About Chris Hird

Life is good

Life is good

I have been around the IBM i or it’s predecessors (AS/400, iSeries, i5, System i etc.) for about 24 years now. I started after being retrained by IBM from a Buyer into a programmer! I always loved to get involved with IT equipment and found a knack of being able to tinker with PC’s and get them working long before IBM retrained me. As soon as I had finished the course (9 months) I was assigned to a new project to bring a replication solution to the AS/400, it was called Multiple Systems Software and was written by a Guy DeHond from Hessenatie Information Technology. They were at the time and probably still are? the biggest shipping / Freight company in Europe. They ran their business on an AS/400 and if the system failed they knew that Antwerp would be frozen by the number of trucks which would have to queue up waiting for loading or unloading, not to mention ships! Guy came up with a solution which was based on an old RedBook which used Journal entries to update a remote system (system 38) allowing the system to be in-synch with the source at all times. Object replication was in its early stages and used a polling mechanism to check for changes, most companies now use the Audit journal to capture change activity. Anyhow, IBM saw a market for this solution and bought into the product, I was assigned as the technical liason to the project and had to set up the support and pre-sales group to help IBM sales sell it. I learned a lot at that time, the only thing I had worked on prior to this was a PC, I was given a B10 and a B35 and told to go and set them up(no IBM CE Assistance), install the replication product and get the support process in place…

After a number of years I decided I would leave IBM, I set up my own company Shield Software Services Ltd in the UK and started to sell the MSS product with some success. Then Lakeview bought the rights to the product and moved it away from Belgium back to the US and migrated the technology into the MiMiX product. This left me with a big hole as it was my main income and thankfully Lakeview decided to give us a distributorship for their MiMiX product. I moved to Canada in 1997 and left the UK company in the hands of a friend while I would manage from afar! Not really the best idea for many reasons the main one being friends and business don’t mix, add 3,500 miles to that equation and you know you will have problems. I sold the UK company to another HA MiMiX distributor in 2003 to concentrate on the Canadian company.

Our product development activities are still ongoing with new releases of HA4i, DR4i, JQG4i, FTP Guard4i and now with LVLT4i being released specifically for the managed Service provider. Our interest in PHP has not dwindled and we have made significant investments in new interfaces for all of our products using PHP and the Easycom i5_toolkit functionality. If you need modern and effective availability products or looking for a secure FTP environment take a look at our products. We are sure you will be impressed not only by their functionality but ease of use and cost.

Chris…

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