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Readers respond to Fast400 settlement

Recently, asked readers what they thought about the Fast400 saga. No one seemed in favor of the CFINT governor, some were leery of the performance boosting software's business legitimacy.

Recently, asked readers what they thought about the Fast400 saga. No one seemed in favor of the CFINT governor, some were leery of the performance boosting software's business legitimacy. Here is a sampling of the responses.

Your box, you bought it

I can understand where IBM is coming from and why they use the CFINT 5250 limiter, but I don't think they have any right to determine what you can and cannot do on any box that has been bought from them.

As an analogy, if I were to buy a new car I would have the choice of whichever model I wanted; one that would suit my budget as well as my needs. When I buy that car I have the right to take it into a specialist shop and have the engine management system "chipped" to improve the performance, in the same way I can over-clock the CPU on my PC to increase performance.

If I do this, I have to tell my insurers and I will probably invalidate the warranty, but at the end of the day it's my choice and the only time I might be bound by other obligations would be if the car was leased or bought on a Hire Purchase scheme.

Surely the same is true of my AS400 or iSeries box. As long as I have purchased it outright and am willing to take the risk on the warranty aspect I should be able to run FAST/400 or anything else.

The question then becomes, if performance is increased this way, how does it affect my software license? Will the increase in performance warrant a change in processor group and if so will this warrant an increase in license fees? My guess is that it would depend entirely on the wording of the license and whether or not the processor group is included in the terms. If not then I don't see how IBM would be able to charge for more, let alone police it.


Caveat emptor
You can't depend on contracts like this so I would never subscribe until proven legal. It's like Ta Tools was in a way.


Not worth the bad blood
I've never understood how IBM thinks putting an artificial limit on speed could make enough money to counter the negative image intentionally limiting performance creates among the user community. I work in a shop where SQL Server and the iSeries are competing and every time the idea of consolidation is floated, cost on the IBM side is a big issue. Fast400's demise might make them money but it makes those of us arguing for an IBM solution look like shills in a carnival.


Pick on someone your own size

IBM's policies constitute the real extortion here. Anytime a vendor artificially cripples a product in order to create a false impression of value among multiple "models" of the same product, it is bad marketing, and more importantly, bad customer service. Whether it is Intel creating crippled SX chips in order to boost the perceived value of the non-crippled chips, or IBM crippling the interactive response of an iSeries, it is a false proposition.

IBM should just turn off the interactive governor and deliver the full price/performance value that the iSeries (or whatever the heck they choose to call an AS/400 these days) contains. Beating up on a little guy and hounding him out of business is another black eye for IBM, and they ran out of eyes a long time ago.


Same old same old

I worked at IBM Rochester 1989-1992, during that time we helped S/36 users tune their application so that it would run

For more information:

Fast400 friend or foe? Users speak out

Fast400: iSeries users weigh issues

on the AS/400. We walked them through all of the techniques to tune their machines and applications, eg., sharing Open Data Paths by using Pre-opened files, using the RETRN code vs, LR, etc. All of this was to induce the roughly 350,000 S/36 users to migrate to the 400. It was therefore shocking to me to realize that IBM had introduced this performance governor, which would kill interactive performance for 5250 sessions, despite any effort on the users part to tune their applications. I have lost any respect I had for IBM when I learned this, it is clear that they are trying to extract more money from their install base. The interactive tax was clearly wrong but it 's no different than IBM's earlier attempt to force everyone on SNA vs. TCP/IP.



Let's take a drive to the local car dealer. We are looking for a sports car on a budget. The salesman directs us to the perfect car -- we love it. We test drive a lower-end iteration of the car and think it's great; it has fantastic quickness and handles like a sports car should. The car is comfortable and fits like a glove. The salesman tries to pull us up to the turbo model but it's not in our budget, thanks anyway.

Two years down the road the car has lost its thrill. It really doesn't seem to have the "get-up" that it once did. We've got a friend who has been working on these cars for years. He says, "Heck, lets pop that hood and throw an after-market turbo engine in there." We do, and the car is fast. Real fast. Is the original manufacturer going to care? We didn't pay them for the turbo, and yet we have a faster car. I just hope they don't sue our mechanic! .


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