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April 2017

SPARTA President’s Corner

contributed by Randy Springs

By the time we meet next on April 4, college basketball season will be over and Major League Baseball will be starting up. Hopefully, the unseasonable warm weather in February and March followed by some freezing mornings will not prevent us from having abundant strawberries and peaches this season. In North Carolina we can experience four seasons in one week.

My team is busy upgrading software after our year-end freeze has ended. We are also planning for the migration of a large percentage of our processing to a new “lights-out” data center in Zebulon later this year.

This month we will hear from Ed Webb after his trip to San Jose for SHARE. Ed always gives us valuable information on what’s hot and how to plan for the latest and greatest from IBM and other vendors, as revealed at SHARE.

Plan to join us for networking, barbecue, fun and education on Tuesday, April 4 at 6:15 p.m. at our usual LabCorp meeting location.

Randy Springs

Future Speakers

(subject to change)

April 4, 2017 - SHARE San Jose Report by Ed Webb of SAS

May 2, 2017 - DFSMS by Glenn Wilcock of IBM

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

Land line 613 599 6970

Mobile 613 981 6919

190 Guelph Private

Kanata, ON K2T 0J7

Mike Lockey -  Secretary

Guilford Co. Information Services  336-641-6235

201 N. Eugene St.

Greensboro, NC 27401

Pam Tant - Treasurer

DTS Software Inc.                  919-833-8426 x124

4350 Lassiter at N. Hills Avenue

Suite 230

Raleigh, NC 27609

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

March 2017 “CBT Tape” Shareware Online

The directory and files from the latest CBT tape V494 (dated March 5, 2017) 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 March 7, 2017 Meeting

• The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by Randy Springs, the SPARTA President.

• The meeting was held at a LabCorp conference room in RTP, N.C.

• Seven (7) people were present of which all are 2016/2017 members.

• Everyone introduced themselves, told where they worked, and briefly described their job functions or their job hunting challenges.

• The minutes for the December 6, 2016 meeting were approved as published in the February 2017 newsletter. The minutes of the February meeting await the publication of the March 2017 newsletter and will to be approved at the April meeting.

• The reading of the March 2017 Treasurer's report was approved as read by Pam Tant. The balance was $289.12. (See details below)


• Call For Articles: Articles are needed for this newsletter. If you would like to write an article for this newsletter, please contact Ed Webb. Keep in mind that you don't really need to write the article, it can be an article that you read that you would like to share with the membership.

• The SPARTA Web page is available. To access the SPARTA Web page, point your Web browser to this site: Please send any comments or suggestions about the Web page to Mike Lockey. Be sure to check the Web page every once in a while to see any new or changed information.

• Randy reminded everyone to leave the LabCorp conference room clean.

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





April 4, 2017


Ed Webb

SHARE San Jose Conference Report

May 2, 2017


Glenn Wilcock


June 6, 2017


Brian Kithcart

Virtual tape update

July 11, 2017

NC State

Mainframe Group

Data Center Update

August 29, 2017

Tommy's Spitball

SPARTA and Friends

Fun at the DBAP

September 12, 2017

NC State

Mainframe Group

Data Center Update

October 3, 2017


Ed Webb

SHARE Providence Update

November 7, 2017

BMC Software

Wayne Wilson


December 5, 2017

Watson & Walker

Cheryl Watson

z/OS Performance

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

• The next SPARTA monthly meeting will be on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at LabCorp in RTP.

• Food for the April 4 meeting will be BarBQ.

• The 2017 dues are due ($30) starting in February 2017. Please pay Pam Tant.

• Thanks to LabCorp and Bill Johnson for hosting the meeting.

• There are currently 65 people on the SPARTA-RTP email list.

• 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.


• Pam Tant and Randy Springs were able to open a new checking account at BB&T and make deposits of all the outstanding funds.

The Business portion of the meeting ended about 7:35 PM.


DTS iPhone / iPad App (Mainframe Access)
By Duane Reaugh of DTS Software

• DTS iPhone/iPad App

• Mainframe access from your phone
- - iPad
- - iPhone
- - - Pocket Reference Available Online

• Real-Time Commands
- System Definition
- - Define Multiple Systems
- - Multi-system commands

• System Definition
- - Swipe Right to see Output from each system
- DSL Reports
- DSNAME Reports
- Catalog Reports
- Dataset Reports
- DASD Reporting
- - Disk Pool Space Usage
- - Disk Pool Space Usage (quick-view)
- - Bar Chart of Pool Free Space
- - GAGE Chart of Pool Free Space
- - Disk Pool Volume Info
- SMS Reports
- MVS Commands

• DASD Reporting
- STG2
- - Disk Pool Volume Info
- - Datasets on Volume
- - MVS Volume Status
- - SMS Volume Status
- - BAR or GAGE Chart of Pool Free Space

• Report Server
- Run SQL query against downloaded data
- Long running reports
- View output in App
- See Results / View Log
- Usually PDF
- Performance: Mounts: VTE / Hour
- Performance: Mounts: Drives / Hour

• Command Upload
- Refresh Commands from zOS PDS
- Update or Add new commands
- Coordinate command updates

• Features
- Swipe Down for groups of commands
- Supports Notification Alert from zOS
- Command Definition can specify the Group
- Command Definition can specify the System

• General Requirements
- TCPIP with access to WWW
- HTTP server required for Charting
- - Uses Google Charting HTTP5
- Access to a Report Server
- - DTS uses BIRT

• License Requirements
- Pocket Reference - Nothing
- Text commands - DIF
- - License SMS/Debug (pretty cheap)
- Grid/Chart - MONitor

• Live Demo

• Presentation Access - See SPARTA webpage for the complete presentation

Contact Info:
DTS Software, Inc
4350 Lassiter at North Hills Avenue
Suite 230
Raleigh, NC 27609

Work Phone: (919) 833-8426 (Primary)
Work Phone: (919) 805-3505 (Alternate)

• The March 2017 meeting ended about 8:30 P.M.

Treasurer’s Report for March 2017

contributed by Pam Tant

The balance in the account is $383.36 as of March 31, 2017. The new Bank account for SPARTA is in the works. However, we could not deposit Membership checks yet.

SPARTA Financial Report
3/01/2017 through 03/31/2017


Opening Balance


Total Deposits

Loan (Chris Blackshire)


Loan (Randy Springs)


Loan (Pam Tant)









Loan repayment (RS)


Loan repayment (PT)




Web Site


Petty Cash


Bank Service Charge






PETTY CASH on hand 




Items of Interest

SPARTA Schedule and Menu for 2017

contributed by Chris Blackshire

Apr. 4, 2017 - BarBQ

May 2, 2017 - Pizza

June 6, 2017 - Chicken

July 11, 2017 - Subs

Aug. 1, 2017 - BarBQ

Aug. 29, 2017 - Durham Bulls (buy your food at the game)

Oct. 3, 2017 - Pizza

Nov. 7, 2017 - Chicken

Dec. 5, 2017 - Subs

Arriving in HOLDDATA near you: z/OS V2.3 FIXCATs!

contributed by Ed Webb

With the Preview announcement of z/OS 2.3 (see next article), it should be no surprise that IBM has some compatibility and co-existence service coming soon to an SMPPTS near you. As Marna Walle of IBM points our in her recent SHARE blog entry, there are 2 FIXCATs for z/OS V2.3:

IBM.Coexistence.z/OS.V2R3 and


Read this rest of her blog for details and a caution that TSO/E 8 character userid will require a lot of PTFs across many products.

IBM Provides a Preview of the Upcoming z/OS 2.3

contributed by Ed Webb

Start with Gary Puchkoff's overview session What's New in z/OS: Silicon Valley Edition.

The Importance of Mainframe in a Disruptive IT Environment

contributed by Ed Webb

Read more in this SHARE blog.

IBM to Bring Machine Learning to the Mainframe

contributed by Ed Webb

From Enterprise systems Media article of February 20, 2017:

Read the rest of this article here.


Shopping for a car on Craigslist?

contributed by Chris Blackshire

Here's a handy Craigslistese translation guide!

Ran when parked: Engine seized.
Needs fuel pump: Engine seized, rod hanging out of block.
Needs starter: No engine.
No lowballers: I am desperate for money.
I know what this is worth: I am REALLY desperate for money.
Testing waters: Every atom in my being is shrieking with need for money.
Don't need to sell: Already sold one kidney, they won't buy the other one.
Text only: Communication is impossible.
Phone calls only: Communication is impossible.
Good title: "Title" scrawled in crayon on paper plate, seller's name not on it.
No title: Stolen.
Needs TLC: Full of dirty syringes, possible murder victim in trunk.
Rare: I think it is worth twenty times actual value.
Head turner: Hideous.
Original: Wood screws attaching Pep Boys hood scoop to decklid.
Gas saver: Miserable.
JDM: Cannot be registered in North America.
Will trade for tattoo work: Pontiac
Comes with three spare engines: Mitsubishi
Emaculent: So many air fresheners that the skin will peel off your face.

Interesting Trivia

contributed by Chris Blackshire

• Someone who reads in bed is called a librocubicularist
• Your nose and ears keep growing as you age
• Norway knighted a penguin
• A single lion in the wild usually only makes about 15-20 large kills a year
• The tongue of a blue whale can weigh as much as an elephant
• A mole can dig a tunnel 300 feet long in a night
• A starfish can turn its stomach inside-out
• Squirrels cannot see the color red
• Frederick Jones was an African-American inventor who was responsible for creating a portable air-cooling unit for trucks carrying perishable food. He was the first AA elected to the American Society of Refrigeration Engineers.
• In 1962, James E. West along with Gerhard M. Sessler developed an inexpensive, compact and highly-sensitive microphone-many microphones today use this technology in cellphones, laptops and hearing aids.
• In 1872, Elijah McCoy developed an automatic lubricator for trains that helped spread oil evenly while in transit to help them run for long periods of time without stopping.
• Granville Woods invented the "troller" which was a grooved metal wheel that allowed street cars to collect electric power from overhead wires.
• Abe Lincoln was the tallest U.S. president at 6 ft. 4"
• The White House's first website debuted October 1994.
• There has never been a president who was an only child (half-siblings included).
• Andrew Johnson was the first president to be impeached.
• John Tyler had 15 children, which is more than any other president.
• Abe Lincoln was the first president not from the original 13 colonies.
• In the Victoria era, it was considered bad luck to sign a Valentine's Day Card.
• In Japan, women are supposed to give men chocolate on Valentine's Day.
• 3% of pet owners will give their pet a gift on Valentine's Day.
• Richard Cadbury produced the first box of chocolates for Valentine's Day in the late 1800s.
• 222,000 is the average number of wedding proposals on Valentine's Day
• 15% of women send themselves flowers on V-day
• King Henry VII declared February 14th the holiday of St. Valentine's Day.
• Every year there are at least 36 million heart shaped boxes of chocolate sold.
• July 7th 2017 is known as Chocolate Day. There is also National Milk Chocolate day on July 28th, International Chocolate Day on September 13th & Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day on Nov. 7th.
• Hot chocolate was the first chocolate treat! It was often served in Versailles and was believed to be an aphrodisiac.
• Cadbury made the first chocolate back in England in 1842.
• Nearly 70% of the world's Cacao is grown in Africa.
• Although Cacao trees can live to be 200, they only grow viable cacao beans for 25 years.
• There are two kinds of cacao: Forastero bean and the Crillo bean

Membership Information

Don’t Forget the Next SPARTA Meeting

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

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 Bill Johnson. Bill 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


SHARE San Jose Conference Report

Speaker: Ed Webb of SAS


P.O. Box 13194

Research Triangle Park, NC  27709-3194

First Class Postage

SPARTA Corporate Sponsors:

DTS Software