This page will include helpful hints and tips on how to access your TimeShare400 account and get the most out of your subscription. If you have any questions about your account of connectivity, check here first. Please check our Frequently Asked Questions (see below) before contacting support.
Frequently Asked Questions
I need some terminal emulation software. What is available for freeware, shareware or retail software?
There are several options out there for terminal emulation software. For some ideas, click here.
I tried pointing my emulation software at www.timeshare400.com but did not get a sign-on screen. What’s wrong?
The web page (www.timeshare400.com) is hosted at a regular ISP. That is not the address of the TimeShare400 machine. Check the email you received when you signed up. It will have the web address that you are looking for.
I keep getting disconnected from the server after only a few minutes of inactivity. How can I fix this?
There is an ‘inactivity timer’ defined on the server, but this is typically set to an hour or two. If you are getting disconnected after only a few minutes of inactivity, the most common reason is a lack of ‘keep alive’ activity coming from your telnet client. This is most commonly seen as the connection dropping after only 10 minutes of inactivity. Most (maybe all) telnet client software includes an option to turn on ‘keep alive’. This feature will send an occasional packet to the server just to keep your TCP/IP connection open. This feature should be turned on in order for you to maintain your connection. To turn on ‘keep alive’ in various telnet clients, do the following:
– If you are signed on to the server, sign off. Your session may automatically disconnect from the server. If it doesn’t click on the ‘Close’ button, or click File, Disconnect.
– Click on the ‘Open’ button, or click File, Connect.
– In the Connect dialog, click the Advanced button.
– Check the box ‘Send Keep-Alive’
– Click OK to proceed
For Client Access:
Client Access is not so user-friendly in terms of turning on keep-alive. There is an excellent tech tip for turning on keep-alive here http://www.lisug.org/Techtipclientaccess.htm . Please review this information. I will summarize it here, but if you have any trouble, please refer to the link above.
To turn on keep alive, you need to edit the session’s .WS file. For example, if you named your session ABC5D1.WS, the .WS file would typically be
c:\program files\ibm\client access\emulator\private\abc5d1.ws
Find this file and edit it using Notepad.
In the section [Telnet5250], add the following parameter:
If the section doesn’t exist, create the section and the parameter.
This ‘tweak’ has had mixed results. If you continue to get disconnected using Client Access, try using Mocha instead. Results using Mocha have been very good.
If your session is logged on, log off.
If your session is connected, click Session, Disconnect.
Click Session, Session Setup. Make sure that both Socket Keep-alive and Telnet Keep-alive are checked. Click OK.
General Windows Settings
In some cases, the above changes may not fix the problem. Your issue may be caused by your PC timing out on it’s connection to your router or firewall. If this connection ‘times out’, then when the AS/400 attempts to do a ‘keep alive’ check, it can’t get through to your telnet software, and hence gets a ‘keep alive’ error and ends your connection. In this case, you need to tell Windows to do a ‘keep alive’ routine with your gateway. This can be done with Registry Editor (REGEDIT). Editing the registry is dangerous, so please don’t attempt this unless you’re comfortable with this type of thing.
Set a Windows Keepalive timeout on your PC, so any firewalls or other boxes see activity from your PC. Navigate to the following registry entry (you may need to create KeepAliveTime as a DWORD), you can set the value in milliseconds. For example, 10 seconds would be set as 10000 decimal in the DWORD. If your sessions are timing out after 10 minutes of inactivity, try setting the keep alive time to 2 minutes (decimal value 120000). This will cause your PC to send a keep alive to your gateway every 120 seconds.
I can’t seem to connect to the TimeShare400 machine. What could be wrong?
If you’ve connected before and suddenly you can’t get a connection, it’s possible that your previous session was disconnected without signing off. If you are using a named device (like YOURNAMED1) it’s possible that your device is still active, so you can’t connect to it. Try changing your device name to YOURNAMED2 and see if you can connect. If you can connect and if you really do have a broken connection, the signon procedure will disconnect (not end) the other job and send you a break message. At that point, you should disconnect, change the device back to YOURNAMED1 and reconnect. Your job will be connected right where you left off.
If this doesn’t work, or if you are trying to connect for the first time, follow the steps below.
First, make sure that you are connected to the internet. Surf around to a couple web pages. Point your browser to the URL given in your sign-up email. If you get a web page, then the TimeShare400 machine is up and running. If you don’t get a web page, then the connection may be down at the TimeShare400 end.
If that’s OK, make sure that your Telnet client is getting out to the web. Try telnet-ing to some SMTP server (you can’t really do anything, but you’ll confirm that your telnet plumbing is working). For example, from Windows do Start, Run, and on Open: line, type
telnet mail.netcom.com 25
You should get a response from Netcom’s SMTP server. You can also try something like this from your 5250 telnet client, but the key is the port 25 for connecting to an SMTP box.
If that works, check the configuration of your telnet client. Make sure that the URL is correct. If you are pointing to an IP address instead of the URL, make sure that the IP address is correct. From a DOS box, try:
where <URL> is the address of the TimeShare400 machine (not www.timeshare400.com). Write down the IP address that comes up in the brackets (ex: [188.8.131.52]). That should be the IP address in your telnet client.
If you are on a network with a firewall, check with your firewall guru that you are allowed to telnet out to the web, and that the IP address you got from the Ping is allowed. Also – some firewalls convert IP from the web to IPX for the internal network. Ask your firewall guru about this one. If this is your situation, you and the guru will have to figure this one out…
I’m using Client Access (not Express). I need an IP address. How do I get it?
Client Access Express, Mocha, Rumba etc., can all be set up to use the URL of the destination AS400 (this URL was provided to you in your ‘welcome’ email). Client Access requires an IP address and an AS400 system name. If you forgot the IP address, you can probably get it by using the PING program in DOS. Go out to a DOS box and type
The IP address should now be displayed. But be aware – the firewalls at our end do NOT respond to PINGs. Use PING only to get the IP address of the host name. Don’t worry when you see the ‘no reply’ messages from the PING command.
How do I print?
Your welcome email included some information about printing. Basically, you’ll need a telnet client that supports printing, and it will need to support a named print device. A good (and low cost) printer emulator is TN400. You can download the software here. Look for the Mochasoft TN3812 software. The print device will need to be named as described in the email – YOURNAMEP1. Once the client connects, the print writer should start automatically. But if not, you may have to do a
from the command line of the AS400. If nothing comes out, go to the command line and do a
Make sure that there’s something there to be printed, and check to see if a spooled file is at MSGW status. If so, use option 7 to respond to the message.
I have some libraries on another AS400 that I want to back up and transfer to my account. How do I do that?
Check out the News/400 Tips and Tech article written by TimeShare400’s President… it’s at http://systeminetwork.com/node/60392 . It describes how to back things up from a save file and ftp it to another machine.
I want to use FTP to transfer files to my IFS directory. When I connect with FTP, I’m in the QSYS library system. How to I change to the IFS location?
Let’s say you’re connecting using FTP from a DOS box. When you connect with FTP, you typically connect to your user profile’s Current Library, for example XYZ1L1. To get to the IFS, do the following:
quote site nam 1
You are now in your home directory. To get back to your library, do the following:
quote site nam 0
You’re now back where you started.
I have some source code on my PC (in text files) that I want to upload to the AS/400. How do I do that?
You can FTP the ASCII text into a source file member. After connecting to the AS/400 via FTP with your name and password, try this:
put c:\mydir\abcdrpg.txt /qsys.lib/mylib.lib/qrpgsrc.fil/abcdrpg.mbr
Now, sign on and check the source member. You might have some trouble with column spacing, since your ASCII text file might not match up with the source member record layout. If you have trouble, download a similar member to your PC and check the column spacing. You can download a member with the following command:
get /qsys.lib/mylib.lib/qrpgsrc.fil/myprog.mbr c:\myprog.mbr
Now use your PC text editor to see the layout.
Can I use Operations Navigator?
Yes. But – if you are on a network with a firewall, you’ll need a bunch of non-standard ports opened up. For more information on these ports, check out
Can I map a drive to my IFS directory?
Yes. Again, you’ll need those ports opened up if you’ve got a firewall, and you’ll need Client Access Express.
My individual account is limited to a two device sessions. What happens if my connection gets broken while I’m still signed on to one or both?
If you’ve connected before and suddenly you can’t get a connection, it’s possible that your previous session was disconnected without signing off. This can happen if your internet connection gets interrupted.
If you are using a named device (like YOURNAMED1) it’s possible that your device is still active. It may be in ‘disconnect’ status, in which case you can probably reconnect to it and pick up where you left off. In some cases, the AS400 doesn’t realize that you’re gone, and your session is still active, so you can’t connect to it. If you were signed onto device YOURNAMED1, try signing on with device YOURNAMED2. If they’re both screwed up, try signing on with some other device name. When you sign on, our AS400 will notice that you have two other active sessions already. It will then disconnect one of your other sessions and tell you. Now you can sign off, then sign back on with YOURNAMED1 or YOURNAMED2 to pick up where you left off. Worst case – your stuck session will time out after some period of time, like an hour or two, and then you’ll be able to reconnect.
Some terminal emulators (like Windows Telnet) can’t be ‘disconnected’ because they show up on the AS400 as ‘server jobs’. Those connections will be ended instead of disconnected. Most decent emulators (Nexus, Mocha, Client Access Express) will support disconnection properly.
I am using Mocha and would like to set up multiple telnet device names. How do I do that?
Mocha allows you set a single device name within the software. To use multiple devices (which allows you to sign on multiple sessions) the easiest way is to use shortcuts on your desktop or in a folder.
To use this technique to create a shortcut for device ABC3D01:
- Right click anywhere on your desktop
- Choose New.
- Choose Shortcut.
- The location of the item is
C:\Mochasoft\mtn5250.exe /hxxx.yyy.zzz.com /nABC3D01 /dABC3D01
- The name for this shortcut should be ABC3D01.
This procedure applies to Win2k. The process for other versions of Windows would be similar.
You can create other device connections by replacing ABC3D01 with ABC3D02, etc. Replace the ABC3 with the 4 character prefix for your account, and replace the xxx.yyy.zzz.com with the host name provided to you for accessing the service.
Can I FTP from my account to another computer?
You can get an FTP connection from the internet to the TimeShare400 AS/400 (i.e. from the Outside–In). From this connection, you can GET and PUT stuff. For security reasons, you are not allowed to establish an FTP connection from the TimeShare400 machine to another machine (i.e. from the Inside–Out). In other words, you can NOT go to a command line on the AS400 and do
But you can FTP things back and forth from the AS400 by initiating the connection from the outside in.
I can connect with FTP, but it hangs. What’s wrong?
Groan. Passive FTP… Groan… What were they thinking????
FTP actually uses two ports – 21 (ftp) and 20 (passive ftp). A common complaint is that you connect to ftp, then try and do a LIST command or a file transfer. The command hangs until your connection times out. This symptom is indicative of the port 20 (passive ftp) connection not working properly. If you are connecting from a network that has a firewall or proxy server, check with your firewall guru. Your firewall will need to support passive FTP connections. This gets tricky for proxy servers, because the passive port is opened by the remote FTP server to come back to the FTP client. The FTP server only sees your proxy server’s IP address, so it tries to open a port 20 connection to your proxy server. Your proxy server software has to be smart enough to manage the connection from the host all the way back to you.
Did I say GROAN?
Can I access the tape drive?
Individual subscribers are not allowed access to the tape drive without special arrangements. This is because subscriber save file libraries (SVYOURNAME) are backed up to tape each night, so you shouldn’t need to.
If you do have a tape that needs to be restored, that can be arranged separately for an additional charge. But – there are many different flavors of tape drives for an AS400. We can only support SLR60 and other smaller QIC cartridges, and some flavors of 8mm (7208) tapes. And there are no guarantees – different tape drives… different versions of the operating system…
I have developed some software on your machine, and I want to create a CD for distribution. How do I do that?
We used to offer this as a service, but my recommendation is “don’t bother”. Back up to save file, ftp the save file to your PC and distribute it as a save file. Creating the CDs is a hassle, and by the time you get the master CD in your hands you’ll probably have tweaked and recompiled your product anyway and have to do it all over again.
How often do you do backups?
SAVSYS and full system backups are done occasionally, OK… rarely – like before a PTF install. This requires the machine to be off line for some period of time. An email message will be sent out to all subscribers ahead of time warning of the down time. Messages will also be posted on the NEWS message queue on the AS400. Most users will automatically have this message queue displayed at signon time.
Nightly backups are performed on the SVxxxx libraries. These are the libraries where subscribers are expected to run their own backups. You should run your own backups of your libraries to save files in the SVYOURNAME library. You run them on whatever schedule you feel comfortable with. YOU SHOULD FTP YOUR SAVE FILES TO YOURSELF!!! The SVYOURNAME libraries will then be backed from the AS400 network attached storage, but as a general rule you won’t have access to these backups. BACKUPS OF YOUR LIBRARIES ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. FULL SYSTEM BACKUPS ARE INFREQUENT, SO DON’T COUNT ON BEING ABLE TO RESTORE FROM ANY TAPE!
BACK UP YOUR OWN STUFF TO SAVE FILES. FTP THE SAVE FILES TO YOURSELF. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. Should you need me to save your you-know-what with one of my backups because you weren’t doing your own backups, there will be a ‘stupid tax’ assessed.
If you DON’T do your own backups and you need US to save you from your failure to run your own backups, the charge is $100 if I happen to have a recent save file handy on my network, and $200 if I need to dig through backup tapes to find the most recent save file. We make NO promises about having backups. It’s not OUR responsibility to back up your stuff. If we can help you, that’s great, but it will cost you dearly. I call this a “stupid tax” not because the “tax” is stupid… it’s a tax on stupidity.
Did I say “DO YOUR OWN BACKUPS???”
Can I receive email on my account?
For security reasons, SMTP mail in and out of the AS400 is disabled by default. If you need SMTP capability for an application you are developing, you will need to make special arrangements. Contact support at email@example.com . No inbound internet mail will be accepted by the AS400. If you need this capability, contact support.
How do I ensure that other subscribers don’t see my stuff?
When your account was created, you were given a set of libraries. These libraries were create with the option PUBLIC(*EXCLUDE). This means that no other users can see your libraries. IF YOU CREATE A LIBRARY ON YOUR OWN BE SURE TO USE THE PUBLIC(*EXCLUDE) OPTION. The default on the AS400 is PUBLIC(*CHANGE), which means that others can see and modify your stuff. BE CAREFUL!!!
TimeShare400 takes no responsibility if you create a library and fail to use the *EXCLUDE option. We will occasionally check libraries for that parameter, but, again, make no guarantees.
Can I develop web applications on TimeShare400?
Absolutely. You will need to coordinate with support, since the HTTP server will require some configuration to be able to access your web objects. You can develop web content in either your IFS directories or in your AS/400 libraries, or both.
We are running the Apache server for HTTP. We are NOT running Websphere. We tried it waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back on v4r4 on a terribly underpowered machine. Suffice it to say it wasn’t pretty. The current machine probably has the legs to run it, but we don’t have the time to figure out how to install / configure / babysit it.
Contact support for more information.