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June 2024

SPARTA President’s Corner

contributed by Randy Springs

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

For our June meeting, join us for a presentation about Database Performance Optimization Practice (DPOP), highlighting Query Performance in DB2, ORACLE and SQL, by Curt Triplett from DBG Software.

Invite your fellow systems programmers to join us for this informative and interesting virtual meeting.

We hope to see you online on Tuesday, June 4, at 3 p.m. on Zoom. Watch for meeting information coming your way soon.

Randy Springs
Retired (Truist)

Future Speakers (subject to change)

June 4, 2024 - Database Performance Optimization Practice (DPOP) by Curt Triplett of DBG Software

July 9, 2024 (Special Date) - TBA by TBD

August 13, 2024 (Special Date) - TBA by TBD

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.

2024-2025 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 3 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

December 2023 “CBT Tape” Shareware Online

The directory and files from the latest CBT tape V506 (dated December 5, 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 May 7, 2024 Meeting

• The May 7, 2024 meeting was called to order at 3:00 PM by Randy Springs, the SPARTA President.

• This Forty-second (April 2020 to May 2024) virtual SPARTA meeting was held via the Zoom Software.

• Nine (9) people were present at the virtual meeting.

• The business portion of the meeting followed the presentation.

• The meeting started at 3 PM to accommodate the speaker's availability.


• The minutes of the April 2, 2024 meeting as published in the May 2024 Newsletter were approved (there was no November meeting).

• The minutes of the last meeting as published were approved.

• The April 30, 2024 Treasurer's report as published in the May 2024 Newsletter was approved. As of April 30, 2024, 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.

• 2024 meeting dates, Future Speakers and Topics (subject to change based on internal politics, budget, the weather):





June 4, 2024




July 9, 2024
Special Date




August 13, 2024
Special Date




September 10, 2024
Special Date

Retired (SAS)

Ed Webb

SHARE Update Kansas City, MO
Aug 4-8, 2024

October 1, 2024




November 5, 2024




December 3, 2024




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

• The next SPARTA monthly meeting will be held virtually on Tuesday, June 4, 2024.

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

• Thanks to Randy Springs for online hosting the April 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 2024 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.


• There was significant discussion about how to increase attendance at SPARTA meetings. After discussing ending SPARTA given lack of participation, the attendees decided to keep trying for another six months.

• 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 4:10 P.M.

• The Presentation started at 3:05 PM after “Around-The-Table” brief introductions.

• Presentation Topic: Introduction to eventACTION™ and ussACTION™ Products

by Peter Sharma and Norm Valiquette of Action Software International

• Agenda
• Keys to Effective Systems Change Management Introduction
• Live demonstration of the eventACTION™ and ussACTION™ Products

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

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

Contact Info:
Speaker: Norm Valiquette

Speaker: Peter Sharma
Action Software International (a division of Mazda Computer Corporation)
Tel: (905) 470-7113 Ext. 205
Cell: (416) 550 8867
Fax: (905) 470-6507
Web site:

• The presentation and questions/answers ended about 4:00 P.M.
• The May 7, 2024 monthly meeting ended about 4:10 P.M. after a short business meeting.

Treasurer’s Report for May 2024

contributed by Randy Springs

The balance in the account is $805.46 as of May 31, 2024.

SPARTA Financial Report
05/01/2024 through 05/31/2024


Opening Balance 05/01/2024


Total Deposits

Food money donated











Web Site


Petty Cash


Bank Service Charges






PETTY CASH on hand




Items of Interest

SPARTA Schedule and Menu for 2024

contributed by Chris Blackshire

June 4, 2024 Chicken
July 9, 2024 Subs (July 4 holiday falls in the first meeting week date)
Aug 13, 2024 BarBQ (changed from August 6 as SHARE is August 4-8)
Sept 10, 2024 Pizza (Labor Day holiday is in the first Tuesday meeting week)
Oct 1, 2024 Chicken
Nov 5, 2024 Subs
Dec 3, 2024 BarBQ

Early Bird Pricing for SHARE Kansas City Ends July 12!

contributed By Ed Webb

"Register Now for SHARE Kansas City
Don't miss out! Join us at SHARE Kansas City, taking place Aug. 4-8, 2024, at the Loews Kansas City Hotel.

Register now, and get excited for SHARE's unmatched education and enterprise IT insight. Gather with hundreds of technology professionals, and don't miss:
• 200+ technical sessions on key focus areas of the industry
• New exhibitions in the SHARE Technology Expo
• A Women in IT event
• Endless networking opportunities
• And so much more!

Be sure to register by July 12 to secure early bird pricing."

Semeru 17 is Here but Semeru 11 Support is Extended

Contributed by Ed Webb

On May 28, 2024, Marna Walle of IBM provided this important update about significant Semeru (a.k.a. Java) changes coming for z/OS 3.1 this year:

"Take notice! We've just announced, that we've extended the End of Service date for Semeru 11 another year. (Moving from November 30, 2024 to November 30, 2025). Why does this matter? Instead of allowing z/OS 3.1 users 8 months to move from Semeru 11 to Semeru 17 for z/OS functions, this extends the date to 20 months (12 months more!).

I've updated my blog with this new date:"

Here are key dates for 2024 z/OS 3.1 and Semeru (Java) levels:

January 29, 2024 Java 8 was no longer orderable.
April 1, 2024 Semeru 11 [was] no longer orderable on Shopz with z/OS 3.1.
April 1, 2024 z/OS 3.1's functional dependency on Semeru 17 was available with PTFs.
November 30, 2024 is the date that Semeru 11 is planned to be end of support.
November 30, 2025 is the [New] date that Semeru 11 is planned to be end of support.

Read Marna's recommendations about going forward in this Musing during the now twenty-month window to move to Semeru 17 on z/OS 3.1.

Why Do Mainframes Still Exist?

Contributed by Chris Blackshire

Dave [Plummer of Dave's Garage] explores the IBM z16 mainframe from design to assembly and testing. What's inside a modern IBM z16 mainframe that makes it relevant today?

Why Do Mainframes Still Exist? What's Inside A Modern Mainframe? (A very worthwhile 23:32 minutes).

More about Dave's Garage

YouTube about Dave

While working for Microsoft, Dave wrote the Task Manager.

I Tried to Break a Million Dollar Computer - IBM z16 Facility Tour!

Want High Speed Fiber?

These Computers Changed the World


Wit and Wisdom continued

contributed by Ed Webb

The worst part of having success is trying to find someone who is happy for you.
The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left.
To err is refrain from laughing is humane.

The trouble with doing something right the first time is nobody appreciates how difficult it was.
Don’t worry about avoiding temptation—as you grow older it will avoid you.
Pride is what we have. Vanity is what others have.

20 Lame Puns!

contributed by Chris Blackshire

1. Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married.
The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.

2. A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, "I'll serve you, but don't start anything."

3. Two peanuts walk into a bar, and one was a salted.

4. A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

5. A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says: "A beer please, and one for the road."

6. Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: "Does this taste funny to you?"

7. "Doc, I can't stop singing 'The Green, Green Grass of Home.'"
"That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome."
"Is it common?" Well, "It's Not Unusual."

8. Two cows are standing next to each other in a field.
Daisy says to Dolly, "I was artificially inseminated this morning."
"I don't believe you," says Dolly. "It's true, no bull!" exclaims Daisy.

9. An invisible man marries an invisible woman.
The kids were nothing to look at either.

10. Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.

11. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn't find any.

12. A man woke up in a hospital after a serious accident.
He shouted, "Doctor, doctor, I can't feel my legs!"
The doctor replied, "I know you can't - I've cut off your arms!"

13. I went to a seafood disco last week...and pulled a mussel.

14. What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.

15. Two fish swim into a concrete wall.
The one turns to the other and says, "Dam!".

16. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

17. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse.
"But why," they asked, as they moved off. "Because", he said, "I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

18. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption.
One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Ahmal."
The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan."
Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother.
Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

19. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet.
He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath.
This made him ..(Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good).....
A super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

20. And finally, there was the person who sent twenty different puns to his friends, with the hope that at least ten of the puns would make them laugh.
No pun in ten did.

Membership Information

Don’t Forget the Next SPARTA Meeting

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Time: 3 p.m.

Location: Online

Information about access to our online meeting will be sent to our e-mail list by Tuesday, June 4.

Free Food before meeting: Your Food at Your Home


Database Performance Optimization Practice (DPOP)


Curt Triplett of DBG Software

SPARTA Corporate Sponsors:

DTS Software

Rocket Software

Software Diversified Services


May 2024 Presentation outline

• Presentation Topic: Introduction to eventACTION™ and ussACTION™ Products

by Peter Sharma and Norm Valiquette of Action Software International

• Agenda
• Keys to Effective Systems Change Management Introduction
• Live demonstration of the eventACTION™ and ussACTION™ Products

• Keys to Effective Systems Change Management

• Critical Resources and Change Methods
- Types of changes that must be tracked/controlled
- - APF, Linklist, LPA, Proclib, Parmlib…
- - Any system resource that can affect availability

• Environment for Systems Changes
- 24/7 Availability, Minimum IPL’s
- System Programmers must be able to make dynamic changes with tools such as:
- Effective systems change management must be able to track and manage all dynamic changes regardless of tools used.
- Management, systems support staff must be able to ensure systems are not affected with dynamic changes and that audit requirements are met.
- Aging/ shrinking, turnover and new trainees
- Real time monitoring via S/EM
- Processes should track:
- - Every step, change and event, start to finish for any product or maintenance install

• Automated Change Management
- Most institutions adhere to some form of “best practices”
- - ITIL, COBIT prescribe IT governance, internal and external compliance, and management methodologies
- Paper-based processes
- - Lack the system interfaces to ensure all requested changes are completed and no unauthorized changes are made.
- - Doesn’t enforce compliance and security

• Effective Systems Change Management Software
- Tracks and backs up authorized changes
- Includes capabilities to track commands that can dynamically make changes to critical resources
- Automatically prevents unauthorized changes

• Ease Of Use
- Change management processes must minimize the demands on time of users charged with implementing changes.
- Automation of processes achieves maximum productivity.
- Change approvers must quickly determine what they are approving.

• Live demonstration of the eventACTION™ and ussACTION™ Products followed.

The presentation and questions and answers ended about 4:00 PM and the meeting ended at 4:10 PM after a short business meeting.