Master the Mainframe course…thoughts

I thought this was a good intro into z/OS. I had been playing with MVS on Hercules, and I wanted to have some idea on how MVS and z/OS differed. Is MVS so old that I’m wasting my time learning it? Other than obvious improvements over the years, I found the biggest differentiator is the addition and integration of Unix into z/OS.

I was pleasantly surprised on how similar the almost 40yo MVS 3.8j, that runs on Hercules, is to z/OS. According to Wikipedia, MVS 3.8j was released in 1981! It also shows what a great job the builders of MVS on Hercules did! In my case that would be the TK4- package. The ISPF like TSO program is remarkably similar to the one on modern z/OS. IMHO, you can truly gain valuable relevant mainframe skills using it.

Also as a further testament to IBM, I must say how similar programming (which includes JCL) is on MVS to the 50+ yo MVT system I was schooled in. I have most, if not all my school runbooks and it is very similar…pretty amazing! Many of the utilities are the same. According to Wikipedia TSO wasn’t even added to MVT until 1971. An as a student I didn’t have a terminal available and hence no TSO/ISPF…I used a card punch machine to enter programs and JCL.

Master the Mainframe – Finished?

Got email “Congratulations on completing Part 3! You have made your way to the end of the Learning System challenges”. I don’t think I really am finished. Was working on the final challenge. Through out course it was said it’s not a race. Also I wanted to go back and check my answers because as I said at one point I reran a previous task (because I suspected a problem) which failed (proving there was a problem) causing the completed task to be overwritten and appear incomplete. So I was taking my time and had plans for the last task. They did say there are no wrong answers and I did have something basic testing stuff there, but it was meant to build on.

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Master the Mainframe – the final challenge!

I think I started this challenge on 5/18 because I finished the previous one on 5/17. Under normal circumstances I feel I would have done well. But with my moms rapidly declining health, I can barely concentrate on it. I signon and stare at the screen, without making much progress. And with such distractions It most likely wouldn’t be a shining example of my abilities anyway. One thought I had was to use the ZOWE extension in VS code because I wanted to paste a large amount of code…of codes I extracted from a manual and parsed using Python. I thought this might be a possibility because they used ZOWE in VS Code in the COBOL course. There maybe other ways such as FTP, but I wanted to accomplish my objectives using what has been taught! ISPF has copy and paste but as far as I can tell it’s solely within the 3270 session.

To clarify…I can copy from Linux. But if I try and paste it only pastes the 1st line properly, it attempts to paste the remaining lines into the editor command area on the left.

Birthday age routines

I just noticed while entering Fred Williard’s death…R.I.P Fred, into my birthday database that my age routine works better than Wikipedia’s…at least as of today. He was born 9/18/39 and died 5/15/2020. They have him listed as 81 (which he won’t be for 4 more months, looks like they did a simple year subtraction) I have him listed as 80. It was simple PHP code, if I’m reading my own program correctly (it’s a little hard to follow, TBH because it was an early PHP program, and I could have used comments better!) that may not itself be exact. Today I’d guess that there is probably a PHP function that calculates it exactly. I also remember coming up with a way, that I was proud of at the time, in SQLite to give me that date using SQL only, because I wanted it from the command line.

YouTube titles (Gripe)

I often download YouTube videos to keep. I reason the data is being downloaded either way so I may as well keep it. Anyhoo I have a little gripe directed at the creators of mulitpart videos. There seems in the majority of cases to be no standardization on title names. So for example you might download these 4 videos

Computer how to
Part 2 – Computer how to
Computer how to 03
Computer how to – four

of course they don’t sort in that order!

My KDE file manager sorts the above titles like so…
Computer how to 03
Computer how to
Computer how to – four
Part 2 – Computer how to

Sometimes a part may be named something totally different the the original. So 9 times out of 10, I prepend 01-,02-,03-,… (seems to be the easiest way) and so on to the title name…often a time consuming task, and not always flawless even for a human.. I find it especially annoying for computer videos. It’s as if they have no concept of the ASCII collating sequence!