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December 2023

SPARTA President’s Corner

contributed by Randy Springs

This month, we will again be holding our SPARTA meetings via Zoom format.

For our December meeting, join us for a discussion about the Future of SPARTA. How can we improve our offerings and attendance, or is it time for us to fade away? Invite your fellow systems programmers to join us for this informative and important virtual meeting.

Please join your colleagues online on Tuesday, December 5, on Zoom. Watch for meeting connection information coming your way soon.

Randy Springs
Retired (Truist)

Future Speakers (subject to change)

December 5, 2023 - The Future of SPARTA by SPARTA Board and Members

January 2, 2023 - No January Meeting. Happy Holidays!

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.

2023-2024 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 distribution List is maintained by Chris Blackshire; if you have corrections or problems receiving your meeting notice, contact Chris at

April 2023 “CBT Tape” Shareware Online

The directory and files from the latest CBT tape V505 (dated April 24, 2023) 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 November 7, 2023 Meeting

The Board voted by e-mail during the weekend before Tuesday, November 7, to cancel the November meeting because we could not find a speaker to present.

• The November 7, 2023 meeting was called to order at 7:05 PM by Randy Springs, the SPARTA President.

• This Thirty-Eighth (April 2020 to November 2023) virtual SPARTA meeting was held via the Zoom Software.

• Five (5) people were present at the virtual meeting.

• The business portion of the meeting followed the presentation.

• The meeting started at the 7 PM time to accommodate the speaker's availability.


• The minutes of the September 12, 2023 meeting as published in the October 2023 Newsletter were approved.

• The September 30, 2023 Treasurer's report as published in the October 2023 Newsletter was approved. As of September 30, 2023, the current balance is $805.46.

• 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.

• 2023 meeting dates, Future Speakers and Topics (subject to change based on internal politics, budget, the weather):





December 5, 2023




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

• The next SPARTA monthly meeting will be held virtually on Tuesday, December 5, 2023.

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

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

• There are currently about 100 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.

• Randy Springs has setup a SPARTA group on LinkedIn. Please join.

• There was discussion about a possible 2023 in-person meeting, depending on vaccinations and room availability. Stay tuned.
- Randy will contact Bill Johnson to determine the LabCorp meeting place status.
- Jay Hall will look into using a NCSU Centennial Campus room.


• We will continue meeting virtually for now with a future in-person meeting date TBD. Stay tuned.
• The Business portion and the meeting ended about 8:45 P.M.

• The Presentation started at 7:05 PM after “Around-The-Table” brief introductions.

• Presentation Topic: SHARE 2023 New Orleans (142), August 13-18, 2023

by Ed Webb of SPARTA (retired from SAS Institute Inc.)

• Agenda

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

See the SPARTA webpage for all recent presentations including this October one with additional Notes.

Contact Info:
Speaker: Ed Webb
Retired z/OS Senior Systems Programmer

• The November 7, 2023 monthly meeting ended about 8:45 P.M.

Treasurer’s Report for November 2023

contributed by Randy Springs

The balance in the account is $805.46 as of November 30, 2023.

SPARTA Financial Report
11/01/2023 through 11/30/2023


Opening Balance 11/1/2023


Total Deposits

Food money donated











Web Site


Petty Cash


Bank Service Charges






PETTY CASH on hand




Items of Interest

SPARTA Schedule and Menu for 2023

contributed by Chris Blackshire

Dec 5, 2023 - BarBQ

SHARE 2024 Orlando Technical Agenda Coming This Week!

contributed By Ed Webb

"SHARE Orlando, Winter 2024 Event is quickly approaching as we near the end of 2023... and I am reaching out to ensure you’re aware that registration is open.

Secure your spot now to join the SHARE community in Orlando, Florida, March 3-7, 2024. The technical agenda will be announced this week and will feature sessions on the latest enterprise IT topics including z/OS systems programming, security and compliance, machine learning/AI, plus much more.

Register now to lock in the lowest available rate, which is only available until January 5. You can use the remaining budget you have for 2023 to get ahead of the rush to register before the early bird rate expires after the holidays."

A New JCL Parameter on the EXEC Statement!

contributed By Ed Webb

IBM recently added a new JCL paramenter ABDISPCC to the EXEC statement.

"This parameter is used to describe how the system performs data set disposition processing based on the job step completion code. By default, the system uses the normal termination disposition for each DD, which can be specified by the second subparameter of the DISP parameter of the DD statement or the first subparameter of the PATHDISP parameter.

The system can alternatively use the abnormal termination disposition, which can be specified by the third subparameter of the DISP parameter of the DD statement or the second subparameter of the PATHDISP parameter."

Look for more details about using the ABDISPCC paramenter in the description for APAR OA63081 that was available via PTFS in mid-October 2023 for z/OS 2.4, 2.5 and 3.1.

z/OS 3.1 4Q 2023 Enhancements

Contributed by Ed Webb

Fiona King of IBM z/OS Communities has posted a summary of the 4th Quarter (4Q) Enhancements that have been delivered for z/OS 3.1 as part of the Continuous Delivery process.

"z/OSMF enhancement to run TSO as surrogate User ID: z/OSMF users can now start a TSO address space using a surrogate user ID, if they have the necessary security permissions to do so.

z/OSMF Software Update enhancements: Support has been added to enable users to remove completed or cancelled updates from the Completed Updates table in the Software Update user interface.

z/OSMF Software Management: Support has been added to improve how portable software instances are created and deployed, including zFS data sets.

IBM SMF Explorer with Python enhancements: Support has been added that is designed for users to be able to easily access and interpret SMF type 30 records.

SETIOS command to simulate an unplanned PPRC suspend event: IOS now provides a new command for testing unplanned PPRC Suspension events for HyperSwap configurations.

Improved data set disposition for batch JCL processing: A new keyword has been added to allow for abnormal termination disposition of data sets when the step terminates normally.

z/OS client web enablement toolkit enhancement: Support has been added to the HTTP/HTTPS Enabler to allow an application to set a connection timeout.

Integrated Cryptographic Service Facility (ICSF) Enhancements: Support has been added for CCA 8.2 to help strengthen RSA encryption possibilities.

Hardware Configuration Manager (HCM) enhancements: HCM is now compatible with  Java 11 to support additional scalability abilities.

z/OS® Hardware Configuration Definition (HCD) extended support enhancements: Support has been added for hardware-only dynamic changes to a remote IBM z16 and IBM LinuxONE 4 processors running Linux for Z and z/TPF operating systems.  

Cloud Object Utility (GDKUTIL) enhancements: Cloud Objects created by GDKUTIL can now have configurable metadata included with the object."

Read the more details in Fiona's blog post at the z/OS Communities website.


Wit and Wisdom continued

contributed by Ed Webb

Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done.
Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.
Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.

It's A Pun-y World!

contributed by Ed Webb

We're making a documentary about flying a plane..
We're filming the pilot

Have you seen the movie Constipation?
  Me either
It hasn't come out yet

A bike in town keeps running me over. It's a vicious cycle.

It was a terrible summer for Humpty Dumpty, but he had a great fall.

My wife wants me to blow air on her every time she overheats.
But honestly...I'm not a fan

It takes guts to be an organ donor

I'm not wearing glasses anymore. I've seen enough

Membership Information

Don’t Forget the Next SPARTA Meeting

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Time: 3 p.m.

Location: Online

Information about access to our online meeting will be sent to our e-mail list by Tuesday, December 5.

Free Food before meeting: Your Food at Your Home


The Future of SPARTA


SPARTA Board and Members

SPARTA Corporate Sponsors:

DTS Software

Rocket Software

Software Diversified Services


No November 2023 Presentation outline

• Presentation Topic: SHARE 2023 New Orleans (142), August 13-18, 2023

by Ed Webb of SPARTA (retired from SAS Institute Inc.)

• Agenda

• Next SHARE is in Orlando, Florida on March 3-7, 2024

The presentation ended about 8:40 and the meeting ended at 8:45 PM after a short business meeting.