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October 2018

SPARTA President’s Corner

contributed by Randy Springs

My family picked a bad week to vacation in Myrtle Beach, beginning on Sunday, September 9. As Hurricane Florence was well out to sea, but approaching the coast, we were told on Monday night that we had to evacuate by 10 AM on Tuesday. Many of the bank’s branches were affected by the intensity of the storm as it slowly made its way into Wilmington and then across South Carolina. Needless to say, our DR procedures were ready if needed, but our data centers kept functioning for the duration.

Our speaker this month will be from Rocket Software, presenting on Zowe (zoh-ee), a mainframe open source project with significant support from IBM, Rocket, CA, and others. Join us as we hear the latest about this new opportunity to exploit the mainframe’s capabilities.

Your SPARTA group still needs a volunteer to replace Pam Tant as treasurer. This position would involve about two hours per month. Please consider serving and talk to me about the position.

Please plan to join your colleagues for barbecue, networking, and education on Tuesday, October 2 at 6:15 p.m. at our usual LabCorp location.

Randy Springs

Future Speakers

(subject to change)

Oct. 2, 2018 - Zowe, Product Updates by Todd Lipp of Rocket Software

Nov. 6, 2018 - z/OS Performance Metrics by Frank Kyne of Watson and Walker

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.

2018-2019 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

Chris Blackshire - Secretary

Retired (Dell, Perot Systems, Nortel)  (919) nnn-nnnn


Durham, NC 27713

Randy Springs - (Acting) Treasurer

BB&T                  (919) 745-5241

see Randy

Springs earlier

Ed Webb -  Communications Director

SAS Institute Inc.  919-531-4162

SAS Campus Drive

Cary, NC 27513

Mike Lockey -  Web Master

Guilford Co. Information Services  336-641-6235

201 N. Eugene St.

Greensboro, NC 27401


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

January 2018 “CBT Tape” Shareware Online

The directory and files from the latest CBT tape V495 (dated January 15, 2018) 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 September 11, 2018 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.

• Twelve (12) people were present of which all are 2017/2018 paid members.

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


• The minutes of the August 7, 2018 meeting as published in the September 2018 Newsletter were approved.

• The August 31, 2018 Treasurer's report was given and approved as published in the September newsletter. The balance was $993.52. (See details in the newsletter).

• 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):





October 2, 2018

Rocket Software

Todd Lipp
Mitch Hoffman

Zowe and Rocket Software Updates

November 6, 2018

Watson & Walker

Frank Kyne

z/OS Performance/Metrics

December 4, 2018


Shalawn King

IBM Z Cloud Portfolio

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

• The next SPARTA monthly meeting will be on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at LabCorp in RTP.

• Food for the October 2 meeting will be City BarBQ provided by Rocket Software.

• The 2018 membership fee was due ($30) starting in February 2018. Please pay Randy Springs.

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

• There are currently 81 people on the SPARTA-RTP e-mail 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.

• No update from Randy Springs on the SPARTA website connection to LinkedIn.

• No update from Chris on the process of putting a package together for Brad Carson, Tommy Thomas, and John Bryan's SPARTA contributions and death information on the web page under a new Emeritus section.

• Randy Springs is looking for a new Treasurer volunteer. He projects about 2 hours per month is needed.

-The treasurer position duties are:
--Collect dues and pay expenses at each monthly meeting.
--Deposit income at the BB&T bank monthly.
--Make an updated monthly excel income-expense list for the monthly newsletter.
--Give a Treasurer report at each meeting.
--One Time: Be added to the checking account authorization.
-Contact Randy Springs if you are interested.

• No update about whether SPARTA needs to change the website to HTTPS access.

• LabCorp Meeting Place Update: Bill Johnson stated that the LabCorp computers will be moving to the refurbished GSK building computing center. He has yet to determine if we can meet at the current LabCorp conference room or a conference room at the GSK building. The move is scheduled sometime by the end of 2018. Bill is in the process of determining the conference room availability options after the move.


• None.

• The Business portion of the meeting ended about 7:30 PM.


Topic: SHARE 131 Key Points Of Interest

By Ed Webb of SAS Institute

SHARE 131 Update
St. Louis, August 12-17, 2018

• Why Go to SHARE?
• Best Sessions
• z/OS Service Status
• SHARE Status

• Presentation Access - See SPARTA webpage for the complete presentation. Or check out the outline of the presentation later in this newsletter.

Contact Info:
Ed Webb of SAS
IT Mainframe Team Lead
Work: 919-531-4162

• The September 11, 2018 monthly meeting ended about 8:45 PM.

Treasurer’s Report for September 2018

contributed by Randy Springs

The balance in the account is $1060.49 as of September 30, 2018.

SPARTA Financial Report
09/01/2018 through 09/30/2018


Opening Balance 9/1/2018


Total Deposits

Food money donated


Special Food money donation











Web Site


Petty Cash


Bank Service Charges






PETTY CASH on hand 




Items of Interest

SPARTA Schedule and Menu for 2018

contributed by Chris Blackshire

October 2, 2018 - Fried chicken City BarBQ provided by Rocket Software
November 6, 2018 - Subs
December 4, 2018 - BarBQ

Submit your SHARE Presentation Proposal Now

Contributed By Ed Webb

"SHARE events attract more than 1,000 enterprise IT professionals, and they're looking to experts like you for the most up-to-date insights on topics that include DevOps, API Economy, Cloud Technology and Data Privacy."

Submit Your Proposal before the deadline of this Friday, October 5, for SHARE in March 2019.

Be prepared to participate in 2019 at one of these announced venues:

SHARE Winter 2019:     Phoenix, AZ   March 10-15
SHARE Summer 2019:  Pittsburgh, PA  August 4-9

You can always see the future SHARE schedule here.

Raleigh RACF User Group (RUG) Meets Oct. 4

Contributed By Ed Webb

Joint Meeting on  October 4, 2018 in IBM offices in NYC, Raleigh, NC and Tampa, FL.  To register for RUG meetings or for meeting agenda:  NYRUG TBRUG registration

Handouts from previous RACF User Group meetings: RUG Handouts.

More to Know About Zowe: Your Questions Answered

Contributed By Ed Webb

"Earlier this year at SHARE St. Louis, representatives from the Open Mainframe Project, IBM, Rocket, and CA got on stage at the Tuesday keynote to announce the launch of Zowe, the first-ever open source project launched on z/OS. Zowe was created to make it easier to access the mainframe environment, lowering barriers for younger professionals just starting with z/OS.

After a panel discussion, the session opened up to Q&A. The following questions were submitted by audience members, but could not be answered on stage due to time limitations. The responses below are shared on behalf of the Zowe Community Leadership Committee."

Zowe Questions and Answers from SHARE.

SHARE Proceedings and Sessions Finder URLs

Contributed By Chris Blackshire

When I logon to my free SHARE account and click on Content Center > SHARE Proceedings, only 3 SHARES are listed:

SHARE in Seattle 2015, SHARE San Jose 2017, and SHARE Sacramento 2018.

I have used the search feature and figured out the following URL patterns to see more SHARE session lists.

I have been unable to find the URLs for San Antonio (125) and Atlanta (126) as SHARE changed the pattern.

I hope this helps you find more of the session proceedings. and first login to your free account:

SHARE 120 Session Index, San Francisco, CA, February 3-8, 2013 (Winter)

SHARE 121 Session Index, Boston, MA, August 11-16, 2013 (Summer)

SHARE 122 Session Index, Anaheim, CA, March 9-14, 2014 (Winter)

SHARE 123 Session Index, Pittsburgh, PA, August 3-8, 2014 (Summer)

SHARE 124 Session Index, Seattle, WA, March 1-6, 2015 (Winter)

SHARE 125 Session Index, Orlando, FL, August 9-14, 2015 (Summer)

SHARE 126 Session Index, San Antonio, TX, Feb 28-Mar 4, 2016 (Spring) (549 Sessions)

xxxx Can't find the entire session index URL for San Antonio

SHARE 127 Session Index, Atlanta, GA, July 31-Aug 5, 2016 (Summer) (561 Sessions)

xxxx Can't find the entire session index URL for Atlanta

SHARE 128 Session Index, San Jose, CA, March 5-10, 2017 (Spring) (562 Sessions)

SHARE 129 Session Index, Providence, Rhode Island, August 6-11, 2017 (Summer) (586 Sessions)

SHARE 130 Session Index, Sacramento, CA, March 11-16, 2018 (Winter) (561 Sessions)

SHARE 131 Session Index, St Louis, MO, August 12-17, 2018 (Summer) (578 Sessions)

SHARE 132 - Phoenix


Humorous Thoughts

Contributed by Ed Webb

• Happiness isn't having what you want, it's wanting what you have.
• Always drink upstream from the herd.
• If you get to thinking that you're a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else's dog around.

• Success is simply a matter of luck. Just ask any failure.
• Quitting is leading, too.
• How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on.


• Why Go to SHARE?
• Best Sessions
• z/OS Service Status
• SHARE Status

• Remainder of presentation will be provided soon.

Membership Information

Don’t Forget the Next SPARTA Meeting

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

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 before meeting: BarBQ, Sodas and Tea, Dessert
(catered by Rocket Software)


Zowe! And Rocket Product Updates

Speaker: Todd Lipp of Rocket Software


P.O. Box 13194

Research Triangle Park, NC  27709-3194

First Class Postage

SPARTA Corporate Sponsors:

DTS Software

Rocket Software

Software Diversified Services