TUG Buzz! for January 16, 2014


  1. TUG MoM is next week - January 22, 2014
  2. Seneca Update - Student Award
  3. TEC 2014 - April 24 & 25
  4. TUG Golf Classic 2014 - June 26
  5. iDev Cloud
  6. Press Release from TUG Gold Sponsor UCG/VAULT400

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Meeting of Members

Admission: Free to all TUG members ($40 non-members)

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


Date: Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Schedule: 5:00 pm - John Fellner (IBM)
6:00 pm - Social & buffet dinner
7:00 pm - Jackie Jansen (Information builders)
Meeting location: Living Arts Centre Mississauga

5:00 Speaker: John Fellner (IBM)

Topic: Rational Developer for IBM i latest enhancements

John Fellner

John Fellner joined IBM in the 80's working on development and support for the RPG compiler on the System/38, which grew into the AS/400. He then worked on VisualAge RPG; a product on OS/2 and then Microsoft Windows which let users build desktop client GUI applications with RPG-like source. John later moved into development and support on WDSC, which became RDi, then RD Power, and now RDi again. Read More Read More

7:00 Speaker: Jackie Jansen (Information Builders)

Jackie JansenCome and learn and have fun with the award winning mobile capabilities of DB2 Web Query. We will look at installing and working with the no charge Mobile Faves app... Read More Read More

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Seneca Update

By Russell Pangborn

Seneca TUG Award

Fall 2013 top iSeries student Ramone Burrell
Fall 2013 top IBM i student Ramone Burrell

Ramone Burrell has been selected for the Seneca Tug Award for the Fall 2013 semester. He recently graduated with a high grade point average and included a couple of Power System subjects in his selection of professional subjects.

He earned eight A with distinctions and quite a few A’s during his stay at Seneca College. I saw him three times in IBM i (iSeries) subjects and was pleased to award two of those A plus’s . I am compelled to check back and see why I only gave him an A for DB2. It turns out that time he only got an 86% grade (I only wish that could have been a low grade for me when I went to school!)

I spoke to Ramone to get a sense of what his education here at Seneca meant to him and he told me that he was happy to be able to establish numerous relationships with people who share a passion for IT. In some of his subjects individual accomplishments were important and in others he had to learn teamwork and during those times he sharpened his interpersonal skills.

Sometimes students question or push back at what our college determines is a valuable course of study in order to receive a diploma. Some students think a diploma in Computer Studies is all about the technical knowledge. We try to hammer home the point that communication skills are also very important for any graduate. Ramone will make the English professors very happy with his appreciation of that complement of subjects when he tells about the “copious amount of knowledge” that he soaked up not only from his professional subjects – but surprise – from some rewarding English electives.

As to the order of subjects taken, Ramone made an observation that should make our coordinators here at the college pleased: “Seneca’s curriculum coupled with its strict and impartial requirements for successful progression in the program helped to reinforce my conviction that there is a time and place for everything. Essentially, it helped me to be a more disciplined individual as it forced me to continually prioritize and make critical sacrifices.”

Ramone is an avid reader who is currently enjoying a series of Celtic fantasy novels by Katharine Kerr. A challenging game of Chess, cooking traditional dishes, and theater and music in the performing arts are his other passions. He wants a successful career in this industry but also is interested in social and economic justice for all.

This award is all about the synergy between the college and the Toronto Users Group and a passion for a certain platform. Here is what Ramone has to say about this: “I am also happy that I was presented with the opportunity to learn programming on IBM’s IBM i (iSeries). The related courses that I took throughout my time at Seneca provided some dynamics to what my curriculum entailed primarily as they were distinctive in comparison to anything else. Attending the 2011 and the 2013 TUG technical conference was a great way for me to interface with industry professionals from Canada and abroad. I will never forget the likes of  Léo Lefebvre and Jay Burford. They made my 2013 experience at TUG’s annual conference a fun and exciting one. In the end, from my iSeries studies, I have gained a fortune of skills that can open countless doors for advancement, and this I am most grateful for. russell PangbornWith that all said, I believe that my experience at Seneca has made me a more rounded, and technically advanced IT professional.”

Russell Pangborn is a professor at Seneca College, and a Director of TUG. He can be reached at  russell.pangborn@senecac.on.ca.

See all of the previous Seneca/TUG student award winners at: https://scs.senecac.on.ca/program-page/tug-and-seneca-college-iseries-business-application-developer-award

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Registration is now open for TUG TEC 2014!

TUG TEC 2014 "i Can Do IT"

21st Annual Technical Education Conference
April 24-25, 2014 • Seneca @ York

Take advantage of our Early Bird pricing before March 1st!

Conference Prices

    Full Conference Rate:
        • TUG Members $695 (plus HST)
        • Non-members $795 (plus HST)
    Early Bird Discounts:
        TUG members save $100 on a full conference registration
        until March 1st, 2014.

  TEC 2014 PDF brochure

TEC is the Toronto Users Group’s annual Technical Education Conference. This year, once again, we will be conducting the event at the York University Keele Street Campus in conjunction with Seneca College, with a new and exciting agenda! We have a very intense lineup of main themes including, but not limited to:
    • Performance Management
    • Web and Mobile Development on IBM i
    • IBM i & RPG Application Development
    • Modernizing your IBM i Applications
    • Accessing and Optimizing IBM i data
    • IBM i System Management

We have invited some of the industry’s top speakers, including: Barbara Morris, Charles Guarino, Jon Paris, Scott Klement, Susan Gantner, and many others! *

* Speaker names subject to change. (Not all have confirmed their availability.)

Register for TEC2014 at: www.tug.ca/reg_meet_form.php

TECRegister (as a TEC EXPO sponsor) online at:
www.tug.ca/tec/sponsorRegForm.php Read More

Download the Sponsor Invitation (PDF) at: www.tug.ca/tec/tec2014_Sponsor-Invitation.pdf Read More

Download the TEC 2014 conference brochure (PDF) at: www.tug.ca/tec/tec2014_brochure.pdf Read More

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TUG Golf Classic 2014

We will be back again at St. Andrews Valley on June 26, 2014, but in order to book the course, we had to promise a minimum of 72 players. So we need everyone to book early.

Download the flyer at: www.tug.ca/Golf/TUG-Golf-2014.PDF

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iDev Cloud

Sign up now for iDevCloud! You will be able to:

  • Share between multiple developers
  • Get private library and storage
  • Have access to most of the IBM i development tools
  • Select i7.1…  for now and move to 8.1 as soon as available.
  • Have All compilers for IBM i tools available

The Performance is monitored by system managers with adjustments as needed. The system is accessible at anytime from anywhere in the world. Just a computer and an internet connection are needed. Any work done on the system stays on the system until removed by its owner.

Contact Leo Lefebvre at leo@tug.ca to get started.

(*Free startup for TUG members.)

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Press Release from a TUG Gold Sponsor member

Media contact:
James A. Kandrac, President
216.520.1333 jak@ucgrp.com

For Immediate Release

United Computer Group, Inc. completes system-wide technology refresh for premier craft distributor Darice Inc.

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (January 16, 2014)—United Computer Group, Inc. (UCG), an information technology services firm, was selected by Darice Inc., a premier wholesale distributor in the craft industry, to implement a system-wide technology refresh. 

In late 2012, Darice chose Lawson (since acquired by Infor) as their new ERP solution. During the discovery phase, it was determined that their AIX hardware platform was inadequate to support Darice’s growth and would need to be upgraded. Darice was referred to local IBM Business Partner UCG for a consultation. UCG’s recommendation of an upgrade to the IBM i Series (Power System) combined with their VAULT400 cloud backup and DR solution was seamlessly implemented in late 2013. In addition, UCG provided twelve months of admin and operations consulting for Darice.

Jim Petkunas, Darice CIO, stated that, "UCG's 26+ years of knowledge, experience, and proven ability to execute in the IBM arena was the winning combination Darice required. UCG provided sizing, consulting, and a turnkey IBM Power System running i OS coupled VAULT400 cloud backup and disaster recovery. We could not be more pleased with our decision." 

“As an IBM Advanced Business Partner for more than 26 years, United Computer Group ensures tight integration of our solutions,” says James Kandrac, President of UCG. Darice’s new IBM i Power System features the latest IBM processors, representing a true leap forward to more intelligent systems that reduce complexity, decrease energy consumption, minimize downtime and drive down operational costs.

By selecting the IBM i Solution Edition for VAULT400, companies gain significant IBM i pricing benefits, and an easy-to-manage cloud backup and disaster recovery solution that delivers a low total cost of ownership. Today, Darice is well-positioned for future growth, and their mission-critical data is safe and off-site. The encrypted data is available online at all times for immediate, user-initiated recovery.

About United Computer Group, Inc. and VAULT400

ucgrp.com  • vault400.com
UCG provides cost-effective technology products, services, and solutions customized to fit the needs of their clients. Founded in 1987, UCG is an IBM Advanced Business Partner specializing in mid-market and enterprise clients. UCG has been rated in the top 1% of IBM Business Partners nationwide. UCG’s VAULT400 is a premier managed risk mitigation and business continuity planning service for secure online backup and disaster recovery. VAULT400 backs up an entire organization’s business-critical data to UCG’s secure data centers. Safe and off-site, the encrypted data is available online at all times for immediate, user-initiated recovery. VAULT400 works seamlessly within an organization’s existing infrastructure with no additional hardware required.

About Darice Inc.

Darice Inc. is headquarted in Strongsville, Ohio. The company was founded in 1954, by Pat Catan, an entrepreneur from humble beginnings who valued hard work and dedication. Today Darice is a premier wholesale distributor in the craft industry, serving many channels including craft, mass market, party, toy, drug and grocery stores.

The company’s key products lines include craft basics, jewelry making, paper crafting, bridal, floral design, fine art supplies, kid’s crafts, including FOAMIES®; as well as, licensed products from names such as David Tutera and Tori Spelling. Pat Catan’s has over 20 stores located throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania.

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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 29th year of operation.

TUG is the proud recipient of a 2013 / 2014 Maxava iFoundation grant.


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