Welcome to TUG's eNewsletter "TUG Buzz!" for December 23, 2011


  1. "Perspective" — article by Tom Mavroidis
  2. TNS Earlybird reminder
  3. MoM Survey results & draw winners
  4. Next Meeting of Members — January 18 at Mid-Range
  5. Appointment of new TUG Director — Marly Campbell
  6. TNS, TEC2012, and RPG/DB2 Summit — Future Plans

Member Article

Perspective: Where Have all the iSeries Programmers Gone?

Tom MavroidisBy Tom Mavroidis

After another enjoyable night school session with Wallace Trenholm from Sightline Innovation as our guest speaker, and based on the small contingent of iSeries programmers present, I couldn't help but think "Where have all the iSeries programmers gone?". What immediately resonated in my mind was "long time passing" just like the song by Pete Seeger about flowers. What was clearly evident last night was that there lives a vibrant development community in Toronto, mostly made up of many young aspiring programmers that embrace the latest and greatest that technology has to offer. On the flip side of the coin are sparse sprinklings of veteran developers who are equally excited, I being one of them, that continue to embrace the opportunity to learn about things new and innovative. Everyone present was deeply interested in what Wally had to say, although I had expected a much larger contingent of TUG members than were actually present. Nevertheless the session went beautifully and all who attended were left with an excellent understanding of the topic at hand.

Wally's talk was on OpenGL, The Open Graphics Library specification, and what a rich resource of knowledge he is! He explained how it fits into today's paradigm of mobile computing from the desktop to hand held devices and how it is revolutionizing the way we consume data. 3d modeling enhances the user experience and Wally laid down the roadmap on how to get started using this wonderful tool. He directed us to tons of real world examples and targeted resources on how to get started quickly without the usual trial and error approach that we are so accustomed to.

Wally touched upon several free and commercial libraries with an emphasis on where to find tutorials (usually free) from the web. There was a demonstration using the tool "Blender" with a discussion of the three dimensional aspects of the product.

Seneca, a first century philosopher is quoted as saying "Luck is where the crossroads of opportunity and preparation meet". Mobile computing has produced a paradigm shift in the way users view and consume information. You can choose to ignore its impact on the general public and find yourself unprepared for the future or embrace it and have a step up knowing how to leverage it within your existing infrastructure. I think it's time to take a good look at this shift and lay out a deployment plan for the future or we may find ourselves ill prepared.

No matter what choices you make, 3d modeling promises to be one of many really cool new technologies available to us today, and I for one cannot get enough of it. Now all that is left to do is to find is a needy client with deep pockets.

A special thanks to Mark Buchner for putting together the TNS lecture series. Last night was free of charge to all TUG members — which is just one more way that TUG helps to encourage us to expand our knowledge base.

Wally will be teaching the TUG Feb 6th Blackberry Development Class and I suggest that this is not one to be missed, or as the Pete Seeger song goes on to say:
….when will they ever learn
….when will they ever learn ...

— Tom Mavroidis

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TUG Night School EarlyBird Pricing Reminder

Now is the time to register for TNS classes, especially JS301 and WEB201 which are starting in January. Note that our SUPER SAVING EarlyBird prices are in effect until December 31st, so act now to take advantage of this great offer!. Check our blog for more details.


Night School (TNS) 2011/2012 Calendar

TUG is offering a high-value, instructor-led, hands-on training that is designed for minimal conflict with your day-to-day operations because it is conducted on weekday evenings. You can select one or more offerings. It is only possible because of the relationship between TUG and Seneca@York. Attendees have access to IBM Systems and software which are part of the Academic Computing Systems at Seneca and York University.

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Enter your Comments on our Blog
Link Course Name Fees Start Days Instructor
Open Platform
$350 Jan 09 4
Vic Metcalfe
$200 Jan 11 3
Larry Petropoulos
BlackBerry Dev
$350 Feb 06 4
Wallace Trenholm
System i
Rational Web
$400 Feb 15 5
Claus Weiss
SQL for i
$350 Mar 12 4
Russell Pangborn
Modern Ops for i
$350 Mar 28 4
Garry Kipfer
PHP on i
$275 Apr 16 3
Mark Buchner

TNS QR code

QR code for TNS Registration


Register for TUG Night School at www.tug.ca/tns/TNSReg.html

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TUG MoM Survey Results

Last week we invited folks to participate in a "One Minute Survey" to determine whether to continue with evening meetings, or to schedule a few morning meetings. We offered the chance to win a couple of Tim Horton's $25 gift cards to encourage participation. More than half of the respondents were not willing to attend an evening meeting at all, and a more than 60% preferred evenings vs.less than 19% who preferred mornings. (See charts below...)
As a result, we will will be continuing with evening meetings.

Question 1. TUG is thinking about having one of our Meetings of Members in the morning (i.e. a Breakfast Meeting), instead of our usual evening time. Would you be willing to attend a morning meeting?

Results: (48.91% Yes, 51.09% No)


Question 2.
How strongly would you agree or disagree with the following statement?
"I would prefer it if most of the TUG MoMs were held in the morning instead of the evening."

Results: (60.87% Disagree, 20.65% Neutral, 18.48% Agree)Graph-1

Question 3. What are your thoughts on this issue? (morning vs. evening meetings)
Click here to read the individual responses.

The winners of the draw prizes were: Marly Campbell (John Forsyth Shirt Company) and Paul Reed (ERB Group). Thanks to all who participated!

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Next TUG Meeting of Members
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

LOCATION: Mid-Range, 85 Idema Road, Markham, Ontario
ADMISSION: Free to all TUG members ($40 non-members)


4:00 Sign up & Greeting

4:30 Session 1: PHP for i

  • Speaker: Mike Pavlak

    Mike PavlakMike Pavlak has been working with IBM midrange solutions since 1992 and IBM Mainframes before that. After years of developing applications using RPG, CL and PHP, he managed IT development and IT for power protection manufacturer Tripp Lite. Recently, Mike has joined Zend as a solutions consultant working with the IBM i sales team and spreading the news about Zend solutions in the IBM midrange arena. Mike lives in suburban Chicago with his wife, five kids, a dog, three cats, a leopard-spotted gecko, Russian tortoise, two rabbits, half a dozen fish and dwarf hamster.

    "One of the most extraordinary things happening in the IBM i community is the wealth of new talent coming onto the scene. Many i shops are attracting PHP developers who were servicing the Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP (LAMP) community. Several LAMP developers are excited to discover the IBM i box that sits in the corner and can do some pretty interesting things. Many PHP shops enjoy tremendous success in enhancing their RPG and COBOL developers’ skills with PHP. But the unexpected benefit is that PHP is unifying the development team around the IBM i platform. Development teams that were once fractured around various language alternatives are now solidifying as PHP lets i shops recentralize data and applications. Developers, Web designers and PC programmers can sing from the same songbook again and enjoy the productivity cross-pollination can bring."Mike Pavlak

5:30 Intermission (Buffet Dinner & Networking)

6:30 Session 2: - TBA

8:45 Wrap Up and Door Prize Draw

Register now for the TUG MoM at www.tug.ca/reg_meet_form.php


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Marly Campbell joins the TUG Board of Directors

The TUG Board is pleased to announce that they have appointed Marly Campbell as a Director, effective January 1st, 2012. She will fill a vacant seat which runs until May 2014. Marly is a Programmer Analyst with the John Forsyth Shirt Company Ltd., a corporate member in good standing since 1988. Please join us in welcoming Marly to the Board.

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Future Plans

TUG Night School: We are putting together a new course in the new year on the topic of "RPG Open Access" with instructor Garry Kipfer, assisted by Barbara Morris and others from the IBM Toronto Lab.

TEC 2012: Tentative dates for next year's TEC are April 24th and 25th at the Seneca@York campus.

RPG/DB2 Summit: Negotations are under way for TUG to bring you the popular RPG/DB2 Summit this spring, with veteran world-favourite lecturers Susan Gantner, Jon Paris, and Paul Tuohy. Stay tuned for more information!

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TUG GOLD Sponsors


The Toronto Users Group  
 for Power Systems (TUG) is a user group/forum for the exchange  
 of ideas, and specializes  
 in providing affordable 
  education relating to the  
 IBM iSeries, AS/400,  
 System i, and Power Systems platforms.  

 TUG is in its 27th year of operation.


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