Great story, John!  I have seen this happen, too.

At the risk of beating this thread to death (too late?), I would like to chime

IMO, companies do NOT choose to buy AS/400-iSeries over other platforms for
"great" programs, primarily because I think most good applications are ported
to multiple platforms nowadays, but rather they choose AS/400-iSeries because
it is a rock-solid platform with a damned good OS that hardly ever goes down
and, oh yes, it is one of the platforms that happens to run the software
package they're interested in.  (O.K., maybe not necessarily in that order of

Another dead horse beating here, but, companies with a strong need for high
uptime and secure systems that choose platforms other than AS/400-iSeries do
so out of ignorance or with very deep pockets.

So, Leif, what is a "great program"?  Does it matter how stable the OS is for
an app to rated "great"?  If the app has all the bells and whistles, and
presents windows of charts and tables, and sings multimedia and streaming
video, and, by gosh, the users LOVE it, but the danged thing runs on an OS
that requires frequent reboots and scandisks to fix lost clusters and suffers
BSOD's at the most inopportune times, can you still rate the application
"great".  Some people might, but I couldn't.  Not if my business depended on

That doesn't even touch the issue of the people who have to manage the system
and fielding all of the support calls - "my PC re-booted", "I've got this blue
screen that says 'fatal exception'...", "My windows are all locked up".

There's a lot more I could add, but it has already been touched upon in this

Dan Bale
IT - AS/400
Handleman Company
248-362-4400  Ext. 4952

-------------------------- Original Message --------------------------
It is a sad state of affairs when greatness has come to mean just doing
what you are supposed to do. If it just runs, it's great. Of course, in
human experience we are all just waiting for Godot. Not too much
excitement is need nor wanted, c.f. that old Chinese curse: "may you live
exciting times".


Leif  baby,

I'm with you.  Believe me.   I felt embarrassed writing my post.   Imagine,
Software that runs 24/7/365  by itself wins the gold cup !!!!
I once worked in a shop(Many years ago,  the old days)  where if a program
you were responsible for blew up for the same reason twice,  you were
history.  Really,   it was a service bureau and things that blew up were
not a just a fun conversation around the coffee pot.   It was serious.

Well,   MS (I personally believe)  conditioned the masses to a much much
lower level of expectations.     I recently sat next to the help desk and
the most often heard recourse for a PC failure was "Have you tried
rebooting?"       PC apps it seems have been given a WIDE latitude of

HOWEVER ,  if invoices ( a system run on the AS/400)  is late,   ALL HELL
to pay.

If you think I'm being hard on the PC apps,   I'm sorry.   It's been my
personal experience.

For example,   We bought a company that had a Shop Floor system written on
the PC in PowerBuilder.   The users loved it.   GUI, pretty, etc.    We
came in with our green screen app to replace it and they thought it was
"3rd world app from 1970"   (it was written two years ago in pure RPGIV).

Here's the upshot.    Our system runs TRUE 24/7/365  Lights out operation.
All transactions are mirrored to another machine(headquarters) If any thing
happens with the AS/400 at the plant we can switch them in 10 minutes.
Never missing a beat,  Next roll number, next pallet number, etc.  "Like
you never left"
Three years and we haven't missed a transaction out of MILLIONS.

And when we were doing the first walk thru their site and seeing their
existing PowerBuilder system,   They proudly were showing it off,   and I
casually asked,
"Why is the operator writing down the transaction on a legal note pad after
entering it into your system?"

We were told by operator after operator on each machine that (off the
record)  that they could trust any thing in the system cause it locked up a
couple of times a day and had to be rebooted.   Losing transactions

But They loved the GUI.

So,   I agree with you Leif.    (If I see you in New Orleans I'll buy you a
beer in CUDS).     I'm still waiting for GODOT also.

"The Optimist believes that this is the best of all possible worlds,   and
the Pessimist is afraid that he's right"

John Carr
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