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I’m going to start off by making a claim, and then I’m going to back it up. The claim is simple. At [ www.mcpressonline.com/forums ], you’ll find the best technical discussion forums in the industry and the best place to get answers to your iSeries (AS/400) questions. Period. Some of the best minds in the industry are regular visitors to our technical discussion forums. The discussions are lively and diverse, and they illustrate how the iSeries (AS/400) community members work together to help each other with all kinds of things. Whether you’ve got subfile troubles, Client Access connectivity woes, Java jitters, a network that doesn’t work, or you just want to shoot the breeze, the [ MCPress Online ] technical discussion forums are the place to be.

At [ MCPress Online], we’re never content to leave well enough alone. With your needs in mind, we’ve implemented a new forums system that takes us to the next level. We did this because our old forums had some limitations. The primary limitation of the past versions of our forums was a Web-only interface. There are many advantages to a having a Web interface: it’s easy to use, you can access your applications from just about anywhere, and there’s usually nothing extra to configure. Web interfaces are also great for searching, as they provide a simple means of doing server-side searches of all messages. But, as many discussion group veterans will attest, there are other interfaces that may be preferable, depending upon what you’re after.

With our new technical discussion forums, you’ve got options. They let you participate in the same discussions via the Web, Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP), and email. The Web interface is much improved over our old interface, because it’s more personalized. When you register (which is free), you’ll have access to a personal Message Center, which you can use to track discussions in areas to which you subscribe (more on that in a bit). You can also set preferences about how you want to view messages and even upload a picture of yourself (or perhaps your alter ego) so users can put a face to your name. If you don’t want to see all the beautiful mugs that belong to our forum contributors, you can turn them off by updating your preferences. The next time you log on, your settings will be remembered.

Another cool feature of the new forums is subscriptions. You can subscribe to everything, to the particular topics you’re interested in, or even to a particular conversation. When you subscribe, you will be notified when new posts are made in that area, and you can control the way you are notified. One method of notification is through your Message Center, which will gather summaries and links to all new messages onto a single page.

Another method is through email, which has two options. One option lets you get an email for each message that gets posted. The email contains a direct link back to the Web, so you can post follow-ups quickly and easily. Your second notification option is email digests. If you subscribe to an area and specify to be notified via a digest, all posts in your subscription areas will be summarized into a single email, so you can quickly see what’s happening without getting inundated with email.

As I mentioned, you can also participate with an NNTP client. NNTP is the transport mechanism for the public newsgroups, and there are literally dozens (if not hundreds) of NNTP clients for many different platforms. (Alas, I don’t know of a client for 5250.) Many online veterans prefer to use an NNTP client, because many have powerful features available to help you navigate quickly through busy discussions. Some even have features similar to the subscription features I mentioned earlier.

I’ve given you just some highlights of the cool things you’ll find on our technical discussion forums. No matter which method you choose to use, we look forward to having some great discussions with you at [ http://www.mcpressonline.com/forums ].

Come join the fun!

Brian Singleton
Brian Singleton is former editor of Midrange Computing. He has worked in the IBM midrange arena for many years, performing every job from backup operator to programmer to systems analyst to technology analyst for major corporations and IBM Business Partners. He also has an extensive background in the PC world. Brian also developed a line of bestselling Midrange Computing training videos, authored the bestselling i5/OS and Microsoft Office Integration Handbook, and has spoken at many popular seminars and conferences.

MC Press books written by Brian Singleton available now on the MC Press Bookstore.

i5/OS and Microsoft Office Integration Handbook i5/OS and Microsoft Office Integration Handbook
Harness the power of Microsoft Office while exploiting the iSeries database.
List Price $79.95

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