Fwd: IBM Alumni Directory

2020-06-30 Thread Gabe Goldberg

I'm just the messenger...

 Forwarded Message 
Subject:IBM Alumni Directory
Date:   Tue, 30 Jun 2020 15:59:22 + (UTC)
From:   Bob McGrath 
To: i...@agentsadvanceinc.com



Spending time updating the online IBM Alumni Directory while trying to 
shelter in place.


Could you check your info by going to the web site (www.IBMalumni.com 
), add or change and submit the data, or let 
me know by email (ibmalu...@aol.com) if it is accurate as well as any 
other additions, changes or corrections you can provide.


If you can include information about other alumni, it would make the 
directory more accurate and useful.


I enter all the data personally to avoid hackers and pranksters from 
messing with the web site info.


There are more than 26,500 alumni listed. (10,260 deceased).

Many thanks.

Bob McGrath

DPD & WTC (1953-1970)



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Re: Here we go again

2020-04-22 Thread Gabe Goldberg
When I joined Mitre Corporation in 1971, my first TIAA-CREF end-of-year 
retirement statement predicted benefits I'd receive starting February 1, 
2012. I suspect they'd been calculating/storing/displaying 21st century 
dates long before they needed one for me. Banks, insurance companies, 
investment organizations, etc. handled this routinely because they had 
to; no tradeoff was available for them between data storage and 
now/later handling far-off dates. Others could/did ignore Y2K because 
their business didn't depend on handling it. For a while.


Seymour J Metz  said

We had well over 20 years of warning on Y2K; management preferred to 
ignore it. Apres moi le deluge (the balloon won't go up before I retire.)


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IBM will offer free COBOL training to address overloaded unemployment systems

2020-04-12 Thread Gabe Goldberg
IBM is releasing a free training course next week to teach the 
60-year-old programming language COBOL to coders. It is also launching a 
forum where those with knowledge of the language can be matched with 
companies in need of help maintaining their critical systems.


The moves come in response to desperate pleas by state governors for 
anyone with knowledge of COBOL to volunteer their time to help keep 
unemployment systems functioning, a critical need as the coronavirus has 
resulted in an unprecedented surge in people being laid off and having 
to claim unemployment benefits.


https://www.inputmag.com/tech/ibm-will-offer-free-cobol-training-to-address-overloaded-unemployment-systems

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Re: New Jersey Pleas for COBOL Coders for Mainframes Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

2020-04-05 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Better article:

https://freedomafterthesharks.com/2016/06/27/exactly-what-is-cobol-and-why-is-cobol-still-a-widely-used-language-in-it/

Phil Smith III  said:

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/new-jersey-cobol-coders-mainframes-coronavirus 



Reasonably bad article but kinda funny/ironic/something.

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Re: it was 20 years ago today

2020-01-04 Thread Gabe Goldberg

And this mess:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/12/23/style/y2k-bug-millennials.html

On 1/3/2020 1:23 PM, Gabe Goldberg wrote:
Just came across:  ‘Here We Go. The Chaos Is Starting’: An Oral 
History of Y2K


https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/security/a30338692/y2k-panic/

I still have about half the Y2K books I bought, figure they'll go with 
the next Great Purge. Circa 1995 I thought of doing "The Y2K Handbook" 
(like "The REXX Handbook" and two VM/ESA handbooks co-edited with Phil 
Smith) but never got around to it. Likely for the best, considering 
the tsunami of books published.



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Re: it was 20 years ago today

2020-01-03 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Just came across:  ‘Here We Go. The Chaos Is Starting’: An Oral History 
of Y2K


https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/security/a30338692/y2k-panic/

I still have about half the Y2K books I bought, figure they'll go with 
the next Great Purge. Circa 1995 I thought of doing "The Y2K Handbook" 
(like "The REXX Handbook" and two VM/ESA handbooks co-edited with Phil 
Smith) but never got around to it. Likely for the best, considering the 
tsunami of books published.


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IBM Destination z - Of Elephants and Mainframes

2019-08-01 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Think back… think way back, possibly to before you were born. Think of 
the reasons why SHARE was founded in 1955, and the main activities of 
SHARE. Once upon a time, when electronic computing technology was still 
being figured out, each new machine was so different from its 
predecessors that it was necessary to rewrite a whole new set of 
utilities and drivers and applications for it. Even Assembly language 
wasn’t available until 1957 (and the first COBOL compiler didn’t come 
out until 1960) so most of this stuff had to be manually entered in 
machine language.


http://destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Trends/elephants-and-mainframes

Um, no. ACM SIGPLAN History of Programming Languages Conference 1978 
article on FORTRAN says:


Page 166 1.3 Programming Systems in 1954

Most "automatic programming" systems  were either assembly programs, or 
subroutine-fixing programs, or, most popularly, interpretive systems to 
provide floating point and indexing operations.


---

That's far beyond machine language three years before article claims 
anything more advanced than that was used.


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Re: Help wanted | Computerworld Shark Tank

2019-07-20 Thread Gabe Goldberg

A friend had this long-ago story: he worked at Data General, on a not-yet 
released product. He saw an ad seeking someone with n years experience on the 
product. He was the only person on the planet qualified and he wasn't looking 
to change jobs. Uh oh.

On Fri, Jul 19, 2019 at 7:37 AM Mark Regan  wrote:


Not directly mainframe related, but I think you will get the picture.
Help wanted Looking for someone under 30 with 20+ years of experience.


Nothing new. I don't remember the exact situation, but I do remember an add
in the paper version of ComputerWorld not too long after MVS became
available for a system programmer with "n" years of MVS experience. Where
"n" was longer than MVS had been available.





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DASD nostalgia

2019-07-19 Thread Gabe Goldberg
I mentioned a while ago remembering a friend's long-ago story about disk 
head crashes at DEC, resolved by rotating drive cabinet so platters 
aligned with loading dock of old mill building (rather than rotating 
perpendicular to dock's orientation). Problem had been head crashes when 
trucks backed into loading dock and hit/shook building. I asked my 
friend Who Was There (and who spent his career in storage 
architecture/design/etc.). His response:


The disk story is, in fact, true. The disks were from Burroughs, 
single-platter and huge (3 foot diameter) with a head per track, if I 
recall - no seeking. They were in Building 5, just under the loading 
docks. They each held about 10MB.


We also received another disk from Burroughs  (multiple huge horizontal 
platters, seek arms like boxer's arms, heat exchanger) that was so huge, 
the freight elevator took it down to the basement lab for testing but 
couldn't bring it back up again after - we had to partially disassemble 
it and bring it up in pieces. I think it held 50MB.


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Re: mainframe hacking "success stories"?

2019-05-07 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Long ago I was asked for advice on proving that it was unsafe running 
multiple levels of classified material on VM, in a data center where the 
manager had -- of course -- insisted that it was.


Whether or not that was true (and whether or not it could be proven), I 
suggested first experimenting with issues such as Tim mentions. Such as 
starting at the system S and Y disks (where IBM and installation system 
software, utilities, and tools lived), examining Execs for Link 
commands, and following them where they led. A few days later, the 
tester placed a printout of the -- unencrypted, with passwords -- system 
directory on the manager's desk.


I don't know what followed but wonder if they were still allowed to run 
any classified work.


Timothy Sipples  said:

That said, I'm quite concerned (paranoid, even) because these wonderful
security features so frequently either aren't implemented at all or are
implemented badly, inconsistently. Also, unfortunately, there are far too
many organizations running unsupported technologies with known security
vulnerabilities, and there are even more that do not have reasonable,
timely preventive maintenance programs that they execute consistently and
well.

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Re: mainframe hacking "success stories"?

2019-05-07 Thread Gabe Goldberg
I had a Sev 1 APAR against PROFS (or when it became OfficeVision) by 
pointing out that (at least on VM) sending a document with embedded .sy 
control word could, say, quietly format recipient's A disk (for those 
who've never touched VM, that's a VM user's personal storage). Tricky 
fix was making NOSY (or whatever option disabled processing .sy) the 
default. Presumably the problem and fix applied wherever OV appeared.


Seymour J Metz  said correctly:

> And when some "genius" at Microsoft thought it would be a good idea to
> be able to embed arbitrary code in a document, it meant that someone 
could
> do anything they wanted to do to your computer just by sending you a 
document.


To be fair, that issue existed in Script way back when.

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Fwd: Query for article on testing mainframe systems, applications, networks

2019-05-01 Thread Gabe Goldberg
I've had a small number of great responses to this but nothing like the 
number I usually get to queries. Surprising, I thought this would be an 
interesting topic with many people commenting...


Testing -- what's that? How do you test/validate z/OS 
systems/applications/networks?


 Forwarded Message 
Subject: 	Query for article on testing mainframe systems, applications, 
networks

Date:   Mon, 29 Apr 2019 12:41:17 -0400
From:   Gabe Goldberg 



Query for article on testing mainframe systems, applications, networks

This is for website/magazine I'd not seen before: https://increment.com/
It's described: Increment is a print and digital magazine about how
teams build and operate software systems at scale.

It has an interesting approach, devoting issues to topic themes such as
internationalization, security, documentation, programming languages,
etc. My article is for an issue on testing.

---

Modern systems -- especially mainframes and everything connected to them
-- require modern testing tools and procedures. The days are gone when
it was sufficient to SYSGEN, IPL, (maybe) run a few test batch jobs or
interactive scripts, and wait for user feedback. (The old joke, of
course, was that users existed to test system programmers' system
programs.)

Testing is often misunderstood and neglected when it should be a
combination of creative art and rigorous engineering. In these days of
distributed, mixed-platform, and cloud-hosted applications, potentially
targeting millions of users, developers casually testing their own code
is also folly. Comprehensive test suites and cumulative regression tests
are essential tools for preventing everything from ugly interfaces to
catastrophic visible failures.

How widely used - and effective -- are techniques such as continuous
integration (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuous_integration -- the
practice of merging all developer working copies to a shared mainline
several times a day) and DevOps (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DevOps --
a set of software development practices that combines software
development and information technology operations)?

Do testing practices differ for GUI-developed applications? Or GUI apps
themselves -- same as for complex spreadsheets -- is the second "G" in
GIGO "gospel" or "garbage"?

So -- what are current best practices for testing mainframe (z/OS, z/VM,
z/VSE, Linux) technology? This covers everything from applying one PTF to
installing a new operating system release/version, and from verifying
batch/TSO operation to validating end-to-end transaction processing
across networks and multiple servers.

Besides testing system updates and local applications, how do you test
IBM program products and ISV products?

ISVs -- how do YOU test products across supported environments?

While the article isn't explicitly about tuning or performance, surely
those are critical assessments too when making changes. And, to keep
this topic manageable, it does NOT include debugging when tests fail.

As usual, please copy replies to me directly to avoid them being buried
in list digests.

Thanks.

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3401 Silver Maple Place, Falls Church, VA 22042   (703) 204-0433
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/gabegoldTwitter: GabeG0


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Query for article on testing mainframe systems, applications, networks

2019-04-29 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Query for article on testing mainframe systems, applications, networks

This is for website/magazine I'd not seen before: https://increment.com/
It's described: Increment is a print and digital magazine about how
teams build and operate software systems at scale.

It has an interesting approach, devoting issues to topic themes such as
internationalization, security, documentation, programming languages,
etc. My article is for an issue on testing.

---

Modern systems -- especially mainframes and everything connected to them
-- require modern testing tools and procedures. The days are gone when
it was sufficient to SYSGEN, IPL, (maybe) run a few test batch jobs or
interactive scripts, and wait for user feedback. (The old joke, of
course, was that users existed to test system programmers' system
programs.)

Testing is often misunderstood and neglected when it should be a
combination of creative art and rigorous engineering. In these days of
distributed, mixed-platform, and cloud-hosted applications, potentially
targeting millions of users, developers casually testing their own code
is also folly. Comprehensive test suites and cumulative regression tests
are essential tools for preventing everything from ugly interfaces to
catastrophic visible failures.

How widely used - and effective -- are techniques such as continuous
integration (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuous_integration -- the
practice of merging all developer working copies to a shared mainline
several times a day) and DevOps (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DevOps --
a set of software development practices that combines software
development and information technology operations)?

Do testing practices differ for GUI-developed applications? Or GUI apps
themselves -- same as for complex spreadsheets -- is the second "G" in
GIGO "gospel" or "garbage"?

So -- what are current best practices for testing mainframe (z/OS, z/VM,
z/VSE, Linux) technology? This covers everything from applying one PTF to
installing a new operating system release/version, and from verifying
batch/TSO operation to validating end-to-end transaction processing
across networks and multiple servers.

Besides testing system updates and local applications, how do you test
IBM program products and ISV products?

ISVs -- how do YOU test products across supported environments?

While the article isn't explicitly about tuning or performance, surely
those are critical assessments too when making changes. And, to keep
this topic manageable, it does NOT include debugging when tests fail.

As usual, please copy replies to me directly to avoid them being buried
in list digests.

Thanks.

--
Gabriel Goldberg, Computers and Publishing, Inc.   g...@gabegold.com
3401 Silver Maple Place, Falls Church, VA 22042   (703) 204-0433
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/gabegoldTwitter: GabeG0

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Re: Incoming | Computerworld SHARK TANK

2019-04-16 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Indeed. Long ago, at Mitre -- relatively small account (360/50 running OS/MVT 
when I joined, 4341 and 4381 running VM as Single System Image when I left) 
that punched above its weight, we had an FE room with supplies/manuals/etc. -- 
including microcode listings as long as they were available (very interesting 
reading!). FE wasn't there full time but he was a regular visitor and great 
partner. Same for PSR -- wasn't there full-time but came when needed or just to 
check on how things were going. When IBM announced Support Center it was a very 
hard sell convincing us (me!) that it would be an improvement over in-person 
live-person familiar-person who knew the account very well. Since IBM wanted us 
to be early adopter of Support Center when PSRs were still available, we made 
them promise we could revert to PSR if we were unhappy, and we got a few 
accommodations to how we liked to do business. I guess that was the old IBM...

"Schuffenhauer, Mark"  said:

When I was first working we had IBM folks in our building, every day, with 
their own desks.   Opening a ticket involved talking to their desk and 
explaining.  Amazingly someone would often call as soon as I got back to my 
desk, sometimes even before.  The PMR's often were already opened.  I remember 
cutting tapes and mailing them to IBM for PMR's.

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Re: Incoming | Computerworld SHARK TANK

2019-04-15 Thread Gabe Goldberg

No kidding. Long ago, monitor on a friend's PS/2 failed. Being a mainframer she 
was accustomed to calling IBM for software/hardware support -- so she called 
Support Center. They scheduled a visit. I was home, fellow showed up in 
unmarked white van, swapped monitors, cleaned up minimal packing material 
debris, and left. Not the usual process for a consumer product.

Tom Brennan

IBM was often amazing with repairs.  I remember one morning my 3278 tube
died.  I went to lunch and it was fixed by the time I got back.

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Re: Incoming | Computerworld SHARK TANK

2019-04-14 Thread Gabe Goldberg

From a friend:

I believe the head crash story is true. I worked in The Mill and had 
heard about that. Lending credibility to that story was another: that on 
hot days in the summer, before the Mill was air conditioned, lanolin 
used to seep out of the wooden floors and you could easily slip and 
fall. Before DEC bought the Mill, it was a woolen mill. You could still 
smell the lanolin in many of the buildings when I worked there, so I 
tended to believe those stories. Another - not so benign - was that 
during the years when circuit boards used to be manufactured there, 
waste chemicals (including lead solder, etching acid, etc.) were dumped 
into the pond next to one of the buildings. This pond fed into the 
nearby Assabet river. DEC had to do quite a bit of cleanup, but the pond 
was never completely cleaned (last I heard), it was eventually just 
sealed off so that whatever was left remained there and didn't pollute 
the river anymore. Wouldn't want to eat any of the fish out of that 
pond. There were surely many other stories that I never heard.


On 4/13/2019 12:16 PM, Gabe Goldberg wrote:
Many years ago I had friends in old DEC building in Maynard, MA. They 
had story of periodic head crashes on monster disk drives with 
vertically spinning platters. They realized cause: trucks backing into 
loading dock hitting and shaking the building -- since platters were 
oriented perpendicular to truck motion. Solution: turn drives 90 
degrees to align platters with truck motion. At worst, I/O errors but 
no head crashes (I guess heads flew much higher than on today's 
devices). I'll ask veterans I know of that time/place to confirm...


ITschak Mugzach said:

That reminds me another story. ten years ago a client of us installed 
a new
hitachi disk array. The technician installed and configured the array, 
but

for some reasons, it was not immediately used by the client. few days
later, the client tried to connect to the array and it was down. it was
repeatedly don everyday afterwards. investigation showed that the the
people who cleans the computer room unplugged the power for the vacuum
cleaner... The array was using a standard power plug.


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Re: Incoming | Computerworld SHARK TANK

2019-04-13 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Many years ago I had friends in old DEC building in Maynard, MA. They had story 
of periodic head crashes on monster disk drives with vertically spinning 
platters. They realized cause: trucks backing into loading dock hitting and 
shaking the building -- since platters were oriented perpendicular to truck 
motion. Solution: turn drives 90 degrees to align platters with truck motion. 
At worst, I/O errors but no head crashes (I guess heads flew much higher than 
on today's devices). I'll ask veterans I know of that time/place to confirm...

ITschak Mugzach said:

That reminds me another story. ten years ago a client of us installed a new
hitachi disk array. The technician installed and configured the array, but
for some reasons, it was not immediately used by the client. few days
later, the client tried to connect to the array and it was down. it was
repeatedly don everyday afterwards. investigation showed that the the
people who cleans the computer room unplugged the power for the vacuum
cleaner... The array was using a standard power plug.

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Annual Enterprise Computing Community Conference

2019-04-07 Thread Gabe Goldberg
I don't think I've seen this on these lists -- it's been highly 
recommended to me over several years!


---

11th Annual ECC Conference, June 9 -  1 1, 2019

Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York

https://ecc.marist.edu/

https://ecc.marist.edu/web/conference2010

The 11th Annual ECC National Conference will focus on topics of interest 
for students, faculty and industry professionals including keynote 
presentations, concurrent technical/educational sessions and panel 
discussions.  Presentations may also cover other topics relevant to 
enterprise computing.Themes for the 11th Annual ECC Conference 
are:Technology in Healthcare and Big Data


https://files.constantcontact.com/1a04bbc8001/0d6fe97c-6e64-4428-85fe-388b2be364e6.pdf

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NOTSP US Patent for Drone delivery of coffee based on a cognitive state of an individual Patent (Patent # 10,040,551 issued August 7, 2018) - Justia Patents Search

2019-01-20 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Coffee or other drink, for example a caffeine containing drink, is 
delivered to individuals that would like the drink, or who have a 
predetermined cognitive state, using an unmanned aerial vehicle 
(UAV)/drone. The drink is connected to the UAV, and the UAV flies to an 
area including people, and uses sensors to scan the people for an 
individual who has gestured that they would like the drink, or for whom 
an electronic analysis of sensor data indicates to be in a predetermined 
cognitive state. The UAV then flies to the individual to deliver the 
drink. The analysis can include profile data of people, including 
electronic calendar data, which can be used to determine a potentially 
predetermined cognitive state.


https://patents.justia.com/patent/10040551

https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/the-best-invention-of-2018-is-ibm-coffee-drone.html 
-- note graphics


https://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/drones/a22813997/ibm-patent-coffee-delivery-drone/

Etc.

...so this is how IBM wins the patents battle every year.

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The Yoda of Silicon Valley - The New York Times

2018-12-22 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Donald Knuth, master of algorithms, reflects on 50 years of his 
opus-in-progress, “The Art of Computer Programming.”


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/17/science/donald-knuth-computers-algorithms-programming.html

...plenty here on computers, programming, mathematics, typesetting.

I've forever had Volumes 1 and 3 of his series but can't claim to have 
read them completely. He's writing them fast than I'm reading them.


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Charles B. Wang, former Islanders owner dies, his attorney says | Newsday

2018-10-21 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Born in Shanghai, China, he moved to the United States with his family 
at the age of 8. Wang later founded CA Technologies and led several Long 
Island-based philanthropic efforts.


https://www.newsday.com/long-island/computer-associates-charles-wang-1.22209693

I met him when he and Russ Artzt ran a small company called Standard 
Data out of a grubby midtown Manhattan office. I sure wouldn't have 
guessed what he'd accomplish in CA. Along with philanthropies mentioned, 
he donated generously to Brooklyn technical High School, which I 
attended a few yeas after him. In the minimal dealings I had with him -- 
very early, and then briefly in mid-1990s -- he was very pleasant.


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Destination z article: Ensuring Data Storage Longevity

2018-10-07 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Ensuring Data Storage Longevity

Backup and Archival Data

Data comes in many varieties, related to why it exists and how it's 
stored: active, warehouse, transactional, backup, archival and more. 
I'll skip over the first three forms and focus on backup data (briefly) 
and archival data (primarily).


Because backup data recovers from human error, equipment failures and 
external catastrophes, its only reason for existing is restoring data to 
a recent image. Archival data may be needed for legal or industry 
compliance, historical recordkeeping, merger and acquisition due 
diligence, unanticipated queries/searches, or reconstructing operational 
environments. Backup data can be stored piecemeal as long as it can be 
completely restored. Archival data is holistic, a complete/consistent 
image. For a detailed explanation of why multiple backup copies—even 
cloud storage—don't constitute archived data, see this Storage 
Switzerland blog: https://bit.ly/2DzoJrR


http://destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Trends/Ensuring-Data-Storage-Longevity
https://bit.ly/2NiJVSS

...for non-technical folk reading this (it's going to diverse lists) -- 
your data needs backup and archiving too. And backup still isn't archive.


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Computer History (Was: CLIP?)

2018-05-29 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Remember http://www.computerhistory.org/ -- Computer History Museum.

They love artifacts, documentation, literature, memories:
http://www.computerhistory.org/artifactdonation/

Date:Sun, 20 May 2018 03:39:44 -0500
From:Brian Westerman
Subject: Re: CLIP?

He originally had well thousands of boxes of cards but I had to get rid of 
several, mostly because they had deteriorated so much plus I had donated 
hundreds of boxes that made up (I think all of) cp/67 (which I think later 
became cp/370) to MIT and I gave away all of the  96 column cards (1,000+ 
boxes) that made up the original System/3 OS and literally thousands of 
programs and sub-programs (plus a working system/3 model 12) to Cambridge.

The index was originally a program that he wrote which had all of the boxes 
searchable by the nnn....nnn number he has on the outside and it 
tells the relative offset of the beginning and end of each program within each 
box.  The program itself was originally written in (I think) PL/s, also on 
cards, but I rewrote it in assembler for him back in the 80's and helped him 
(start to) re-catalog it all.

He originally kept it in the basement of our house that was a fairly good 
controlled environment because it held several iterations and parts of 
mainframes and  micros that he worked with over the years, but when he got 
older I guess he decided that the environmentals were too expensive to maintain 
so he just wrapped everything in plastic shrink-wrap and shut off the lights.

I rescued it all about 15 years ago and have been sending bits and pieces to 
various universities from time to time.

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Walt Doherty - RIP

2018-05-25 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Father of economics of sub-second response time; wonderful 
SHARE/mainframe/computing contributor.


http://hosting-11936.tributes.com/obituary/show/Walter-J.-Doherty-106121619

https://jlelliotton.blogspot.com/p/the-economic-value-of-rapid-response.html

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[SUSPECTED SPAM] IBM Systems Magazine - Jim Stefanik on His Unique Journey to IBM Image alt tag: Jim Stefanik

2018-05-15 Thread Gabe Goldberg
/Reg Harbeck talks with Jim Stefanik about how he went from setting up a 
mainframe in his parent’s garage, to working for IBM./


http://ibmsystemsmag.com/mainframe/trends/ztalk/jim-stefanik/

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How Programming Affects Your Brain: 3 Big Truths According to Science

2018-05-01 Thread Gabe Goldberg

https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-programming-affects-brain/

Funny, didn't mention effects on brain of learning APL or assembler.

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The Beauty of the COBOL Programming Language - DevOps.com

2018-02-20 Thread Gabe Goldberg

https://devops.com/the-beauty-of-the-cobol-programming-language-v2/

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Destination z article: Mainframes Span the Globe

2017-11-28 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Mainframes Span the Globe
Clients share variations in worldwide IBM Z usage

Some brands seem ubiquitous worldwide: fast-food chains are one example. 
And though one might assume that the same cuisine is being served 24/7, 
somewhere/everywhere, a few individuals inexplicably want to verify that 
for themselves .


Similar same-everywhere thinking might be easy to apply to mainframes, 
though trying to log on to them all could be even harder than consuming 
the same food worldwide. But if you've ever eaten at a chain restaurant 
away from your home country, you likely noticed at least some regional 
menu variations.


Similarly, does location matter, or is "a mainframe a mainframe?"

http://destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Trends/Mainframes-Span-the-Globe.aspx
https://tinyurl.com/y8mdz334

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Preliminary query about mainframe "environmentals"

2017-11-04 Thread Gabe Goldberg
I've seen occasional list mentions/discussions about mainframe 
environmentals (power, cooling, floorspace, weight, etc.). Obviously 
these requirements have changed -- declined -- over various machine 
generations, but maybe this is still interesting enough for a 
Destination z website article.


So this is a preliminary query to gauge how many responses I might get 
to specific questions about environmentals. (And don't be limited to 
aspects I've mentioned -- note others that come to mind).


There seem to be at least two facets here -- information available from 
IBM and elsewhere, and actual experiences.


If you might comment, please let me know -- and if you reply to the 
list, please copy me directly so responses aren't buried in list digests.


Responses now won't be for publication; this is just a survey/census to 
determine if an article on this topic will work. But when I ask specific 
questions, being able to quote and attribute responses will be best. But 
if necessary, comments can be anonymized.


Thanks.

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Destination z article: Reflecting on Technology Progress

2017-10-10 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Reflecting on Technology Progress
As IBM Z advances and evolves, varied skills are needed

http://www.destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Trends/Reflecting-Technology-Progress
http://tinyurl.com/y9m9w8jc

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Fwd: Fw: Special Request from Len Santalucia, Chairperson of the Linux Foundation Open Mainframe Project

2017-08-14 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Forwarding here too, at Len's request. Reply as directed on survey -- 
not to me, just the messenger.



   From: Leonard Santalucia 
   
   To: "william.mun...@bbh.com" 
    
   Date: 08/11/2017 12:11 PM
   Subject: Special Request from Len Santalucia, Chairperson of the
   Linux Foundation Open Mainframe Project

   




   Bill, would you mind sending this out to your MVMUA email list please?
   +++

   Hi Folks, the Linux Foundation is conducting a brief online survey
   about *mainframe computing*. This confidential study is being
   conducted to understand current and planned usage of the mainframe.
 Through this study, we hope to generate the most comprehensive
   assessment of the mainframe industry – both where it is and where it
   is going.  If you would like to receive a summary of Key Findings
   from the study, simply indicate your desire to receive this summary
   report at the end of the survey. Please be assured that the study is
   being conducted for research purposes only; all information is
   *gathered anonymously*and will remain *strictly confidential*.

   To complete the survey, simply click on the link below, or copy and
   paste the link into your web browser. The survey should take you
   about 10 to 15 minutes to complete.
   https://v2.decipherinc.com/survey/selfserve/1f15/rco17004?list=1
   

   Thank you for your input and for taking the time to complete the survey!
   Regards, Len

   Leonard J. Santalucia
   CTO | Business Development Manager | Certified Specialist
   Vicom Infinity, Inc.
   IBM Premier Business Partner
   One Penn Plaza - Suite 2010
   New York, New York 10119
   Cell…….917-856-4493
   eFax413-622-1229
   vText……… 9178564...@vtext.com 
   General Blog http://www.infinite-blue.com/blog/
   

   Blockchain Blog http://blockchain.infinite-blue.com/
   

   Vicom Infinity http://www.vicominfinity.com
   

   Vicom Computer Services http://www.vicomnet.com/
   

   Infinity Systems http://www.infinite-blue.com
   




   *Chairperson*


   www.openmainframeproject.org
   



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Re: Researching Destination z article on non-US mainframes

2017-08-11 Thread Gabe Goldberg

I didn't have an answer in mind for the question. If the only differences are 
obvious ones between countries, I'll profile the different uses of mainframes 
you mention, since sometimes non-US installations don't get much US visibility. 
But if there ARE country- or region-based variations (staffing, functions, 
features, products, services, availabilities, whatever) those are of interest 
too.

Mostly joking, but for example, are different system colors available in 
different places? More seriously, you mentioned languages -- so how much 
documentation is available in various languages, vs. people using English 
materials worldwide? Similarly, how fluent are operating systems, other IBM 
products, and ISV offerings in various languages? Are there language issues? Or 
is English mostly used, same as commonly for Air Traffic Control.

Brian Westerman  said:

I have installed and supported mainframes all over the world, all over Europe, Africa, 
Asia, Australia, Middle East, South America, USA, and even in Iceland, Greenland and the 
South (and almost-north) Poles and I don't really understand the question I guess.  The 
installation and support is almost identical.  The users are obviously using them 
differently, but in general they are quite similar.  Were you expecting something 
"odd" with non-US mainframe users or sites?  Do they speak other languages, 
yes, does it matter to the mainframe, not really.  What differences are you looking for?  
I mostly see similarities, and maybe I'm just looking beyond differences to see them, but 
I probably need more information on what you're looking for to be able to respond better.

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Re: Researching Destination z article on non-US mainframes

2017-08-09 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Hi, Gord -- thanks for requesting clarification!

For this article, I'm interested in IBM mainframe usage outside the US. 
Canada is of interest whether or not mainframe experiences there are 
similar to US, included but not limited to issues dealing with IBM. If 
it's all similar to the US, I'll mention that and if it's different, 
I'll explore that.


Gord Tomlin <gt.ibm.li...@actionsoftware.com> said:

On 2017-08-08 15:37, Gabe Goldberg wrote:
> If you're running a non-US mainframe

Hi Gabe,

To clarify: do you mean an IBM mainframe that happens to be situated
outside the US, a mainframe (non-IBM) that originated outside the US, or
both?

Also, is Canada of interest to you? I think you would find the
experiences very similar to those of US users, other than those related
to dealing with IBM.

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Action Software International
(a division of Mazda Computer Corporation)
Tel: (905) 470-7113, Fax: (905) 470-6507

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Researching Destination z article on non-US mainframes

2017-08-08 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Here's a query I've sent to a few individuals, and I'll send a couple 
more to people outside US who I've seen post here or elsewhere. If 
you're running a non-US mainframe -- or have done so, or know people who 
have, or have thoughts on this -- and might chat a bit via email, please 
get in touch.


As usual, if you reply to the list, please copy me directly so your note 
isn't buried in the daily list digest.


Thanks!

 Forwarded Message 
Subject:Researching article on international mainframes
Date:   Tue, 8 Aug 2017 14:36:50 -0400
From:   Gabe Goldberg <g...@gabegold.com>
To: 



First, I have to call this "non-US use of mainframes" rather than 
"international", since to the rest of the world, the US is "international".


My point to editor proposing this article was that it's too easy to 
forget that US isn't only -- and maybe isn't main! -- user of mainframes.


I'd like to include brief non-US mainframe usage profiles plus comments 
on differences in mainframe applications/issues world-wide.


So I'll appreciate whatever you can provide...

 * Your thoughts on this
 * Suggestions of interesting non-US sites which might be willing to
   chat (via email) for brief profiles
 * Pointers to mainframe user groups around the world
 * Introduction to similar mainframe experts/advocates elsewhere
 * Noteworthy regional variations in mainframe usage/applications/issues

Thanks!

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In Silicon Valley, dropping in at the GooglePlex, tech museums and the Jobs garage

2017-07-18 Thread Gabe Goldberg
In Silicon Valley, dropping in at the GooglePlex, tech museums and the 
Jobs garage


By Renee Sklarew

Like my college-age daughters, I am in love with my iPhone. And my ardor 
increased while I was researching a guidebook. With my cellphone, I 
narrated each hike into the Notes app, used Google Maps when I got lost 
and the Camera app to capture scenery. As I worked, I wondered how we 
got from room-size mainframes to this portable computer-in-my-hand.


So when Southwest Airlines started offering daily nonstops from 
Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport to San Jose, I 
booked a trip with my husband, Eric. After an affordable 
transcontinental flight, we landed at Mineta San Jose International 
Airport, in the heart of Silicon Valley.


Without a personal invitation from an employee, you can’t enter the 
offices of Apple, Facebook or Google, but you can visit each campus on 
your own. We like taking tours, so we reserved with a company that 
provides personalized ones and explains how Silicon Valley came to be.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/in-silicon-valley-dropping-in-at-the-googleplex-tech-museums-and-the-jobs-garage/2017/07/13/438c2674-6015-11e7-a4f7-af34fc1d9d39_story.html

---

First time I saw a technology I'd used -- Silent 700 terminal, I think! 
-- exhibited in a museum, I had definitely mixed feelings. Plenty more 
of our history is now on display as artifacts. Someday they might have a 
stuffed baby boomer system programmer on display.


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Re: Nice article about MF and Government

2017-06-10 Thread Gabe Goldberg
I have no dog in this fight -- never worked for government, never dealt 
with Compuware, don't remember problems with CA. Issues with other 
vendors, sure, as have been abundantly described here. Closest I came to 
gov work was 14 years at Mitre Corporation -- not-for-profit government 
research think tank, somewhat subject to gov procurement rules but 
independent corporation. And I'm sure not arguing with the various 
"voices of experience".


But I've profiled a couple gov agencies technology and I read 
http://www.govtech.com/ -- which highlights mostly good news (many 
interesting/innovative projects highlighted), though they also sure 
cover disasters and project failures. And half the time they're 
badmouthing legacy systems. I'm just noting that there's a spectrum of 
competence and quality in gov, same as elsewhere.


Edward Gould  said:

> On Jun 3, 2017, at 9:13 PM, zMan  wrote:
>
> What does that mean? Even a stopped clock is right twice a day and 
all that

> -- just because you don't like the source doesn't mean it makes sense to
> diss it unless you also disagree with it. Do you?
>
> On Sat, Jun 3, 2017 at 8:50 PM, Edward Gould >

> wrote:
>>
>> Thanks, unfortunately it was written by a person from Compuware. From my
>> prospective not a recommendation at all.

ZMan:
I disagree generally with the tone of the article and some specifics
1. A lot of Government IT facilities are in a state of neglect. By 
neglect, I mean than funding year after year after year has been cut. 
What is left is at best a wish mosh of equipment/software/man 
power/management.
2. Even bringing top “the Cloud” to me is a red herring and should be 
tossed in the dustbin.

3. There is no clear one size fits all.
4. Since 4 of the items I mentioned above have been so neglected that 
(the tax payer should be ashamed) .
5. I have been in several governmental data centers. Some of them are a 
disgrace and should be put out of their misery. Some are decent and only 
need some modernization. One of the DC's I visited had operators smoking 
and partly used boxed paper laying all over the place, in the computer 
room, the place was unbelievable.
6. I know I can’t speak for all of the cases but the ones I can either 
say get rid of or modernize the MF. The ones that PC’s can help are the 
smallish type DC’s.
7. Even *IF* done, the funding will not be reliable and the DC’s will 
fall back in disrepair in 5-7 years. The politicians will find a way to 
squeeze the well dry, once again.
8. There is no incentive for management to be either the BEST or at 
least better. This in turn leaves other three open items above to going 
down hill .
9. Working for the government in the past in most governmental DC’s has 
been a carreer limiting factor. That needs to be improved.
10. Some DC’s are so Civil Service oriented that in itself is self 
destructive.
Those are the high points. I don’t think the author has a good grasp on 
how governmental DC’s operate.


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Jean Sammet, Co-Designer of a Pioneering Computer Language, Dies at 89

2017-06-04 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Jean E. Sammet, an early software engineer and a designer of COBOL, a 
programming language that brought computing into the business 
mainstream, died on May 20 in Maryland. She was 89.


She lived in a retirement community in Silver Spring and died at a 
nearby hospital after a brief illness, said Elizabeth Conlisk, a 
spokeswoman for Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, where Ms. Sammet 
had earned her undergraduate degree and later endowed a professorship in 
computer science.


The programming language Ms. Sammet helped bring to life is now more 
than a half-century old, but billions of lines of COBOL code still run 
on the mainframe computers that underpin the work of corporations and 
government agencies around the world.


Ms. Sammet was a graduate student in mathematics when she first 
encountered a computer in 1949 at the University of Illinois at 
Urbana-Champaign. She wasn’t impressed.


“I thought of a computer as some obscene piece of hardware that I wanted 
nothing to do with,” Ms. Sammet recalled in an interview in 2000.


Her initial aversion was not unusual among the math purists of the time, 
long before computer science emerged as an academic discipline. Later, 
Ms. Sammet tried programming calculations onto cardboard punched cards, 
which were then fed into a computer.


“To my utter astonishment,” she said, “I loved it.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/04/technology/obituary-jean-sammet-software-designer-cobol.html

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Article -- Application Modernization: "Here We Go Again" -- a New z/OS Application Modernization Approach

2017-06-04 Thread Gabe Goldberg

http://ourdigitalmags.com/publication/?i=409066#{%22issue_id%22:409066,%22numpages%22:1,%22page%22:18}

Sigh -- overly elaborate URL and a magazine reader I dislike from which 
I can't copy a bit of text.


This is tidier: http://bit.ly/2qRt7vN

It's Enterprise Tech Journal, article by Phil Smith. Short version: It's 
about LzLabs' "software defined mainframe".


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Re: Looks like lots of folks in marketing said thanks but no thanks

2017-05-29 Thread Gabe Goldberg
It's amazing what technology can do: 
http://ericwhitacre.com/the-virtual-choir


https://www.ted.com/talks/eric_whitacre_a_virtual_choir_2_000_voices_strong

...not symphony, but still remote collaboration.

Timothy Sipples  quoted

Steve Smith who wrote:

> A symphony can hardly be performed with everyone working remotely

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IBM z/OS Systems Programmer Wanted -- Consultant / Contractor

2017-04-25 Thread Gabe Goldberg
I'm forwarding for colleague -- respond as requested below, not to me 
(but OK to copy me so I see this worked).


IBM z/OS Systems Programmer Wanted
Consultant / Contractor

Requires highly experienced systems programmer capable of performing all 
conceivable z/OS tasks such as maintaining IOCDS, generating IODF, 
applying software maintenance with SMP/E, installing program products 
from IBM and third-party vendors, configuring networking with VTAM and 
TCP/IP, defining/supporting SMS, and wrangling all features/subsystems 
encountered in a mainframe environment.  Work can usually be performed 
remotely via VPN.


Includes some short-term travel opportunities with premium pay for 
travel and additional incentives.


Bonus points for experience with:

Sysplex and Parallel Sysplex implementation
z/VM system support
DB2, IMS, CICS, MQ, WebSphere Application Server (WAS) system support

Reply to resu...@itconline.com

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Bridging the Distance: Remote system control, despite its complexity, is worth it

2017-03-12 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Bridging the Distance
Remote system control, despite its complexity, is worth it

Remote system programming used to mean using a keypunch machine outside 
the data center. But card decks still needed to get to the clunky 2540 
or equivalent unit record device. Maybe we had a key or door code to do 
this ourselves, or maybe we handed it to an operator. Then, 3270-style 
devices allowed for increased distance—and hike—to and from our systems. 
Finally, networked terminals and workstations made location irrelevant. 
Whether in an office or working from home, z Systems 
programmers/administrators can now work from the next office, building, 
city, time zone or continent.


But should this be happening? Do today's system programmers need 
physical access to data centers? Why or why not? Does being able to see 
and touch one's systems hold real value, or is it just a matter of 
professional pride? And to what extent is it practical to have a lack of 
immediacy to data centers, operations staff, users or matters?


http://destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Business-Case/Bridging-the-Distance


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Query for Destination z article: How has system programming changed?

2017-02-07 Thread Gabe Goldberg

How has system programming changed over the mainframe's life? Over your
career? What did you do in the early days, what do you do now? Is it
still "system programming" or ... what?

Has traditional system programming become some/mostly/all system
administration?

Has how you divide time between tasks changed (administering systems,
developing system software and tools, coding applications, solving
problems in IBM/ISV/local code, evaluating/installing hardware/software
products, writing documentation, teaching, etc.)?

How have programming languages you use changed (from assembler, FORTRAN,
PL/I to today's moving-target language assortment)? Do you keep up with
languages or stick to the tried-and-true? If the latter, which
languages?

Don't be too backward focused; look forward: has it changed, does it
change, will it change because of technology evolution or individuals'
age/perspective/knowledge?

Is there a chicken/egg process: IBM detects a skill shortage so it
attempts to reduces skills required. Which, of course, reduces skills
available, which worsens the skills shortage. Have automation and
new/improved utilities reduced/changed your work? Deskilled it?

Have changes increased/decreased how interesting work is -- letting you
focus on challenging aspects, or made it more routine?

What's next; where will our profession be in five/ten years?

---

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This is for publication -- with attribution/affiliation if possible. If
your affiliation isn't obvious from email address or sig, please supply
it. If you'd rather not be attributed/affiliated, that's OK -- just tell
me that in reply.

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Legacy code can cost you billions. Just ask an airline.

2017-02-02 Thread Gabe Goldberg
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/legacy-code-can-cost-you-billions-just-ask-airline-greg-leffler 



Wow.

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Re: Paper tape (was Re: Hidden Figures)

2017-01-17 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Great line from great (at least as I remember it) scifi book 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adolescence_of_P-1 -- after a gunfight 
in computer room, during which a certain device took a bullet, "That 
1052 had it coming".


Bill Godfrey  mentioned:

> IBM reference
> https://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/reference/glossary_1.html
>
> 1050 [2] The 1050 system consisted of the 1051 control unit, 1052
> printer-keyboard, 1053 printer, 1054 paper tape reader, 1055 paper tape
> punch and 1056 card reader. These various components were withdrawn from
> marketing between February 1974 and June 1978.


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Destination z article: IBM z/VM's Single System Image feature links systems

2017-01-03 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Seamless Computing
IBM z/VM's Single System Image feature links systems

If awards were given for vague and over-hyped technology terms, cloud 
computing could be a strong contender. Like the famous fragmented 
elephant description 
, its 
meaning and attributes depend on who's speaking, his or her background 
and experience and (too often) what’s being sold. Cloud computing's 
any/all of scalable technology, shared storage, easily provisioned 
compute images, seamless networking, failover reliability, outage-free 
maintenance and maybe more.


*VM Architectural Enhancement*

For a more down-to-earth implementation that plausibly satisfies those 
reasonable (and not mutually exclusive) requirements, consider z/VM's 
Single System Image (SSI) 
feature.http://www.destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Systems-Administration/Seamless-Computing

http://tinyurl.com/zfz8zdd


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IBM Lays Out Plans to Hire 25,000 in U.S. Ahead of Trump Meeting

2016-12-13 Thread Gabe Goldberg
IBM Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty said she plans to hire about 
25,000 people in the U.S. and invest $1 billion over the next four 
years, laying out her vision for filling technology jobs in America on 
the eve of a meeting of industry leaders with President-elect Donald Trump.


To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/2hq2LLG

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Query for Destination z article: remote system programming

2016-12-12 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Remote system programming used to mean using a keypunch machine outside 
the data center. Then 3270-style devices allowed increased potential 
distance -- and hike -- to and from mainframes. Finally, networked 
terminals, workstations, tablets, and smart phones made location 
irrelevant. Whether in an office or working from home, system 
programmers/administrators can now be in the next office, next building, 
next city, next time zone, next continent.


Or, can they? Is there good or bad news here? Whether or not they ever 
did, do today's system programmers need physical access to data canters? 
Why or why not? How far is it practical to be remote (from systems, 
colleagues, managers, everything) before distance from -- lack of 
immediacy to -- data center, operations staff, users, matters?


If you're doing remote support/admin, what are your tips regarding 
technologies to use, work practices, challenges, problems to solve, 
etc.? What connectivity is necessary, what equipment do you need (or 
wish for) at hand? Can you wrangle z/OS from a tablet or phone? What do 
you wish you'd known when you started providing remote support?


Please copy replies to me directly so they're not buried in list digest; 
I'd appreciate hearing back by Friday, December 16th.


I've collected some discussion about this from the lists so I'll likely 
query a few people directly.


Please include your name and affiliation so I needn't request it. And 
remember, this is for publication -- while I can likely paraphrase 
what's said if you'd rather be anonymous, for credibility, I'd much 
rather attribute statements.


Thanks!

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Re: LOOKAT gone? - Doc Buddy? Seriously?

2016-12-04 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Good luck embarrassing IBM anywhere, including (or especially) at 
shareholders meeting. During the 1980 OCO wars I was involved in 
industry efforts (it wasn't just SHARE/GUIDE, ADAPSO pushed too on 
behalf of software vendor members) fighting. I went to shareholders 
meeting and suggested to IBM Chairman (Akers then, I think) that OCO be 
reevaluated. He'd obviously been briefed in the issue because he was 
ready with all sorts of promises, e.g., that source would removed only 
when it was no longer necessary and abundant exits tailored to user 
requirements would help make source obsolete. At least on the VM side, 
at least for decades, that was utter rubbish.


Funny side note -- though OCO/source was a sore point with IBM for 
several years, I couldn't have wanted a better warm up act at the 
meeting before being called on; I was second. The first speaker 
harangued Akers about needing to unionize IBM. If there was anything 
LESS palatable for IBM than continuing to provide source code, it was 
unionization. So he was probably happy to hear from me.


Clark Morris wrote:

> On 2 Dec 2016 14:30:01 -0800, in bit.listserv.ibm-main
> dbc...@colesoft.com (David Cole) wrote:
>> Yep.
>> But Google does...
> If I were willing to spend the dollars to go to an IBM shareholders
> meeting, I would like to embarrass them abut this and the high
> reliability of the service web-site.


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Re: LOOKAT gone? - Compiler incest

2016-12-04 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Related, I think the VM community's wonderful Melinda Varian observed 
that the best software is developed by people (often individuals) who 
actually want to use it. On the VM side, that includes Mike Cowlishaw's 
REXX and John Hartmann's CMS Pipelines. I'm sure z/OS has many 
equivalent stellar tools/products/offerings.


And maybe related to the incestuous compiler compiling itself, from the 
1980's OCO wars, the SHARE button, "We want to be able to fix it in the 
language in which it broke".


David Cole  noted:

In contrast, a compiler coded in its own language tends to be much
> better, user friendly in features, than a compiler coded in any other 
language.


Interesting observation.

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Destination z article: Lessons Learned

2016-11-26 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Lessons Learned
More seasoned mainframers advise their younger selves and Generation Z 
workers

http://destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Trends/Lessons-Learned
http://tinyurl.com/gpdrxbb

Time travel is a science fiction literature staple, from “Back to the 
Future” and “Terminator” film franchises back to works by Robert A. 
Heinlein and other classics. But there's always the paradox challenge: 
if someone travels back in time, they risk changing things so 
dramatically that they wouldn't exist in future time to go back to 
change things. One Heinlein story describes—and diagrams—relationships 
in the story “All You Zombies.” A Washington Post opinion piece 
describes time travel's history (in fiction, of course) and suggests 
that it's ultimately sought to provide immortality.


Though even z Systems can't provide actual temporal relocation, it's 
interesting to consider what advice mainframe professionals would give 
their younger selves if the opportunity existed. And veterans' wisdom 
applies to Generation Z. Best to receive it now, rather than in 30 years 
when someone else asks what advice they'd give to their younger selves


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IBM Jargon and General Computing Dictionary Tenth Edition

2016-11-20 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Worth a glance, if you've not seen this. Or a refresher if you have.

http://www.comlay.net/ibmjarg.pdf

It just showed up in a LinkedIn group -- not exactly hot off the press.

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Checklists Bring Order Out of Chaos and Enhance Reliability

2016-10-07 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Checklists Bring Order Out of Chaos and Enhance Reliability
Systematic procedures help avoid and solve problems

After spending a career with mainframes, I prefer order to chaos. I like 
the deterministic manner in which mainframe OSes are maintained (audit 
trails, full piece-part identification, systematic system builds, 
standardized maintenance tools, maintenance history, etc.) more than the 
free-fire frontier mentality for configuring, maintaining and debugging 
Windows PCs (plug-and-pray, installs which sprinkle random files 
everywhere, rebooting to ignore vanquish problems, etc.). Even logging 
changes to my PC, I feel at the mercy of the next software install which 
mysteriously corrupts a working system. But I take some comfort from 
detailed records and notes on how I've done things and set up systems so 
I can retrace my path.


In the same manner, when my wife prepares her favorite contribution to 
potluck events, rum cake, she follows a written recipe (see below). I've 
teased her about needing—or at least wanting—instructions, but I admire 
her process and see that it mirrors mine. I'm happy that the only 
variable between cakes is whether they include chocolate chips and nuts, 
with no risk of key ingredients forgotten.


http://destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Trends/Checklists-Bring-Order-Out-of-Chaos-and-Enhance-Re
http://tinyurl.com/z7jlecx

...plus, Kim's rum cake recipe!

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Query for Destination z website: What advice would you give your former self?

2016-09-09 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Times change but lessons learned and insights gained can often 
timelessly apply equally to younger  generations. And we've all had 
moments of "If I'd only known then what I know now". So: What advice 
would you give your younger self, back then?


Might this include job/career options/choices, technology insights, work 
habits, geography, finances, or ...?


To what past age would you offer yourself advice? (within your working 
life, please)?


Did you receive advice that you ignored but that, in hindsight, you wish 
you'd followed, or at least better understood?


Is there advice you now wish you'd received "back then" which would NOT 
apply now?


For extra credit, describe how you'd have reacted to the advice you wish 
you'd received.


Remember, this isn't advice you'd give to anyone NOW, it's what you'd 
tell your long-ago younger self  about your job/career, technology, the 
industry, etc.


Please copy replies to me directly so they're not buried in list digest.

Please include your name and affiliation so I needn't request it. And 
remember, this is for publication --  though I can likely paraphrase 
what's said if you'd rather be anonymous.


Thanks.

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Paging Ed Gould

2016-08-24 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Ed -- please get in touch; I'd like to confirm for attribution comments 
you made for article I'm writing for Destination z website on 
checklists. And I need your affiliation (besides being on IBM-MAIN!).


Thanks,

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Destination z article: A Rewarding z/VSE Community

2016-06-28 Thread Gabe Goldberg

A Rewarding z/VSE Community
Fans focus on participation and knowledge sharing

http://destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Trends/A-Rewarding-z-VSE-Community.aspx

http://tinyurl.com/he7wosp




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Query for Destination z article on using checklists in IT

2016-05-23 Thread Gabe Goldberg
The excellent and readable book "The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get 
Things Right"  (link below to avoid wrapping) illustrates -- using 
examples from medicine, aviation, and many other contexts -- great and 
pervasive value in applying structure, planning, discipline, and 
checklists to complex projects. Working with technology, we're more than 
familiar with lists of instructions for installing, maintaining, 
debugging, and repairing what we work with. For example, VM through many 
incarnations has used an IVP (Installation Verification Program) to 
exercise basic functions. Long ago in a VM data center, we added local 
functions to the test suite. Ensuring successful IVP operation at least 
reduces unpleasant surprises when systems entered production. And 
examples in the book from aviation and the military show how checklists 
and structured reports avoid problems, solve problems, and improve 
quality by identifying weak areas.


 -- the book

Many years ago when purchasing a new mainframe, we endured meetings with 
our IBM team called Systems Assurance. Tedious though they were, they 
paid off in ensuring that we bought the right configuration, properly 
prepared the data center facility, and understood the 
delivery/installation process. It was clearly based on years of 
experience with things going not quite right. So -- I'd like to hear 
about experiences using checklists for anything mainframe related (e.g., 
designing, developing, testing, debugging, documenting). Initially, 
being brief is fine; I'll follow up for details.


As usual, please copy me directly to avoid replies being buried in list 
digests. Thanks!


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Another Connor writeup

2016-05-15 Thread Gabe Goldberg

A Gen Z Mainframe Adventure
http://www.ibmsystemsmagmainframedigital.com/nxtbooks/ibmsystemsmag/mainframe_20160506/#/50
http://tinyurl.com/hqd57s3

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IBM Destination z - IBM z/TPF Excels at Transaction Processing

2016-04-28 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Mighty Mainframe OS
IBM z/TPF excels at transaction processing

For decades—essentially since birth of the IBM System/370 in the early 
1970s—mainframers have known and used the three primary members of the 
mainframe OS family: z/OS, z/VM and z/VSE.


Ask a hundred mainframers to name z Systems OSes and at least 99 of them 
might only mention those three. And seek the best solution for sustained 
mission-critical high-volume transaction processing against massive 
databases—the strategic foundation for leaders in many consumer and 
business serving industries—the answer will likely be z/OS running CICS 
or IMS, combined with middleware.


But simultaneously and quietly, as these systems evolved through 
multiple generations to current "z/" versions, another powerful 
environment was little known in the mainstream community, even though it 
was critical to multiple key industries and was used on, helped market 
and influenced evolution of the biggest of IBM's big iron.


That's the mainframe system software sibling: IBM z/Transaction 
Processing Facility (TPF).


http://destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Business-Case/Mighty-Mainframe-OS
http://tinyurl.com/j83h7at

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Re: "IBM Layoff Epidemic Spreads Worldwide"

2016-04-27 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Point taken. As I responded on another list...

But remember, forwarding isn't necessarily endorsing either the article 
or comments. The political statements weren't mine; they were attached 
to the article. I included them specifically as examples of folly (there 
were other, germane comments), illustrating how people use/spin business 
news to push their own unrelated agendas. I obviously didn't make that 
clear, and should have either omitted the comments or made that point.


Regarding article itself -- same point about forwarding not being 
endorsing. But in VM, we live in the IBM universe. So it seems that 
major IBM news and even some speculation -- such as CEO changes, 
earnings, at least some acquisitions/divestitures, staffing trends -- 
are interesting and relevant (as others noted). Such articles are 
speculation, of course, because IBM doesn't reveal facts to report, so 
that's all that's possible to provide.


Anyway, as I said -- points taken regarding forwarding, especially 
comments from elsewhere.


Ken Hume <kph...@live.com> suggested, reasonably enough:

Please tell me which current IBM employees collaborated with the Nazis.

On 4/25/2016 1:52 PM, Gabe Goldberg wrote:
> "IBM Layoff Epidemic Spreads Worldwide"
>
> 
http://spectrum.ieee.org/view-from-the-valley/at-work/tech-careers/ibm-layoff-epidemic-spreads-worldwide 


>
>
> Among the comments...
>
> Disgusting practice. I wouldn't expect any less from a company that
> helped the nazis
>
> It's all about the CEOs salary..vote For Trump and rescue the American
> worforce.

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"IBM Layoff Epidemic Spreads Worldwide"

2016-04-25 Thread Gabe Goldberg

"IBM Layoff Epidemic Spreads Worldwide"

http://spectrum.ieee.org/view-from-the-valley/at-work/tech-careers/ibm-layoff-epidemic-spreads-worldwide

Among the comments...

Disgusting practice. I wouldn't expect any less from a company that 
helped the nazis


It's all about the CEOs salary..vote For Trump and rescue the American 
worforce.


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Re: z890 in my basement

2016-04-20 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Yay, Connor -- yes indeed, amazing guy. I enjoyed meeting him when he 
spoke at DC's Hillgang user group a while ago, then interviewing him for 
IBM Systems Magazine article which will be published one of these months.


Regarding giving kudos for facilitating his SHARE gig, there's also HPE 
for sponsoring him to attend.


Jesse 1 Robinson  said

And let's not overlook the role of IBM-Main in bringing this opportunity 
to light, nor of SHARE for scheduling this session in double-time--and 
for recording it for an even wider audience. Oh yeah, and kudos to 
Connor himself. ;-)


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Re: Microprocessor Optimization Primer

2016-04-03 Thread Gabe Goldberg
I'm behind reading this epic thread, but I sent a question related to it 
to Bill Collier, instructor I had at IBM in 1968 while in full-time 
training for OS/360 System Design Department. He runs 
http://www.mpdiag.com and is biographied at 
http://www.bestweb.net/~collier -- so is valuable resource on all-things 
multiprocessor:



Bill -- I shared this interesting document with some friends...

Communities category:Linux on System z Open Source
Ecosystem:Microprocessor ...

https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/forums/html/topic?id=5cf34211-c8e6-4747-a8c2-f8ff7379150b


...and for some reason we've gotten bogged down on this bit of
minutia, with one person asserting:

Interesting too was mention of "TEST AND SET", which in the 1960's,
was NOT an atomic instruction, and it caused multiprocessing
serialization problems in MVT/MP65 and from thence after, to be
replaced by "Compare and Swap", which WAS atomic.

But the PDF implied to me that now TS "Test and Set" WAS atomic.
Implied, anyhow.

A rewrite of history? A fix? Did I read it wrong?

---

My recollection is that TS was indeed atomic but wasn't adequate for
evolving requirements so was replaced by CS/CDS. There's plenty more
(too much!) in our discussion thread on TS but I think that snippet
suffices. I'll be grateful for any comments you have.


His interesting reply -- posted with permission, attribution requested; 
he's at coll...@acm.org --:


  No chance of getting a good night's sleep now.  Not with a
question to answer which brings back so many memories.

  The short answer.  Yes, Test and Set was atomic.  The trouble
was that as a tie breaker, it was not effective.  You could get
into Alphonse-Gaston situations where neither processor advanced.

  In order to provide a definitive answer, I tried to look up TS.
I have a 1964 copy of the System/360 Principles of Operation
manual.  The TS instruction is not mentioned.  Apparently it came
later.

  CS fixed the AG problem.  A processor might be repeatedly edged
out in the competition and so delayed indefinitely, but at least
other processors were competing successfully and therefore
advancing.

  Were there hardware problems I am not aware of?  Possibly.  If
you want to pursue the question, I could give you the names of
some other folks who were around at the dawn of time, and you
could ask them.

  Here is the long, interesting answer to your question which
dredges up so much fun stuff from the past.

  Was TS necessary?  Is CS necessary?  You can argue that they
weren't.  The most fascinating program I ever saw was Dijkstra's
1965 paper titled "Solution of a problem in concurrent programming
control."  Using just load, store, test, and branch instructions
(that is, no atomic instructions), the program performed a LOCK
function (that is, it allowed at most one program at a time into
a critical section of code) without the possibility of deadlock
(although livelock was still possible).

  In those days it was thought that multiprocessor machines should
be (what Leslie Lamport called) "sequentially consistent".  On an
SC machine the only answers a program could compute would be the
answers it could also compute on a uniprocessor machine.

  If you think about it for a decade or so, you realize that for a
machine to be SC, it must obey at least the following three rules.

  Rule 1.  Instructions are performed in the order defined by the
program.  No out of order execution can be visible.

  Rule 2.  No scoreboarding.  If processor 1 writes into operand A
at the same time that processor 2 reads from A, the value seen by
processor 2 must be either the old value of A or the new value of
A.  It is forbidden for the value to be some combination of bits
or bytes from the old value and the new value.  Similarly if both
processors write into A at the same time.

  This rule has been called "write atomicity".

  Rule 3.  If there are several copies of operand A scattered
throughout the caches of a system, then when processor 1 changes
the value of A, it must appear as if all copies of A change value
at the same instant.

  This rule has also been called "write atomicity".

  To distinguish the two, let's refer to them as "single copy
write atomicity" (SCWA) and "multiple copy write atomicity"
(MCWA).

  Back in those days we thought that it was obvious that
multiprocessors should be SC.  And that therefore they should
successfully execute programs such as Dijkstra's.

  Then reality intruded.  Engineers found that obeying the rules
greatly reduced performance and so came up with the following
argument:  programmers should not create programs which read and
write the same operand at the same time.  If two processes need to
access a shared operand, they should perform a lock operation
which will allow only one of them to proceed and to access the
operand while forcing the other process to wait for the first
process to finish.

  Today machines routinely violate the Rules.  Therefore, today's
machines 

IBM Systems Magazine article -- Learn by looking back

2016-03-13 Thread Gabe Goldberg

http://www.ibmsystemsmagmainframedigital.com/nxtbooks/ibmsystemsmag/mainframe_20160304/#/50

The Wayback Machine -- Archive.org -- remembers it all. Or at least a 
lot of it!


I don't like most online magazine viewers but it seems the only way to 
see this article.


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Mainframes Have a Long History of Accessibility -- With tools, IBM z Systems is inclusive to all

2016-01-31 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Mainframes Have a Long History of Accessibility --  with tools, IBM z 
Systems is inclusive to all


http://destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Trends/Mainframes-Have-a-Long-History-of-Accessibility
http://tinyurl.com/hjtvcwp

Thanks to many folks who helped/suggested/contributed...

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Lineage of TPF

2016-01-23 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Indeed. Then a couple people responded. Good timing; I'm writing article 
on TPF for Destination z or IBM Systems Magazine (I forget where it'll 
be published). IBM TPFers have been very helpful and I'm contacting TPF 
users group: http://www.tpfug.org/ . I didn't post here because  
well, I just didn't, but I should have. Better late than never: I'm 
interested in TPF insights, experiences, etc.


Be brief, this won't be an epic article, though there might be follow-on 
pieces. Please copy me directly so replies aren't buried in the list digest.


Thanks...

Rick Troth said on IBM-Main: Lineage of TPF would also be interesting.

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Where do you place VSE?

2016-01-23 Thread Gabe Goldberg
One response cited Wikipedia entry. ALSO good timing; I'm ALSO writing 
article on VSE community.  As you'd expect, the VSE list has had a lot 
to say -- positive, negative, and informative.


I didn't post this query here because  well, I just didn't, but I 
should have. Better late than never: I'm interested in VSE COMMUNITY 
(not technical) insights, experiences, etc.


As usual, be brief, this also won't be an epic article.

Here's my query to VSE list:

Now I'm starting a piece for Dz on the VSE community. While I've never
run VSE (I'm mostly a VMer with some OS background) for decades I've
seen VSE and this community (in many ways similar to VM and its
community!) ride the ups and downs of IBM interest and support. Through
all that, VSE fans have remained steadfast, involved with and committed
to their platform of choice.

So I'd like to hear from list members on what the VSE community means to
you, how it's evolved, what you've contributed to and received from it,
how your IBM interactions have changed, major IBM and customer
contributors to recognize, past and current resources (WAVV, VM/VSE
Workshop, etc.) and how you think and hope it will evolve.

Please copy me directly so replies aren't buried in the list digest.
I'll work on this soon, so I'll appreciate quick comments. This isn't a
technical article. Rather, it's about what makes this a community vs.
just a bunch of people running the same operating system.

Thanks...

Rick Troth ALSO said on IBM-Main: Where do you place VSE? (since it's 
not one of "the big two")


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Fwd: Bloomberg: IBM's Third-Quarter Revenue Misses Estimates on Currency Impact

2015-10-19 Thread Gabe Goldberg

 Forwarded Message 
Subject: 	Bloomberg: IBM's Third-Quarter Revenue Misses Estimates on 
Currency Impact

Date:   Mon, 19 Oct 2015 17:17:43 -0400
From:   gabeg...@gmail.com
To: Gabe Goldberg <g...@gabegold.com>



From Bloomberg, Oct 19, 2015, 16:11:56

IBM lowered its full-year profit forecast and reported a 14th straight 
quarter of declining revenue, reflecting the computer maker’s struggle 
to reignite growth in all of its major business units while currency 
fluctuations erode sales.


To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1M2rkbH




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Destination z article: Best System Programmer Attributes

2015-09-05 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Best System Programmer Attributes
Mainframers give advice and lessons learned on what helps in the real world

http://destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Trends/Best-System-Programmer-Attributes

...thanks to those who responded and chatted!

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web: The Inevitable Return of COBOL

2015-07-07 Thread Gabe Goldberg
It's only a matter of time until the Common Business Oriented Language 
(COBOL) will regain its spotlight as one of the most in-demand skills of 
future generations of software engineers. We can just see it now: 
Programmers of the future will hop out of their driverless cars, walk 
into their offices and sit down to start coding in 1959's COBOL.


It sounds crazy, considering COBOL is the furthest thing from most all 
engineers' minds today. It ranks fairly low in the Tiobe Index, a 
measurement of today's most popular programming languages. Many newer, 
speedier languages give today's coders little reason not to scoff at the 
antiquated COBOL. The most telling evidence of COBOL's irrelevancy is 
that about 70% of universities said they don't even include COBOL in 
their computer science curriculum anymore, according to a recent survey. 
It's logical. Why waste curriculum space for a skill that employers 
don't even look for these days? A quick search for COBOL programmer on 
any job site, for instance, yields a few hundred job postings while the 
more popular Java programmer yields thousands.


Based on these facts alone, COBOL appears to be nearly extinct. You 
might even wonder why we're writing about COBOL at all? But looks can be 
deceiving. COBOL is a mysterious paradox. Born in another era, COBOL 
lives on as the quiet but important pillar on which the majority of 
businesses stand today. In a field that evolves at an unprecedented 
speed, younger generations may be overlooking a critical skill of the 
future.


http://blog.hackerrank.com/the-inevitable-return-of-cobol/

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web: IBM is struggling. But former CEO Sam Palmisano says he isn’t looking back. ...

2015-07-07 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Sums it up: You're there primarily to drive financial results. We could 
argue the good or the bad of that—that's a nice intellectual 
discussion—but you're measured by your owners, the shareholders, and 
they expect financial performance.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-leadership/wp/2015/06/26/ibm-is-struggling-but-former-ceo-sam-palmisano-says-he-isnt-looking-back/

And...

Q. What was the hardest part of leading a public company?
A. Not falling in love with yourself.

(That's out of context -- the answer continues -- but still.)

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Query for Destination z article -- sysprog attributes

2015-07-02 Thread Gabe Goldberg
What attributes do system programmers absolutely need? Which are nice to 
have? Are there kiss-of-death traits for system programmers? Attributes 
can be skills, instincts, knowledge, etc. What's critical, what works, 
what doesn't matter, what's best never shown or seen? Perhaps at least 
as important, which attributes are innate and which can be learned (or, 
when necessary, unlearned)? Do these vary across different systems 
supported/maintained/developed?


Thanks.

As usual, please copy replies to me directly so they're not buried in 
list digests.


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Destination z: Turn Experiences Into Wisdom -- Testing, planning and sharing with others

2015-03-08 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Turn Experiences Into Wisdom -- Testing, planning and sharing with others

http://www.destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Trends/Turn-Experiences-Into-Wisdom.aspx
http://tinyurl.com/ns8rejf

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Destination z: Use Career Resources to Grow

2015-03-08 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Use Career Resources to Grow -- many different places to better yourself 
and find like-minded individuals


http://www.destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Business-Case/Using-Career-Resources-to-Grow
http://tinyurl.com/o9yufu9

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Query for Destination z -- mainframe accessibility

2015-03-08 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Over the years, IBM's done great work making technology accessible -- 
that is, reducing effects and limitations of diminished hearing, sight, 
mobility, etc. In the past, I've seen fat IBM handbooks describing 
platform-specific accessible technology -- though not lately.


But given ongoing research/development plus ADA requirements for 
reasonable accommodation, I suspect this is still an active area.


The difference is likely that modern platforms are accessed by the same 
universal devices -- smartphones, tablets, workstations, PCs, Macs, 
whatever. (Keypunches and coax-connected 3270 terminals, not so much.) 
So that's where accessibility would be provided, at network edges.


What's out there? What have you seen/used? I'll appreciate hearing 
real-life experiences about using mainframes with any 
hardware/software/network/etc. tools to overcome access limitations, 
along with pointers to tools.


Thanks -- and as always, please copy replies to me directly so they're 
not buried in list digests.


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web: Buffett Adds to IBM Stake as Rometty Shifts Big Blue to Cloud - Bloomberg B ...

2015-02-21 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Someone still has hope ... or faith.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-17/buffett-adds-to-ibm-stake-as-rometty-shifts-big-blue-to-cloud

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Re: Query for Dz article -- mainframe problem notification systems

2015-01-06 Thread Gabe Goldberg
I should know better than to send a query over the holidays. I only 
received a few responses to this but figure it's more widely applicable 
than that. So -- chime in, please?


On 12/28/2014 16:16, Gabe Goldberg wrote:
How do you learn about mainframe system problems while they're 
happening? Using standard facilities, add-on products, home-grown 
tools, hybrid systems blending technologies? Have you built your own 
(early) warning system? Have these tools averted disasters? Missed 
disasters? Lessons learned, wish lists? Challenges tuning such systems 
to trigger on real problems but avoid false alarms? Etc. Specifics are 
more valuable than generalities, though I'd also like basic principles.


Brief reading on this -- http://blog.strom.com/wp/?p=4569

As always, please copy replies to me directly to avoid them being 
buried on list digests. Especially do that if you read lists on mirror 
sites -- sometimes posting there doesn't reach the main list.


Thanks...




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Query for Dz article -- mainframe problem notification systems

2014-12-28 Thread Gabe Goldberg
How do you learn about mainframe system problems while they're 
happening? Using standard facilities, add-on products, home-grown tools, 
hybrid systems blending technologies? Have you built your own (early) 
warning system? Have these tools averted disasters? Missed disasters? 
Lessons learned, wish lists? Challenges tuning such systems to trigger 
on real problems but avoid false alarms? Etc. Specifics are more 
valuable than generalities, though I'd also like basic principles.


Brief reading on this -- http://blog.strom.com/wp/?p=4569

As always, please copy replies to me directly to avoid them being buried 
on list digests. Especially do that if you read lists on mirror sites -- 
sometimes posting there doesn't reach the main list.


Thanks...

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Query for Destination z: Underutilized resources

2014-11-14 Thread Gabe Goldberg
I've worked with mainframes and then other technologies for a long time 
-- and have always sought communities relevant to whatever technology 
niche I was in. By communities I mean people, companies, organizations 
-- anyone with whom I shared interest in some broad-or-narrow technology 
(mainframes, VM, computer security, medical IT, Windows, email, consumer 
technology, telematics, etc.).


And I've always known people who, for whatever reason, didn't avail 
themselves of such resources. Which seemed to me to be willfully flying 
blind, rather than sharing/receiving anything/everything that would make 
their jobs easier.


So, for Destination z -- what community resources should others take 
advantage of, participate in, contribute to, benefit from, collaborate 
with, etc.?


I'm more interested in off-beaten-path pointers but would also like 
stories on how people benefit from mainstream resources (e.g., SHARE, 
NaSPA, Destination z, IBM Systems Magazine, publications from 
http://enterprisesystemsmedia.com/, VM Workshop, WAVV, IBM conferences, 
local user groups, discussion lists, LinkedIn groups).


What's missing from my list? What are your favorites? Why; how have they 
helped you? How did you find them? What niche/specialized resources need 
more visibility/participation?


As usual, please be (relatively) brief -- I'll query for additional 
information. And copy replies to me directly to avoid info being trapped 
in list digests.


Thanks...

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Mainframe Work, Then and Now

2014-11-13 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Mainframe Work, Then and Now -- The issues and transitions mainframers 
faced in the past help us improve today


It's all too easy as mainframers to answer What's new? with Not 
much. Or to gripe about the latest bug encountered or fixed, or look 
forward to installing the (supposedly) latest-and-greatest 
just-announced whatever from IBM or an ISV.


But taking a longer view is interesting, remembering back five or 20 
years or more, focusing on how it's not just technology that's changed, 
and also the very nature of our work. Today's processors, memory, 
storage capacities and networks couldn't have been imagined in the early 
days; paraphrasing a well-known but bogus industry saying, 24-bit 
addressing was thought to be enough for anybody. And it was, for a 
while. (Now, of course, we take for granted 64-bit technology, a growing 
array of opcodes and a massive Principles of Operation that would 
astonish early mainframers.) Similarly, punch card input and greenbar 
printed output (and system dumps!) made the world—and the 1403 print 
train—spin, for a while.


http://www.destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Trends/Mainframe-Work--Then-and-Now 



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Destination z articles -- moving a data center (two parts)

2014-10-17 Thread Gabe Goldberg

I previously sent first article, not second. Here are both parts...

Planning for Data Center Move Is Critical
Clearly defining steps and outcome before a move, upgrade or build helps 
ensure a smooth transition to success

http://www.destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Systems-Administration/Planning-for-Data-Center-Move-Is-Critical
http://tinyurl.com/lfg7rnt

Flexibility Needed During Execution of Data Center Move
Having backup plans and defined roles makes the move easier when 
surprises arise

http://www.destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Systems-Administration/Flexibility-Needed-During-Execution-of-Data-Center
http://tinyurl.com/pdcea79

Thanks to people who answered the query for this...

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Query for Destination z article: mistakes -- teachable/learnable moments

2014-10-17 Thread Gabe Goldberg

There are at least a bazillion (Google tells me) quotes about mistakes.

So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because that's where 
you will find success. On the far side of failure. Thomas J. Watson, Sr.


It is much easier to be critical than to be correct. Benjamin Disraeli

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. 
Albert Einstein


Anyone who's ever accomplished anything -- done anything -- has made 
mistakes. What have your mainframe career mistakes, teachable/learnable 
moments, painful learning experiences, hard-knocks lessons, etc., been? 
What errors have you seen or heard (and believed!) others make? What 
were the consequences and, most important, what did you learn?


These might be technical or job/career related. What would you go back 
and tell your younger self to do or not do? To do differently? What 
mistakes would you help others avoid?


Please be (relatively) brief; if I need more information, I'll ask. And 
please copy me directly so replies aren't buried in list digests.


Thanks...

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Destination z article query: mainframe work changed/changing?

2014-09-11 Thread Gabe Goldberg
For Destination z, I'm writing about how mainframe work has changed -- 
/especially /with with tips and what might be in the future and how to 
stay ahead.


In the that was then category, there's all this...

 * I learned to program a keypunch drum control card my first day
   working at IBM
 * We all worked night shifts for machine time
 * We had massively heavy printed system dumps
 * We had bookshelves full of manuals needing too-frequent updates via TNL
 * Companies had on-site and frequently visiting sales and support IBMers
 * We fought religious wars between VMers/MVSers
 * We loved full source code (for VM, at least)
 * I had a manager who'd been a very good system programmer
 * Mostly or entirely blue (IBM) installations were common
 * We suffered with primitive and creaky-slow dial access
 * Users fought for space in terminal rooms vs. today's
   anywhere/everywhere personal terminals/PCs/BYOD
 * Centralized staff vs. dispersed teleworkers
 * Informal or no change control
 * A few mainstream programming languages


...which has all changed mostly for the better (but, ah, source code, I 
remember it well). Mid-career came FAX machines (but who would we use 
that with?), and later came the Internet, smartphones/tablets. Under 
this is now we have BYOD, social media, and Donald Trump turning DC's 
beautiful/historic Old Post Office into a hotel. No wait, save that last 
one for griping elsewhere.


So -- other examples? What's new and what's coming in mainframe work? Is 
it getting better or worse? How do you (do you?) keep up or even stay 
ahead?


For this article, I'm focusing on work, not that-was-then and 
this-is-now technology changes (3.g., running half-meg memory 
mainframes  with 35/100/200 MB DASD, etc.)


As usual, be brief -- I'll ask for details. Copy directly to me to avoid 
replies buried in digests, etc.


Thanks!

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IBM Destination z - Planning for Data Center Move Is Critical

2014-09-08 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Planning for Data Center Move Is Critical: Clearly defining the steps 
and outcome before a move, upgrade or build helps ensure a smooth 
transition to success


http://www.destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Systems-Administration/Planning-for-Data-Center-Move-Is-Critical

http://tinyurl.com/lfg7rnt

Thanks for help...

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web: IT History Society

2014-08-26 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Hadn't seen this before...

Dedicated to Preserving IT History

The IT History Society (ITHS) is an international group of over 600 
members working together to document, preserve, catalog, and research 
the history of Information Technology (IT). Comprised of individuals, 
academicians, corporate archivists, curators of public institutions, and 
hobbyists, our online resources include:


A global network of IT historians and archivists
Our exclusive International Database of Historical and Archival Sites
IT Honor Roll of people who have made a noteworthy contribution to 
the industry

IT Hardware and Companies databases
Research links and tools to aid in the preservation of IT history
Technology Quotes
Calendar of upcoming events
An active blog
And more

http://www.ithistory.org/

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Fwd: Mainframe users love their computer artifacts - share yours

2014-07-30 Thread Gabe Goldberg
I'm the messenger -- follow links and respond as suggested below. You 
might have to register on Destination z website to post there.


 Original Message 
Subject:Mainframe users love their computer artifacts - share yours
Date:   Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:39:54 -0600
From:   Destination z destinati...@destinationz.org
To: g...@gabegold.com



To view this email as a web page, go here. 
http://cl.exct.net/?qs=bce3392b2230df75094a81d5810b4d2be9ece3955e0fc340852b69fd5394ee04


http://cl.exct.net/?qs=bce3392b2230df752815bf63eca50edfc1f31ea0a67442c181ecbd8da9ae9d0f 



July 24, 2014

How passionate are you about your chosen profession? Many mainframers 
have some pretty old and unique mainframe artifacts. Sharing your items 
from the past with the Destination z community could earn you one of two 
$50 prepaid Visa gift cards.


Participation is open to all Destination z members. To enter, head to 
the forums for the most unique artifacts 
http://cl.exct.net/?qs=bce3392b2230df75a145cb105b2b28040fbfca7cf3209e3adbbe5005574bc578 
and oldest artifacts 
http://cl.exct.net/?qs=bce3392b2230df75328b8682f5f4fead0a8ff8c77505fb44a275f1e1d1acc0eb. 
There, you can upload a picture of your item and explain what makes it 
unique, the timeframe it is from and why you have held on to it or the 
story behind it.

http://www.destinationz.org/Community/Forums?forumid=10threadid=253
http://www.destinationz.org/Community/Forums?forumid=10threadid=252

Submissions are due by Sept. 19 at midnight Central time. Judges will 
decide the winners in each category, and winners will be announced at 
the end of September. Read more about the contest here. 
http://cl.exct.net/?qs=bce3392b2230df751c248cdab3dc4f78ed01ea83da6f7991d9f8dfdcd8c77c68

http://www.destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Trends/Join-the-Computer-Artifacts-Contest

Get inspiration from others in the field by reading our recent stories 
Holding on to History 
http://cl.exct.net/?qs=bce3392b2230df7504b486ee1c2282ebbde38914640ad17786cf359d332cde85 
and Cherished Computer Memories 
http://cl.exct.net/?qs=bce3392b2230df75cb5c834967fe362b98ee4fbadf25b0771f61c0ed31d9c6a4.

http://www.destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Trends/Holding-on-to-History
http://www.destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Trends/Cherished-Computer-Memories

Because you're a valuable member of Destination z, I'd like to 
personally invite you to join us and share your favorite computer 
artifacts and the stories behind them. Good luck!


Valerie Dennis
Destinationz.org Editor


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Re: Query for SHARE blog article -- storage media issues

2014-06-22 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Really -- hardly anything to say on this? Surprisingly few responses, 
less than I've received for any other queries. Is there no story here, 
media migration just ... works? Nothing to see here, not worth writing 
about? Or are some aspects worth addressing?


On 6/16/2014 23:42, Gabe Goldberg wrote:
As devices (DASD, tape, etc.) and media change format or simply age, 
how do you ensure you can read what's recorded?


How do you migrate data across changing device types/characteristics? 
How much does device topology matter for that? What happens when you 
change backup tools/technology? Has your data ever been left behind?


Are backup (likely recent data and relatively transient lifetime) and 
archive (long-term or permanent storage) handled differently?


How long do you assume tapes will be readable? Are they stored to 
maximize storage integrity? How?


Have you had a data storage problem or catastrophe (earthquake, fire, 
smoke, Halon, etc.)? Lost data? Used a recovery service such as 
http://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com/? They have interesting 
recovery stories like this: 
http://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com/blog/star-trek-the-lost-files/


These issues can be for personal computing or music (e.g., it's tough 
reading 5 1/4 floppies or playing eight-track tapes) but I'm more 
interested in mainframe experiences for this.


On the boundary between personal and professional areas -- and 
speaking of floppy discs and eight-track tapes -- I wonder how many of 
us have tape reels, cartridges, or data cell strips that we'll never 
be able to read but will never discard. Why is that?


Are there other media issues to cover? (I'll include a paper tape 
storage disaster in the story...)


As usual, please copy replies directly to me so they're not buried in 
list digests.


Thanks...




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Query for SHARE blog article -- storage media issues

2014-06-16 Thread Gabe Goldberg
As devices (DASD, tape, etc.) and media change format or simply age, how 
do you ensure you can read what's recorded?


How do you migrate data across changing device types/characteristics? 
How much does device topology matter for that? What happens when you 
change backup tools/technology? Has your data ever been left behind?


Are backup (likely recent data and relatively transient lifetime) and 
archive (long-term or permanent storage) handled differently?


How long do you assume tapes will be readable? Are they stored to 
maximize storage integrity? How?


Have you had a data storage problem or catastrophe (earthquake, fire, 
smoke, Halon, etc.)? Lost data? Used a recovery service such as 
http://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com/? They have interesting recovery 
stories like this: 
http://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com/blog/star-trek-the-lost-files/


These issues can be for personal computing or music (e.g., it's tough 
reading 5 1/4 floppies or playing eight-track tapes) but I'm more 
interested in mainframe experiences for this.


On the boundary between personal and professional areas -- and speaking 
of floppy discs and eight-track tapes -- I wonder how many of us have 
tape reels, cartridges, or data cell strips that we'll never be able to 
read but will never discard. Why is that?


Are there other media issues to cover? (I'll include a paper tape 
storage disaster in the story...)


As usual, please copy replies directly to me so they're not buried in 
list digests.


Thanks...

--
Gabriel Goldberg, Computers and Publishing, Inc.   g...@gabegold.com
3401 Silver Maple Place, Falls Church, VA 22042   (703) 204-0433
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/gabegoldTwitter: GabeG0

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Destination z: Cherished Computer Memories

2014-06-12 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Part 2

Cherished Computer Memories: Holding on to keepsakes can teach us about
 a certain time in computing and help us relive our experiences

http://www.destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Trends/Cherished-Computer-Memories 



...thanks, IBM-Main, for reminder about button man!

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Re: Destination z article: Artifacts -- Holding on to History

2014-06-06 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Right and thanks! Buttons are covered in second part; I sent the editor an 
added sentence about Barry's buttons.

Ed Finnellefinnel...@aol.com  said:

http://www.mxg.com/thebuttonman/index.htm
 
dasdbi...@comcast.net  writes:


Holy  horrors, Batman!  You omitted Barry Merrill's very hefty white lab
coat,  covered outside and in with buttons.

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Destination z article: Artifacts -- Holding on to History

2014-06-05 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Holding on to History
Personal artifacts allow people to remember and preserve industry history

http://destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Trends/Holding-on-to-History.aspx

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Destination z article: Bringing New Workloads to System z

2014-06-05 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Bringing New Workloads to System z (Part 1)
Simplify System z acquisitions and upgrades with IBM solution editions
http://destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Business-Case/Bringing-New-Workloads-to-System-z.aspx

Solutions Move Forward with System z (Part 2)
IBM Solution Editions help cloud computing, specialized business offerings
http://destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Business-Case/Solutions-Move-Forward-with-System-z.aspx

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Destination z article: Turn Challenges Into Opportunities

2014-06-05 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Turn Challenges Into Opportunities
Mainframes—and Mainframers—Can Learn From the Past and One Another

http://www.destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Business-Case/Turn-Challenges-Into-Opportunities 



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Fwd: Bloomberg: Old and Fired at IBM: Tech Trendsetter Changes the Game, Guards Age Data

2014-05-12 Thread Gabe Goldberg

From Bloomberg, May 12, 2014, 5:00:00

Although IBM employees are now able to accept a severance agreement and 
maintain their ability to bring an age- discrimination claim in 
arbitration, the strategy could make it harder and riskier for dismissed 
older employees to decide whether it’s worth taking on the cost of a 
legal battle.


For at least a decade, International Business Machines Corp. 
http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/IBM:US gave fired employees information 
detailing a severance package that asked them to waive 
age-discrimination claims and also included a page listing the job 
titles and ages of workers being let go.


To read the entire article, go to 
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-12/old-fired-at-ibm-trendsetter-offers-workers-arbitration.html






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Query for Destination z website -- relocating a data center

2014-05-12 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Have you moved a data center? What was involved? How much fun was it? 
What was involved, from start to finish? Does the old disruption rule, 
two moves equals one fire apply?


Please share lessons learned, gotchas suffered or avoided, if only 
wishes, war stories, etc. Here's some thinking points (not necessarily 
in project order, listed for completeness)...


 * Was the move worse than an data center build, initial installation,
   or upgrade?
 * Planning
 * Schedule, timeline, milestones
 * Logistics
 * DIY move vs. contractors/subcontractors
 * Site preparation, e.g., check outlet before plugging in anything too
   stupid to protect against bad circuit. I saw one vendor's (not IBM)
   equipment burned out when field manager didn't check power.
 * Achieving non-stop operation or outage tolerable?
 * Business continuity during execution
 * Flexibility during execution
 * Move equipment vs. install all new?
 * Incremental move or big-bang cutover?
 * Parallel operation of old/new data centers?
 * Back-out plan or point-of-no-return?
 * Transition period?
 * Testing
 * Software licensing
 * Costs
 * Results, assessment, postmortem, etc.

As usual, please copy reply to me so it's not lost in list digest.

Thanks...

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3401 Silver Maple Place, Falls Church, VA 22042   (703) 204-0433
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/gabegoldTwitter: GabeG0


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Query for Destination z article -- artifacts

2014-03-28 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Most people here have been at this a while (or a long time, or forever). 
So we've all seen technologies come and go -- probably with mixed 
feelings. Some vanished too soon, good riddance to others.


What computing/career artifacts do people have? I have a couple hex 
calculators. One is the TI Programmer II -- might have cost $60 a couple 
decades ago, much less than the $250 model that preceded it -- which my 
boss foolishly refused to buy for me (productivity, what's that?). The 
other is mechanical, with metal slides and stylus (I think I bought it 
as a novelty, never used it in production). I know people/companies 
which have decorated hallways/rooms in early mainframe (my wife calls 
one friend's house a computer mausoleum; I liked walking down the 
hallway telling her what each box did).


Of course there are computer museums...
http://destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Trends/Computing-Museums-Preserve-IT-History.aspx

...but I'm interested in what individuals have. So... some thinking points:

 * You've used it, now it's in museum -- how does that make you feel?
 * Most influenced your career
 * Most liked/disliked
 * Most significant technology breakthrough
 * You developed/supported it
 * You have pictures of it
 * You have it
 * You want it
 * You bought it
 * You bartered for it
 * You found it
 * Someone gave it to you for free
 * You stole it
 * It's on eBay
 * Family reactions; your spouse loves/hates it/them
 * It's small/large
 * It's operational
 * You're restoring it
 * You use it productively
 * It's in storage
 * You threw it away and now can't believe you didn't keep it
 * You're glad it's gone, never want to see one again (1052, 6670,
   2250, etc.)
 * You've decorated your house in early mainframe
 * You have the T-shirt
 * You have the emotional/physical scars

Regarding first one -- quite a while ago, I saw a TI Silent 700 thermal 
terminal mounted on a Smithsonian museum wall like a trophy. I sighed, 
having lugged those around, to meetings, on trips.


Please copy replies to me directly so they're not buried in list 
digests. Brief would be good -- this is an article, not a book. But 
don't just list things; tell why you have them, what they mean to you, 
etc. Tell me if you have pictures of these trophies (or might take some) 
but don't send 'em yet.


I started this having hardware in mind but software seems to qualify 
also -- e.g., I knew someone who had every version of MS-DOS and Windows 
running in PC virtual machines, artifacts indeed. So if you're running 
OS/360 PCP on a 360/40 that seems to qualify.


Thanks...

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3401 Silver Maple Place, Falls Church, VA 22042   (703) 204-0433
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/gabegoldTwitter: GabeG0


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Query for Destination z article -- identifying/overcoming mainframe challenges

2014-02-26 Thread Gabe Goldberg
Challenges are everywhere -- doing more with fewer resources, 
maintaining security, management/user sometimes willful ignorance of 
mainframe characteristics and strengths, disrespect (different from 
ignorance!) for mainframe heritage and value, staffing (recruiting 
needed skills, generation-gap communication, needing to be Swiss-Army 
experts on diverse technologies/platforms), system maintenance, managing 
vendor accounting and billing, capacity planning, performance analysis, etc.


OK, that's enough -- and only part of the bad news. What other 
challenges are faced? And much more important, what's done (can be done, 
should be done) to overcome them all?


As usual, be brief -- this will be a relatively short article. And 
please copy to me directly so replies aren't buried in digests.


Thanks...

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3401 Silver Maple Place, Falls Church, VA 22042   (703) 204-0433
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Destination z article -- Mainframe Magna Carta

2013-12-07 Thread Gabe Goldberg

Mainframe Magna Carta
The promise and reality of the IBM Mainframe Charter and Statements of 
Integrity


http://destinationz.org/Mainframe-Solution/Business-Case/mainframe-charter-statement-of-integrity.aspx

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Fwd: Bloomberg: Druckenmiller Shorting IBM in Bet Cloud Computing to Win

2013-11-22 Thread Gabe Goldberg
He's also betting against Warren Buffet, of course... and against IBM 
technology providing cloud computing.


From Bloomberg, Nov 22, 2013, 16:18:03

Stan Druckenmiller, who has one of the best track records in the 
hedge-fund industry over the past three decades, said he’s betting 
against the shares of International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) 
http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/IBM:US because the company’s business 
will be replaced by technology such as cloud computing.


To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/18WNvXQ



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Query for SHARE blog -- Redbooks, residencies, etc.

2013-11-12 Thread Gabe Goldberg
I'm writing an article for SHARE blog -- 
http://www.share.org/p/bl/et/blogid=2 -- on Redbooks, Redpapers, 
Redguides, residencies (shouldn't they be Redidencies or some such?), 
workshops, and the ITSO (International Technical Support Organization) 
structure behind them. http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/ is a starting page 
if you're not familiar with them all.


So -- I'd appreciate feedback on Redx (what you like, don't like, 
would like, etc.) as well as (especially) comments if you've joined a 
residency to create anything Red.


As usual, please copy replies directly to me so they're not buried in 
list digest. Thanks...


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Query for Destination z website -- IBM Solution Editions

2013-10-21 Thread Gabe Goldberg
IBM Solution Editions -- 
http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/z/solutions/editions/ -- have been 
available for a while, with specific bundles coming and going. In fact, 
I'm not sure that page lists all current Solution Editions so I'll dig 
further.


Has anyone here used these, evaluated/installed/supported/used/etc.? 
Comments? Favorites?


Please copy replies directly to me so they're not buried in list digests.

Thanks...

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