The System/38, while having some level of compatibility with the System/32 and System/34, was one of a very few revolutionary systems (S/360, PC, Mac, S/38); it was so different that customer deliveries were deferred for a year while IBM made things work. The System/34 was much closer to the System/3 and System/32. The System/38 (the operating system was "CPF", Control Program Facility) didn't have direct support for S/34 code; you had to rewrite. The move from S/34 to S/36 is similar to the move from S/38 to AS/400; think performance/capability ratios of 1:5 and 20:1000. The System/32 was announced several months after I started working for IBM and I took up the S/38 banner as soon as it was announced. I was galvanized by the possibilities of externally-defined files, subfiles, called programs, logical files (with select/omit capabilities), and compiled CL. Even in 1984, I didn't understand how you could do aggressive application development on any system other than a System/38. Today, I'm still surprised by "loyalty" to the S/36 way of life. Yes, I have memories of System/3 CCP, but I wouldn't wish it on anybody. It's interesting that virtually everybody has gotten past DOS command line applications and adopted point-and-click (and Blue-Screen-Of-Death). I wonder why we can't let S/36 go gently into the night... -----Original Message----- From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of MacWheel99@aol.com Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2001 1:47 AM To: email@example.com Subject: Re: A dumb *S36 question > 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. MacWheel99@aol.com (Alister Wm Macintyre) (Al Mac) _______________________________________________ This is the Midrange Systems Technical Discussion (MIDRANGE-L) mailing list To post a message email: MIDRANGE-L@midrange.com To subscribe, unsubscribe, or change list options, visit: http://lists.midrange.com/cgi-bin/listinfo/midrange-l or email: MIDRANGE-Lfirstname.lastname@example.org Before posting, please take a moment to review the archives at http://archive.midrange.com/midrange-l.
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