BSM), released a set of new HP-UX Agents. With these new agents, VISUAL Message Center can monitor and manage the availability and performance of business services that include Hewlett Packard’s flavor of the UNIX operating system as part of the underlying infrastructure.

March 23, 2007  11:08 AM

IBM Technical Conferences

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

IBM Tivoli Technical
User Conference
May 7-10, San Francisco, CA

IBM Impact 2007
May 20-25, Orlando, FL

IBM System i Spring
Technical Conference
June 18-22, Scottsdale, AZ

IBM Rational Software
Development Conference
June 10-14, Orlando, FL

IBM System x
Technical Conference
July 16-20, Las Vegas, NV

IBM System Storage and Storage Networking Symposium
August 20-24, Las Vegas, NV

IBM System z Expo Featuring z/OS, z/VM®, z/VSE and Linux on
System z
September 17-21,
San Antonio, TX

IBM Information On Demand 2007 Global Conference
October 15-19, Las Vegas, NV

IBM System p™, AIX and Linux Technical University
October 1-5, San Antonio, TX

IBM WebSphere Portal Technical Conference
Fall 2007, TBD

IBM System i Fall
Technical Conference
November 5-9, Orlando, FL

March 23, 2007  11:02 AM

XING – Powering Relationships

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

OPEN Business Club AG has launched a closed API preview for its global business networking platform XING ( The XML based interface is designed to allow other programs to interact with the XING system. When the API is completed an open beta-phase is planned for later this year. Read the full press release.

March 23, 2007  10:51 AM

Robot/NETWORK 10.0 offers graphical, centralized monitoring and control of System i events

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

Help/Systems, developer of the Robot Automated Operations Solution for the System i, announces the release of Robot/NETWORK 10, the newest version of its network control, monitoring, and management software. Robot/NETWORK 10 offers a new, easy-to-use graphical interface that allows users to consolidate operational events so they can monitor and manage their network of System i servers from a central location.

March 22, 2007  12:30 PM

Do you, or do you want to Ubuntu?

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

I’ve been hearing a lot about Ubuntu lately. If you’ve never heard of Ubuntu, Ubuntu is a community developed operating system for laptops, desktops and servers — and best of all, it’s a completely free software. I recently read in David Vasta’s blog that he will be heading to Common next month to present a Ubuntu session, “Do you Ubuntu?”  Have you tried Ubuntu? It sounds pretty cool. It may be worth checking out at David’s session.

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