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November 2021

SPARTA President’s Corner

contributed by Randy Springs

As we approach our November meeting, the World Series is wrapping up and daylight saving time will soon be over until next spring. The North Carolina State Fair was held in Raleigh last month with lower attendance, which was probably a nice change for those who went. In the mainframe world, z/OS Version 2.5 has been available for a month – is anyone planning an upgrade soon? How about Windows 11?

This month, we will again be holding our SPARTA meetings via Zoom format. Due to the virtual format, we have suspended the dues requirement for 2021.

For our November meeting, join us for a presentation from Jim Porell, Principal Software Architect, System Z, Rocket Software, Inc., who will be sharing information on using Omegamon data in analytics tools, including an online demonstration with some of the analytics applications. Invite your fellow systems programmers to join us for networking and information.

Please join your colleagues online at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 2, on Zoom. Watch for meeting connection information coming your way soon.

Randy Springs
Retired (previously Truist)

Future Speakers

(subject to change)

November 2, 2021 - Unlocking OMEGAMON Data for Analytics by Jim Porell, Principal Software Architect, System Z, Rocket Software, Inc.

December 7, 2021 - Z Performance by Frank Kyne of Watson & 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.

2020-2021 SPARTA

Board of Directors

Randy Springs - President

Retired (Truist)                  (919) nnn-nnnn


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

Retired (Truist)                  (919) nnn-nnnn

see Randy

Springs earlier

Ed Webb -  Communications Director

Retired (SAS Institute Inc.)  (919) nnn-nnnn


Apex, NC 27523

Mike Lockey -  Web Master

Guilford Co. Information Services  336-641-6235

201 N. Eugene St.

Greensboro, NC 27401


Coronavirus Change: All meetings for the foreseeable future will be held online at 7 p.m. via the Zoom App. The link to meeting is sent to SPARTA Mailing list within 24 hours of the meeting time for security reasons. Stay safe.

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 2021 “CBT Tape” Shareware Online

The directory and files from the latest CBT tape V501 (dated March 4, 2021) are available from

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

Minutes of the October 5, 2021 Meeting

• The meeting was called to order at 7:03 PM by Randy Springs, the SPARTA President.

• This Eighteenth (April 2020 to October 2021) virtual SPARTA meeting was held via the Zoom Software.

• Twelve (12) people were present at the virtual meeting.

• The Presentation was first and followed by the business portion of the meeting.

• For the Roundtable, everyone introduced themselves, told where they worked, talked about working from home, and briefly described their job functions and what they've been doing at work and home.


• The minutes of the August 31, 2021 (virtual September) meeting as published in the October 2021 Newsletter were approved.

• The September 30, 2021 Treasurer's report (no September income or expenses) as published in the October 2021 Newsletter was approved. As of September 30, 2021, the current balance was $1,489.66.

• 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.

• 2021 meeting dates, Future Speakers and Topics (subject to change based on internal politics, budget, the weather):





November 2, 2021

Rocket Software

Jim Porell

Unlocking OMEGAMON for Data Analytics

December 7, 2021

Watson & Walker

Frank Kyne

Z Performance

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

• The next SPARTA monthly meeting will be held virtually on Tuesday, November 2, 2021.

• The 2021 dues have been suspended (motion passed in the March 2021 monthly meeting).

• Thanks to Duane Reaugh for online hosting the October 5 meeting via Zoom.

• There are currently 94 people on the SPARTA e-mail distribution list.

• Send any e-mail address changes to Chris Blackshire so he can update the SPARTA distribution List. The SPARTA meeting notices are being sent via a simple distribution list maintained by Chris.

• Randy Springs is looking for a new Treasurer volunteer. He projects about 2 hours per month is needed.
- Contact Randy Springs if you are interested.

• LabCorp Meeting Place Update: No update needed from Bill Johnson.

• In person meeting discussion (depending on vaccinations and room availability, probably Feb. 2022)


• None.

• The Business portion of the meeting ended about 8:30 P.M.

• Presentation Topic: Offloading The Mainframe Into The Cloud

by Ron Hilton, CEO of Proximal Systems Corporation

“Big Iron” Meets The Cloud
Proxy Coupling Technology
Heterogeneous Data Sharing
Virtual Rehosted Datacenter
Significant TCO Savings
The Product Demonstration followed:

• Presentation Access - See Below for a full outline of the presentation. See the SPARTA webpage for the complete presentation.

Contact Info:
Speaker: Ron Hilton
PSC Founder and CEO
Phone: 801-272-0058

• The October 5, 2021 monthly meeting ended about 8:30 P.M.

Treasurer’s Report for October 2021

contributed by Randy Springs

The balance in the account is $1489.66 as of October 31, 2021.

SPARTA Financial Report
4/01/2021 through 10/31/2021


Opening Balance 4/1/2021


Total Deposits

Food money donated











Web Site


Petty Cash


Bank Service Charges






PETTY CASH on hand




Items of Interest

SPARTA Schedule and Menu for 2021

contributed by Chris Blackshire

Nov 2, 2021 - Subs
Dec 7, 2021 - BarBQ
Jan 4, 2022 - No meeting!

New PTFs to Update z/OS 2.5 Upgrade Workflow

contributed By Ed Webb

IBM has updated the z/OS 2.5 Upgrade [migration] Workflows in z/OS 2.4 and z/OS 2.3 via PTFs just now available (late October). Even if you are in progress or have completed the Workflow at your shop, you can upgrade it with this new level and review the changed portions.

Check out APAR OA61406 for Specific PTFS for your level of z/OS.

SHARE is returning to in-person events in 2022!

contributed By Ed Webb

SHARE is returning to in-person events in 2022, first in March in Dallas, Texas, then in August in Columbus, Ohio.

"Join us for SHARE Dallas, March 27-30, 2022, for three full days of unmatched education, face-to-face networking opportunities, live technical sessions and receptions to celebrate our reunion. The technical agenda will be released later this fall and include sessions focused on hot topics in the industry, including Security in the Enterprise, Open Source on Z, User Experience, and so much more."

Get the details and register for Dallas and book your hotel ASAP.

7 Signs of Phishing To Watch For

Contributed by Chris Blackshire

1. A message received out of the blue with no prior context.
2. A message containing no additional explanation for whatever you’re supposed to click on.
3. Bogus or meaningless filenames for promised documents.
4. Incomplete branding, like a Microsoft logo with no mention of OneDrive in an email sharing a document.
5. Your email address not appearing in the “To:” line.
6. A message consisting of an image of text, rather than a mix of images and text.
7. A bogus link destination, or a destination inconsistent with the promised document.

While any of these can happen in legitimate email, each should cause you to pause, and multiple instances in the same email should cause you to question the legitimacy of the message. Some examples:

1: Lack of preceding context
While the sender has had email conversations with you in the past, it had been months. There was no current email conversation of which this might have been a part. It arrived completely unexpected, out of the blue.

2: Lack of included context
There’s nothing within the email message to give it any context. “You have been granted access to a secured document file”1 — great! But what does it contain? Why have I been given access? What am I supposed to do with it, other than the implied open?

3: Lack of an informative file name
Normally, files are given names that indicate their content.

4: Microsoft logo without mention of OneDrive
Microsoft is not likely to share a link to a file on OneDrive without explicitly promoting the fact that it’s on OneDrive. Everything is a marketing opportunity, and that this wasn’t treated as such might imply that Microsoft was not really involved.

5: The email wasn’t “to” the receiver
The email doesn’t show your email address at all — everyone was BCC’d. This is suggested by the fact that the email appears to be sent from someone to themselves.

6: The entire box was an image
The entire box containing the “You have been granted” text, the document icon, the document name, the Open Document button, the Microsoft logo, and more was a single giant image. Clicking anywhere would take you somewhere. A legitimate email will typically be a combination of text and images, not just a single image that looks like text.

7: The destination was bogus
Given that the email may attempt to look like a Microsoft email (because of the logo) linked to a Microsoft document (the Excel-like icon) implying it would be shared on a Microsoft property like OneDrive, you would expect the link to go to a Microsoft-owned domain. Hovering anywhere over the image shows the destination URL is no such thing. It might go to a domain example such as “”.

The presence of multiple clues strongly implies that an email is a phishing attempt.

The above clues don’t require complex header analysis or any kind of technology. All you need to do is pay attention. Think before you click.


Wit and Wisdom continued

contributed by Ed Webb

Most of the stuff people worry about never happens.
A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
Be what you wish others to become.

Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.
You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

Membership Information

Don’t Forget the Next SPARTA Meeting

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

7 p.m.

Location: Online

Information about access to our online meeting will be sent to our e-mail list by Tuesday, November 2.

Free Food before meeting: Your Food at Your Home


Unlocking OMEGAMON Data for Analytics

Speaker: Jim Porell, Principal Software Architect, System Z, Rocket Software, Inc.

SPARTA Corporate Sponsors:

DTS Software

Rocket Software

Software Diversified Services


October 2021 Presentation outline

• Presentation Topic: Offloading The Mainframe Into The Cloud

by Ron Hilton, CEO of Proximal Systems Corporation

“Big Iron” Meets The Cloud
Proxy Coupling Technology
Heterogeneous Data Sharing
Virtual Rehosted Datacenter
Significant TCO Savings
The Product Demonstration followed:

“Big Iron” Meets The Cloud
- Mainframe >>> IFL >>> LUW Servers >>> Heterogeneous Cloud

Proxy Coupling Technology

Linux or other OS Mainframe
Task1.. Task nn Offload Proxy Task2 Tasknn
Operating System Operating System
(e.g. Linux, Windows) (e.g. z/OS, VSE)
Firmware1 Firmware2
Hardware1 Hardware2

Heterogeneous Data Sharing
- Diagram not copied (see presentation-URL below)

Virtual Rehosted Datacenter
- Diagram not copied (see presentation-URL below)

Significant TCO Savings

10% 65% 6%
20% 72% 14%
30% 76% 23%
40% 78% 31%
50% 80% 40%
60% 82% 49%
70% 83% 58%
80% 84% 67%
90% 85% 77%

The Product Demonstration followed:
- Ran a sort job twice. Compared the z CPU usage with and without the proxy server.
- Ran a job with the Proxy server down showing the automatic fallback.
- Showed example Jobs and control files to set it up.


The Presentation was recorded via Zoom. The link is:

The virtual presentation ended about 8:20 P.M.