t was with great pleasure that, on last September 18, we presented the opening of a new season of Meetings of Members. And what an opener it was! We got treated to THREE excellent sessions. The meeting was not held at our regular location. We had to use another hotel for the occasion -- the Ramada 400-401. I hope you did not wait in vain at the Howard Johnson Hotel. (We'll be there for the next meeting; I promise.)
To start off the season, we had a discussion panel on the transition from CISC-based AS/400 to RISC-based AS/400. For the occasion, five people were on stage to share with the audience their personal experience in the matter. Their experiences ranged from having converted many systems to RISC, to only one conversion; and from being one of the first companies who have made the move, to being one of the latest to enjoy the great improvements with a RISC-based computer. Beverly Russell of E.D. Smith, Winona, (also our current president) was among the first to officially have made the conversion. Miles Jenkins [then with] Simmonds Technologies Inc. participated just recently in the conversion at his company. Darcy Forde of R.J. Thompson has many conversions to remember and Stephen Taylor of IBM helped many customers in their trek. Barry Pow, also from IBM, was the session moderator.
The session was very informative; the pace of the questions was good; and the quality of the questions was remarkable. The answers given by the panel speakers clearly showed their knowledge. Some of the questions that were asked are:
The speakers gave us many good tips for a conversion. One worth repeating here is regarding the conversion of third-party software. Some of the third-party software packages rely heavily on a "security key" (program) to allow a legitimate (i.e. paid) user to navigate easily through the system. These programs are usually "un-observable" - therefore un-convertible. Make sure you contact your suppliers to obtain a new "security key" before you turn on the software on the new machine.
Following this very interesting panel, Mark Buchner of ASTECH Solutions talked about Application Modernization. In the short hour given to Mark, he covered intelligently three major elements in application modernization: (1.) The Client Server element, (2.) Data Warehousing and (3.) The Networking Element. I will not elaborate too much on what Mark covered during his session; he is doing it nicely in an other article in this issue of the newsletter. Just a few points I would mention:
Mark's session was filled with lots of valuable information. Phil Bennett of IBM Canada was the speaker for our "Systems Management" session - our third session of the day. The first time Phil spoke at one of our meetings, he received excellent marks. He had been able to make a lively presentation on a topic that was not necessarily easy to present. For this last presentation, he, again, came out on top as a professional.
Without system management, any of these items could be expensive, could increase staff, could increase dollars, and could increase the time you're spending to manage your AS/400!
These are only few points Phil covered during his session. He showed us how we should tend to move from "people managing systems" to "systems managing systems". It doesn't matter if you have one AS/400 with some work stations, or an AS/400 managing another AS/400, or an AS/400 with attached PCs or an AS/400 in a large network with System/390s. There are solutions for all environments
The first part of his session was strictly a slide presentation; all theory. Then Phil fired up the AS/400 he brought with him, and presented a live application of system management products currently available. Phil knows how to keep up the attention of his audience, and the people present had a good time listening to him. Combining theory with live demonstration is very beneficial and stimulating, I wish more speakers could imitate that type of presentation.
Don't forget our next meeting on November 20. Again three sessions will be presented: A panel on Lotus Notes; followed by a session entitled "Doing Business on the Internet"; and the evening session, "AS/400 Networking Solutions Primer". Register today - by phone, by fax, or by our newest gadget: on-line registration at email@example.com.
Léo Lefebvre is our TUG Secretary, and can be reached at MBL3 Software Services (416) 606-5960 or via E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.