iTech February 2023 Newsletter

February 2023 Newsletter

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I spoke at my first in-person local user group meeting since before COVID.  What a great time I had.  I presented 2 topics at the Long Island Systems User Group Meeting on February 22. The first was Can your IBM i Recover from a Disaster, and the second was Navigator for IBM i. It was so great to talk and interact with everyone there.  They did a hybrid event simulcasting to those who couldn’t make it, but there were over 25 people in attendance. To me, there is nothing better than interacting and speaking in front of a live audience.  It was great to see so many friends as well.  The isolation aspect of COVID is more far-reaching than I think people realize. So, let’s get past my excitement and talk about the value of networking.

When it comes to enhancing your career, I have always been a huge proponent of networking.  Networking, to some, is a bad word.  They think changing jobs, moving to another company, etc.  But those individuals who think that way, are missing the value.  We go to local user group meetings, COMMON, NEUGC, etc to learn first and foremost.  In fact, if you look at all the webinars, podcasts, and iAdmin events that we do here at Service Express, it would be hard to find another place with that much education.  Yet, the other side of any of these educational events is networking.  Networking is interacting with others, learning not just from the presenters but also from your peers.  It’s having a conversation with people who have similar interests and exchanging ideas.  Perhaps it is developing a network of peers who you can bounce ideas off, ask for help with a problem, or see other ways of solving a problem.  At our iAdmin sessions, we try to bring this networking along with small breakouts of various topics that people can discuss.  I always enjoy sitting in on these and hearing what others have to say.  It is amazing, you put 5 different customers in a room with the same problem, and you might find 6 different ways of solving that problem.  Now, I can learn from what others have done, and it makes the path easier as well.  This is what networking does for you.  That is why we continue to keep it as part of our iAdmin sessions, and I strongly encourage you to take advantage of it.

I am looking forward to speaking at COMMON, Converge, NEUGC, and COMMON Europe in the next few months.  To me, it’s great to meet and interact with so many people, that even when I am speaking at these events I am learning new ideas, concepts, and ways to get things done.  I look forward to seeing you at one of these conferences.

So, the one thing that everyone is talking about it ChatGPT.  I heard it discussed at the restaurant last week, someone was asking me about it at Mardi Gras, at the user group last week, and all over the news. ChatGPT is from OpenAI, and while AI isn’t new, this has gotten a lot of attention even from the mainstream media.  Have you tried it at It is nothing more than an AI ChatBot that uses a new feature called AI Text classifier which lets you type in natural language prompts that then offers conversational replies.  The Bot remembers your previous dialogue with it and uses previous questions and answers to provide its next responses.  It is very very cool.  People have used it to write essays, resumes, jokes, solve math problems, explain complex topics, get relationship advice, parental advice, and then write, debug, and explain code. You basically ask it a question, and it provides an answer. So, three of my friends showed me the reply ChatGPT gave when asked what is IBM i?

“IBM i, also known as IBM Power Systems, is a platform that combines IBM’s Power Architecture-based servers with the IBM i operating system. IBM i is known for its stability, security, and scalability, which makes it well-suited for enterprise-level applications and businesses that need to run mission-critical workloads. Additionally, IBM i has a large and dedicated user base, which has invested heavily in the platform and continues to rely on it for their day-to-day operations. These factors, among others, contribute to why IBM i is considered to be here to stay.”   Well, there you have it, the definite answer to why IBM i is here to stay.  Now, ChatGPT doesn’t have any knowledge of events after 2021, but it does know that IBM i is here to stay.  That is very true, but if you are on IBM i 7.3, it should probably tell you that support for 7.3 ends September 30, 2023.  So, if you are on 7.3, now is the time to upgrade to 7.4 or 7.5; we can help you with that.  It doesn’t matter which release you go to, but if you are on a 7.3 or an earlier release, upgrade to a fully supported release for peace of mind. We might not be able to help you with ChatGPT, but if you have an OS upgrade that needs to be performed, we can certainly help you there.

Stay safe, and I look forward to seeing you at future events. 

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