"What applications have you brought to IBM i today?"

The Dr's Blog

NOTE: The following opinions are those of Dr. Franken and his alter ego Larry Bolhuis.  

The latest Post: September 23, 2019:  Entry 017h


Entry #017h: The Dr. on IBM i: Uncut!  
Frankendate: 09.23.2019  

Recently I spent time in Berlin at the 2019 COMMON Europe Congress. To me it was the hottest conference I've attended. Ever! Now some might think it was the heat and, well, you'd be at least partly right about that because while the Germans have an earned reputation for engineering that doesn't mean said engineering is always appropriately applied. But on the flip side they did appropriately apply duct tape to seal a 7 story tall aquarium in the hotel lobby, not a drop of water was to be seen.

One thing that's unique about CEC for me is that while I am a speaker there and also did have a few meetings I actually get to attend sessions!! The double bonus is that the time is 6 hours off from EST so there are few to no emails or phone calls until after 2 PM!! Still further, the ability to hear from some who do not come to the U.S. to speak gives another twist and point of view of things. But it also gives me time to talk to committed members of our community, many of them fellow IBM Champions for good reasons, and to IBMers as well.

For many years now IBM has shown the chart we all know and love with release dates and support dates. It shows the O/S with a very long and solid future........

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Entry #016h: Dr Out  
Frankendate: 11.18.2018  

I haven't blogged much in a while, probably because on social media so much can be said and said easily. However recent events have made it such that tolerating social media has become something I simply can no longer do. I mostly call it un-social media.

My friend Steve likes to say, "Internet muscles are even stronger than beer muscles!" He's right of course and it leads to all manner of poor behavior, so much so that the good out there is overwhelmed by it. What is worse to me is when it's so called friends who do so...

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Entry #015h: Land Mines  
Frankendate: 01.25.2018  

They are there you just don't know they are there. And then....

Yet again a customer who is 2.5+ years behind on PTFs is fighting an issue. The issue itself matters not for this discussion. They just know it's affecting their ability to get work done on their i, seriously. They have spent hours and hours and bring in consultants and try this and ...

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Entry #014h: See Something?  
Frankendate: 01.29.2017  

See Something? Say Something!

Only so many times can you see something and not say something. Time to say something.

Most of you know that I spend most of my time working on the most reliable, capable, flexible, and modern business system anywhere. And of course that would be IBM i on Power Systems. What you may not know is that I spent time driving a bus. I drove a very large bus with a huge wide bumper backed by an air horn. It was forty feet long and eleven and a half feet high, weighed 40,000 pounds loaded, propelled by a supercharged V8 diesel. Like the Marines, once a bus driver, always a bus driver. Hat on, air brakes off, somebody's going under the bus!

Last October my good Friend Pete Massiello....

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Entry #013h: Four weeks from?  
Frankendate: 03.25.2015  

Four weeks from?

Four weeks. An entire month left to register for the 2015 COMMON Annual conference and Expo. (Although after March 26 it will cost a bit more.) If you haven't made your plans yet, ask yourself why is it that you have not. Can it possibly be that you don't need to learn anything? I rather doubt that's the case although you might be 64 1/2 years old and ready for retirement. You're already polishing your golf clubs, replacing the lines on your fishing poles, or polishing up the motor home to do some serious traveling, and if that's true? Congratulations and enjoy!! (Do remember though you can still come, there is a 'Retired i Professionals' group too!)

Still reading?

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Entry #012h: How do you learn?  
Frankendate: 09.19.2014  

How do you Learn about new things?

Some of you may have heard that IBM Announced POWER8 processors earlier this year. (OK Hopefully all of you!) But you knew those were coming right? Let's face it IBM is pretty predictable when they name new processors. The previous generation was POWER7 and POWER6 before that and I'm going to go right out on that limb and predict the next generation will be POWER9. I'm sure you're shocked.

Better than just these cool new processors though (and seriously they ARE Cool!) IBM also introduced new servers that showcase them. I'm a hardware guy so it's hard not to spend hundreds, even thousands, of words describing that cool stuff.

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Entry #011h: Carl Joseph "Joe" Tanis  
Frankendate: 06.24.2014  

Some people live..

Some people live and others LIVE!

Carl Joseph "Joe" Tanis 1954 --/~~=~{|]~\____{#%^^}^===//-<><>#--! 2014.

It's been said that the important part of your life is how you live your dash, that period of time between when you are born and when you die. Today I attended what the newspaper said was a funeral but what those in attendance would call a celebration! There was applause, laughter, singing, music, jokes, imitations, and more. The dash was more of a long squiggly line that went all over the place, enjoyed much, endured much, showed passion and love and life.

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Entry #010h: Of Education  
Frankendate: 03.03.2014  

Of Education

March 3, 2014 I visit a lot of IBM i and other computer shops in a year. In every one of them I learn things. Some of these things will become part of Worst Practices in Systems Management which I do with my friend Kevin Mort. You don't want to become part of that session! It's rather like it was to make "Headlines" with Jay Leno!

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Entry #00fh: Of Age and Passion  
Frankendate: 07.24.2013  

Of Age and Passion

July 24, 2013 Over the last couple years I have spent a fair number of brain cycles considering why it is that user groups in the IBM i and Power System space aren't doing as well as I think they should. This week I finally figured it out.

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Entry #00eh: The AS/400 at 25!.  
Frankendate: 06.21.2013  

The AS/400 is 25 years old!

June 21, 2013 Twenty five years ago today IBM introduced a new computer system. Many folks didn't pay much attention, after all this is what IBM is known for, computer systems. It had an unassuming name, another thing IBM is very good at, they called it the AS/400.

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Entry #00dh: Frank Aukeman.  
Frankendate: 05.26.2013  

A lowly carpenter from Zutphen.

Frank Aukeman or 'Uncle Frank' as we knew him followed his parents to his final reward this past week. Like his father, sister, and two brothers before him he left this earth in May. Seems like an irony....

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Entry #00ch: They missed it!  
Frankendate: 03.21.2013  

Of User groups and Education

This past week I spoke at the 28th annual WMCPA spring technical conference. This conference is for developers and administrators of IBM Power Systems focusing on the IBM i operating system (though POWER Systems also runs AIX and Linux.) Years ago I would have also added 'and the RPG Language' but the conference now goes so far past just RPG that it would be an injustice..........

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Entry #00bh: First Impressions...  
Frankendate: 01.31.2010  

Craig Johnson 1958 - 2010

Much has been made of first impressions as they often quite accurate. We attach adjectives such as boring, clueless, quiet, dull, stiff, shy. At first impressions of Craig Johnson however, none of those words came to mid, well except for that last one: shy. I heard it more than once when folks were describing their first impressions of Craig and I remember thinking that myself. OK So we don't always......

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Entry #009h: Memories...  
Frankendate: 05.01.2009  

I think I'm going to start walking home from COMMON,

One year ago while at the airport waiting my flight home from COMMON's 2008 annual conference my phone rang. In that short call I learned of the passing the night before of "Mr 400" himself, Al Barsa. Today on the way home from COMMON annual conference. I was sitting on the plane awaiting the request to turn off my phone when it rang. It was my father who told me that my Mother's oldest brother William J Aukeman, had died. Today is May 1, the same day we lost Mom a few years back.

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Entry #008h: Customer Service?...  
Frankendate: 12.01.2008  
Strange how it's always complaints that get me back to blogging. I have plenty of them buf for now I'll focus on customer service.

Recently I've noticed that some folks believe the economy is slipping a bit. Not as fast as gas prices but I digress. Based only on my personal interaction with these companies and their customer service I think I know why. They have made customer service such an oxymoron that nobody expects any!

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Entry #007h: The laptop continued...  
Frankendate: 02.12.2008  
In a previous post I complained about my latest laptop "Number 5". Number 5 came into existence because "Number 4" had become unreliable. At this point I'm not sure Number 5 is an improvement. The complaints continue.


I spent a considerable amount of time updating this thing. 5 Hours actually between downloading 500MB of updates and applying them! In the list were everything I could think of: hard disk, DVD, USB, Bluetooth, Wireless, Ethernet, video, power .....

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Entry #006h: This is a tool?  
Frankendate: 01.27.2008  
I have found great humor observing 'MAC' and 'PC' in the excellent television commercial series from Apple Computer. Virtually every item that MAC picks on PC for is something I have encountered in the many years I have been cursed to run operating systems from the far northwest. The good news for MAC is that the list of things he picks on PC for is so long the series could run forever.

Recently I moved to a new laptop, something I do approximately every three years.....

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Entry #005h: Shut up about gas prices!  
Frankendate: 01.01.2008  
Over the past weekend I trekked around the southern end of Lake MI over to see iGor in Milwaukee, WI. On Sunday we rolled up to Green Bay and took in the final regular season NFL game on the frozen tundra of Lambeau field. (And YES it was frozen!) To summarize the game, it was not a good day to be a Lions fan. But then there really are not a lot of days when it's good to be a Lions fan .

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Entry #004h: Why do we do this?  
Frankendate: 12.18.2007  
Last week one of my customers was hammered by a virus that attacked their windoze infrastructure once again. How did this happen? I could say that they purchased a lousy firewall and that's how it got in. I would be lying; they have a very recent Cisco ASA firewall..  
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Entry #003h: Do you work like this?  
Frankendate: 12.04.2007  
About a month ago my ATM card finally cracked in half. I stopped to order a new one and while I was there asked if there was a way that I wouldn't have to select 'English' for my language and select 'Yes' after every transaction for a receipt. I was told "No we cannot do that." It's a stupid waste of time but what are ya gonna do if you want to use...  
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Entry #002h: Wrong Behavior.  
Frankendate: 11.28.2007  
Recently my family and I went out to the western part of our beautiful country and visited several US National parks. We borrowed a motor home so we stayed in campgrounds along the way. One of the parks we stayed in had an excellent bath house facility, only a couple months old. Now I would be shocked if you said you'd never been in a bathroom with stuff scrawled on the sides of the stalls....  
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Entry #001h: The right numbers.  
Frankendate: 11.27.2007  
Recently I read an article that discussed carbon emissions and our efforts to reduce them here in the US. The article pointed out that in China alone, runaway fires in coal mines burn as much as 200 million tons of coal each year. That would be nearly 10% of the coal China actually uses. Now we know that burning fossil fuel emit carbon dioxide...  
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