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Around the World Wide Web in 80 Ways

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Looking for AS/400- or technology-related information can leave you feeling like you’ve been dropped in the wilderness without a map. There’s so much information out there, and so much of it is just plain garbage, that you may find yourself wasting a lot of time separating the wheat from the chaff. I’d like to help you on your quest for AS/400-related information on the Internet by taking you on a journey through the World Wide Web. On this trip, I’ll take you to some Web sites you may not have visited. We’ll also make a stop or two along the way to dig up a few gems at Web sites you may already know. So hop aboard, and we’ll get started. That’s right, just sit anywhere. OK! Have you got your feet in? Here we go, then!

Let Your Fingers Do the Walking

Do you remember the old telephone commercials that advised you to flip through the Yellow Pages when you needed a product or a service? “Let your fingers do the walking,” the ads exclaimed. Those were effective commercials and with good cause: The Yellow Pages are a fantastic place to look when you need goods and services. But did you know that such places exist on the Internet, too? It’s true! Let’s start our exploration today with a stop at the Midrange Computing Web site’s very own Online Yellow Pages!

Midrange Computing’s Online Yellow Pages

When you need to purchase a new printer, running to Best Buy or Circuit City may not give you the biggest bang for your buck. On the other hand, by using the Internet, you can find bargains that will make even your CFO smile. You can visit many sites on the Internet when you need to purchase hardware or software. Perhaps the best place to start your search is Midrange Computing’s Online Yellow Pages (www.midrangecomputing.com/yellowpages/), seen in Figure 1. All the major players in the AS/400 hardware and software industry advertise on this site, and it’s easy to locate the type of product you need.

The Online Yellow Pages help you get started on your search by giving you a list of product and service categories you can select to jump to the information you need. For example, when you click on the Change Management button, you’re led to a list of vendors that provide change management software. From the Online Yellow Pages, you can also quickly jump to the Online Product Pages for fast access to the exact product or service for

which you are looking. If you’re not sure what category the product or service falls under, click the Search button to search through all categories.

Interlude

Everybody back on board? Great! Wasn’t that an interesting and informative stop? I thought so, too. Well, let’s get moving. We have a schedule to keep. Our next stop will be the IBM Web sites. OK! Hands inside the car, please. Heeere we go!

AS/400 Information from IBM

The IBM AS/400 page (www.as400.ibm.com/) is a fantastic place to go when you need AS/400 technical or product information. From this page, you can find everything from services that will let you configure a new AS/400 online to industry-standard white pages, from downloadable PTFs to an online AS/400 knowledge base that is second to none. It’s easy to get lost on this site since there are so many links and sublinks, so use the Site Map page if you find yourself a bit out of place and want to retreat to familiar ground. The search feature on this site is a great tool, also. It lets you search not only the IBM AS/400 site but also all of the rest of IBM.

The IBM software developers’ Web site (www.developer.ibm.com/) is an area of the Internet landscape you should visit regularly. At the developers’ site, you can read about breaking news in other parts of the IBM world, find unique tips and tricks, and address questions directly to the IBM gurus responsible for the development of the products you use on a daily basis. The developers’ Web site has some public content, but most of the information is available only when you become a member. An individual membership is free and easily obtained by signing up at the site, while a corporate membership, which provides you with an even greater range of information, can be obtained for a nominal fee. Visit the IBM developers’ Web site when you have specific technical issues to resolve.

Interlude

Did everybody take lots of pictures at our last stop? Next on the agenda is a series of sites you can visit to search for answers to your specific AS/400-related questions. Hold on!

The best thing about the Internet is that it can bring an unlimited number of folks together in one location. Online technical forums are great places to go to communicate with your peers in the industry and get specific answers to your specific questions. Do you have a printer that won’t print in landscape mode or an RPG IV program that can’t access a service program in another activation group? Post your question on a Web forum and receive an answer from folks who have had similar experiences.

There are two or three AS/400-specific online forums that you should visit for this type of information. Let’s take a look at a couple of them. The best of the lot is Midrange Computing’s Forums (www.midrangecomputing.com/forums/). Here, you can find ongoing discussions, with users whose opinions change several times a day, on issues ranging from Y2K preparedness to Java programming. In this forum, it’s not unusual for long-term friendships to develop among the participants, and new members are as welcome as those who have been posting questions for years.

Another great online forum is the Midrange-L Web site (www. midrange.com/midrange-l.htm). This site is unique in that it is not an actual online forum: Members register to participate and then trade emails with other registered users. There are various categories that you can register for. When you’re registered, you’ll begin receiving tons of email. Each email will be either a new question or a response to someone else’s question. Many of the big names in the AS/400 industry participate in this forum.

Forums

Interlude

OK, folks! We’re going to take on some water up ahead so we can build up enough steam to climb Mount Opportunity. Just be patient, and soon we’ll be on our way to our final destination: AS/400 Web-based job postings.

Jobs! Jobs! We’ve Got Your Jobs!

It used to be that when you were looking for a new job, you contacted friends in the industry or sent out resumes to blind ads, hoping to get a bite somewhere. However, the days of hunting through the wasteland of corporate America for a job are over. Today, the Internet brings the whole world to your door. The market is so hot for AS/400 professionals now (and will remain so in the foreseeable future) that you can pretty much write your own ticket. You can take advantage of this bull market by posting your resume on the Web. There are many AS/400 job-related sites available for you to use. For example, visit Midrange Computing’s Midrange Market Web page (www.midrangecomputing.com/solctr/midmarket/). At this site, you will find a listing of currently available job opportunities, one of which may be just right for you. This listing covers a wide range of jobs nationwide.

Another hot site for AS/400 jobs is the Dice.com page (www.dice.com). This site started out as a bulletin board and made a smooth transition to the World Wide Web. At this site, you will find a list of jobs broken down by state and metropolitan area. This is also a great site for employers in search of employees because individuals are allowed to post their resumes here. There are even services potential job hunters can use to polish their
résumé or research future employers.

Time to Disembark

That’s our trip, folks. I hope you found it as exciting and informative as I did. When you make a journey through the Web as we just did, it’s hard to hit every stop along the way. There are literally thousands of AS/400-related Web sites you can visit to find information. We’ve barely seen the tip of the iceberg on this tour. That’s why we’re giving every passenger on today’s journey a souvenir fit for framing. Refer to Figure 2 for a handy table of Web site descriptions and URLs you can cut out and hang on your bulletin board for future reference. The next time you need to search for the best deal on forms overlay software or find a new employee, you’ll have the resources right at your fingertips.





Around_the_World_Wide_Web_in_80_Ways03-00.png 597x416

Figure 1: Looking for products and services? Turn to Midrange Computing’s Online Yellow Pages!

Web Site URL What You’ll Find There PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Midrange Computing www.midrangecomputing.com/yellowpages/ Products and services Online Yellow Pages
IBM Developer Home Page
www.developer.ibm.com Products, services, code samples, knowledge bases, exclusive content IBM AS/400 Products Page www.as400.ibm.com/products/index.htm AS/400 systems and products
GyDigital Corp.
www.gydigital.com/index.htm AS/400 and Windows software, books, and videos
Developer.Com
www.developer.com AS/400, Windows, UNIX, and Linux technical resources, hardware, software, code samples, books, videos, links to related Web sites Sentinex Inc. www.sentinex.com/nsite/default.htm AS/400 code samples, products, and services AS/400 BC Link Page www3.bc.sympatico.ca/AS400/ Links to publications, software, hardware, consulting services, education, and planning
Zappie Java/400 Page
www.zappie.net/java/400.htm AS/400 Java education
JOBS

Midrange Computing www.midrangecomputing.com/solctr/midmarket/ AS/400 jobs and related services
Midrange Market
Dice.com
www.dice.com IS industry-related jobs and services for employees and employers Monster.com www.monster.com IS industry-related jobs and services with more than 240,000 jobs in all professions
Job-Q.com
www.job-q.com/ AS/400 programming/management job postings with thousands of job listings


FORUMS

Midrange Computing Forums www.midrangecomputing.com/forums/ Online AS/400 forum with multiple categories with hundreds of active members
Midrange-L
www.midrange.com Email-based AS/400 forum with topics across all AS/400 interests IBM AS/400 Forum www.as400.ibm.com/service/forum.htm Fee-based AS/400 support services from IBM Sentinex Inc. -AS/400 Forum www.sentinex.com/forum/default.htm AS/400 questions, comments, and concerns

Figure 2: Here’s a handy table of useful AS/400 Web links you can turn to when you need information on the Web.

SHANNON ODONNELL
Shannon O'Donnell has held a variety of positions, most of them as a consultant, in dozens of industries. This breadth of experience gives him insight into multiple aspects of how the AS/400 is used in the real world. Shannon continues to work as a consultant. He is an IBM Certified Professional--AS/400 RPG Programmer and the author of an industry-leading certification test for RPG IV programmers available from ReviewNet.net.
 
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