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18/04/05. The latest news is now accessible from http://dbg400.net/cgi-bin/twiki/view/DBG400/NewsPage

11/05/05. Removed URLs pointing to my dyndns.org alias of dbg400.homeip.net as I'd prefer search engines to pick up on the dbg400.net link instead. As both domains point to the same physical box

18/04/05. My local mirror http://dbg400.net (was dbg400.homeip.net) and cvs server http://dbg400.net/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/ have been moved off the old server (an old IBM desktop Pentium 100 with 80Mb RAM) to a slightly more spritely machine (Athlon 850 with 1Gb RAM). One of the main reasons for the move was so I could implement a TWiki engine. I really like the idea of a wiki web, and I've been very impressed with TWiki so far. At present there is just a shell, but I hope to move most/all my content over to it; it's easier for me to maintain, and opens it up to others who want to contribute. You can access the Twiki at http://dbg400.net/cgi-bin/twiki/view/DBG400

I'm still waiting for the speed upgrade. My ISP tell me it will be by the end of the month...

28/02/05. Updated the CRTCSVSTMF page to reflect a change I made back in '03, but forgot to upload! There is now a field prefix option for character fields. The main purpose is to use an apostrophe prefix to prevent your spreadsheet app treating numeric content as a number, and stripping leading zeros.

Access to my local mirror http://dbg400.net and cvs server http://dbg400.net/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/ should be a bit faster now as my cable link is now 1.5Mbit/256KBit. That should be 3Mbit/300Kbit by this time next month.

27/12/04. Added a page on getting Linux working on my Hewlett Packard dv1066ea notebook It's a really nice widescreen laptop that's good for coding, surfing and entertainment :)

I've noticed a lot of dead links on my site, due to projects moving on or just fading away. I hope to clear them up, but don't hold your breath ;)

19/10/04. There's been a few updates since April that didn't get mentioned in the meantime. There's an ACTOUTQ command that's just in CVS at present. It lets you hold, release, save or delete spoolfiles in an output queue using the same selection criteria as MOVOUTQ. I've also just uploaded an old utility, GETMSGD, from '97 that extracts messages from a message file and build a CL source member that will recreate the message file when compiled and run. It's how I package all the messages used in my other utilities. Finally I had to update the main page, as my son was seven last week :)

30/04/04. I've put all of the code for my utilities into CVS to make it easier to view/download individual source members, as well as simplify tracking what changes I've made, and where I've made them. Currently it's only accessible via the web at http://dbg400.net/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/, though I may add anonymous pserver support if anyone shows enough interest. The web interface is done using ViewCVS. It works well enough, but bear in mind that the server is only an old IBM desktop machine with a Pentium 100MHz processor and 80Mb RAM.

This site is mirrored to http://dbg400.net, hosted from my cable broadband connection. Unfortunately I only get 128Kbit/s upload speed, so don't expect fast downloads . Apparently the cable provider is going to increase the download speed from 600Kbit/s to 750Kbit/s in the near future, but customer support don't think the upload speed will get a similar increase :( Still, it's another toy to play with, and it also means I can make save files & the like available for (slow) download, which would otherwise eat into my bandwidth allowance on my hosted dbg400.net site.

05/12/03. Another small utility uploaded. DASDMon is a DASD Monitor that gives warnings of excessive DASD use and of jobs with excessive temporary storage (which are held automatically).

23/09/03. Bug fix in MOVOUTQ to correct a problem pointed out by Jo Anne Ciminello. Thanks :)

09/05/03. Another small utility uploaded. CHKTMPSTG checks temporary storage for active jobs on the system and reports any over a preset threshold.

19/02/03. Four months lag this time :) My daughter Heather was four last week and I've uploaded another utility at last. CHKEVALS, which helps identify potential MCH1210 errors, has been added to the extras page.

16/10/02. Although it's been three months since the last news item, the site hasn't been static. I keep adding, updating and removing links, as well as tidying up documentation where feedback suggests it wasn't up to scratch. The most recent update today was to change my son's age - Ben was five yesterday.

07/07/02. Added a Save Settings option to the WRKUSROUTQ tool. Subfile and cursor handling has been overhauled too. Still haven't got the improvements rolled into the main distribution package, so you will need the search add-on and progress meter to get this functionality.

Just over two years on from the launch of this website (02/07/00) and it's expanded quite a bit. Originally it was just offering the main DBG/400 utilities, but it's now expanded and something like 25 tools/utility programs are available for download. Changes at my employer's - department downsize :( - have meant I no longer have much time to devote to these free projects. I intend to keep adding to them, but updates & new utilities are less frequent as a result.

Overall, feedback has been less than I expected, though I think it is probably on a par with other free software developers. At least the feedback has been positive, with just a bit of 'constructive' criticism on installation issues. Hopefully they have been resolved now. On the positive side it has been very encouraging to get thanks and support from other AS/400 developers all around the world. I don't know where all the code has gone to, but based on the emails I've received, there are users here in the UK, and in America, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Mauritius, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa and Spain. If you use any tools from here and your country isn't in the list, I'd love to hear from you.

09/04/02. Updated DBG/400 to remove # and @ from field names so it installs okay on non-UK/US machines.

04/04/02. Just a few updates to the links page.

29/03/02. An update to EXCSQL this time to add *UPDADD as an *OUTFILE member option. This works just like the *UPDADD option in CPYF - because that's how I implemented it ;-)

18/03/02. Another (minor) new utility - CVTNULFLD. This one gets rid of null values in a file for use by utilities that don't understand them. Wriiten as a companion to CRTCSVDTA but maybe of use elsewhere. There's also an updated version of that very tool, as the last update missed off a couple of error handling command definitions :( Thanks to Mike Krebs for picking up on that.

The visit counter service this site uses went awol for a week a little while back, but still it's up a couple of thousand from the last check below. I guess it has been helped by another newsletter mention :) This time it was in the March 13th Midrange Developer in an Open Source article.

10/02/02. Happy Birthday Heather - my daughter is three today. On to more technical matters now. Only just discovered that an Open Source iSeriesNetwork article I was expecting has already been up for a fortnight! Linux Not Likely to Grow iSeries Install Base, Sources Say for those that are interested.

24/01/02. What a busy day yesterday was! WRKUSROUTQ was mentioned in an iSeriesNetwork's newsletter (Club Tech iSeries Systems Management for Jan 23) and the site had its biggest one day visit count by far. The previous best, shortly after launching the site, was 149 - yesterday reached 560. Already this morning (06:30) there have been 47 visits which is more than the typical day's count. I hope people liked what they found. The guestbook got another six entries, and I received a handful of emails too.

Now at 11413 visits :-)

17/01/02. I've added the ability to search spool files to my WRKUSROUTQ tool. As well as subsetting a list of spooled files by file name and/or user and/or user data, you can now specify a search string, and only files containing that will be listed. Not yet packaged altogether, it's available as an add-on to the existing tool. The full package will include some much needed error checking too ;-)

We now have a mailing list dedicated to Open Source Software on the AS/400 / iSeries. If you want to keep in touch with what's happening with these and other OSS projects elsewhere on the net, or want to contribute/test/discuss OSS code and the issues that surround it, then pop along to the handy subscription page over at http://lists.midrange.com/cgi-bin/listinfo/oss400. Do join us and get involved :-)

05/01/02. Updated the CRTCSVDTA package. Added a one step CRTCSVSTMF command to combine CRTCSVDTA & CPYTOSTMF, added support for varying length fields, included the progress meter to give you something to look at and repackaged the utility in CMD.xml format. See the CRTCSV page for more details.

23/12/01. Minor update to the main page to reflect another year gone by - see if you can spot it ;-)

The visit counter reached five figures early Friday morning - Thanks :)

14/12/01. Just a few tweaks to the links page to update some of the entries, and to add a new one. David Morris has recently launched the iSeries-toolkit project with a host of GPL'd utilities. Well worth a look (and a download). The main page has been updated a bit as well.

Halfway through the month with just two hundred visits required. Keep 'em coming :)

02/12/01. Minor update to EXCSQL which now has in-built sort sequencing to allow for case-insensitive string comparisons. It's now packaged in CMD.xml format to match Craig's software, as it's used by one of his utilities. See the EXCSQL page for more details.

With visits at just under 9500 now, the big 10,000 is getting closer. Tell your colleagues about this site and see how soon it can get there ;-)

08/11/01. Moved EXCSQL to its own page to make it easier to link to - see the page for more info.

Last month saw double the usual average traffic, with over 1000 visits. Now on 8670, I wonder if it will reach five figures by the year end :)

25/10/01. Well, Microsoft may have released a new version of Windows today, but I can go one better - a new release of the progress meter ;-) It now supports solid colour progress bars as well as the original character based method. There's another screen shot on the progress page to show the enhanced look. Still only 13k ;-)

24/10/01. A progress meter routine added to the extras page. Give your users something to look at while you load a subfile or process a large batch of records.

Seems to have been busy again today for some reason, with around double the usual visits. Not that I'm complaining ;-)

18/10/01. Another update today :) PRGOUTQ (on the extras page) got a mention on the News/400 Club Tech newsletter today. It's pushed the total to over 8000 anyway, with over 130 visits so far today. Hopefully people have found something of use here.

18/10/01. Uploaded a savfile of the DBG/400 library with all the utilities. This is just the objects to keep the size to a minimum, so if you want the code too, grab the relevant packages separately. I was asked to do this for Tham in Singapore, who doesn't have access to an RPG compiler. It may be of use to others too. The library, DBG400NS, is from the NetShare400 AS/400, though you should be able to restore the library to a different name (DBG400 being the usual, but watch out for comands that have Product Library [PRDLIB] set to DBG400NS - they'll need changing to the restore library). The save was done using a SAVLIB with target release V4R4M0. Download dbgsavf.zip bearing in mind it's a big file (2.2Mb / 2349726 b)

Other news: My son, Ben, was four on Monday :-)

18/09/01. New (well, rather old actually) code uploaded :) I was asked for the RUNPGMTRC routine which uses the trace facility within debug to produce an audit of executed code when a program is run. Unfortunately this only works with OPM (pre ILE) RPG and CL programs - and we moved over to RPGIV just after writing this (early '97), so it's hardly used - a bargain ;-). See the extras page for more details.

15/09/01. Hmm. A long time without updates. I've been busy, but doing real work this time :( I've had some input into Craig Rutledge's XML based source transfer utilities, partly inspired by my own SRCPARSER routine :) Hopefully, I'll get the chance (in the not too distant future) to update my packages to use the CMD.XML installer too. I've added a poll to the main page, on behalf Stig Norre's (AS/400 Community Web Ring founder)

Visits seem to be fairly steady at around 500/month, with the total currently at 7161. The new virtual hosting gives me some nice stats, as well as overall transfer rates. Last month saw around 67Mb transfered, and DBG/400 has been downloaded eight times this month.

Overall transfer rates might increase now, as I've added a mirror for the brilliant text editor Vim to the site. I use this quite a bit at work, for all my PC text editing and increasingly for editing RPG and CL code. I've set up a PDM option to RUNRMTCMD so I can pull up code in Vim for some serious editing. Being able to searches using regular expressions is a big advance on SEU :) I'm working on a syntax highlighting .vim file for RPG and RPGLE, though the Rexx file is already a very good match for CL highlighting. The latest Vim (version 6.0) does colour printing too - code listings look much better :)

29/05/01. This page can now be accessed direct at www.dbg400.net/news.html. That might not seem a big deal, but I've now got this site hosted under my dbg400.net domain. Previously I just had a redirect to the main page at my ISP's webspace with the site. I don't expect to stick with them too much longer - I'm after cable access as soon as it's available in my area - so this way search engines don't return too many broken links. I've avoided posting direct URL's for this reason, so now I can :)

Unfortunately there were a few hiccups in the transfer, with a login prompt blocking access from last night until this morning, but it seems to be okay now. It may take a little longer for the DNS changes to filter through everywhere, however. One positive note is that this site now runs on GNU/Linux - check it out here Powered By ...? (another gif creeping in - roll on animated PNGs)

Some of you may have seen links to a top AS/400 sites list recently. I added this site to the list, but hadn't, until now, added the code to link to it to get votes. As it is I've already had 66 votes and made it to the top ten (just). If you want to add yours (please do ;-) just click on the following link. ez400 link

5213 vists to date - 41 since this morning :) There has been a bit of interest in my CRTCSVDTA utility as it dynamically parses files at runtime, following a post on the RPG400-L mailing list. The topsites page has also drawn in some traffic.

19/04/01. A bit more work on the links page and I've added a mini-review of CoolSpools400 which we've recently bought at work.

Just gone over 4500 visits - the last week has been fairly active for some reason

28/03/01. More tidying up and fix a broken link - Thanks for letting me know, Mike.

24/03/01. Just a HTML code tidy-up, mainly adding alt text to the images, and fixing broken/out of order tags.

Passed the 4000 mark

28/02/01. Finished the documentation and packaging on EDTFLDMAP & CRTCSVDTA so you can check them out on this page. I've also uploaded a little time saver for managing spool files - MOVOUTQ. Details and a screenshot available on this page. You may have noticed the new graphic at the bottom of the main page - as I've joined the AS/400 Community web ring. I wanted a different image, as the standard one is a gif, so thought a little xt5250 window would do ;-)

23/02/01. Added a page for my soon to be released .csv tools. See the details on EDTFLDMAP & CRTCSVDTA here.

Still no guestbook entries - has the cat got your tongue? :-) Over 3500 vists now.

15/02/01. Just one extra today, but I think it's a handy tool if you don't already have one like it. EXCSQL is a command line SQL processor that you can use just about anywhere - see the full details on the extras page. I'm now working on a file export tool to simplfy getting .csv files created on the AS/400. I currently use a freeware tool to create a generic flat file in .csv format, then CPYTOSTMF to get it onto the IFS. This doesn't let me specify individual field formatting, such as dates, etc that look odd as just 102 instead of the more familiar 00/01/02. I recently got a query about some data we send out that didn't appear to have any year 2000 transactions in it, because the usual six digit date had become just a three digit field. I plan on storing the choices (against each file selected for export) for field formatting, then use this to generate a more meaningful .csv file. It also needs to be able to strip out characters that would interfere with the .csv formatting - double quotes and commas in description fields are a menace ... If you have any ideas for features, now's a good time to let me know.


No entries in my guest book yet ... sob, sob ;-)

02/02/01. Two add-ons today. TDYPGMFSET, as mentioned on my last update, is now available on the DBG400 page. The second tool is PRGOUTQ to delete old spoolfiles on an output queue. This uses routines from WRKUSROUTQ, so you need that as well. See the extras page for more details & download

It's quite interesting looking at the stats Bravenet supply. Seeing where people have come from to get here is helpful - I didn't realise that many Netshare users were checking me out ;-)

27/01/01. Finally got round to setting up a site map (of sorts) and improving the navigation between pages. I've added a guestbook Guestbook as well, where you can leave public (or private) comments and feedback if you want. I'm also planning to upload a small extra command to the DBG/400 suite that handles logical files spanning multiple libraries. The downside is it's only useful if you have the source for the errant logicals. The code should be up here sometime next week - I put it together for internal use, as some of our major files are join logicals over two or even three libraries :-(

Another day, another hit counter ;-) I've swapped this time because Bravenet offer lots of handy extras, including a very configurable guestbook (above). They also do forums, which might make a useful addition here. Fill in the guestbook and let me know what you think. Hits just shy of 3200 now. The new counter tracks visits, not hits, so it should give a better idea of visitor numbers

22/12/00. Added CHKLVLCHK to the extras page following a posting on comp.sys.ibm.as400.misc. which a few people followed up on requesting the code - I hope you find it as useful as we have (daily use for six years or so).

Comfortably over the 2500 hits now

27/11/00. Added a section on the main page about running DBG on Netshare400, as John Ross has kindly approved its use :-) and provided a link to here for interested users.

Weekends are usually very quiet now but 50 hits since Friday has pushed the total to 2134.

24/11/00. Added BLDLIBINFO to the extras page following a posting on comp.sys.ibm.as400.misc.

Hits at 2084 now.

27/10/00. Made a minor change to the installation instructions as they missed out a command required for FTP from a DOS box. Thanks to those who've pointed this out - it doesn't affect GNU/Linux or AS/400 clients so I hadn't noticed - sorry ;-) It's also been pointed out that I could do with a site map - I'll see what I can do

Removed the WebTracker stats as they've been up and down all week. Aggregate hits at 1723.

20/10/00. I've added another web counter to compensate for lack of WebTracker stats (when it has one of its turns). It's back up at last, though, but only at 1600. I reckon this should be 1700 or more - ho-hum.

18/10/00. I've made it into print at last :-) Seamus Quinn's WebWatch column in the October issue of News/400.uk includes a couple of paragraphs on this site and yours truly. Unfortunately I don't know how many people have come here as a result as WebTracker is down again :-(

The last time I was able to check hits were at 1587. That was on Sunday evening. Judging from past publicity I reckon it should be over the 1700 mark now but I guess I'll never know. Anyone know of a good free hit counter?

3/10/00. Another little utility uploaded to illustrate a subfile view toggle discussed on the RPG400-L mailing list recently. See the Mailing List section on the samples page.

1387 hits at last check

26/9/00. Uploaded some more code to support another Usenet post on the samples page. I received an email with a search400.com newsletter attached - One of the Editor's Picks was the 400Times August review of DBG/400. It seems to have generated quite a bit of additional traffic - around 80 hits since this morning :)

Due to the above mention, hits are at 1222 and rising.

19/9/00. Revamped as mentioned yesterday. Another Usenet related code posting on the samples page

Hits up 20 to 1059.

18/9/00. Added a link to http://www.midrange.com. as David has kindly added a link to here. I think I need to revamp the main page, as it's a bit big for a welcome screen. I think it could also do with a more organised links page. If anyone has any suggestions about how this site could be more helpful, drop me a line.

Definitely over the thousand now - 1039 :-)

14/9/00. Added a page for code samples/snippets to go with mailing list & Usenet posts.

The site I use for web stats was down for a couple of days - it reached 943 by Monday evening and went offline, then reappeared last night. I'd submited some links for WRKUSROUTQ to www.midrangelink.com after that, and there had been a number of hits from there that weren't recorded. Hits have been around 15-20 a day recently, so I reckon I'm down by around 35 hits or so. As the hit count now stand at 963, I may well have gone over the 1000 mark already.

9/9/00. I've finally got my WRKUSROUTQ utility ready for download here. As I release each tool I plan to move it to its own page with screenshots and a tutorial/walkthrough of what it does. Some of the tools will be standalone, others will require DBG/400 to be installed already.

905 hits

21/8/00. Another utility is available on the extras page (see news 1/8/00). EMS is a simple message system for users on a single AS/400. No other mail package is required - It's just a more user friendly way that using DSPMSG/SNDMSG. The WRUSROUTQ tool mentioned should be up here by the end of the week, if I get time.

723 hits to date.

7/8/00. Another day, another update - Version 1.02 now available. I opened an internet AS/400 account this weekend, at http://www.netshare400.com, and couldn't get MAKEDBG to run through without errors. It failed trying to compile logical DBGDEP01 over system xref file QADBFDEP, and again when trying to compile program DBG108R4 which uses DBGDEP01. It turns out this doesn't cause authority problems until you run your system at Security level 40 (QSECURITY). It was another case of swap the file out for an API (this should be the last one now, honest ;-) ). I also solved a minor bug that meant display & printer files were copied to your test library, as DSPPGMREF sees them as updated files. The program now correctly only duplicates physicals, logicals & data areas. I made a few cosmetic changes to the DBG menu, adding an About & License option to the Help dropdown menu. See the download page for details. DBG/400 should soon be available to use on NetShare's AS/400 if you have an account there - watch out for it in the Programming Tools section on the home page.

Hits at 586

1/8/00. I've added an Extras page, with details of other utilities available on this site. There is also a list of tools that could appear here if there is the demand

Hits have slowed down in the last week, but the total has gone over the 500 mark.

30/7/00. The August edition of 400Times is now up and available. DBG/400's review is in the products section (8.5/10) and also gets a permanent slot in the Open Source index :-).

21/7/00. Version 1.01 released! My long term solution for the problem below was easier to implement than I thought. The field selection routine now uses the QUSLRCD (List record formats), QUSLFLD (List Fields) and required user space APIs. It's a bit more code than a few lines of file I/O, but it's the better solution. I've updated the download packages with the new code (now up to a whole 98Kb). For those of you who want to update your version the one changed member (DBG105R4) is available seperately. It also fixes a few bugs in the original routine - F12 didn't quit and the F1 didn't get you any help :-(. See the download page for details

A few more folks have had a look - hits now at 390

19/7/00. I had an install problem reported the other day, which I've now duplicated, so I'll take the blame. As stated elsewhere, I'm not a guru with API's, so when I needed a field selection routine (for the SQL prompting in DBG/400), I used one of the system cross reference files - QADBIFLD in QSYS. I know it's not good practice, and that files in QSYS2 are a better option, but it was the only one that gave me what I required. What I didn't realise was that the authority on this file prevents its use by a standard QPGMR type profile. I have *ALLOBJ, so didn't have any problems. The MAKEDBG routine will fail when it attempts to create program DBG105R4 if the person running it isn't authorised to the file. Even if the person is authorised, anyone else trying to do field prompting later could hit the same problem (CPF4104). The long term solution is for me to replace it with an appropriate API, but for now, follow the notes in the install instructions if this affects you.

The count is now up to 356 - it's slowing down, but still getting visitors.

I've been informed that DBG will be reviewed in the August edition of 400Times (see the 12/7/00 update). If you haven't been there yet there's no need to wait till then - have a look round now.

17/7/00. Well, it's a small world - or maybe just a very well connected one.:-) Leslie's recommendation (see below) has spread far and wide. I subscribe to a mailing list for the GNU/Linux 5250 emulator (see credits on the main page), and imagine my surprise to see DBG/400 & my name mentioned in a post there, forwarded from another list altogether. The original message was Leslie's, and it had been forwarded (from someone on both lists - cheers Sean) because the screenshots show the GNU/Linux xt5250 client (the X version of tn5250). The other mailing list is for James Kilgore's opensource ERP project (see below again). Both lists are hosted by David Gibbs' http://www.midrange.com. There are lots of other AS/400 lists available..

If anyone's interested in the SRCPARSER tool used to package the code for DBG/400, then feel free to grab the code here. It's just a CLP and RPGLE pair of programs to create the single member for distribution.

Hits are now up to 275 ;-) 149 today alone.

15/7/00. I emailed Leslie Russell of http://www.opensource400.org yesterday to see if he could add a link to my site, as we have a common goal in promoting open source software for the AS/400. He liked it enough to tell loads of people about it. The hit rate on this site was trickling along at a few a day over the last week, standing at 15 when I checked late last night. Early this morning it was at 53, and 12 hours later it was up at 93. If you think the name is familiar, then maybe you read his Open Source article in the July issue of News/400. If you haven't, then follow the link there from his site - it's well worth reading. There's also a follow up forum discussing it, and the issues it raises.- check it out.

12/7/00. Well, it's half way through the site's first week of active promotion. I've submitted link requests to a number of AS/400 related sites, and they're starting to appear now. I've also asked the AS/400 e-zine 400Times to have a look at it, and maybe do a review of DBG/400 in the next month or so. Even if it doesn't make it there, there's quite a bit to look at anyway.

bullet point


15/7/00. I've finally got the documentation in download form. Go to the documentation page here and download the archive of your choice. I've just packaged the existing documentation, so the Home links won't work.

12/7/00. In my enthusiasm to get the site up and running, I missed out some code from the MAKEDBG routine that builds an extra file set for the documentation system. DBG will still work fine, but if you want to experiment with the editor for anything else, then pick up the latest download from the download page

Mailing list - if anyone wants an email letting them know when there are updates to the site, or the code, or both - drop me a line.