HOT TIPS: PC Support (9 Tips)

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Easy Customization of Your WSF Colors

Customizing your workstation colors for PC Support may be much easier than you think with the WSFCOLOR program found in your QIWSFLR or QIWSFL2 folder. This easy-to-use PC program will allow you to change colors with an active Workstation Function (WSF) session. The changes you make will take effect immediately and can be saved in the session's profile.

Cooperative Processing with Data Queues

Version 2.2 Extended DOS PC Support provides access to any AS/400 data queue from your PC. This means that PC programs can easily access data on the AS/400. Either system can send and receive data from the data queue. For example, a program on the AS/400 could send a PC DOS command to a data queue. A PC connected to the AS/400 via PC Support could then read the data queue and execute the command.

Folder File Security

Version 2.2 Extended DOS PC Support offers a new Check File (CHKFIL) command which can prevent anyone from updating a file in a shared folder while another user has the file checked out. For example, any user that is about to edit a file can first check it out. As long as the file is checked out, no one else can update the file until the user who checked it out checks it back in. A typical sequence of events might look like this:

A user wants to edit document CUSTLTR in shared folder LETTERS and wants to prevent anyone else from updating the file while he is working with it. He checks it out as follows:


He edits CUSTLTR. He checks the file back in:


The CHKFIL command will also provide a list of checked-out files by directory, user or tree.

Running AS/400 Commands from Your PC

The Remote Command (RMTCMD) program of PC Support/400 allows you to run many AS/400 commands from your PC without starting an AS/400 session. As long as the PC Support Organizer is active, you do not need to transfer to your AS/400 session to run OS/400 commands. To start the organizer to enable this function, run the Start PC Organizer (STRPCO) command from your AS/400 PC Support session.

Running PC Commands from Your AS/400

You can run any PC command from your PC Support WSF display station by using the Start PC Command (STRPCCMD) command. The only requirement is that the PC Support Organizer be active.

For example, to get to a DOS prompt (e.g., C:>), simply key:


You can eliminate the need for your users to be constantly hot-keying to a DOS session just to execute a PC command. PC commands can become AS/400 menu options just like any OS/400 command.

Easier File Transfer

When you need to perform simple file transfers from the AS/400 to the PC and you don't want to be bothered with the cumbersome RTOPC or RTOPCB programs, consider using the Copy to PC Document (CPYTOPCD) command.

This command is much easier to deal with; however, it does require that the PC Support Organizer be active and it will only copy the file to a shared folder. You simply specify the qualified file name and a target folder name for the file to be copied to. Once the file is in the folder, you can copy it to your PC with the DOS COPY command.

There is also a Copy from PC Document (CPYFROMPCD) command that will allow you to go the other way.

PC Support Auto Sign-on

The regular DOS PC Support/400 sign-on sequence requires that a Common User ID and password be entered.

In some situations, it is desirable to get around the Common User ID/Password prompt. To do this, make sure your user ID is in the Link ID statement in your CONFIG.PCS file. For a twinax connection, it is the third parameter and looks like this.

EMLI system_name,address,user_id

This stops PC Support from asking for a Common User ID.

To eliminate the prompt for the password, modify the STARTRTR statement in the

STARTPCS.BAT file. It needs to be changed to read: ECHO | STARTRTR > NULL

...where PW is the password associated with the Common User ID.

The (pipe) '|' operator is what makes this technique work. It causes the password to be piped (via the ECHO command) into the STARTRTR command. In the meantime, we send the output of STARTRTR to NULL (i.e., nondisplay).

As a result, the end user never sees the prompt for user ID or password and never has to answer it.

Be aware of the security implications of this technique.

Hot Keys in PC Support

Since PC Support allows you to have up to five sessions, it is not uncommon to have more than one session configured. To keep from having to hot-key through all of your PC Support sessions with the default Alt + Esc round robin method, define Alt-1 in PC Support to be [HOTKEY 1]. This will cause Alt + 1 to transfer you immediately to session 1. This works for sessions 1-5. With [HOTKEY D] you can transfer directly to the DOS session. Define your DOS hotkey to be Alt-` (reverse apostrophe, the key to the left of the 1 key).

Use Your Own Menu when Running the Organizer

One of the biggest complaints that I hear about PC Support's Organizer function is that you're stuck with having PC Support Organizer Menu (PCOMNU) as the initial menu. Even if you have set another menu as the initial menu on the user profile, you still get the organizer menu when you log on to the first session.

You can do something about this. Run the PC Support Configuration (CFGPCS) program. Select the Organizer function, then select the General Organizer Options. Press F10 and select the Sessions pull-down menu. Select your first workstation session (normally session 1). Enter the Start PC Organizer (STRPCO) command under "List of host commands."

When the organizer is initiated for a workstation session, each host command in the list is executed. If no command is entered, it will default to STRPCO, followed by GO PCOMNU for the first workstation session. By entering the STRPCO command for the first session, the default is overridden and GO PCOMNU will not be executed.