Hi Rob,

While I fully agree with all of your statements for business/production
machines, I do think there's more than a valid use case for getting your
own machine from a scraper.

IBM i runs for up to 70 days without a LICKEY. While I would never
encourage this to be abused, it is something one could take advantage of.
Trial versions of IBM i can be downloaded from the IBM website, and
temporary license keys can be requested. Same for LPPs.

With regards to the current version, that's true. Currently E4As are
readily and cheaply available, which will run up to V7R2. I'd argue that
someone who's trying to train themselves in i development would not need
the difference between a PTF'ed V7R2 and a PTF'ed V7R3. There are indeed
differences, but it all depends on what you're trying to learn or train,
and I'd say there's still a lot of value in learning the basics on older
systems.

With regards to noise, cooling, etc - most of this is doable if it's for
personal/temporary use. If you keep a P7 below 20C (which is fairly
trivial if you have aircon available), the noise levels are more than
acceptable. I'm more than happy to sit right next to such a machine kept
at 18-19C. Obviously, you hear this, but I don't really find that the
noise disturbs me while working.

Maintenance becoming your responsibility is actually a good thing I'd say,
if you're looking at it from a learning/personal use/educational handle.
Your RAID battery died, and you can't easily source them anymore? That's a
great opportunity to learn how to rebuild a battery pack or create a new
one. It's not really hard, and it's another skill you'll carry along with
yourself during your career. You have a -170 with a PSU with blown or bad
capacitors? There's another learning opportunity for you. Obviously this
is very unsuitable for production use, but knowing how to repair a PSU is
another useful skill to carry along if you're ever in a tight situation
where this is needed.

With regards to learning hardware, a lot of the skills can be transferred
- the pre-P5 machines are all fairly similar and a lot of it is
transferable, especially if you find the maintenance manuals. The P6 and
P7s use a very similar internal architecture with regards to (F)SP and
bootstrap process, as well as memory and storage subsystems. It'll all be
on different places and there will be some differences, but conceptually,
it's all very similar. On a misc sidenote, it's even fairly trivial to get
V7R3 to work on a P6 once you start having a proper look at it.

So yes - I fully agree with your sentiment, but spending $400ish on a E4A
and parts to get it to work in your spare time and teaching yourself both
application programming, systems programming and maintenance is not a bad
investment of time and money.

/y



From: "Rob Berendt" <rob@xxxxxxxxx>
To: "Non-Technical Discussion about the IBM i (AS/400 and iSeries)"
<midrange-nontech@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: 14/05/2019 12:21
Subject: RE: Any free AS400 service to practice RPG other than
PUB400 which seems to be closed?
Sent by: "Midrange-NonTech"
<midrange-nontech-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>



The problem with these cheap machines are many.
1 - You have to check to see if the licenses come with the machine. If
not, you probably cannot afford the OS and LPP's you want.
2 - Did they have all the LPP's you wanted? For example, SQL.
3 - They do not support the current version of the OS. If your goal is to
learn new stuff you're toast. 6.1 doesn't support the current versions of
Java out there. If you want to test connections to other websites you
won't have any current ciphers which will allow you to do that.
4 - Noise, electricity consumption, cooling, possibly battery backup, not
storing it in that damp spot in the basement that sometimes floods, all
become your responsibility.
5 - Maintenance becomes your responsibility.
6 - Often the hardware learned from an obsolete machine is not
transferable to a newer one. For example: Hey, I now know how to change
a cache battery. So what, they don't use them any more.

So you have to decide if you're planning on making your bread and butter
on the development side, or the admin side. If the development side then
I believe that you really want something new and are probably better off
using a service. If the admin side then maybe having your own machine has
some benefits.


-----Original Message-----
From: Midrange-NonTech <midrange-nontech-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> On
Behalf Of Yvan Janssens
Sent: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 4:13 AM
To: Non-Technical Discussion about the IBM i (AS/400 and iSeries)
<midrange-nontech@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: Any free AS400 service to practice RPG other than PUB400
which seems to be closed?

A E4A can usually be found for $200-$400, especially if you give it some
time on eBay. I found it very useful to have my "own" machine to learn and
experiment on; it gives you a lot of experience with not just the
application development side of things.

It also gives you space to mess up and start over (I tend to learn best by
doing) without affecting anyone else.

/y

On Tue, 14 May 2019 at 07:36, Farhan Qadri <farhanqadri@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Having been associated with IBM I for so long and nowadays looking for
opportunities, would appreciate any free resource to have some full
free rpg practiced with some SQL and stored procedures.

Thanks for the replies on the topic.

On Tue, May 14, 2019, 10:55 AM Yvan Janssens <ik@xxxxxxxx> wrote:

There are a few people around on this list and elsewhere that
sometimes
let
people have a profile on a hobby/non-production system. Do not
expect any guarantees on uptime etc though.

Depending on if you have any budget, Power6 E4As are getting really
cheap nowadays, and they're more than enough to learn/develop on.

/y

On Mon, 13 May 2019 at 18:49, Rob Berendt <rob@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Kind of a late reply I know...

This site is not free but it's less than many pay for phone or
cable TV service.
https://iinthecloud.com/idev-cloud/

-----Original Message-----
From: Midrange-NonTech
<midrange-nontech-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On
Behalf Of Farhan Qadri
Sent: Thursday, April 25, 2019 6:22 AM
To: midrange-nontech@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Any free AS400 service to practice RPG other than PUB400
which seems to be closed?

Hi,

I asked the question to Jon Paris and he thinks that I should ask
on
this
forum for a current update.

Please let me know.

Thanks
Farhan
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