Big Solutions From a Small One


Spotlight Profile

Product: FORMagic/400 PDF File Creator and Forms Manager
Company: Keowee Systems Inc.
Version: 3.30
Overall Rating: 3.835

You’ve heard the saying “Good things come in small packages.” Sometimes, it’s the smallest things that bring the biggest results. On the negative side of this, we all know how annoying and painful a small pebble in our shoe can be. But ponder how a strong but tiny aspirin has the magical power to make a headache disappear. Sometimes it’s the small things that can help make our lives easier and our users happier.

An international client I once had needed to send daily reports to field offices. Thing was, its field offices were in Germany, Italy, London and other locales whose names you usually read on the covers of Fodor’s tourism books. Back then, a PDF converter for spool files running native on an IBM* System i* platform wasn’t as commonplace as it is today. And were I reworking that interface today, I’d most likely do it a lot differently. Yet, wouldn’t it be nice to just embed your PDF spool-file converter into your CL or wing it from a command line, and do so with the ease of an Override With Printer File (OVRPRTF) command?

This month, I look at FORMagic/400 PDF File Creator from Keowee Systems (


Frankly, I took the simple route for installation. I FTPed the save file, restored it and was in business. I used FTP because I’ve done it so many times before. By the time you read this, I hope the FTP instructions have been expanded a bit so those with fewer FTPs under their belts can follow them more easily. Right now, they’re a bit laconic and could cause some problems for the uninitiated. But once I cleared that minor hurdle, things went fine.

A few minutes of walkthrough with tech support and you’ll be in business like you’ve been using this for years. I recommend experimenting with it a bit just to see what you can do with your spool files.

Ease of Use

Once I ran through a couple of different sizing and PDF-building options to basically get the feel of things, this became one of the simplest CL commands I’ve used.


The documentation is very functional. It needs a little help in the installation area and a few more screen shots may not hurt, but you shouldn’t have any problems.


Everything I tried worked as I expected it to.


Don Rima has more than 20 years of experience with IBM midrange systems. Don can be reached at

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