Rob McNelly is a senior Power Systems solutions architect doing pre-sales and post-sales support for Meridian IT, headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois. McNelly was a technical editor for IBM Systems Magazine, and a former administrator within IBM's Integrated Technology Delivery and Server Operations division. Prior to working for IBM, McNelly was an OS/400 and IBM i operator for many years for multiple companies. McNelly was named an IBM Champion for Power Systems in 2011, an IBM Champion Lifetime Achievement recipient in 2019, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 7, 2021 Rob McNelly
Over the past year we’ve all heard about essential workers. Essential workers are present in our industry as well. Those who manage and maintain our power grids and technology infrastructures have always played a vital role. It’s easy to overlook these professionals, but they shouldn’t be taken for granted. In 2020, their mostly unnoticed efforts were particularly important.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not necessarily putting IT workers on the same level as healthcare workers or first responders. My point is simply that during the pandemic, we were reminded that some aspects of our jobs can only be accomplished by …Read more
April 26, 2021 Rob McNelly
In my last piece, we got Yum and Bash running on IBM i. Now let’s build on that foundation to find an open campsite.
I’m serious. Recently I used an IBM i LPAR to schedule a hiking and camping trip to the Grand Canyon. Where to begin? My bio, perhaps. Here it’s mentioned that “Rob enjoys camping, hiking, biking, and backpacking through the mountains of Arizona. . . . His favorite trip was hiking to the blue waters of Havasupai, and he is planning on hiking the Grand Canyon in the near future.”
So last summer I went …Read more
March 15, 2021 Rob McNelly
In the March 1 edition of The Four Hundred, I noted that an emphasis on things like system/application modernization and open source solutions gives IBM i newcomers a degree of comfort with the platform. I also made the point that no matter how long you or I have been at this, there are always people, young or not so young, who are new to the platform and come to this site seeking introductory information about various tasks and capabilities.
With this in mind, I want to delve further into open source for those who are new to it. As …Read more
March 1, 2021 Rob McNelly
I enjoy reading about IBM i Fresh Faces. Sure, it’s refreshing to see that it’s not just graybeards like me who are working on the platform, but what really matters is that young people are learning about, getting hands-on with, and coming to love IBM i. I appreciate that many of these stories revolve around system/application modernization and open source solutions. This gives newcomers to IBM i a degree of comfort by reducing their learning curve.
Learning any new technology is challenging. Specifically, how do you go from learning about the concepts to actually getting on a machine and …Read more
February 1, 2021 Rob McNelly
School’s been out for me for a very long time, but I still enjoy learning. I gain a sense of satisfaction whenever I learn something new. Specific to technology, exposure to new concepts helps me understand how things work together. I cannot count the number of times where I watched over someone’s shoulder, or watched someone on a shared screen, to learn about a new tool or technique, or a different way to set up my desktop or environment.
Watching and listening to people is my preferred way to learn, but other forms of education – reading IBM Redbooks and …Read more
December 14, 2020 Rob McNelly
Those of a certain age will certainly remember the moment in Fast Times At Ridgemont High when Jeff Spicoli got himself into a bind after he wrecked his friend’s car. Luckily, Spicoli’s dad was a TV repairman, and he had an ultimate set of tools. Spicoli knew that with those tools, he could fix it. That level of confidence is intoxicating, although in this case it was possibly misplaced.
I have a friend that lives around the corner from me that actually does have the ultimate set of tools, and knows how to use them. For example, he recently rebuilt …Read more
November 30, 2020 Rob McNelly
There are philosophical differences that exist between people regarding the best ways to configure, manage, and maintain infrastructure, and this holds as true for infrastructure built around IBM i as it is for other kinds of platforms. The easiest and fastest thing to do – and what makes the most sense according to plenty of people – is to do what they have always done. Just keep replicating the past out into the future to infinity.
Others point out that this mindset stifles progress and ignores all of the innovations that have come to the IBM i platform through the …Read more