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Angus' Blog › Another challenge to step up

July 9th, 2014 Comments off

I received an email today titled “I Know Your Password” from IBM i iSeries & AS/400 Security News . You can read the web version of the email here:

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=b85bbed4-f6e4-4923-a4b5-7761ad3030d5&c=e3344840-62f9-11e3-b628-d4ae52844372&ch=e3d93ad0-62f9-11e3-b6f9-d4ae52844372

I was taken aback by the utter branding confusion throughout the email, and having talked to Dan in the past, I thought it was time for another attempt at reason.

Here is the response I emailed…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It’s time….

Now that it is 20i4, and IBM i has been with us for 6 years, it is time to start leading with the current and future platform branding – that is, IBM i.

While you continue to send emails out with iSeries and AS/400 as the subject, you are propagating the myth that there is some kind of question about the branding. And there is not. The platform is IBM i. It was, in the past, System i – then before that, iSeries – and before that, AS/400. And while some customers still think mistakenly that they have an old branded server, this is usually not the case.

Can I encourage you to step up to the platform’s future and start using the correct branding? That is, IBM i.

It is not “IBM i (iSeries and AS/400)”. It is not “iSeries and AS/400”. It is not “AS/400, iSeries, IBM i”. It is also not “IBM i, iSeries AS/400”. It is not “IBM i AS/400”. It is not “IBM i, iSeries”. All of these are found in this one email. It truly is adding to the confusion.

And, if you are the “Top IBM i Security Expert”, why would you be promoting old platforms that are considered out of date and dead now.

I understand the marketing requirement to attract the audience who thinks it is an AS/400 or an iSeries, but using those terms ONCE in your email or web page is sufficient for the search terms to be found. It is, in 20i4, no longer necessary to feed the backward thinking of that part of the community lost in the dark green ages.

It is time to step up to IBM i. Can you do it? The challenge is laid down…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How about you – have you a favorite brand abuser you would like to contact? If you are not up to it personally, feel free to comment the link/s here, and I will address the abuse.


Read the original at Angus' Blog.

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Angus' Blog › AS/400 Programmers are lazy!

June 9th, 2014 Comments off

Arguing with another set of suspects on LinkedIn IBM i Professionals, I discovered that people who continue to use the AS/400 branding are lazy. They don’t care to spend a small amount of effort to learn something new about their own platform. They see branding as “I don’t care” or “it doesn’t matter”. And then they spend hours arguing about why “I don’t care” or “it doesn’t matter”. Imagine how amazing our platform would be if the lazy AS/400 programmers spent their time learning, education, and promoting the IBM i platform rather than defending their laziness.

OK, so ‘lazy’ is harsh. It is just fear – them being afraid of change. No. Wait. Lazy is not so much of a stigma as fear. Lazy it is.

What is your experience when trying to get a died-in-the-wool AS/400 programmer to up their game and modernize their (a) use of branding, and (b) skill set??


Read the original at Angus' Blog.

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Angus' Blog › Googling IBM i – or Binging?

June 5th, 2014 Comments off

There have been a lot of people who have complained that you cannot google “i”. And, while this is just a complaint, it has merit. No matter that the platform brand was given to us as “IBM i” when it was announced – so many years ago now, people are still ignorant of the branding requirements of any web search engine.

It is becoming clear that the average IBM i programmer really does not give much of a crap after they have finally worked out it is no longer an iSeries or an AS/400. Take our favorite midrange mailing list. This week, we have had these two headlines posted to the group.

  1. Can IBM i SMTP send on a port other than 25 {link}
  2. Any Problems Foreseen Copying Certicate Store from One i to Another i? {link}

How are we supposed to google “i”? Well, we should not have to, unless the ignorant continue to post web conversations without using “IBM i” in their subject or content.

The second part of this equation is what you should use to search for IBM i content? There are two schools of thought, one says use quotes around “IBM i”, the other says there is no need for the quotes. So, I tested. Here are the first pages of the results. As you can see, quite similar. I encourage you to test for yourself.


Googling comparison – First page

Googled - Page 1


Googling comparison – Page down

Googled - Page 1 page down


Googling comparison – Second page

Googled - Page 2


Binging comparison – First page

Binged - page 1


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Angus' Blog › How do you fool a fool?

June 3rd, 2014 Comments off

In my web navigation, I try to avoid the AS/400 mines laid everywhere – mostly from ignorance and stubbornness. I am constantly surprised at all these smart technical people stuck in the far past. I understand it is human nature to close down as you get older, and live in a shrinking comfort zone of your own choosing. But, seriously, there has to be some limits.

Take this attempt at an April Fool’s joke posted THIS year on this site! Titled “IBM Eyes End of Support for AS/400“, it was meant to scare people into thinking IBM was dropping the platform. The first paragraph showed the true colors of the poster: “Well, sure. Someday. Everything becomes unsupportable eventually. But not to worry. Nothing imminent. Just a little April Fool’s humor to get your day going.“.

Let’s review. If we assume the platform is called AS/400, this might be funny. Let’s assume the platform is not called AS/400 and has not been called AS/400 for FOURTEEN years. Actually, that is not an assumption, but the reality. So, the humor part turns out to be “Well, sure. Someday.” – because IBM dropped support for AS/400 many many somedays ago!

Seriously, April Fool’s is turning out to be full of fools lacking the actual funny part.

Now, if only this particular fool would step up to IBM i and promote a platform that IBM is actually still supporting, I may not get as much crap on my feet from stepping on so many internet land mines…


Read the original at Angus' Blog.

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Angus' Blog › Recruiters without a spine

June 2nd, 2014 Comments off

We live in a world of fast paced technology innovation, yet there is a large part of the IBM i community who are stagnant and lost in the past. Recruiters are in a unique position to help move our platform forward, yet while companies and programmers continue to use old branding in reference to IBM i, those recruiters tend to follow along. It would seem they would rather have the business – and the money – than take a risk and educate their customers on what is happening in the IBM i world. Twitter is full of #AS400 hashtags proclaiming all the available jobs on that old platform. This indicates a mentality of headhunter, as opposed to professional recruiting.

This week, I discovered an email promoting iSeries from a recruiter. Their page is here. I found they have no Twitter presence (supporting my theory that AS/400 and iSeries programmers don’t use social media). Surprisingly, they have a Facebook page, where I posted a plea for them to step up to IBM i. Here is what I wrote:

Your pages and advertising lead with AS/400 and iSeries. However, the hardware platform was replaced 6 years ago with the IBM i OS running on Power Systems – that is a lifetime in IT. When you use old branding, you are not supporting the future and direction of the platform, you are encouraging some of the community to wallow in the past. You are showing an unprofessional lack of knowledge about what you are selling and you are not supporting all those developers who want to move into the future and not live in that ‘glorious’ past.

What would it take for you to consider changing your marketing direction with an emphasis on the future? One where you lead with IBM i and where you use AS/400 and iSeries for SEO or as a reference to the past only. One where you educate the customer about the IBM i and Power Systems platform – rather than denigrate the platform by allowing the uneducated customer to drive the conversation and us back into the past?

Our platform is incredible. Calling it an old name makes it look old and not so incredible. The community often needs a nudge to head to the future. You, as a team of ‘professionals’ and ‘consultants’, can either consult and be professionals, or headhunt. Until you recruit IBM i resources, you will remain just headhunters…

Please step up to IBM i and its future.

If you visit that Facebook page, surprise, surprise – my comment has now disappeared.

Let’s all call our local recruiters and enlist their help in promoting IBM i and its future. Let’s talk to them about how damaging it is to continue using old branding. Let’s help them understand that the old branding could be used as SEO or ‘past experience’ requirements, but the jobs and recruitment activity should lead with IBM i.

Until recruiters get their own spine and stop headhunting, let’s tap a few on the shoulder and turn them to point in the right direction!


Read the original at Angus' Blog.

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Angus' Blog › IBM i Disconnected, Disaffected

May 20th, 2014 Comments off

I wrote this piece for the December 2013 COMMON Connect magazine. I found it again in an unrelated google search, and thought it should be reposted..

Enjoy!

Everyone knows our platform is the best business platform on the planet. Period. No matter what other server proponents say, we have the best return on investment, the best scalability, the best reliability, and the best applications. Yet, we seem to be constantly fighting a battle against competitors and naysayers, who tell the world we are out of date and no longer relevant.

Running IBM i on Power Systems affords us many advantages. From a virtualization perspective, Power Systems provides complete integration with multiple IBM i instances and other operating systems. Live Partition Mobility and HA/DR offerings allows us to deliver, manage and support IBM i 24×7 without regard to the physical server location. In the recent Technology Refresh 7 for IBM i 7.1, RPG is now a completely free format modern language, which suits business better than any other language. Ruby on Rails is now native to IBM i, adding to the strong PHP adoption over the last few years.

Why then, does the world appear willing to move companies away from this incredible platform? The answer requires us to be introspective. If you ask any community member, the majority will respond and aim blame squarely at IBM – whose faults, it seems, are many. Which is ironic, given they are the provider of this wonderful platform. If we look closely at our community – and that includes each and every one of us, you
will find a level of dysfunction afforded to most families. Discuss the platform with a random sampling of community members and you will hear a plethora of responses.

At the Enterprise2013 conference, at least six names/brands were mentioned when talking about the platform. Five years in, many people still do not realize that Power Systems is a new platform – not just a rename or a rebranding. Before listening to IBM i sessions, attendees were mixed in their opinion about whether or not the platform could “do that”, in reference to modern technologies, modern architecture, modern software solutions, etc.

When our own community does not have a consistent approach to what the platform is or what it can do, that becomes proof to the outside world that our platform is stuck in some dark age. It is beyond time for us to counter that. To us, individually and as a community, IBM i is a large part of our world. If we were to act as a united community, imagine how quickly we could expose the misinformation spread by the naysayers and prove to the world the value of our platform to an IT organization.

IBM will continue to market in their own time, their own ways, and with their own money as they see fit to suit their business goals. IBM i is simply one very small part of that picture to IBM.

Ask yourself if you are doing all you can to support and promote IBM i, along with your peers in your local community, and your IBM i family around the world. Your task, should you choose it, is to tell the world that IBM i on Power rules. Are you up for it?


Read the original at Angus' Blog.

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Angus' Blog › What does it take?

February 20th, 2014 Comments off

Last night at a user group, I was given the excuse “It is still named Windows!”, in response to a discussion about the correct branding for the IBM i platform. And, this particular complainer was quite sincere. There seemed to be no purposed for this ‘excuse’, but a tired old platitude that had not quite worn itself down to nothing.

Having thought about it for a while, I realized something important. That complaint is about branding. It is about whether or not IBM should have rebranded. And quite simply, that argument is out of date. IBM ~did~ rebrand our OS to IBM i in 2008 to match their Power Systems branding. It is done, over, fait accompli.

It is time to stop using that excuse. One down, four million to go.


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Angus' Blog › Still flailing

January 24th, 2014 Comments off

It is 20i4, and we are still a bunch of whiners. What a sad state of the community. IBM i was branded in 2008, to represent a new evolution in our world. The hardware was now Power Systems, and our beloved platform was morphed into an operating system. Yet, six years later, we are still complaining.

Is it just because we are a bunch of old farts blowing in the wind? We did have passion for this platform once before. When the AS/400 was released, no one called it a S/38 or a S/36. Yet today, the same people who were so gung ho about the amazing AS/400, seem to have got stuck in the last century. With Power Systems, IBM i has evolved into an even better OS, become more integrated, can run inside a Pure System, and continues to evolve. What happened to the passion of all those AS/400 gung hos? Did it all just dribble out below the chair you are stuck in?

Just this week, a community pundit made the claim that if IBM gave them a commitment for at least ten years for IBM i, he would start calling it by the correct branding. This smacks of two nonsense things. First, starting about eighteen months ago, prominent IBM speakers showed charts with a commitment beyond 2025. The nonsense here is that this particular pundit is actually contributing to the world about the platform, yet has apparently missed one of the biggest stories yet? Second, the IBM i brand has now been with us for six years, and the AS/400 has been gone longer (14 years) than it was sold by IBM (12 years). Some of the community took six years to adopt the iSeries brand after the AS/400, so I expect we should see a turnaround in 2014. The nonsense here is that IBM’s branding is what matters, not what is deemed by an individual pundit to be “right” – especially when that pundit has ZERO marketing and branding skills.

All over the web, the IBM i community is flailing. The stubborn ignorance of the AS/400 Professionals LinkedIn group means we can still wallow in the past for as long as we like. And the complaints! Oh, the complaints. Even on the IBM i Professionals LinkedIn group there are a bunch of excuses and inane justifications about why we should still use the old branding. It is simply complaining. Whining. Seriously, it serves only one thing – that is, the outside IT community looks at the IBM i community and laughs. The platform detractors continue to use this against the platform – quite amazing, when you think how the platform can do so much that its own community does not even know all that it can do.

It is so obvious what needs to happen. Education. We need to combat the ignorance of the dark green ages, and bring the community into 20i4. For starters:

The AS/400 is dead.
IBM i is an operating system.
IBM i runs on Power Systems servers.

But are those living in the dark green AS/400 cave willing to venture out? For those who are listening, for those who have passion for IBM i, let’s plan on 20i4 being the year of education. Let’s spread as much information about IBM i as possible – its legacy, its capabilities, its future.

Are you up for it? There are a bunch of senior citizens who need their hand held while they grumble as they waddle into the light.


Read the original at Angus' Blog.

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IBM i for everyone! › IBMi25

May 1st, 2013 Comments off

A celebration of the 25th anniversary of IBM i!
Facebook page

Some AS/400 campaign photos…

Graffiti




Graffiti




Graffiti


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IBM i for everyone!.

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