Someday, computers will only be the size of a football field.
November 24, 2004 12:07 PM   Subscribe

Hercules! Not the shiny muscle man from the past, but a handy emulator for IBM S/360, S/370, S/390, and z/Arch mainframes. Unfortunately, because of IBM's bullheadedness, you can only run operating systems released when the world was young, unless, for whatever reason, you decide to run something released after the Reagan Administration. You, too, can learn how easy we young whippersnappers have it now, but beware: to effectively use most of these systems, you will need to descend into Hell.
posted by Captain_Tenille (10 comments total)
you know, that link to the jcl manual was just cruel, i'd almost managed to forget that jcl existed. now i'm going to be twitching and whimpering in horror for the rest of the day
posted by dolface at 2:04 PM on November 24, 2004

Ugh. Until I came to my senses, my prior job required me to switch between JCL and PHP (for different application support).

Talk about old vs. new.

Unfortunately, as much as I'd like to believe that JCL is no longer relevant... it's not true. Most banks, educational institutions, and government still rely heavily on mainframe services.

Worst programming experience ever.
posted by purephase at 2:08 PM on November 24, 2004

So you're saying that I should have put a (NWSF) after the JCL link?

posted by Captain_Tenille at 2:10 PM on November 24, 2004

I've written a JCL migration application... in REXX.
posted by sleslie at 2:41 PM on November 24, 2004

Hey, REXX is alive and well. Well. Um. Undead.
posted by majick at 5:58 PM on November 24, 2004

I still use SPF/PC as an editor - mainly for the nostalgia for TSO.
posted by rfs at 6:44 PM on November 24, 2004

Purephase, I feel your pain. Several years ago when I worked at what was primarily a mainframe shop, I developed a "JCL Cross Reference" app - COBOL program on the mainframe scanned the dataset containing the JCL, created a (huge) flat file that a batch job downloaded to an IIS web server every night. The client app was an ActiveX control written in Visual Basic and C that processed the mammoth file. The mainframe programmers would go the site on our intranet, and do all their searching, etc. with the web app - it was MUCH faster than their previous method of submitting a batch job from ISPF/PDF to scan the library.

It was "interesting" using such a mixture of tools/languages.

I was the only person on the staff who worked in "both worlds" - I was always struck by how little understanding both camps really had for what the "other guys" actually did.
posted by JeffL at 7:31 PM on November 24, 2004

REXX? I *WISH* I could've used REXX. We had to use the dreaded CLIST , *shudder*.

See here for a comparison.

This quote pretty much says it all:

CLIST programs often tax the poor programmer's analytical capabilities as he or she tries to understand how CLIST attempts to interpret data strings as expressions and then tries valiantly to prevent it from doing so. CLIST language is the incarnation of obscurity.
posted by JeffL at 7:40 PM on November 24, 2004

What? No 5100 emulator? How is John Titor going to complete his mission?
posted by davem at 5:28 AM on November 25, 2004

Hmm, I actually liked the year I spent doing MVS/JCL programming. Still have my keyboard from a 3270 terminal with the double row of functions keys and both enter and return keys. Always loved working with a mainframe, it is so orderly.

REXX wasn't so bad, just kind of limited. Now RPG, there was a language that would get you wishing for the end of time.
posted by Mitheral at 9:00 AM on November 25, 2004

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