midrange.com – In My Humble Opinion

Words of wisdom and insight from the IBM i (System i / iSeries / AS400) community

Browsing Posts published by James Rich

A few years ago, I expressed on the midrange-l mailing list some frustration I was having regarding database performance on an AS/400. I recall saying something like …

MySQL vastly outperforms the AS/400.

For the tests I was doing, it appeared that MySQL was indeed faster. My tests weren’t very rigorous, however. My posts caught the attention of Joe Pluta who challenged me to write a more rigorous test comparing MySQL and the AS/400. He claimed that the AS/400 would beat MySQL every time.

Joe, you were right.

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I went to witness the April 21 hearing in the SCO vs. IBM case. It was a fascinating and enlightening experience. I had never been to court before and it was much different than I had imagined.

First let me tell you a bit about me and why I went to see the case. My name is James Rich. I work for a two-man company as a consultant and programmer. I started using UNIX in January 1994 and GNU/Linux in mid-1995. Besides my work on the iSeries I use linux exclusively. I am not a lawyer and have no law training. But I am quite familiar with UNIX history and Linux history. I have also been following the SCO vs. IBM case as much as a lay person can.

My main motivation to attend the hearing was spurred by recent comments made by SCO’s CEO Darl McBride disparaging Pamela Jones of Groklaw. McBride questions Ms. Jones’ true identity and the motivations behind her site. Knowing that Groklaw is primarily a repository of legal filings made in the case and an explanation of what they mean, I was upset at Mr. McBride’s accusations. Since I live in Salt Lake City I decided I should attend the hearing to decide for myself who was telling the truth.

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Another interesting thread on the rpg400-l mailing list and (hopefully!) another interesting article. What began as a simple question of where new RPG programmer talent would come from turned into a discussion of the iSeries position in the marketplace. The thread can be viewed here with a follow up thread here. The point made in this post by Terry Beeson is that, “AS400s tend to get a slating from Windows/Unix lovers, mainly because they don’t understand what AS400s can bring to the party. The general perception seems to be that the AS400 is old and outdated.” I think that Terry is right, the general perception is that the iSeries is old and outdated. What is important to understand is why.

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An interesting thread has received a lot of attention recently on the rpg400-l list with the subject “RPGIII to get a facelift?” (see here to browse it in the archives). Among the many posts in this thread is one by Scott Klement that makes the point that in order to get people to move from RPG III (or even RPG II!) to RPG IV IBM needs to provide user visible features that are only accessible with RPG IV. The users referred to here are not programmers or managers, but data entry people or other non-techie types. Scott gives a few examples such as graphics capabilities or XML features. While true, this idea is only half right. In order to get people to move to RPG IV features must be provided that are only feasible in RPG IV, as Scott suggests. However, it is up to the programmers and developers, not just IBM, to provide such features.

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