Maybe here would be a good place to start:

-----Original Message-----
From: jt []
Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2001 7:59 AM
Subject: RE: I am looking for mainframe and mixed midrange/mainfram
email list serves


I'm not as easily offended as most, but I'm afraid you've struck a nerve
with (a minor point, but what amounts to) an outright lie:  you call this a
long post...?!?  You, sir, stand in the presence of the master.. when it
comes to long posts, and I think you know that d* well...  LOL...!

Anyhoo...  see inline.


| -----Original Message-----
| From:
| []On Behalf Of Brad Jensen
| Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2001 3:47 AM
| To:
| Subject: I am looking for mainframe and mixed midrange/mainfram email
| list serves
| This messageis both commercial and funny (well I think so.) If
| either of those things offend you hit the delete key now, please.
| It does relate to the AS/400. It's also a long post, so if you
| don't like long posts you might want to skip it also.

(Sheesh...  Reminds me of a dirty joke I heard in jr. high, some 35 years
ago...  It's totally inappropriate for this list, but in case you've heard
it, it's the one that ends with "..?  And I'm just the janitor here..." ;-)

| I noticed in the monthly posting of the midrange-L list that I am
| supposed to identify myself as a vendor. In case it isn't obvious
| by the constantly changing promotional tag-line, I am a vendor,
| I've been developing archiving applications for the AS/400 and
| RS/6000 for the last 12 years (and they are almost done, I
| swear!). That last part was a joke, my software is running on
| about a thousand midrange systems.
| After reading how a competitor sold a $315,000 report archiving
| system to a mainframe customer, and knowing that we can beat the
| pants off that competitor in any fair fight, with our system that
| costs $25,000 for the unlimited concurrent users, we decided to
| take pity on the mainframe users and add 3270 telnet support. We
| already have 4 or five mainframe users, but not greenscreen
| access. My programmer started on it this morning, he thinks it
| might take all week. (He's got some other stuff to do on other
| projects too.) It kind of works in line mode, but we are going to
| do it full screen.
| I guess we shouldn't sell the $10K five-user license on the
| mainframe side, it would probably embarass them to buy it.

This shows things from IBM's POV...:  They sell a WIDE range of servers, and
they price them according to what the market will bear.  We think we have it
pretty bad, with iSeries prices, but mainframe folks "willingly" pay an
order of magnitude more for both hardware and software.

| What we will have next week is an archiving system where you can
| download reports (via lpr or ftp) from AS/400, and Unix, and NT,
| and about anything else,   including mainframe, and you can view
| the downloaded reports from 5250, 3270, unix terminals, any
| standard NT client, Windows PCs, and web browsers (the web
| interface costs extra but for you a special deal!)
| So I think it would be smart of me to find mainframe lists, and
| particularly mainframe/midrange lists, and offer helpful comments
| where possible.
| Can you help me? Will you help me? If you know of email lists and
| web sites that are particularly useful, please email me, I guess
| privately unless other people would like this info.

I would also like to know...  I'm interested in looking into the "Midrange-L
of mainframes"...  See what their issues are, and see what direction they
think they (and IBM) are going to be heading in the future.

| I do know some useful stuff, more on the web side of integration
| and PC, but I own four or five AS/400s (they aren't all turned on
| at the same time, necessarily.)
| And I am working on a nifty thing for the AS/400, I haven't seen
| anything like it out there. I actually invented it 6 years ago,
| but technology had to catch up with me.
| Also, we were talking about the interactive penalty, and I am
| wondering if a converter/server system that converted screen calls
| into X, then served X over TCP/IP (which means real green screens
| won't work, only emulators, unless there are remote 5250
| controllers that speak TCP/IP). It would have to parse and convert
| RPG source, there would be a recompile. Yes, I know about
| subfiles, that will be the hard part. (and it may be the
| impossible part, apparently some of the intelligence is in the
| controllers.)
| I don't mean X windows, I mean X marks the spot - I don't know
| what to call the server yet. From what you guys say, this won't
| have interactive status, and it should scream like a banshee. (at
| this point it is strictly vaporware.)

As I posted before, I'm against announcing vaporware.  So I'm NOT making any
announcement.  But here's where I stand, at present:

I don't think it's any secret a small group of us have been looking into
this, and I've stated in e-mails that enough proof-of-concept work has been
done so that I believe the prototype *should* be done in about a week.  Of
course, I stated this about a week-and-a-half ago...  (Didn't plan on the
client needing some work done, yada, yada, excuses, excuses...;-)

Curiously, I've suggested the name Project X as short for Project Xenos
(Xenos being Greek? for "kindness to strangers") but it hasn't caught on

Anyhoo, Brad, I'd suggest there's a good possibility we could avoid a lot of
duplication of effort, if you'd help us out on this "Project X".  We've
decided to split this in phases.  Phase I that I'm referring to is just
ending the need for the interactive feature..  This is just a stepping-stone
to Phase II, which is more like what you're talking about here.  We're
looking for Phase I to generate some funds to speed up the continuation of
development on Phase II.

(BTW, I'm speaking only for myself here...  If I ever speak on behalf of
this group, we'll come up with a name, and I'll sign the post that way...)

As you know, there would be issues involved with you joining this effort,
Brad.  Right now the primary sticking point is I need an NDA, regarding one
facet of this project.  IMV, this is the primary obstacle, rather than the
technical difficulties themselves.

Hope you give this some more thought, Brad.

| I know I can make it, I am really doubtful people will buy it.

Ahhh...  This is the same rub I see.  Phase I is just a programming
technique (no bit-twiddling needed).  So the problem I see is that the
product will have to be cheaper than the cost of folks writing tools to
implement this technique.  But at THAT cheap a price, many will not be able
to believe something that cheap COULD end the need for the interactive

I think this is similar to the pricing problems you've posted with your
products, Brad.  Too cheap to be taken seriously by some folks...  Too cheap
to compete effectively in the market...!

But in this case, the product *must* be cheaper than the cost of
do-it-yourself-ers just copying the programming technique, so that could be
the killer for "Project X".  I dunno...  Of course, we may be able to make
ends meet selling support options...

Before you or anyone else brings up the topic of Open Sourcing this thing:
it's been discussed and, in fact, we've about beaten that subject to death.
As I've posted, the fundamental goal of FSF/OSI is the elimination of
intellectual property rights.  That point seems to be too subtle to some,
including IBM...  But more than likely, IBM sees the *supposed* productivity
gains (and, even more, the marketplace gains) as somehow justifying them
turning a blind eye to this fact.

I just can't turn a blind eye to this.  So until there is some consensus on
an alternative to OSS, I'm not gonna be marketing any product/services.  The
business model, and the NDA, seem to be the primary choke-points, at the

| Thers's my long post, I hope parts were interesting or fun.
| Brad Jensen
| Try it - you'll like it!

It was...! I hope same.

(speaking on my own behalf)

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