I was learning computer programming while at secondary school, at as a school assignment we had to create an accounting system on a venerable IBM 360. We had 386dx computers back then with 2MB RAM, the first Linux encounter at this time required me and my friend to put all of our RAM modules to a single computer to get 4 megs and make it suitable for Linux.
This 360 machine had two CPUs, each the size of a large office desk, speed comparable to an 386, had 8MB of RAM. After getting used to the speed it provided (had 8 terminals on a 2400 baud modem) it was fun, completely different to the PCs we've had, but still, interesting.
Some of this memories were brought back by our partnership with Patownsend & Associates, a US based company to deliver System i (formerly AS400) and System z (the mainframe) software. Our partnership focuses on the development of a Syslog agent for System i, this way we could extend our syslog-ng Premium Edition offering with support for IBM midrange servers.
AS/400 (or System i), is a very interesting platform, somewhat reminding me to the IBM mainframe at secondary school. Text display on tn3270 terminals, all commands always starting with the letter 'Q', filenames condensed to a point where it is difficult to understand their meaning (QAUDJRN anyone? :) ), but at the same time a very consistent and very use-case oriented interface. The system is very complete, while a UNIX contains the stream-of-bytes file concept, OS/400 supports many different file types, for instance there's a file type of SQL tables, a complete DB2 is integrated into the OS itself.
It was a great experience to work with the Patownsend guys, knowledgeable people, who know what they are doing. I'm looking forward to our cooperation.