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  • Limies love Linux

    The British Government's Office of Government Commerce (OGC) has been field testing Linux. Linux has passed so soon all uk Government departments will be authorised to use it.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3960025.stm

    UK report says Linux is 'viable'

    UK government departments moved a step closer to using open-source operating systems such as Linux after a study found that they were "viable" products.
    The software could "generate significant savings", according to the Office of Government Commerce (OGC).

    The popularity of programs like Linux, which are essentially free, have grown as firms and countries look to limit their dependence on software producers.

    Companies such as Microsoft have the most to lose should Linux use spread.

    {continues}
    Anything similar happening in other organisation?
    Andrew Swallow

  • #2
    A lot of countries and companies are going through cost and usability studies like this.

    Microsoft has had to open some of it's source code (under strict licensing, of course) and offer Windows systems at rock bottom prices in foreign countries to compete.
    Radhil Trebors
    Persona Under Construction

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    • #3
      I work with IBM Midrange-systems, like what used to be the S/38 and the AS/400(Hurray and All Hail the AS!), the ISeries which is now becoming the I5. Trust IBM to rebrand every three years.

      The I5 will support Linux native shortly thereby giving Linus an entry in the non-Unix, non-Intel-world. And not just an entry : right away it will run on the most reliable midrange database-server-platform in existence(don't ask me to give you evidence or I'll hit you with all the benchmarks... ).

      Remember : I am talking about non-Intel platforms here, I'm talking about 64-bit RISC POWER-PC chip-computing, not your P4! ;-) ).

      Also, perhaps a bit of unknown information :

      In the last three years IBM has invested several billion dollars in the further development of Linux(in the Public Domain Folks!). They are reported to invest more money in Linux-developments and products than all other competitors together!

      And when IBM gets behind something you can bet your ass that there are strategic considerations which they won't change for a number of years.

      The future of the Linux-community is looking better than ever. And they have a big brother who wants to play...
      "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

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      • #4
        I don't need no evidence - I'm sitting 3 feet from an AS/400 as I type.

        Of course, the thing is so dated that I'm still working with it through green-screen terminal apps, but that's probably the fault of the schmucks that sold it to us before my time. Then again, the fact that it still does work perfectly well for it's age is telling (setting aside ten thousand bugs with the system that's installed in it - that ain't IBMs fault).

        RPG sucks. That's all I have to say.
        Radhil Trebors
        Persona Under Construction

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Radhil
          I don't need no evidence - I'm sitting 3 feet from an AS/400 as I type.
          Well Jolly Good I say old chap!

          Of course, the thing is so dated that I'm still working with it through green-screen terminal apps, but that's probably the fault of the schmucks that sold it to us before my time.
          Yes, because I write Visual RPG on it which can be compiled into a Java or a windows-native application. Comes for free in the form of Websphere Application Development Tools. There is also a quite handy Webfacing-tool that you can use to convert green-screen applications to the web.

          But if the staff can't be arsed to move into the 21st century then - as you say - that is their own fault.

          Then again, the fact that it still does work perfectly well for it's age is telling (setting aside ten thousand bugs with the system that's installed in it - that ain't IBMs fault).

          Have you any idea how old your machine actually is? The current AS/400/Iseries is state of the art. However; a lot of companies/managers still believe that you buy a computer, you use it, and then you throw it away and buy a faster one. So many managers have never heard of the 'upgrade-path'. This thing went from 32-bit CISC to 64-bit RISC without a single glitch... Try to do that on a windows or UNIX-based machine and you will fail.

          RPG sucks. That's all I have to say.
          In the old and slightly damp days I preferred COBOL/400 myself, although I had to learn RPG too of course. Mainly because of the losers who couldn't even read a perfectly simple COBOL-program. Nowadays it all object-driven and/or task-driven programming. Which I quite like I must say. Just make the switch once and don't look back.

          Because I started doing Visual RPG things like Java, C++, etcetera have become a lot simpler to learn.

          And then of course there is native Linux... :P
          "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

          Comment


          • #6
            I am the "staff" - one tech guy juggling the work of programmer, networker, sysadmin, and tech support, depending on the crisis at hand and the focus of "management". So technically it's my fault.

            Then again, for having zero training (I learned RPG by looking at our vendor's code) and negative budget, I don't think I'm doing half bad. I haven't killed anyone yet.

            The machine is... I think I've been told it's an early model I-Series. Got a E-Server stamp on the front, and the model itself is a 270, running V4R5 OS/400. It was bought sometime in '99/'00, though I suspect it's older, and I've reason to believe the company we bought it from stiffed us in every way possible.

            I don't know about upgrade paths and such - and I wish I had the resources for throwaway servers. Our new mail server is going to be an old desktop 600Mhz machine that I dumped Linux on. I'm typing this from a 600Mhz machine right now.
            Radhil Trebors
            Persona Under Construction

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            • #7
              RPG (Report Preparing Generator) is a computer language that I have not heard of in many years.

              Amazon still sells textbooks for it. Cwjobs advertised 34 jobs requiring it last week.
              Andrew Swallow

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Andrew_Swallow
                RPG (Report Preparing Generator) is a computer language that I have not heard of in many years.
                That's probably because it only runs on a limited number of platforms(and mainly the AS/400 I guess).

                BTW : Report Program Generator... Which should have been Reportprogramgenerator but I guess a language called "R" was too much to ask for in the sixties...
                "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Radhil
                  I am the "staff" - one tech guy juggling the work of programmer, networker, sysadmin, and tech support, depending on the crisis at hand and the focus of "management". So technically it's my fault.
                  You naughty boy! Too many machines not enough men eh? If you need online advice just send me a message, I'm an ISeries-consultant and I've worked with the S/38 and the AS/400 since 1983...

                  The machine is... I think I've been told it's an early model I-Series. Got a E-Server stamp on the front, and the model itself is a 270, running V4R5 OS/400. It was bought sometime in '99/'00, though I suspect it's older, and I've reason to believe the company we bought it from stiffed us in every way possible.
                  A 270 - Wow! Do they still exist? That was/is an AS/400, I don't think it falls in the category of the ISeries.

                  I do say you should install V5 over your V4R5 because of all the extras that will bring you. Also, about my remark about using VRPG/Websphere; no one in his right mind would use Websphere for V4R5. You definitely need to go to OS/400 V5 first. I think your model supports V4R5. If you have any doubt I can look it up for you.

                  I don't know about upgrade paths and such - and I wish I had the resources for throwaway servers.
                  Upgrade-path for the AS/400 is easy. A new release comes out and you order/install it. Preferably not within two months of availability, let someone else get any possible bugs out first. I can safely say that in the last ten years there has not been one problematic OS/400-upgrade that I have heard of.

                  Our new mail server is going to be an old desktop 600Mhz machine that I dumped Linux on. I'm typing this from a 600Mhz machine right now.
                  Isn't 600Mhz plenty power for Linux? I remember running Red Hat 7.0 on a Pentium I with 32MB and even the Gnome desktop worked reasonably.
                  "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    IBM has Already installed Linux on the Big Iron. The Z/OS Mainframe runs both Linux and MVS together flawlessly.

                    And runs 40 year old Assembler programs flawlessly alongside stuff that was written just last week.

                    Current "state of the Art" in the Mainframe world is as many as 1000 batch programs running simultaneously on a single CPU while sharing the machine with a CICS system talking to hundreds of terminals connected to the Online portion of the OS.

                    And sharing that with a bunch of Linux partitions.

                    The Mainframe OS can be set up to look to the "User" as if it is multiple computers when in fact there is only One chunk of Hardware.

                    Or, you can take 8 Hardware computers and network them together so seamlessly that it all looks like One Computer from the outside.

                    Just depends on what you need it to do.

                    As far as the "Green Screen", that's mostly IBM's fault.
                    They haven't Bothered to update the terminal specifications in about 20 years.
                    Some of that was "Dilbert Manaagement" on the part of Customers, though.
                    The "Green Screen" has had more advanced color capabilities for most of those 20 years.
                    But, managers at the Customer/User level generally refused to spend the time or money to Use them, even when it would have solved problems.
                    So, since IBM noticed that few people cared about the enhanced Color capabilities, they didn't bother with any other improvements.
                    After all, hardly anyone bothered to use what the system was Already capable of doing.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yeah but mainframes usually run some kind of Virtual System nowadays don't they? I remember IBM experimented with that in my old mainframe-operatordays around 1980. All of a sudden you could run MVS, OS/VS1, etcetera on one machine! O.K. it didn't really work well in those days , but that's pioneering for ya!

                      I agree that, until a few years ago, IBM never really looked at graphical userinfacing as the interface of choice for all platforms, it was in fact frowned upon by the techies. Much in the same way as later on webbuilders would look down upon people who used webbuilding-software instead of plain ol' notepad...

                      Graphical interfacing with the AS/400 / Iseries / whatever has been possible for years. But when nobody uses it and the new ICT-folks are too busy with Intel/Windows or Linux you will not get anywhere by just supplying the tools.

                      And let's not forget the adagio : IBM only delivers stuff that works.
                      They don't really dabble in releasing beta-versions of software that is still full of bugs. Perhaps that will now change with the strategic introduction of Linux in their productline. You can't ignore tens of thousands of open-source programmers.
                      "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Say, wasn't Linux the guy with the blanket off Peanuts?
                        I have the wings for Bingo.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yeah but mainframes usually run some kind of Virtual System nowadays don't they?
                          You're thinking of VM. Stands for Virtual Machine.

                          If you run VM, you can load in an entire Operating System, run on it for a few microseconds, then swap it (and all the work it was doing) out to disk, load in another completely Different OS, run work on That for a while, sawp it out and load a Third OS, ETC.
                          Eventually, it would be the turn of the First user again and the system would restore his session to exactly the state it was in when he was swapped out and continue processing his work.

                          Set up properly, a VM system could make it look to Each of Hundreds of users as if each one had the entire Mainframe to themselves.

                          It can service all these hundreds of users by making use of the time each interactive user spends Thinking.

                          Disk space is allocated to each VM instance in such a way that each user has access to only that storage allocated to his/her VM session.

                          It's still around.

                          It's a mark of just how FAST the machines (and Operating Systems) are that each person using such a system gets responses to every transaction in fractions of a second, even when sharing with hundreds of other users and additional hundreds of batch jobs.
                          Just hit the Enter key and the system hands you back your answer.

                          While Windoze users who brag that their machines now have more resources than a Mainframe did 20 years ago still wait ungodly amounts of time for a response from a machine where they really ARE the only user.

                          Last edited by bakana; 11-02-2004, 05:33 PM.

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                          • #14
                            I should have known you folks were a bunch of geeks

                            Linux will rule...blanket and all....

                            The AS400 is an amazing piece of hardware...the interface blows...I work with...a few...

                            Weaned myself on an IBM Sys 3...96 column punched cards were cool...especially when you got the knack of throwing them I went thru puberty on a Univac 1000 and became a man with C.O.B.O.L. laid out on a 370 and when we really wanted to have some fun we'd whip out our assembler and play with the hexidecimal.
                            The only O.S. to have
                            Last edited by cruiser; 11-07-2004, 05:41 AM.
                            I had the dagger in my hand! And he has the indecency to start dying on his own.

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                            • #15
                              I hear that there are now viruses on the loose that target linux...
                              I had the dagger in my hand! And he has the indecency to start dying on his own.

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