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View Full Version : AS400 job listings, I am shocked these are still in use



NathanAllan
February 1st, 2011, 01:42 PM
While perusing the job listings I am finding that a LOT of people are asking for AS400 experience. I am totally up for that kind of environment, I bet graduates coming out today have ever laid eyes on one. I am about to contact this one manufacturing place to see if a position exists, I can dive right into something like that.

Imagine using a computer from the 1980's, a mini no less, to do modern manufacturing. I am totally for using yesterday's tech to make new stuff. If they have parts units I know I will be drooling to take one home. Amazing. I just hope that its the same thing I am familiar with and not some new thing that is also named AS400.

http://www.careerbuilder.com/JobSeeker/Jobs/JobDetails.aspx?sc_extcmp=JS_JobAlert_Title&ipath=PSSGT30P&psa=1&Job_DID=J3F28365WT758FLL4ZP#c

http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/rochester/rochester_4010.html

mbbrutman
February 1st, 2011, 01:53 PM
I don't want to sound offended here, but you are little out of date. First, there is no AS/400 anymore. It's an i Series. Second, the tech is as up to date as it gets.

On the hardware side it runs on Power 7, the latest and greatest chips from IBM. It has a hypervisor layer that blows away the function in any x86 based virtualization later, and has had it for over 10 years. All of the hardware is up to date, including the newest drives and storage technologies. And it's been 64 bit since 1994 - in fact OS/400 was the first commercially available operating system to be 64 bits throughout, not just in certain libraries.

So what exactly is so 80s about this machine?

Spankmd
February 1st, 2011, 01:58 PM
Next they'll be asking for RS/6000 experience!?!?!

No, seriously, though, everything Mike said. And wasn't the AS/400, when it was named the AS/400, a machine of the 90's and into the 2000's? (Not sure when the AS/400 turned into the i, but I remember assiting a bank with their Y2K conversion from the old beige AS/400 that took up 3 racks to a shiny new balck model, that stood about 3 feet high).

mbbrutman
February 1st, 2011, 02:46 PM
The first version of the AS/400 came out in 1988. It was based on the S/38.

So clearly not 'ancient' technology. And it's been kept up to date. We like to call it IBM's best kept secret.

NathanAllan
February 1st, 2011, 04:37 PM
I was thinking that they meant the ones from 1988, so yes, not ancient but older tech. I stand corrected, just not familiar with manufacturing minis these days. When I find out more I will be more and more intrigued. They still have to get back to me, not sure if they are actually using machines from the 90's or today's stuff.

Since you guys are more up on it, what do they mean by Windows 2003 and 2008? I am totally unfamiliar with those. Also, where is that mentioned on that ad, about the latest and greatest? I read none of that on that ad, simply a LAN/WAN environment and the AS400 platform.

Chuck(G)
February 1st, 2011, 04:48 PM
Just a guess, but I suspect they mean Windows Server 2003 and 2008.

luckybob
February 1st, 2011, 05:31 PM
Just a guess, but I suspect they mean Windows Server 2003 and 2008.


correct. 2003 is the server version of XP. and 2008 is akin to vista.

mikerm
February 1st, 2011, 05:44 PM
I will have to agree with Brutman on this. The Iseries machines are extremely powerful. The last company I was with had one.

PeterNY
February 2nd, 2011, 11:30 AM
The (>=1988 AS/400, >=2000 iSeries, >=2006 System i) is a wonderful platform. It is still used accross the globe in many organizations. In my profession I see many data centers but unfortunately there seems to be a trend to move away from Sun, IBM and other non Windows based operating systems in favor of Windows and Linux based operating systems or shutting down data centers almost completely to move everything to the cloud.

As with any computer power the size ratio has been extremely aggresive over the decades:

http://rollinssoftware.com/~rollinss/images/stories/AS400Pictures/as400systems.jpg

Spankmd
February 2nd, 2011, 01:18 PM
Is it still called OS/400? And does it run on any power hardware, or is there special hardware required?

mbbrutman
February 2nd, 2011, 01:45 PM
I'm not sure what the official name of the OS is this week - it changes too often. But those of us inside of the blue walls still call it an AS/400 and it runs OS/400.

As for hardware, the current machines being sold run on Power7. Power 6 is supported. Power 5 probably runs too, but if it is not "end of life" it will be getting there shortly. As always, an iSeries is not a generic PowerPC box - there is code and other thingies in there to enable OS/400 to install and run. This helps IBM extract some revenue from customers. :-)

Raven
February 2nd, 2011, 01:55 PM
correct. 2003 is the server version of XP. and 2008 is akin to vista.

And, parting from their typical naming, 2008 R2 is the Windows 7 analogue (and the first to only come in x64).

I'd love to have one of those B10 (or B20, but I imagine anything but the B10 is overkill) cases to mount a normal desktop into.. :D

SwedaGuy
February 3rd, 2011, 08:52 AM
I can't even begin to tell you how many of those B20s we pulled out of medical practices in the late 90s.

The 400/i/whatevertheycallitthismonth has been an incredibly stable, versatile platform since 1988. That means for over 20 years IBM has been producing and enhancing the hardware and the operating system itself. I'm sure at some point IBM will ring the curtain down on these venerable machines, but I hope it isn't any time soon. I love mine, though I wouldn't mind getting a newer model, and I am confident that it will be running long after any windoze box shoved into the same type of environment has croaked.

Chuck(G)
February 3rd, 2011, 08:59 AM
One of the last TV commercials that I saw for OS/2 was its use in connection with AS/400 hardware.

Spankmd
February 3rd, 2011, 09:13 AM
TV commerical for OS/2? Chuck, are you implying that IBM tried to market OS/2 at some point?

SwedaGuy
February 4th, 2011, 08:05 AM
One of the last TV commercials that I saw for OS/2 was its use in connection with AS/400 hardware.

I use Client Access for OS/2 quite frequently...nice package. There was an aborted attempt to make an OS/2 server run on the integrated PC Server card in the 400, But I'm pretty sure it was discontinued somewhere around V4R1 or V4R3. I remember being really disappointed with how that function was put together. We could run a Windows 2000 server on the integrated PC card, and the hardware provided a console: hookup for a VGA monitor, keyboard, mouse, COM and Serial. You could use it like any other Windows PC. Using the same server card with the OS/2 server feature installed didn't allow for any kind of operator console and had to be configured from the green screen side. The effect was that you couldn't run any 3rd party apps on the OS/2 server, which made it kind of pointless. I remember that I wanted to run our POS server on the integrated card, but with no console to operate the software there was no way it was going to work.

Visionary
March 25th, 2011, 06:04 AM
People still refer to those systems as "AS400" as a generic term or "green screen" for some users or even techs. We have an IBM system for finance and purchasing at the casino I work for (I'm in IT there). We normally refer to the system as the "AS400" even though it's from the iSeries.

MattCarp
March 31st, 2011, 07:58 AM
Based on the quality of Windows and arguably its "kludginess", and the lack of good batch facilities in Unix, thank goodness there are alternatives!

PeterNY
March 31st, 2011, 09:35 AM
The new name is Series i and it is still a popular platform. Although I notice that slowly but surely companies are moving away from them. Partially because of cloud computing, partially because of the ever increased use of virtualized Windows Server farms and standardized ERP solutions (Oracle, SAP, Dynamix).

nigwil
April 1st, 2011, 03:24 PM
A few of us collect AS/400s, or at least in my case the smaller (lighter) models.

If anyone has any AS/400 systems, parts, CDs or documentation they would like to go to a good home, I am eager to discuss.

vwestlife
April 1st, 2011, 09:14 PM
I remember reading that even Microsoft uses AS/400 systems to do their accounting, not anything Wintel based.

nigwil
April 2nd, 2011, 01:49 AM
In the late 1980s, Apple Australia was using either an IBM System/38 or AS/400 as their finance/accounting system.

mbbrutman
April 2nd, 2011, 06:46 AM
I remember reading that even Microsoft uses AS/400 systems to do their accounting, not anything Wintel based.

That was the case many years ago (at least 10) - I doubt that is true now.

PeterNY
April 2nd, 2011, 03:48 PM
A few of us collect AS/400s, or at least in my case the smaller (lighter) models.

http://longisland.craigslist.org/sys/2265210136.html
Not mine: just happened to come accross it.

mikerm
April 2nd, 2011, 08:29 PM
Yeah, they need to come down to earth and put out a real price. Don't get me wrong, it's a great machine and I used to have one, but people on Craigslist often forget who Craigslist's major market is - home users.

Nobody has $4500 for this machine. Not only that, but it requires 2 circuits to run, a 110v for the left side, and a 220v for the right side. Hopefully you will be able to get the passwords for the system, or at least the original OS/400 media for it and the codes. Believe me, IBM won't activate anything but the original OS version sold with the machine unless any upgrades were registered with them. On top of ALL of that, a twinax terminal is basically required to get this machine back running if there are problems. In fact, mbrutman would have to clarify this, but I had heard a rumor at one time that older systems have to have a working terminal on at IPL.

The only way they would get anywhere near this amount of money is if there was a business that was still running one and it for some reason died (ha! yeah right). I would much rather see it donated to someone who can take care of it.

Noting that, if I was nearby, I would get it, for the right price (the one I got was free, so the right price is LOW).

PeterNY
April 3rd, 2011, 05:52 AM
Yeah, they need to come down to earth and put out a real price. Don't get me wrong, it's a great machine and I used to have one, but people on Craigslist often forget who Craigslist's major market is - home users.

In the tristate area all kinds of wierd items with outrageous prices appear. :D

Two years ago when I still lived in the Netherlands we dumped an early AS/400 (I do not remember the build #) as we needed to clean up the archive to make room for an entity that moved in with us. I advertized it online but there was no interest then.