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AS/400 - RPG III - Unix

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    #16
    Originally posted by Jimmy View Post
    Burroughs had an RPG II compiler for their Small and Medium Systems. There was also a Dos version of RPG II as will and the SEU editor.
    Jimmy:

    Glad to see that you're back. Hope all is going well with you and yours.

    Tom
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

    Comment


      #17
      Tom:

      Thank you I have been under the weather since last March of 2020, Glad to be able to find time to enjoy a few things again.

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by Agent Orange View Post
        Just curious as you said you worked at Cincinnati Milacron. Would that be the old Cincinnati Mill in Oakley? Several of my mother's side of the family worked there. One uncle did time study for about 40 years and a cousin was a field rep who wore a suite and had to put a jumpsuit on when troubleshooting with the union folks - not allowed to touch.
        No, Cincinnati Milacron was a computer manufacturer in the late 1970’s. They still exist but they no longer make computers. They currently produce technology and tools that support the manufacturing industry and are a huge multinational corporation. They do business as Milacron (having mostly dropped the “Cincinnati” portion of their name) but they still have their offices in the Summit Park neighborhood of Cincinnati.

        Comment


          #19
          Originally posted by robcarnegie View Post

          No, Cincinnati Milacron was a computer manufacturer in the late 1970’s. They still exist but they no longer make computers. They currently produce technology and tools that support the manufacturing industry and are a huge multinational corporation. They do business as Milacron (having mostly dropped the “Cincinnati” portion of their name) but they still have their offices in the Summit Park neighborhood of Cincinnati.
          We had a big Cincinnati Milacron driven Lathe at college at the start of the 80's. Was a bit of a beast that us lowly apprentices were not allowed to even contemplate touching.
          Current fleet
          TRS80 Model 4 - BBC B - Tatung Einstein - PCW9512 - PET 3032 - C64 - ZX81 - Spectrum 48K - Amiga A500 - Apple II europlus - Apple iMAC G3. Sharp MZ-80K. - IBM 5160 XT - Multibus 286/10 - Micro PDP 11/73 - Rainbow PC100A - MicroVax II - MicroVAX 3100, 3300, VAX 4000 VLC & 4000 Model 96 - AlphaStation 225Apricot PC - Apple Performa 6200 - Apple Mac IIcx

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            #20
            Originally posted by Gary C View Post

            We had a big Cincinnati Milacron driven Lathe at college at the start of the 80's. Was a bit of a beast that us lowly apprentices were not allowed to even contemplate touching.
            In the early days of computing there was quite a long waiting list to get a computer from a large manufacturer like IBM, Sperry, Burroughs, Ferranti, etc. Engineering staff at Cincinnati Milacron felt they had the expertise needed to build computers in house. They built them so that they were code compatible with an IBM computer. They were so happy with the result that they proceeded to manufacture and sell them. At some point they decided they didn’t want to be in this business anymore and simply stopped building and supporting the computers. They went back to manufacturing equipment and controllers and later even build assembly line robots. The purchasers of the computers produced by Cincinnati Milacron actually banded together and successfully sued them. For a while they were kind of an abject example what not to do in the computer industry.

            Comment


              #21
              Originally posted by Agent Orange View Post
              Also, I presume it is out of the question that RPG would run on anything other than IBM.
              DEC had an RPGII compiler for VAX/VMS. That was actually the beginning of the end for IBM at SPC - they sold us a 9370, VM/SP and a bunch of language compilers. There was no RPG implementation hosted on VM/SP, so they wanted us to buy DOS/VSE and build a batch environment just for RPG. I said there was an RPG compiler available from DEC for our VAX 785, so we bought that instead. The 9370 was a total disaster (hardware and software) and we made them take it back. They said OK, but only if we agreed to not talk about it for 5 years (long since passed).

              Comment


                #22
                Originally posted by Terry Kennedy View Post
                DEC had an RPGII compiler for VAX/VMS. That was actually the beginning of the end for IBM at SPC - they sold us a 9370, VM/SP and a bunch of language compilers. There was no RPG implementation hosted on VM/SP, so they wanted us to buy DOS/VSE and build a batch environment just for RPG. I said there was an RPG compiler available from DEC for our VAX 785, so we bought that instead. The 9370 was a total disaster (hardware and software) and we made them take it back. They said OK, but only if we agreed to not talk about it for 5 years (long since passed).
                So, what did you finally revert back to, or did you go in different direction?
                Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

                Comment


                  #23
                  Originally posted by Agent Orange View Post
                  So, what did you finally revert back to, or did you go in different direction?
                  We had quite a variety of hardware, although the Data General Frankenclipse was gone by the time of the 9370 incident. There were a variety of PDP-11s running RSTS/E and a pair of 785s running VMS. BASIC, Fortran (IV and 77), Cobol (81), C, Pascal, Macro-11, Macro-32 and some other languages were available. on those systems. Instructors teaching Fortran and Cobol had their choice of teaching it on the IBM 43xx with VM/370 and DOS/VS or on the DEC systems. RPG was only available on the IBM, as was BAL (IBM 370 assembler).

                  With the impracticality of running RPG on the 9370, that left BAL as the only language not available on the DEC systems. The 9370 was so flaky that the few instructors teaching BAL decided to switch to some other language (generally Macro-32, but also an in-house assembler for an in-house pseudo-machine). With the 9370 never performing properly, I badgered an IBM rep at DEXPO to take it back, with the previously mentioned agreement. Some of the problems included:
                  • Flipping the "Test" switch (conveniently located on the front of every 3278 user terminal) rapidly would cause the 9370 to crash and need a power cycle to get running again. IBM's solution? Put up notes saying "Please don't flip the terminal's Test switch rapidly". In an unsupervised student computer lab. Right...
                  • The COBOL compiler didn't work. Every month was the same "It will be fixed in next month's service tape". I finally demanded that someone from IBM come to sort things out. They said it would be billable if it was a customer problem. I responded that the tech(s) needed to stay on-site continuously until the problem was fixed. I brought a sleeping bag - the IBM tech didn't have the foresight. The first thing the tech did was wipe out the OS installation. After I restored it from tape, he spent another 2.5 days on-site before declaring it was unfixable and leaving (presumably to sleep it off for several days).
                  • The system would crash randomly and unpredictably, even if the terminals were disconnected. It (well, actually its PS/2 service processor) spent hours on the phone every night talking to IBM, sending crash dumps and downloading microcode.
                  After IBM took it back, they continued sending us service tapes on 9-track, which I de-labeled and put in giant canvas rolling USPS hampers of scratch tapes. One month IBM screwed up and sent everyone 3480 tapes regardless of the desired media. I called up, raised bloody hell, said we were down and needed that damn service tape ASAP. I made such a stink that they bought "Mr. Magnetic Tape" an airplane ticket (that's how you did same-day package shipment "back in the day") and had some poor IBM guy drive out to the airport, pick it up and bring it to us. He handed me the courier pouch and as he was starting to leave, I said "You may want to stay and watch this" as I opened the pouch, peeled off the labels and tossed the now-unlabeled tape into the hamper with the big "scratch tapes" sign on the side. He was flabbergasted. Yeah, the whole 9370 episode left me pissed off and feeling vindictive. It started out that way, too, but that's a story for another time.

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Originally posted by Terry Kennedy View Post
                    . . . .Yeah, the whole 9370 episode left me pissed off and feeling vindictive. It started out that way, too, but that's a story for another time.
                    Very nice narrative Terry. Would be glad to here about it sometime.

                    Tom

                    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Originally posted by Agent Orange View Post
                      Would be glad to here about it sometime.
                      We were not your typical IBM customer. We'd do things like buy additional 4300 memory, install it, update the floppy to recognize it, then call IBM to inspect it and put it on contract. Things would go like this:

                      IBM: So you want us to sell you more memory?
                      SPC: No
                      IBM: Install memory?
                      SPC: No
                      IBM: Generate an updated microcode diskette?
                      SPC: No
                      IBM: Derp?

                      Our plan was to replace our outdated 4341 running VM/370 (pre-copyright), DOS/VS (pre-copyright), languages (pre-copyright), etc. (pre-copyright) by purchasing a used 4381 off someone else's lease. We invited IBM in to quote us VM/SP and modern language implementations. The sales reps nodded and went away.

                      The next thing we heard was from the Vice President of Finance, saying "IBM called and said you people down in Academic Computing are going to waste jigawatts (pronounced with a Doc Brown accent) of electricity running an obsolete computer, and they want to sell us a brand new computer that is faster (not true, BTW) and more energy efficient. We're going to buy that 9370 thing."

                      Well, OK, I thought. Academic Computing paid for equipment, maintenance and supplies but power was part of the overall college budget (that's why we ran things like VAX 8650s long after the rest of the world). But if the VP of Finance was going to raid someone else's budget and leave ours untouched, sure we'd take a "free" 9370. We never considered the possibility that IBM would deliver a complete turkey of a system that would never function properly over the next 15 months or so.

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Originally posted by Terry Kennedy View Post
                        We were not your typical IBM customer. We'd do things like buy additional 4300 memory, install it, update the floppy to recognize it, then call IBM to inspect it and put it on contract. Things would go like this:

                        IBM: So you want us to sell you more memory?
                        SPC: No
                        IBM: Install memory?
                        SPC: No
                        IBM: Generate an updated microcode diskette?
                        SPC: No
                        IBM: Derp?

                        Our plan was to replace our outdated 4341 running VM/370 (pre-copyright), DOS/VS (pre-copyright), languages (pre-copyright), etc. (pre-copyright) by purchasing a used 4381 off someone else's lease. We invited IBM in to quote us VM/SP and modern language implementations. The sales reps nodded and went away.

                        The next thing we heard was from the Vice President of Finance, saying "IBM called and said you people down in Academic Computing are going to waste jigawatts (pronounced with a Doc Brown accent) of electricity running an obsolete computer, and they want to sell us a brand new computer that is faster (not true, BTW) and more energy efficient. We're going to buy that 9370 thing."

                        Well, OK, I thought. Academic Computing paid for equipment, maintenance and supplies but power was part of the overall college budget (that's why we ran things like VAX 8650s long after the rest of the world). But if the VP of Finance was going to raid someone else's budget and leave ours untouched, sure we'd take a "free" 9370. We never considered the possibility that IBM would deliver a complete turkey of a system that would never function properly over the next 15 months or so.
                        Wasn't the 9370 a huge money maker for IBM>

                        Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Originally posted by Agent Orange View Post

                          Wasn't the 9370 a huge money maker for IBM>
                          Yes, in certain configurations. Ours apparently wasn't one of them. It had a number of S/370 channels, attached to controllers for 3278/3279 terminals and free-standing vacuum column tape drives. It is possible this was a configuration listed in the spec sheets, but never configuration-tested before announcement.

                          I forgot one of the sillier problems - if the CPU had an Irmaline 3278 emulator attached to one of the native 3278 ports (not the ones on channel-based controllers) and the Irmaline 8X305 firmware was below version 1.03, the 9370 would hang with no message during power-up. Presumably this also affected the Irma boards as well, as the 8X firmware was common between them (the standalone Irmaline had an 8085 CPU, serial port and EPROM to implement the display side of the 3270; the Irma board was an add-in card for the ISA bus and used a host program instead).

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Originally posted by Terry Kennedy View Post
                            Our plan was to replace our outdated 4341 running VM/370 (pre-copyright), DOS/VS (pre-copyright), languages (pre-copyright), etc. (pre-copyright) by purchasing a used 4381 off someone else's lease.
                            What does that mean? "pre-copyright"?


                            Comment


                              #29
                              Originally posted by robcarnegie View Post

                              No, Cincinnati Milacron was a computer manufacturer in the late 1970’s. They still exist but they no longer make computers. They currently produce technology and tools that support the manufacturing industry and are a huge multinational corporation. They do business as Milacron (having mostly dropped the “Cincinnati” portion of their name) but they still have their offices in the Summit Park neighborhood of Cincinnati.
                              Originally the Cincinnati Milling Machine Company, later Cincinnati Milacron Incorporated, is now known simply as Milacron Holdings Corp. since being acquired by Hillenbrand Inc. in 2019. Since the company’s inception under its orginal name, Milicron has served the market through three segments: Advanced Plastic Processing Technologies (APPT), Melt Delivery and Control Systems (MDCS), and Fluid Technologies (Fluids).

                              Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Originally posted by whartung View Post

                                What does that mean? "pre-copyright"?

                                https://www.copyright.gov/prereg/

                                Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

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