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December 2018

SPARTA President’s Corner

contributed by Randy Springs

As we begin the last month of the year, many shops face year-end freeze periods, which result in rushed efforts to implement last-minute changes. People are catching up on vacation time, so support is often limited. I hope that everyone can avoid most of the stress associated with this month and enjoy the holidays with friends and family.

I also hope that you can find time to join us at SAS Institute to hear Frank Kyne of Watson & Walker. Frank spoke at SPARTA three years ago and the meeting was well-attended. I remember that he had good information on zEDC that helped our company to move forward with that technology. Be sure to check your email and register so that SAS security has you on the list.

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, December 4 at 6:15 p.m. at a special location, Building F on the SAS campus in Cary.

Randy Springs

Future Speakers

(subject to change)

Dec. 4, 2018 - (at SAS) Software Pricing – The New Frontier in System Tuning by Frank Kyne of Watson and Walker
NOTE: Special Place. Register here.

Jan. 1, 2019 - Happy New Year! No meeting!

Feb. 5, 2019 - TBD - first meeting of 2019

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

November 2018 “CBT Tape” Shareware Online

The directory and files from the latest CBT tape V495 (dated November 11, 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 November 6, 2018 Meeting

• The meeting was called to order at 7:05 PM by Randy Springs, the SPARTA President.

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

• Fourteen (14) people were present of which twelve (12) 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 October 2, 2018 meeting as published in the November 2018 Newsletter were approved.

• The October 31, 2018 Treasurer's report was given and approved as published in the November 2018 newsletter. The balance was $1080.49 (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):





December 4, 2018

Watson & Walker

Frank Kyne

z/OS Performance/Metrics

February 5, 2019




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

• The next SPARTA monthly meeting will be on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at SAS Building F in Cary.

• Food for the December 4 meeting will be BarBQ.

• 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 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.

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

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

• 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.

• 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 7:25 PM.


Topic: Software Sculpting and New IOF 8G Features

By Jim Ott of Triangle Systems

• Major changes for IOF 8G
• Brief review of IOF R&D approach
• New function in IOF 8G
• Triangle Software Sculpting

Major Changes for 8G
- 8G Changes (8 Byte UserIDs)
- 8G Changes (HELP Improvements)
- 8G Changes (Browse Help Info)
- 8G Changes (QRF Command)

Triangle R & D
- Functionality Versus Simplicity
- Win-Win Examples
- Software Sculpting
- Evolution of ZF Command

Win-Win Examples
- Win-Win (Job Summary)
- Win-Win (Emailing jobs)
- Win-Win (Archiving jobs)
- Win-Win (ZF Command)

Triangle Software Sculpting
- New Idea
- Prototype
- First Implementation
- Incoming!
- Major Changes
- Refinement
- Small Independent Pieces
- Secondary Functionality

Software Sculpting (ZF Evolution)
Software Sculpting (New JF Command)
Software Sculpting (Other JFx commands)
- JFI Scan only SYSINs and input JCL
- JFD SYSPRINT Scan only DD name of SYSPRINT
- JFM Scan only log, messages, and JCL
- JFS 10000 Scan only SYSOUTs with less than 10K records

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

Contact Info:
Jim Ott of Triangle Systems, Inc.
PO Box 12752
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Local: (919) 544-0090
Toll-free: (800) 776-7258

Dave Crow
IOF Development Team and Tech Support
Triangle Systems
Local: (919) 544-0090

• The November 6, 2018 monthly meeting ended about 8:20 PM.

Treasurer’s Report for November 2018

contributed by Randy Springs

The balance in the account is $1039.79 as of November 30, 2018.

SPARTA Financial Report
11/01/2018 through 11/30/2018


Opening Balance 11/1/2018


Total Deposits

Food money donated











Web Site


Petty Cash


Bank Service Charges






PETTY CASH on hand 




Items of Interest

SPARTA Schedule and Menu for 2018

contributed by Chris Blackshire

December 4, 2018 - BarBQ
January 1, 2019 - No meeting

Captain Mark Kelly, Astronaut, Will Keynote SHARE in Phoenix

Contributed By Ed Webb

"NASA space mission commander and American hero Captain Mark Kelly demonstrates how focus, dedication and persistence can help you tap into your potential to succeed in any competitive setting."

"He would face the toughest challenge of his life when an assassination attempt was made on his wife, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. His dedication to family and Giffords's road to recovery would captivate the nation."

"Kelly shows audiences how to accomplish their mission while maintaining the love and devotion to family that is the foundation of true success."

SHARE has opened Hotel registration for Phoenix in March 10-15, 2019 at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix. Conference sessions will be at the Phoenix Convention Center. And review your Travel options here.

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.

To Attract Young Talent to Mainframe, Employers Have to Change Their Perspective

Contributed By Ed Webb

From the mindSHARE blog:

"One lingering question has persisted in conversations about the future of mainframe: What’s the best way to improve the perception of the industry in the eyes of younger IT talent so they see the mainframe as attractive as any other modern computing system?

The SHARE St. Louis summer conference featured a number of sessions to help businesses attract, recruit, and work alongside younger IT professionals. Kyle Beausoleil, a software engineer for Rocket Software and a millennial mainframer in his own right, hosted one such session in St. Louis, and said he’s empathetic to the challenge companies face in hiring young talent.

“You don’t want to spend all that effort hiring someone and have them leave two months later because you don’t have a workplace that’s conducive to modern talent,” Beausoleil said.

Even so, he believes many companies may be overthinking the challenge. Millennials are just like any other employee at the start of a career, sharing the same motivations, fears, anxieties and aspirations, regardless of generation."

Learn more about attracting young talent to the mainframe through the lens of a millennial.

Mainframe Matters: The Unsung Heroes of Government Agencies

Contributed By Ed Webb

From the mindSHARE blog:

"The mainframe is at the core of technology strategy in many industries, but critics often question whether it is still relevant. In this “Mainframe Matters” series, we’re examining some of the industries where the mainframe plays a critical role, and answering the question: Why does the IBM Z matter today?

So far in this series, we’ve discussed the essential role the mainframe plays in the finance and healthcare industries. Next, we turn our attention to government. From the IRS to the National Weather Service to state court systems, government agencies of all kinds rely on the mainframe to host their most important, mission-critical applications.

What is it about the mainframe that makes it such a strong platform for government agencies? We spoke with Mike Riggs, manager of systems and database administration in the Office of the Executive Secretary at the Supreme Court of Virginia, to find out what role the mainframe plays in the judicial branch of government. "

Mike Rigg, who recently spoke at the zEnterprise Council meeting in Cary in November, shares his perspective on the value of the mainframe in government.


Oldie but a Goodie

Contributed by Duane Reaugh

This is an oldie but still funny.

At a recent computer exposition, Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated: “If General Motors had kept up with the technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.”

In response to Bill’s comments, GM issued a press release stating: “If General Motors had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:
1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.
2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason, you would simply accept this.
4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.
5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive – but would run on only five percent of the roads.
6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single “General Protection Fault” warning light. 7. The airbag system would ask “Are you sure?” before deploying.
8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.
9. Every time GM introduced a new car, car buyers would have to learn to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
10. You’d have to press the “Start” button to turn the engine off.

Here's an SR-71 Story That'll Make You Laugh

Contributed by Ed Webb

A funny 5-minute video story that made me laugh.

Membership Information

Don’t Forget the Next SPARTA Meeting

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

7 p.m.

Special Location: SAS Building F in Cary

Take I-40 to Exit 287, Harrison Avenue Cary, and go south (left over I-40 from Raleigh or right off I-40 from Durham). Turn left onto SAS Campus Drive at the traffic light. Go about a quarter mile or so. At the gate, tell the guard you are attending the SPARTA meeting. Take the first left for the most parking opportunities and walk across SAS Campus Drive to Building F. Go in the rightmost entrance to see Ed Webb. Here’s a map to the SAS Training Center (Building F), 200 SAS Campus Drive, Cary, NC and a map of the SAS campus

SAS is a tobacco-free company
Smoking or the use of smokeless tobacco products is prohibited in SAS buildings, in company or personal vehicles, or anywhere on the SAS World Headquarters campus.

Free Food before meeting: BarBQ, Sodas and Tea, Dessert


Software Pricing – The New Frontier in System Tuning

Speaker: Frank Kyne of Watson and Walker


P.O. Box 13194

Research Triangle Park, NC  27709-3194

First Class Postage

SPARTA Corporate Sponsors:

DTS Software

Rocket Software

Software Diversified Services