2012 Fall TNS Program Released

Night School

TUG is offering a non-profit, high-value, instructor-led, hands-on training that is designed for minimal conflict with your day-to-day operations because it is conducted on weekday evenings. You can select one or more offerings. It is only possible because of the relationship between TUG and Seneca@York. Attendees have access to IBM Systems and software which are part of the Academic Computing Systems at Seneca and York University. 

Go to www.tug.ca to register. Use this blog to explore the offerings and offer comments.

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2012 Summer School Program Announced

For 2012, TUG is introducing a “Summer School” program based on the TNS offerings of the past year. Our survey information has told us that many of you are interested in attending our classes, no matter what time of year. In fact, some have told us that workloads generally lighten up in the summer months leaving you with more time to explore technical vitality and development.

So this year, we’re doubling up on our offerings since Seneca has provided TUG with a second room. We’ve asked some of our most popular speakers to return with new and/or enhanced offerings. Check out our TNS Summer School pages to obtain more information and register to the program of your choice.

We have the ability to schedule custom or birds-of-feather classes. If you have a specific need for a class, please contact me at mark.buchner@senecacollege.ca or mark@tug.ca to let me know your need and I will attempt to coordinate it for you.

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TNS Prices will rise in 2012

We’ve instituted special “community pricing” for TUG Night School in 2011. Anyone, TUG member or not, can register for any TNS class without having to pay TUG membership fees in 2011. This changes in 2012. An extra $100 will be charged for all non-TUG members. Therefore, book your classes up to Jan 1!!

Furthermore,community  pricing discounts will expire on  Jan 1 and classes will cost approx $75.00 more. However, parking vouchers will be included.

Best to pick your classes and book them in Dec 2011!



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TNS Linux Class – Now FREE as OPEN HOUSE

Linux!! Time to get acquainted.

IBM System i customers have a relative on their platform that they typically have not gotten to know as they should. Maybe they’ve been busy, maybe this relative is foreign, speaks a different language, or belongs to a different religion. So it does take some effort; but the rewards areconsiderable. You will develop mutual respect and admiration. Who knows, it could be of great value to you career, lift your sprits and help you live a morefulfilling life.

That relative is Linux.

The reason it’s a close relative is that your IBM POWER Systemscan handily run a “distribution” of Linux on the same machine as IBM i, sharingthe same processors, memory IO. The kernel (the part of Linux that works directly with the hardware) is roughly analogous to the  “MI” on AS/400 and is the part that works with IBM’s POWER systems microprocessors and takes advantage of all the cool SMP, SMT, RAS and other features. At the same time, the attraction of LINUX is the large treasure trove of applications that are enabled on the famous “LAMP” Linux-Apache-MYSQL-PHP stack.

Much of today’s system requirements stem from dynamic weband mobile computing requirements. These have a tendency to weigh heavily on the use of an authentification system for users, an application server to handle today’s HTML5 and CSS3 content, an open, relational database and cool new apps which typically are developed using languages such as PHP, Perl, JavaScript and Python. If you are doing this, you are likely looking at an operating system to anchor your stack. Linux makes a better alternative than Windows and a much less expensive one than IBM i. Activation of i/OS on a POWER systems can range from $20-$50k whereby Linux will cost a few thousand for the maintenance and support. Frankly, it’s the fastest growing OS on the planet because of this.

Linux is a relative of UNIX, so it has roots that run deep. But where Linux differs from UNIX is on the governance of the software. UNIX, today is made available as proprietary software. That is, you buy the OS and support form a vendor like IBM (AIX), SUN (Solaris) or HP (HP-UX). You don’t get rights to see, use or resell their source code. Linux adheres to the GNU licensing model. This is concept espoused by Richard Stallman that says that software should be a public property, and source code should be open and shared.  Its “Open Source” and is not governed by a vendor, but rather by the Linux council, led by Linus Torvalds. Torvalds, of course,  is famous for commercializing Linux as a Unix-like OS using the GNU governance model.


TUG will be hosting a special Night School open house class on November  21. This is a one-evening, informal chance to get to see our night school setup and show-off Linux – in its open source form. We will:

  • Review Linux and IBM I history
  • Look at the command and options structure of  Linux
  • Learn to work with Paths including wildcards and globbing as well as links
  • Understand Linux security settings for files  and directories
  • Learn about the power of piping and redirection  of IO
  • Build simple regular expression for pattern matching
  • Build a simple shell script

Consider coming to our special Nov 21 class, 7:00 pm room T3074
Seneca@York. Advantages:

  • There is no charge
  • You will see the fantastic  lab setup TUG uses for the 2011-2012 Night School  Program
  • You will get to know your distant relative LINUX

Register at www.tug.ca or through this bog site.

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TNS 2011 -12 Plans released.

We are planning 11 TNS Classes from November to April of 2012. We are covering Web, Mobile and System i Topics this year. Browse through the pages on the blog site or click below to go directly to course pages. Registration is open at http://www.tug.ca/tns/TNSReg.html

Open Platform
LIN101 Linux  Introduction
AMP103 Apache, MYSQL, PHP
JS301 JavaScript
OGL302 OpenGL  Intro
BBX201 BlackBerry  Dev
RWS201 Web  Services for i
SQL202 SQL for i
OPS203 Modern Ops for i
PHP204 PHP on  iSeries
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JavaScript: More Relevant than Ever

It wasn’t long ago that my peers would look at me like I had some kind of mental defect when I mentioned how much I like JavaScript. Now developers are realizing that JavaScript – while it has some warts – isn’t as horrible as they had thought. It’s just poorly understood.

Just a few years ago JavaScript was best known for bringing irritating effects to web pages such as pop-ups and distracting animations. While those things still happen, now developers are building complete rich Internet applications in JavaScript. It doesn’t stop there either. JavaScript has made massive advances on the server side with projects like Node.js where it has a reputation for delivering high performance IO for huge numbers of concurrent clients with limited server side resources. In the mobile arena JavaScript is used to power PhoneGap applications on iOS (iPhone/iPad), BlackBerry, Android and more. With Windows 8 Microsoft is encouraging developers to build desktop applications with JavaScript too. There is no other programming language which shares the kind of reach JavaScript enjoys.

This year TUG (the Toronto User Group for Power Systems) has added a JavaScript class to their night school offering, and I’m pleased to say that I (Vic Metcalfe) have the privilege of teaching it. If you’ve thought about learning JavaScript but didn’t know where to begin, or you started learning the basics but lost your way trying to figure out things like closures, prototypes and lexical scope then this class may be a good fit for you.

The class will run for four weeks. Each class will include both lecture and lab components. The first three evenings will guide you through the JavaScript language, and the final night will introduce you to how JavaScript interacts with its environments, touching on the browser (DOM the Document Object Model) plus server, mobile and desktop environments.  The classes will be aimed at people with some programming experience, but not necessarily with JavaScript.

Of course I’m also open to suggestions on what you would specifically like to see covered. Please feel free to add your comments or questions below.

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TUG Night School Calendar 2012



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