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October 2016

SPARTA President’s Corner

contributed by Randy Springs

Our October meeting will be back at LabCorp, thanks to Bill Johnson. Sam Reynolds of IBM was scheduled to present on ISPF topics, but had to reschedule to November at the last minute, so we are fortunate to have Eduardo Oliveira of IBM to present on LinuxOne and IBM Wave, two products that are very much in the news as they are being implemented in the industry.

I am also pleased to report that Pam Tant of DTS Software has agreed to fill our open treasurer position, replacing Tommy Thomas. Thanks, Pam.

Plan to join us at 6:15 for BBQ and dessert on Tuesday, October 4 at our normal LabCorp meeting location. We should have a good meeting catching up on what’s going on in area mainframe activity.

Randy Springs

Future Speakers

(subject to change)

October 4, 2016 - LinuxOne and IBM Wave by Eduardo Oliveira of IBM

November 1, 2016 - ISPF V2.2 by Sam Reynolds of IBM

December 6, 2016 - TBD

We need ideas and volunteers for future speakers. Presentations don’t have to be fancy, just informative and interesting. Even a 5 or 10 minute talk can start an interesting interaction. Contact Ron Pimblett by phone as noted below.

2016-2017 SPARTA

Board of Directors

Randy Springs - President

BB&T                  (919) 745-5241

3200 Beechleaf Court, Suite 300

Raleigh, NC 27604

Ron Pimblett - Vice President

MDI Data Systems 919-426-6518


Raleigh, NC 27609

Mike Lockey -  Secretary

Guilford Co. Information Services  336-641-6235

201 N. Eugene St.

Greensboro, NC 27401

Tommy Thomas - Treasurer

LabCorp                  336-436-4178

3060 S. Church St.

Burlington, NC 27215

Ed Webb -  Communications Director

SAS Institute Inc.  919-531-4162

SAS Campus Drive

Cary, NC 27513


Meetings are scheduled for the first Tuesday evening of each month (except no meeting in January), with optional dinner at 6:15 p.m. and the meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m.

These monthly meetings usually are held at LabCorp’s Center for Molecular Biology and Pathology (CMBP) near the Research Triangle Park (see last page). Take I-40 to Miami Boulevard and go north. Turn right onto T.W. Alexander Drive. Go about a mile or so. Then turn right into LabCorp complex and turn Left to the CMBP Building (1912 T.W. Alexander Drive). In the lobby, sign in as a visitor to see Bill Johnson. Bill will escort you to the conference room.

Call for Articles

If you have any ideas for speakers, presentations, newsletter articles, or are interested in taking part in a presentation, PLEASE contact one of the Board of Directors with your suggestions.

Newsletter e-Mailings

The SPARTA policy is to e-mail a monthly notice to our SPARTA-RTP Group. The newsletter is posted to the website about five (5) days before each meeting so you can prepare. The SPARTA-RTP Group is maintained by Chris Blackshire; if you have corrections or problems receiving your meeting notice, contact Chris at

August 2016 “CBT Tape” Shareware Online

The directory and files from the latest CBT tape V492 (dated August 25, 2016) are available from

If you need help obtaining one or more files, contact Ed Webb at SAS (see Board of Director’s list for contact info).

Minutes of the August 2, 2016 Meeting

Tommy Thomas, our friend and longtime SPARTA treasurer, passed away at his home on Wednesday, July 27, 2016.

Out of respect for Tommy, we cancelled the August 2 meeting of SPARTA.

A funeral service was held Monday, August 1, 2016 at 11 a.m. at Rock Spring Baptist Church. Burial followed in the Rock Spring Baptist Church Cemetery in Pittsboro, N.C.

Here is a link to his obituary.

Please remember the family in your thoughts and prayers.

Minutes of the August 30, 2016 Meeting

• The meeting was held at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park (DBAP) in Durham, N.C.

• Arranged by Tommy Thomas prior to his unexpected death in July, this "Meeting" was held to remember Tommy and enjoy his favorite pastime.

• Future Speakers and Topics (subject to change based on internal politics, budget, the weather):





Oct 4, 2016


SHARE Attendees

Share Atlanta Information

November 1, 2016


December 6, 2016


If you have suggestions about speakers and topics, contact Ron Pimblett.

• The next SPARTA monthly meeting will be on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at LabCorp in RTP.

• Food for the October 4 meeting will be BarBQ.

• There are currently 66 people on the SPARTA-RTP email list (no change from April).

• Send any e-mail address changes to Chris Blackshire so he can update the SPARTA-RTP Listserv. You will be added by the moderator (Chris = sending you an invitation to Join the list.

• We need to start planning for a new meeting place in 2017.


• Tommy Thomas's unexpected passing means we need a new Treasurer to serve out his term.

Treasurer’s Report for July 2016

contributed by Tommy Thomas

The balance in the account is $359.47 as of July 4, 2016.

SPARTA Financial Report
3/01/2016 through 7/19/2016


Opening Balance


Total Deposits












Web Site


Petty Cash


Bank Service Charge










Items of Interest

SPARTA Schedule and Menu for 2016

contributed by Tommy Thomas and Chris Blackshire

Oct 4, 2016 - BarBQ
Nov 1, 2016 - Pizza
Dec 6, 2016 - Chicken

SHARE San Jose Registration is Available Now

contributed by Ed Webb

Registration for SHARE in San Jose, March 5-10, 2017 is now open. Hotel and Agenda will follow soon.

And don't forget to invite your management to participate in the annual Execuforum at SHARE March 6-7, 2017.

See the all of the San Jose registration details at the SHARE San Jose website and the Execuforum website.

Adapt Your Organization to the API Economy to Generate New Revenue

contributed by Ed Webb

"The way customers, developers and third parties connect and converse with an organization is drastically changing. In the not-so-distant past, a customer had to go through a human intermediary if, for example, they wanted to get an up-to-date view on their current account balance. Over time, websites and mobile apps have been made easier and more intuitive for end users to interact with. Now developers and development teams are wanting to exploit APIs that may or may not be available to them today.

How can your organization ensure that appropriate APIs are available which build upon and exploit existing enterprise applications? Enterprise applications—no matter what platform they’re running on—need to be developed and deployed with the underlying expectation that when workloads increase, the application will scale, response times won’t falter and the service will always be available. These attributes are the foundation that customers build trust in an organization that is hard to regain once lost. However, these attributes don’t matter to front-end application developers that aren’t familiar with the platform. Fortunately, new characteristics of the IBM z Systems server allow the mainframe to be the centerpiece of an API economy solution for your organization.

The mainframe is the heart of the required IT infrastructure to support new workloads driven from IoT, mobile and cloud transactions while infusing analytics into every transaction, as well as delivering services efficiently and flexibly to create a competitive advantage in the API economy."

Learn more in this article by Ian Shore at IBM Systems Magazine.

Blockchain Brings Speed, Security and Transparency to Business

contributed by Ed Webb

"Technology has helped streamline many business processes, however some—such as supply chain elements—continue to take weeks to complete. That’s about to change.

The rise of blockchain software is enabling companies to experiment with methods of sharing information securely and quickly, eliminating the need for paper records and hours spent tracking invoices and payments.

“Blockchain is software that provides an immutable electronic ledger that can be used for the recording of information and assets shared across multiple departments or other entities,” says Donna Dillenberger, IBM Fellow, z Systems*. It has the power to transform many business processes.

Blockchain was born as a result of the Great Recession in the U.S. Several independent programmers upset by the behavior of government and financial institutions looked for a way to create a currency that wasn’t tied to a monetary body. They developed the blockchain protocol and used it to create bitcoin—an independent currency that isn’t owned, managed or centralized by any entity."

Learn more in this IBM Systems Magazine article.

The Mainframe Isn’t Fort Knox: Cloud and Mobile Make Security a Bigger Priority

contributed by Ed Webb

"As the time-tested workhouse of the IT world, the mainframe has cultivated a reputation over the years as a cybersecurity fortress. And, in the days of the on-premises corporate LAN, it was a well-deserved reputation. The unique set-up of the mainframe within a company’s IT infrastructure, coupled with the firewall and AV perimeter security established around company endpoints (e.g., computers connected to the network), made it so that mainframes were relative safe havens for data processing and storage – far more so than, say, the average individual desktop that had to rely on levels of AV and AS protection to keep safe from hackers (and often times that still wouldn’t cut it).

But those were the old days. The era of the on-premises corporate LAN has given way to a new era of cloud-based networking and ubiquitous mobile access. These new services and devices allow employees to access and transmit data faster and more conveniently than ever before. They also put more holes into the walls of mainframe security. More access points to critical data within the mainframe means more potential vulnerabilities for malicious hackers to exploit."

See the rest of this mindSHARE blog entry here.


Stuff You Didn't Know You Didn't Know

contributed by Chris Blackshire

Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.

Coca-Cola was originally green.

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska

The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% (now get this...) The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%

The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $16,400

The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour: 61,000

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

The first novel ever written on a typewriter, Tom Sawyer.

The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs - Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died because of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.

Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?
A. Their birthplace

Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested?
A. Obsession

Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter 'A'?
A. One thousand

Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers and laser printers have in common?
A. All were invented by women.

Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey

Q. Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year?
A. Father's Day

In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes, the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence, the phrase...'Goodnight, sleep tight'

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and, because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them 'Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down.' . . . It's where we get the phrase 'mind your P's and Q's'

Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. 'Wet your whistle' is the phrase inspired by this practice.

At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow!

Why Some Men Have a Dog And No Wife

contributed by Chris Blackshire

1. The later you are, the more excited your dogs are to see you.

2. Dogs don't notice if you call them by another dog's name.

3. Dogs like it if you leave a lot of things on the floor.

4. A dog's parents never visit.

5. Dogs agree that you have to raise your voice to get your point across.

6. Dogs find you amusing when you're drunk.

7. Dogs like to go hunting and fishing.

8. A dog will not wake you up at night to ask, "If I died, would you get another dog?"

9. If a dog has babies, you can put an ad in the paper and give them away.

10. A dog will let you put a studded collar on it without calling you a pervert.

11.. If a dog smells another dog on you, they don't get mad. They just think it's interesting.

And last... but not least:

12. If a dog leaves, it won't take half of your stuff.
...To test this theory...
...Lock your wife and your dog in the garage for an hour...
...Then open it and see who's happy to see you.

Membership Information

Don’t Forget the Next SPARTA Meeting

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

7 p.m.

Location: LabCorp in RTP

Take I-40 to Miami Boulevard and go north. Turn right onto 1912 T.W. Alexander Drive. Go about a mile or so. Then turn right into LabCorp complex and turn left to the CMBP Building. In the lobby, sign in as a visitor to see Tommy Thomas. Tommy will escort you to the conference room. Use 1912 TW Alexander Drive, Durham, NC 27703 in your map app.

Free Food: BarBQ, Sodas and Tea, Dessert


LinuxOne and IBM Wave

Speaker: Eduardo Oliveira of IBM


P.O. Box 13194

Research Triangle Park, NC  27709-3194

First Class Postage

SPARTA Corporate Sponsors:

DTS Software