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Good News For Mac Users

October 22, 2014

Back in June of this year, IBMs Tim Rowe wrote a blog post titled Keeping iAccess Current in which he mentioned the availability of new iAccess clients for UNIX/Linux and Mac. At the time we were happy enough with the 5250 emulators we were using and so didnt see any particular compelling reason to check out the new offering. Recently, however, Jon decided it was time to update to a new Mac and it seemed like a good time to try out this new client.

To be honest, his initial reaction was disappointment. Because he knew this new iAccess was designed to be multiplatform, he did not expect it to install exactly like a regular Mac application. However, we have both installed multiple Java applications on our Macs before so he followed the normal path. Nothing worked, no error messages, nothing.

Time for emergency action--read the documentation! Yes, we know nobody ever does that, but he was getting desperate and it was all taking far too long. The net result was that he was able to get it running, but was still not overly thrilled with the results. The basic emulator worked well enough but an additional terminal window (a DOS command box for you Windows folks) was opened by the application and if you terminated it, it closed the emulator as well. Various other issues arose as well so Jon put out a request on midrange.com to see if others were having similar problems. Turned out he wasnt alone.

To cut a long story short, some IBMers spotted the posts and quickly responded with many helpful pointers that dealt with the issues being raised. As it turned out, much of the information was in fact already contained in the documentation--just not where we had expected to find it.

Now that we can launch iAccess in the same way as a conventional Mac application and have had some time to use the product, we have to say that we like what we are seeing. In fact Jon has switched completely to using it and abandoned the emulators he had previously been using.

So, a big THANK YOU to IBM. First for bringing out a product that puts us Mac users on an equal footing with our Windows brethren without the need for third-party software. And second for responding so quickly when issues were raised. We do have several comments on the documentation, particularly as it relates to the install process and will be passing those along to IBM. In the meantime the Client Access section of the midrange.com wiki has been updated to include simplified installation instructions courtesy of fellow Mac fan Aaron Bartell.

Now if we could only get the long-requested Mac version of RDi we promise wed read the instructions first!

Posted October 22, 2014| Permalink

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