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Forum etiquette

Our mission ...

This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.


Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.


Stay close to the original topic being discussed
  • If you are starting a new thread choose a reasonable sub-forum to start your thread. (If you choose incorrectly don't worry, we can fix that.)
  • If you are responding to a thread, stay on topic - the original poster was trying to achieve something. You can always start a new thread instead of potentially "hijacking" an existing thread.



Contribute something meaningful

To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
  • This is not a chat room. If you are taking less than 30 seconds to make a post then you are probably doing something wrong. A post should be on topic, clear, and contribute something meaningful to the discussion. If people read your posts and feel that their time as been wasted, they will stop reading your posts. Worse yet, they will stop visiting and we'll lose their experience and contributions.
  • Do not bump threads.
  • Do not "necro-post" unless you are following up to a specific person on a specific thread. And even then, that person may have moved on. Just start a new thread for your related topic.
  • Use the Private Message system for posts that are targeted at a specific person.


"PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
  • "PM Sent!": Do not tell the rest of us that you sent a PM ... the forum software will tell the other person that they have a PM waiting.
  • "How much is shipping to ....": This is a very specific and directed question that is not of interest to anybody else.


Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.


Reporting problematic posts

If you see spam, a wildly off-topic post, or something abusive or illegal please report the thread by clicking on the "Report Post" icon. (It looks like an exclamation point in a triangle and it is available under every post.) This send a notification to all of the moderators, so somebody will see it and deal with it.

If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.


New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.


Other suggestions
  • Use Google, books, or other definitive sources. There is a lot of information out there.
  • Don't make people guess at what you are trying to say; we are not mind readers. Be clear and concise.
  • Spelling and grammar are not rated, but they do make a post easier to read.
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Future of AS 400 and Net

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    Future of AS 400 and Net

    Hi All,

    First of all I am a newbie on this site. I was trying to find out how could I post a question on the forum but all I could find was the post a new article link. Please excuse me for posting questions in the articles.

    First question: how do I post questions on this forum?

    Second question for which I came here, actually there are a lot of questions I would greatly appreciate immediate help as I have to respond to the managers by tomorrow. They only told me of this opportunity yesterday. Apologies for such a short notice.

    In the company that I work for, I got an opportunity to travel to US for about an year to work on migrating AS/400 to .Net. I want to take up this opportunity as it has some good financial prospect + I will get to have some new experience working with the client but am a little apprehensive about it.

    All I know about AS/400 is it is a legacy technology and that the client is migrating their software from AS/400 to .Net. With help from experts on this forum, I want to understand what exactly is AS/400 and what is its future? Is it a server, a framework, a language - what is it? How are programs written using this technology?

    Is it worth it for an experienced .Net developer to devote like half a day for several months to learn a legacy technology to port it to .Net? I understand .Net is anyway involved in this and I will learn more of .net while doing this work and that it can add weight to my resume, learning a new technology while doing project development is going to be a challenge. I just want to make sure taking so much of pain is worth it and I would be able to leverage this in future.

    Could you guys please help me understand if there is a possibility of growth in future using the AS/400 - .Net combination?

    Given my situation where I have to learn AS/400 while working on the project, how long should I be expected to become sufficiently conversant with the technology so that I can read the code and understand what is going on and then write that in .Net? I can assure you if there is some text available like books on the technology I would be able to pick up things decently fast. So how much time might it take to understand basic constructs like variables, types, methods, returning values, accessibility, operators, conditionals, loops, jumps, constants etc. Also what about exception handling, memory management, file IO, logging etc?

    Is it possible to acquire this software from somewhere, install it and start learning/practicing coding using AS/400 like other platforms like .Net where you just get the software - IIS, visual studio, c# compiler, asp.net, SQL server etc, install it and start working?

    I have also tried to search internet and am still trying it but I wanted to hear from experts who actually have worked/are working on this.

    A huge thanks to all of you for help!!!
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