Product Review: DTT1000 from Ohio Data Transfer

Most of us probably remember the Ma Bell Yellow Pages marketing slogan: "Let your fingers do the walking..." Wouldn't it be nice to let your fingers do the walking through your AS/400 or iSeries server?

That's why I was intrigued when I received a brochure from a vendor touting its software as a "revolutionary product that allows two-way telephone access" to the database on my Model 170 without modifications to my existing applications.

The concept of dialing up the box at the office and having it read information to me off any screen seemed like a cool idea. The idea of having clients whose customers could dial into their 400s and interrogate information, get order status, place orders, check on the system status, etc., and have it spoken to them over the phone was interesting. I was curious to know how the vendor did it and how complex things would get. So, I asked for a sample copy.

This month, let's examine DTT1000 from Ohio Data Transfer (

Well, what you'll go through as a general user and what I went through for this article are hopefully two drastically different things. Let me explain.

Usually this product is delivered preinstalled, complete with a server thats preloaded with everything that you'll need and use. In theory, you'll never need to see the first CD. This theory works, I've tested it on this product. And, unless you request differently, this is how you'll be receiving the product. Theres absolutely nothing better than having a system that you unload from the box, plug in and it almost totally autoconfigs and runs as it should from the get-go.

The flip side to this coin is that there's a fully functional demo that you can load and run. This lets you do some R&D on developing scripts and is a full-function product without the special hardware. After two weeks of diddling with those CDs, the only thing working was my abuse of the English language. Finally, Ohio Data Transfer shipped a copy of the normal preloaded and configured system. I was connected and running in minutes.

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

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