Trevor Perry’s recent blog post Asleep at the wheel asks “How many of you have told someone outside this community about this amazing platform?”

Well, I for one, can say that I did just that … and continue to do so as often as I can.

I was at a party a friend of mine was throwing … most of the people were of the geeky persuasion … and a guy asked me what I did.

I told him about my work with MKS and the product I developed for the IBM i platform.

He mentioned that he had heard of the AS/400 … but thought it had been withdrawn by IBM a lone time ago. I told him that the platform was alive and well … although quite misunderstood.

Apparently he had done some C programming on the AS/400 quite a long time ago.

One thing lead to another .. and we got on to the topic of hardware platforms … at which point I mentioned, almost as an afterthought, that programs developed for IBM i can completely change hardware platforms without being recompiled. Code developed on a 48bit CISC system can be moved to a 64bit RISC system unmodified and run perfectly.

To this responded: “That’s impossible”.

I went on to describe how every program has a template of information required to regenerate the program so it will run correctly on a new hardware platform.

He asked me if this applies to C programs also. I responded affirmatively.

He asked a few more insightful questions … and seemed genuinely interested.

At the end of the conversation I think he was suitably impressed.

While I don’t think he’s necessarily going to be a convert … he is certainly more educated on the platform than he was before.

About David:
David is a Principal Software Engineer for PTC, Integrity Business Unit. He cut his teeth on the S/36 and has more than 25 years of experience on the IBM i / System i / iSeries / AS400. He primarily works in Java and ILE RPG specializing in cross platform integrations. David has received the COMMON Distinguished Service award and was named an IBM Power Systems Champion. David is an active volunteer with the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure fundraising bike ride. He is currently captain of Team RED Chicago. David runs and maintains midrange.com. His personal blog is Geeky Ramblings.