Sparta logo

July 2022

SPARTA President’s Corner

contributed by Randy Springs

We are over halfway through 2022 and here in NC it’s another typical hot, humid summer. We look forward to afternoon showers that lower both the temperature and humidity, but we watch out for lighting strikes and high winds. Fortunately, we can escape for a while at the beach or the mountains for a brief respite from our daily routines.

This month, we will again be holding our SPARTA meetings via Zoom format. With the removal of mask mandates in NC, we can consider going back to our in-person meetings if we can find an appropriate venue. Let us know if you have any suggestions for a meeting location.

For our July meeting, join us for a presentation from Dave Crow of Triangle Systems on IOF New Features, REXX, and little known features. Dave retired from SAS a few years ago and now supports the IOF product part-time. Invite your fellow systems programmers to join us for networking and information.

Please join your colleagues online at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12, on Zoom. Watch for meeting connection information coming your way soon.

Randy Springs
Retired (Truist)

Future Speakers (subject to change)

July 12, 2022 [Special Date] - IOF by Dave Crow of Triangle Systems

August 2, 2022 - TBA by Ed Jaffee of Phoenix Software International

September 13, 2022 [Special Date] - SHARE 2022 Columbus Report by Ed Webb of SPARTA

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.

2021-2022 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

November 2021 “CBT Tape” Shareware Online

The directory and files from the latest CBT tape V502 (dated November 7, 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 June 7, 2021 Meeting

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

• This Twenty-fifth (April 2020 to June 2022) virtual SPARTA meeting was held via the Zoom Software.

• Ten (10) people were present at the virtual meeting.

• The Presentation was 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 May 3, 2022 meeting as published in the June 2022 Newsletter were approved.

• The May 31, 2022 Treasurer's report (no May income or expenses) as published in the June 2022 Newsletter was approved. As of May 31, 2022, 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 at 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.

• 2022 meeting dates, Future Speakers and Topics (subject to change based on internal politics, budget, the weather):





July 12, 2022

Triangle Systems

Dave Crow

IOF New Features, REXX, and little known features

August 2, 2022

Phoenix Systems

Ed Jaffe


September 13, 2022

Retired (SAS)

Ed Webb

SHARE 2022 Columbus Update
Aug 21-26, 2022

October 4, 2022


Frank Kyne


November 1, 2022




December 6, 2022




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

• The next SPARTA monthly meeting will be held virtually on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.

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

• Thanks to Randy Springs for online hosting the June 7 meeting via Zoom.

• There are currently 93 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.

• There was discussion about a possible 2022 in person meeting, depending on vaccinations and room availability. Stay tuned.

• Mike Lockey will be sending the website bills to Randy for payment with an update in the next newsletter.


• The Business portion of the meeting and the meeting itself ended about 9:05 P.M.

• Presentation Topic: SHARE 2022 (138) Dallas, March 27-30, 2022

by Ed Webb, Retired from SAS Institute Inc.

• Agenda
• Why Go to SHARE?
• Why (Do I Still) Go To Share?
• SHARE 2022 Dallas [conference format]
• Odds and Ends
• Quotes of Interest
• Best Sessions
• SHARE Status

The online presentation ended at about 8:55 PM.

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

See the SPARTA webpage for all recent presentations including this one.

Contact Info:
Speaker: Ed Webb
Retired from SAS
Senior z/OS Systems Consultant

• The June 7, 2022 monthly meeting ended about 9:05 P.M.

Treasurer’s Report for June 2022

contributed by Randy Springs

The balance in the account is $1489.66 as of June 30, 2022.

SPARTA Financial Report
4/01/2022 through 06/30/2022


Opening Balance 4/1/2022


Total Deposits

Food money donated











Web Site


Petty Cash


Bank Service Charges






PETTY CASH on hand




Items of Interest

SPARTA Schedule and Menu for 2022

contributed by Chris Blackshire

July 12, 2022 - Subs (July 4 holiday is Monday before the usual July 5 meeting)
Aug 2, 2022 - BarBQ
Sept 13, 2022 - Pizza (Labor Day holiday is Monday Sept 5)
Oct 4, 2022 - Chicken
Nov 1, 2022 - Subs
Dec 6, 2022 - BarBQ

CustomPac(ISPF) ServerPacs for IBM Software Installation Are No Longer Orderable!

contributed By Ed Webb

Marna Walle reported in mid-May 2022 that July 10, 2022 was the last date to order a ServerPac CustomPac (ISPF-based) version.

"The CustomPac Dialog installation method choice from Shopz is planned to be removed on July 10, 2022. After July 10, 2022, IBM intends that any ServerPac for z/OS, CICS, Db2, IMS, or program products ordered via Shopz will only be packaged and installable with z/OSMF.

We have updated this information on our primary website for z/OSMF ServerPac installation information. Use that website to learn more about the z/OSMF ServerPac installation method. Also, please do use the Try It sample provided via that website as a representative package which you can use to verify your driving system is sufficient for installation of any z/OSMF portable software instance, from any software vendor."

Here's Marna's complete May 16, 2022 SHARE'd Intelligence blog post about this topic: Removal of CustomPac(ISPF) ServerPac Date!.

SHARE 2022 Columbus Announces Frank Abagnale as Opening Keynote Speaker!

contributed By Ed Webb

"SHARE is pleased to welcome Frank Abagnale to Columbus this August as the opening keynote speaker. Frank Abagnale is a renowned cybersecurity and fraud prevention expert, bestselling author and subject of [the 2002 hit movie] Catch Me If You Can".

"Cyberspace has spawned a skyrocketing number of ways to commit crime — much of it untraceable. Frank Abagnale shows how to identify and outsmart perpetrators of fraud, delving deeper into business topics including check forgery and the identification and prevention of other kinds of fraud. Abagnale reveals that punishment for committing fraud, much less recovery of stolen funds, seldom happens: Prevention is the best form of protection. In this keynote, Abagnale shows how to ultimately defend yourself and your business against even the craftiest crooks."

"Visit for additional information and start making your plans to attend SHARE Columbus today!" SHARE Columbus will be held August 21-26.

z/OS 2.5 2Q2022 Enhancements Available

Contributed by Ed Webb

IBM has summarized its Second Quarter 2022 (2Q2022) z/OS 2.5 Enhancements that are available via Continuous Delivery.

Some notable features that have been added or updated include:
• z16 support across several components including the z/OS IBM z16 Upgrade Workflow
• z/OSMF Software Management data set merge function
• z/OS Management Services Catalog enhancements
• Data Set File System for access to traditional z/OS data sets from z/OS Unix applications
• RACF® Database Encryption
• New IBM Open XL C/C++ 1.1 compiler

For complete list of enhancements and details, read this IBM United States Software Announcement 222-214.


Mostly Mainframe Funnies

contributed by Chris Blackshire

What does MVS stand for?
- More Volume Sales
- Man vs. System
- Many VSE Systems
- Moves Very Slowly

What does TSO stand for?
- Take System Over
- Terrible System Overhead
- Time Sucking Option

What would you have if Computer Associates and Candle Incorporated merged then their stock split?
A. CA/CI split!

Why do programmers always mix up Halloween and Christmas?
A. Because Oct 31 == Dec 25!

A systems programmer was at lunch with some Data Processing auditors. The waitress asks the system programmer what he wants for lunch and he says "Pork chops". She says "What about the vegetables?". The system programmer says "Oh they can order for themselves".

Today, your cell phone has more computer power than all of NASA back in 1969, when it placed two astronauts on the moon. Video games, which consume enormous amounts of computer power to simulate 3-D situations, use more computer power than mainframe computers of the previous decade. The Sony PlayStation of today, which costs $300, has the power of a military supercomputer of 1997, which cost millions of dollars.

If you can pick it up, it's a PC.
If you can't pick it up but you can push it over, it's a minicomputer.
But when you can't pick it up or knock it over, it's a mainframe.

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor.

5 Things Everyone Should Know about Mainframes

contributed by Chris Blackshire

1. Mainframes are the size of a fridge
The mainframes that filled entire rooms went out of style decades ago.

2. Mainframes can run Windows
You may know that mainframes can run Linux in addition to native mainframe operating systems, such as z/OS. But did you know mainframes support Microsoft Windows, too?

Well, OK – not all mainframes can run Windows. And they can’t run any version of Windows.
You need to purchase the System x Blade and the Windows version that runs on the blade.

The underlying message from IBM is also notable. By positioning the mainframe as a megaserver it's essentially telling customers to dump those x86 servers for one tall box.

3. Mainframes host about 70 percent of the world’s data

4. COBOL remains in high demand
Industries that rely heavily on mainframes also depend on apps written in COBOL, the venerable mainframe programming language.
But, almost no one learns COBOL these days. You’d be hard-pressed to find a college computer science program that includes instruction in it.

5. A single mainframe equals hundreds of regular servers
How many regular, x86-based servers does it take to equal the computing power of a mainframe? About 1,500 – if you’re talking about IBM’s System z10 mainframe, which was released in 2008.

Membership Information

Don’t Forget the Next SPARTA Meeting

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

7 p.m.

Location: Online

Information about access to our online meeting will be sent to our e-mail list by Tuesday, July 12.

Free Food before meeting: Your Food at Your Home


IOF New Features, REXX, and little known features

Speaker: Dave Crow of Triangle Systems

SPARTA Corporate Sponsors:

DTS Software

Rocket Software

Software Diversified Services


June 2022 Presentation outline

• Presentation Topic: SHARE 2022 (138) Dallas, March 27-30, 2022

by Ed Webb, Retired from SAS Institute Inc.

• Agenda
• Why Go to SHARE?
• Why (Do I Still) Go To Share?
• SHARE 2022 Dallas [conference format]
• Odds and Ends
• Quotes of Interest
• Best Sessions
• SHARE Status

- z16 Announced Just After this SHARE on April 5 - IBM Provided Hints on z/OS Changes
- IBM Telum Processor for IBM Z – an 8-core, 7nm microprocessor with transparent main-memory encryption, 1.5X cache of z15, and > 6 TFLOPs AI acceleration per chip.
- z/OS 2.5 Upgrade Planning and Look Ahead
- Late-breaking z/OS 2.5 and z/OS 2.4 News - 4Q2021 and 1Q2022 C.D. Functions
- SHARE Requirements Carry More Weight with IBM than Ideas (were RFEs)
- Networking with peers and IBM developers and executives
- At Fort Worth, Spent an hour in a z/OSMF Lab with the z/OS Architect

- Because I’m a Z Person who has attended these conferences since 1979; first GUIDE starting in 1979, then SHARE in 1999
- Networking with Friends and Vendors
- Staying Current and Being Re-energized about z/OS
- First SHARE In-Person Since Pandemic Lockdown in March 2020

3 Days In-Person and Some Streaming with Recordings!
- Three Days Limited Content with 3 rooms live streamed and recorded
- SHARE Tech Exchange only Monday and Tuesday
- Broadcom-sponsored Lunch on Tuesday
- Recorded sessions are available now (Ends July 31, 2022)
- - 45-50 minute sessions - video and audio with handouts in most cases
- SHARE Partners with dedicated sessions on Mon. and Wed.

- “Take a chance, train a Newbie, advertise at local universities” - By James Lund of Texas A&M on shortage of z/OS Sysprogs

- “MVS provides the essential operating system services of z/OS. It includes I/O Control Program, the z/OS Unix System Services Kernel, and z/OS XML System Services.” - IBM Knowledge center per Ed Jaffe

- Curious about some new z/OS function? Then locate details here:
- -
- -
- OA61716 z/OS 2.5 MacOS client support for NFSv4
- - MVSLOGIN, MVSLOGOUT, and SHOWATTR binaries supplied by IBM
- zCX Growth - no longer requires hardware option on z15 (monthly license)
- IBM Container Hosting Foundation + IBM Container Repository
- - Container Registry - trusted registry for open-source container images
- - built by IBM and scanned by IBM, applications are not supported by IBM
- Proactive Resilience Discovery Workshop offering - free IBM offering
- - contact
- IBM Change Tracker for z/OS 2.5 by Marne Walle of IBM and Chris Taylor, 21st Century Software
- - 52+ attendees
- New Priced Feature coming in z/OS 2.5
- - 21st Century is the Change Tracker development partner for IBM
- SOD 15Mar2022 Comprehensive configuration change management tool for tracking, controlling, and managing software changes


What’s New in z/OS 2.5: The Big D Edition
- By Gary Puchkoff of IBM (60+ attendees in-person)

IBM z/OS V2.5 Release Overview - z/OS Support Summary


z9 EC
z9 BC







End of


z/OS V2.1









9/21 (Defect Support)

z/OS V2.2








9/23 (Generally supported)

z/OS V2.3






9/25 (Generally supported)

z/OS V2.4






9/27 (Generally supported)

z/OS V2.5





9/29 (Generally supported)

1 - All statements regarding IBM's plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice.
2 - Extended support dates are projected and are subject to change or withdrawal without notice.
3 - WdfM - Server has been withdrawn from Marketing
4 - Defect support provided with IBM Software Support Services for z/OS

z/OS V2.5 Release Overview - Release Highlights
- Workload Enablement
- Intelligent Resiliency
- Cyber Threat Secure Z
- OS Management Simplification

z/OS V2.5 Release Overview
- Scalability and Performance
- Availability
- Systems Management
- Networking
- Data Serving and Storage
- Enhancing Security
- Application Development
- Usability and Skills

z/OS Education Assistant for z/OS 2.5 materials at z/OS github:

z/OS Requirements (RFEs) are now Ideas based on AHA platform:

Here’s the Link to User Requirements satisfied by z/OS 2.5:

Use SHARE requirements to submit requirements

Usability and Skills
- IBM z/OS Management Services Catalog (CD 4Q2021)

Using z/OSMF Management Services Catalog
- By Marna Walle of IBM (21 attendees in-person, 32 online)

Upgrading to z/OS V2.5 (Planning and Technical Actions)
- By Marna Walle and Mark Wallen of IBM (31+ attendees in-person, 80+ online)

RMF Upgrade Actions for z/OS V2.5
- Upgrade Actions Pre-First IPL

Installing z/OS 2.5 Using Software Management
- By Kurt Quakenbush of IBM (40+ attendees in-person, 72 online)

IBM HMC 2.15.n Including Remote Code Load
- By Brian Valentine of IBM (25 attendees)

z/OSMF Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them in V2.5
- By Kenneth Irwin of IBM Support (26 attendees in-person)

Install z/OS 2.5 ServerPac Using z/OSMF Software Management
- By Kurt Quackenbush of IBM (133 attendees)
- - Use Try it tab on this page
- - -
- - z/OSMF Portable Software Instance Demo
- - Watch the Tutorial series
- - -
- - Download the Sample z/OSMF Portable Software Instance
- - -

- By Frank Kyne of Watson&Walker (55+ attendees)

Hidden Treasures in z/OS (a.k.a. Bit Bucket x’3F’)
- By Ed Jaffe and 3 others

- Best Session Awards for Virtual Experience in August 2021
- - Best of the Best Session Awards
- - - User: How to Socialize Like a Mainframer
- - - Vendor: Avoid Unconscious Bias to Become a Better Professional
- - User Best Session
- - - System Recovery Boost: Hitting the Turbo Button on z/OS
- - Vendor Best Session
- - - How to start or improve mainframe DevOps using Open Source on Z
- - - z/VM Highlights From Developers and Customers - Part 2 of 2
- - JES2 Component Enhancements for z/OS V2R5
- - Strategic Partners Best Sessions
- - - What is Site Reliability Engineering and Why Does It Matter to Mainframe?
- - - Top 5 (and more...) reasons customers modernize with Zowe's API Mediation Layer
- Year-Round Education and SHARE Communities
- - SHARE Security Webcast Series Aug 2021-July 2022
- - - 50 Year anniversary of the Software Security Project
- - - 21 webcasts from top mainframe security professionals
- - SHARE Communities
- - - Building out new Security Community
- - - Reinvigorate Women in IT and zNextGen

The online presentation ended at about 8:55 PM.