Archive for September, 2013

Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › rpg sub-procedures are very saucy indeed

September 25th, 2013 Comments off

This morning I got question from an old RPG3 chum of mine:

I know a couple of questions they will ask me, what are the different parms used on sub-procedures like *OMIT/*Nopass. Didn't we use those any way? I thought we were writing programs that did or did not necessarily get parms depending what called them using those keywords? To be honest, I know I can look it up but what the bloody hell is a sub-procedure?

My answer started off little then got into the huge waffling email stage. Bear in mind this is a very high level overview and not designed to get into the nitty-gritty of anything. Anyway, I just decided to copy/paste it here for future reference.



*OMIT/*NOPASS makes parameters funky

*OMIT - Lets you send a parameter as a value or as *nulls

Lets you use the *OMIT keyword when calling you program. So, if you just dont want to pass anything, you can say *OMIT - I think it just passes *NULLS and in the program that is being called you would say something like 

if %addr( parm1 ) = *NULL ;
  parmvalueinprogram = 'something';
else ;
  parmvalueinprogram = 'parm1';
endif ;


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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › Essential Software for the IBM i Developer

September 23rd, 2013 Comments off

Last week I was asked to help the Network Team to create an installable pc-image for a Win7 rollout to refresh the software builds for the IBM i Developers and other IT Techies. It's an exciting time at my clients site... with the haggle looking flustered and excited all at the same time.

 NOTE: HAGGLE is the collective term for a group of aging RPG programmers.

So, while everyone is frantically backing up their old XP machines, before getting the new image pushed down here, is a quick list of the software that's being added as part of the base machine - Windows 7 Enterprise [64Bit] and these are the goodies that I like to use when I'm wearing my 'IBM i Developer Hat':


IBM i Access for Windows

Client Access IBM i Access delivers the strengths and capabilities of IBM i to the desktop through easy-to-use screens and wizards. Since IBM i Access delivers new releases simultaneously with IBM i, desktop users can start using the new capabilities immediately. Loading it direct from the IBM i Server's IFS share means that the latest version is always easily accessible:


Then decide if you want to install the 32 or 64 bit version... simple!

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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › Gunnar RPG Computer Glasses

September 20th, 2013 Comments off

Gunnar glasses for RPG Programmers

My first memories of wearing glasses were from my pre-teens; my Mum taking me down the local opticians to collect my big brown plastic NHS specs. Some seriously horrible, big brown plastic things. This led to years of school ground taunting being called a speccy-four-eyes and finally refusing to wear them and spending years squinting at blackboards or copying off people next to me… then into my late teens and invention of personal computers and my inevitable attraction to keyboards and monitors… my eyesight took a turn for the worse. By the time I was thirty, I was properly shortsighted (-5 in both eyes) and glasses and/or contacts were just a part of life.

I wish Gunnar optics were around in those days.

I’ve been thinking about wearing glasses specifically for computer work recently, and just today I realized that Gunnar have some glasses called the GUNNAR RPG. So, obviously, as an RPG Programmer they are designed for me!

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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › I have joined the Technorati

September 18th, 2013 Comments off

That sounds ominous doesn't it?

No, its nothing to do with a global world order. Which, incidentally, is frequently touted as a bad thing by hordes of conspiracy theorists here in the USA. Personally, I think it might be a good idea. I mean, look at Star Trek. One big world order headed by StarFleet - everyone talking English (even the aliens), everyone on the planet wearing cool uniforms and wars, religions and other infighting have been banned.

The Technorati is much less interesting I'm ashamed to say:

Technorati is a blog search engine. Designed to search the clouds blogs and help share the information. Social media being catalogued and shared to the masses.

But before I can become a fully fledged member I need to prove that I own this blog and tell them about my TECHNORATI CLAIM TOKEN : 4PDTGDFR7X2X 

Now, how long do I have to wait by the mailbox for my uniform to arrive?


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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › words have power

September 17th, 2013 Comments off

I don't like poetry.

I especially don't like it when people call it 'Poyetrey' in that weird pronunciation way. But this one poem, just blows me away:

IF - by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

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Steve Pitcher › Instructions for Updating Domino 9 to Interim Fix 3 on IBM i

September 16th, 2013 Comments off
I couldn't find any documentation on updating Domino to Interim Fix levels on IBM i anywhere, including the tech notes for Domino 9 IF1, IF2 and IF3 so I just assumed the Interim Fix update was a similar process as with installing fix packs in prior releases  This means loading and applying a PTF.   For the benefit of anyone trying to get up to the latest release, here's my instructions:

Download the QL604291.SAVF file from Fix Central.

Create a save file on IBM i...

FTP the downloaded file over to the save file you created on IBM i.

Shut down any Domino 9 servers.

Load the PTF...

Then apply the PTF...

Start your Domino 9 servers. 

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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › IBM i is a radio star

September 13th, 2013 Comments off

This morning I was hammering at my keyboard while listening to a weekly podcast from BBC Three Counties radio (my old local radio station back in Blighty). The show finished before I could get my cunning IBM i Journal Trigger process working, so I decided to take a coffee break and download a fresh podcast or two. I fire up Juice and spend a few minutes surfing to find something new to burble away in the background, titillating my back brain while my front brain was in RPGLE programming land.

Imagine my delight when I stumbled across an IBM i specific podcast!

Quite remarkably, its been out there since July 2011 and its none other than the chief i-architect at IBM - Steve Will

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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › Life with Bailey the English Springer Spaniel

September 10th, 2013 Comments off

This is Bailey Version 2.0

bailey the springer spaniel after his first haircut

He's my wing man and constant companion. He never nags, never complains and is always thrilled to see me wether I have left him alone for a minute or for a day. To test if your dog loves you more than your wife - trying locking your pet and your wife in travel cage, in the hold of a plane, for 6 hours. See which one is more pleased to see you when you land. To test if your dog loves you more than your husband - try taking him to the Docs and getting his balls snipped off and then see how pleased he is to see you

Bailey has flown around the USA with me and should have his own air-miles account. He was my car companion on our cross country drive from San Francisco to Charleston, SC. He's friendly and loves to chase balls, squirrels and just about anything that scampers, runs or slithers.

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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › How do I check for numeric values using RPGLE?

September 9th, 2013 Comments off

IBM RPG is a lovely language.

RPGLE (as the latest version is known) has got some heritage. Some might say its an old language, but it's kept young by its constantly evolving syntax. The current version of RPGLE (IBM i V7R1 at time of writing this) has free form code, multitudes of built in functions and handles big system database crunching with as much ease as it handles little web page servlets. RPG's evolved over 20+ years from an archaic and mystical thing bound by the rules of something called 'the logic cycle' into the modern power language for all IBM i Systems everywhere.

Personally, I find a few of the older functions still a bit annoying and wish there was a nicer way of handling them.

In this case, it's time to convict RPGLE's ability of checking data variables to see if they contain numeric or alphanumeric variables:

Your Honor - I present the defendant: TESTN

TEST(N) Is just a little bit smelly when it comes to really/truly finding out if a field is numeric or not.

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Pete's Wordshop › Common Schedule Organizer – Fall Edition 2013

September 2nd, 2013 Comments off

Yep, it is that time again!  Common Fall conference and I had to deal with a couple of API changes and I implemented a few of the suggestions from the Spring Conference so, as usual, I am late to the party.

You will find the web application version here:

You can download the Android APK here:

Same drill as before:

If this is the first time you have used the app, or you have updated, you will be prompted for your email address that you use to access the Personal Grid on the Common website.  Your personal grid information will be pulled into the app but remember it is a one way street: As you add items to your schedule in the CSO they will NOT update your personal grid info (still working on the best way to handle it both ways).

Once you have entered that info and are on the main app screen, click on the “Load Schedule” button.  It will turn yellow and after 30 seconds or so you will see a “Loading” message appear and flash on the screen.  It took me about 2 minutes to download the initial schedule.  At that point the message should change to “Ready” and you are ready to go.  If you have personal grid items, go ahead and visit your schedule to make sure they downloaded.  From then on you can update the schedules, both the master schedule and the personal grid info and it will update the app with the latest and greatest.

I have added conference maps and I have added a list of local restaurants.  Perhaps I can add a “Yelp” type feature that will late you folks rate them.

If you have something other than an Android device, you can use the web application version of the app.  It will still save your stuff to the device you use so it is still plenty handy it just won’t be “native”.

If you have a question or a suggestion you can always email me (you know my name) at the company domain (valadd dot com).  I’ll try to get back to you and patch things as necessary.

Enjoy! See you at the conference!

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