You could train someone to be proficient on the /36 in 1 day, I'm still
stumbling through the syntax on the /400.
        Somewhere along the road, IBM forgot their own credo:
        K.I.S.S.  keep it simple stupid.
Ken wrote:
> > I will go ahead and apologize for being so ignorant of this, but here
> >  goes.....
> >
> >  What is the difference between  M36, S36EE and regular old *S36.
> I will try to be reasonably brief  in a history lesson to put this in
> relative perspective & then you might want more info on something on the list.
> Once upon a time IBM had midrange hardware called the System Thirty Four
> which ran the SSP Operating System, then it grew into the System/38 and the
> System/36.  The S/36 served the low end of business size & complexity of IBM
> customer base & the S/38 served the high end.  The S/36 continued to use the
> SSP OS, while the S/38 used something that became OS/400 via some rebranding
> & continous improvement.  When the AS/400 was born, it was really a marriage
> between the S/38 & S/36, in which internally it was more S/38 than S/36.
> A lot of S/36 owners & users were happy with what they had & reluctant to
> migrate to OS/400, especially since software prices for AS/400 was
> astronomical compared to same software for S/36 & the folks paying the bills
> could not see the advantage of paying so much more.  The AS/400 supported
> S/36 environment which ran most SSP stuff, but it was not an exact copy, most
> of the stuff.  To get your S/36 stuff from S/36 SSP to AS/400 S36E, you had
> to re-write the code that would no longer work on AS/400 S36E & also
> recompile all the source code.  IBM promoting how close the reality, but to
> companies that used stuff not supported, this fell on deaf ears.
> Many S/36 programming environments saw the inevitability of migration & they
> were able to get 400/RPG from ASNA which permitted 400-like coding on the
> S/36 such as external file descriptions & programs calling other programs, so
> we could get a taste of the techniques.  I went down that road, but when I
> got to the 400, I still found CL & DDS & SQL & UIM & etc. to be pretty alien.
>  In fact I still have not got around to learning UIM, which looks to be
> pretty much like HTML.
> I also discovered that 400 data types much more disiplined than 36 such that
> a lot of data on 36 bombs when it gets to 400 & so it has to be converted
> from 36 format to 400-valid.  Data Decimal Error was a new part of our
> vocabulary.
> Now an enormous number of S/36 using-companies were happy with what ran on
> S/36 & not inspired to move to AS/400 even though S/36 considered to be a
> dead machine - no new stuff coming out for it, support drying up for software
> running on it.
> So IBM launched the Advanced/36 campaign, initially the AS/236 then later the
> AS/436.  This box was a special kind of AS/400.  You did not have to use
> OS/400 on it, it could run fine with SSP as the only operating system.  It
> ran everything that would run on S/36 - you did not have to recompile your
> programs, you did not have to convert your data.
> It ran the S36 RPG, OCL, 3rd party stuff for S36.
> Anything that ran on the old S36 box would run on the AS/36.
> No exceptions. Nothing to convert or recompile.
> Well, we found that we needed to get a new version of some ASNA stuff,
> because AS/36 was RISC & S/36 was CISC & other technical reasons, but the
> cost was almost painless.
> We had a fight with our primary software suppliers who had guaranteed that
> our license would be good on any upgrade to a future model of the System/36
> but they did not want to honor that commitment when we moved to the Advanced
> System/36.
> This fight was one of the main reasons we abandoned plans to move to AS/236,
> then 6 months later went with the AS/436.  We also learned that IBM had
> changed tech support ... if you buy your AS/36 via a cut rate price from a
> broker whose office is a phone booth with a fax machine, you have to also get
> your tech support from the same outfit.
> We leased a temporary IBM box that was like a lap link.
> The two boxes treated it like a work station address.
> The data & software from S/36 to AS/436 moved over the wire, almost
> painlessly - no diskettes tapes media to mess with.
> The only difference between AS/436 and S/36 was performance & cost.  When we
> traded in our S/36 for AS/436, we saved $350.00 per month in electric bill
> (our old S/36 5360 was the size of several refrigerators lying on on their
> side & our new AS/436 was a wee bit larger than a PC tower) and we leased the
> new box through IBM Global Services for about $300.00 a month, so the total
> financial bite was down, and our S/36 software ran 10-20 times faster (I kid
> you not) & we had lots more disk space for future growth.
> I was glad of the move because the disk drives on our S/36 which we owned
> outright were lucky 13 years old & I had recently learned what is involved
> when you have a hard disk crash.  I was having a hard time explaining to
> management what IBM "mean time to failure" meant.
> Another nice thing was that you could backup the whole AS/36 to a magnetic
> tape about the size of a check book, while on the S/36 we used an army of
> eight inch diskette magazines - when we took backups off site, it required
> several trips between computer room & auto for several people.  Our backup
> magazines were in these plastic cases, with color coded spines ... the red
> set, blue set, yellow set etc. ... and we found out in winter time that if
> you slip on the ice & the plastic case goes into snow drift, the mess is
> force fed through the cracks ruining the contents.  But now backup fits in a
> pocket & the time to make it was tiny fraction of S/36 time.
> Because we had software & data that would not run on S36E, when we started
> using OS/400, we went with M36.  M36 was like a reality partition on OS/400 &
> inside that partition the rules were old S/36.  Anything that worked on S/36
> SSP worked on M36 - no changes needed, no conversions needed.  There was a
> simple command to hot key from OS/400 to M36 either way on the same display
> station.  The AS/36 supported up to 3 of these independent M36 partitions,
> that could even be at different versions of SSP on the same box at the same
> time.  But if you were going to be running more than one operating system on
> the same box, OS/400 had to be the boss & the others were the guests.
> We ran the company on SSP on AS/436 for a while, without OS/400 in the
> picture, then with great trepidation went to M36 as a guest of OS/400.  To
> our amazement, the S36 software ran much faster when it was inside M36 on
> OS/400 than when OS/400 was not in the picture.
> When the AS/36 hardware first came out, you could not run M36 on regular
> AS/400, but new models of AS/400 came out that could do everything AS/36
> could do & IBM weaned us over to them by promoting how much greater
> performance could be.
> A lot of AS/400 hucksters seemed to be ignorant of the AS/36 market.
> We would get cold calls from vendors claiming that their stuff would run on
> any model of the AS/400 & I would ask "even AS/36?" & they'd say any model,
> so I'd ask for some literature & invariably what they promoting could only
> run on OS/400, not on SSP.
> But then a horrible thing happened.
> IBM rewrote OS/400 to no longer support M36.
> We had to abandon M36 or remain on an old OS/400 version.
> IBM gave us good advance warning that the end was coming.
> But it is too late for us to return to AS/36 world since that is also gone.
> If you want to remain current on OS/400 version, M36 is not an option.
> Your only S/36 option is S36E or abandon IBM as your technology provider & go
> with one of the companies that have something like Baby36 or 36 emulated on a
> Unix machine.
> Now what is unknown to me at the moment is if IBM is going to pull the plug
> on S36E like they pulled the plug on M36, and if so, how soon that end will
> come ... a few years or a lot of years.
> (Alister Wm Macintyre) (Al Mac)
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Best Regards
Ken Shields
Home phone: 905 404-2062
Bus  phone  905 725-1144 (326)

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