Discussion:
ShopZ order response
(too old to reply)
Nightwatch RenBand
2017-10-09 14:36:24 UTC
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I was expecting some licensing questions, which is why I wanted a response
from them. Fortunately it seems that there were none, and notice of the
ready order appeared in my mailbox.

Still, it seems odd to get zero response from calls to ShopZ.

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Paul Gilmartin
2017-10-09 19:23:43 UTC
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How are you going to handle the orders for Tapes? Our installation does not have *ANY* internet connection from the M/F. AFAIK that will never change. The place is hyper about security. I think its overblown, but the current upper management says NFW. When they say no they mean no. Myself I am happy with tape, I don’t have to worry about the SMPE creating datasets all over the place and having 5 volumes(or more) for simple maintenance.
I have to wonder, nowadays, what Ed's system does and what it's connected to.
Keypunches? ATMs and POS stations on a very private network? ...
In a future without tape, if you do not have optical drives and cannot
connect to the Internet, you will need to take a laptop outside the
firewall, download your order, bring it back in, and upload it to your
z/OS system. This is already supported and documented, and has been for
well over a decade now.
I hope it's not a Windows laptop.

How woud you connect it to the M/F for upload?

Do you expect the firewall to scan the laptop for malware? The more data
you carry in through the firewall, the more likely that some of it is bad.

Many years ago, briefly, IBM delivered PTFs in 3480 cartridges in
polyethylene sleeves proclaiming that malware was thereby excluded.
My peers snickered, "And how hard is it to counterfeit a heat-sealed
plastic envelope?"

If you suspect that a product or service package received from the Internet
contains malware, how does filtering it through the laptop cleanse it?

SMP/E packages are validated by SHA-1 checksums. Does SHA-1 meet
security criteria nowadays. It's pointless to trust a checksum transmitted
by the same channel as the payload. What are the alternatives?

I don't understand certificates. I think they're an institutionalization of
the fad of a couple decades ago, "Please sign my PGP public key."
I need to read up.

-- gil

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John Eells
2017-10-09 20:52:24 UTC
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I can see this is turning into one of "those" discussions; ask a simple
question, go off on seventeen different tangents.

Anyway, some comments interspersed below.

Paul Gilmartin wrote:
<snip>
Post by Paul Gilmartin
In a future without tape, if you do not have optical drives and cannot
connect to the Internet, you will need to take a laptop outside the
firewall, download your order, bring it back in, and upload it to your
z/OS system. This is already supported and documented, and has been for
well over a decade now.
I hope it's not a Windows laptop.
How woud you connect it to the M/F for upload?
Anything you can use to get it from the IBM download server into the
z/OS UNIX file system will work. You don't need to set up an FTP server
or anything fancy, just get it there--transferred in binary! I'd choose
FTP from my (Windows, these days) laptop to z/OS, personally, because
it's not that hard to use, and I know how.
Post by Paul Gilmartin
Do you expect the firewall to scan the laptop for malware? The more data
you carry in through the firewall, the more likely that some of it is bad.
Many years ago, briefly, IBM delivered PTFs in 3480 cartridges in
polyethylene sleeves proclaiming that malware was thereby excluded.
My peers snickered, "And how hard is it to counterfeit a heat-sealed
plastic envelope?"
If you suspect that a product or service package received from the Internet
contains malware, how does filtering it through the laptop cleanse it?
It does not, of course, but one can scan the file content of a laptop
before bringing it back inside the perimeter, just as one can scan
physical media for the same reason.
Post by Paul Gilmartin
SMP/E packages are validated by SHA-1 checksums. Does SHA-1 meet
security criteria nowadays. It's pointless to trust a checksum transmitted
by the same channel as the payload. What are the alternatives?
SMP/E packages sent over the network are so validated, but not those
sent on tape, where we can rely on the hardware for data integrity
checking. I'd have to check on DVD to be sure, but I believe we hash
those, too, for the same reason.

The SHA-1 hash is intended to provide some reasonable assurance that
what we send is what you get, and no more. The FTP(S) and HTTPS
transport layers do not assure data integrity. The notion of tolerating
randomly corrupted z/OS operating system software was, to put it mildly,
"not deemed acceptable." As far as I know, nobody even bothered to ask
Level 2 (smile).

The SHA-1 hash never intended to be interpreted as being a secure hash
for IBM software delivery. Nonetheless, some clients tell us they want
a stronger hash to be used. This is usually not because they don't
understand what we're doing (they generally do), but more often because
their management and auditors do not necessarily want exceptions to a
simple rule.

BTW, if memory serves, NIST deprecated SHA-1 for secure hashes several
years ago. (GIYF if you want to know when.)

There are plenty of alternatives, none of which are implemented today.
The most likely among them seem to be certificate-based, in part because
sending the public key in-band, along with the data to be verified, does
not pose the risk of private key exposure or tampering (which is sort of
the whole point to me, but a crypto guy I am not).
Post by Paul Gilmartin
I don't understand certificates. I think they're an institutionalization of
the fad of a couple decades ago, "Please sign my PGP public key."
I need to read up.
There's a bit more to it than that. (Again, a crypto guy I am not. But
you can most likely find intro-level SHARE presentations from people
like Greg Boyd, Eysha Sherrine, and others if you look for them.)
--
John Eells
IBM Poughkeepsie
***@us.ibm.com

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Paul Gilmartin
2017-10-12 20:57:48 UTC
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IOW we are going to be majorly hurt if IBM decided to drop tape.
I'd be inclined to trust the SHA-1 checksum transmitted via an independent
verifiable conduit more than a heat-sealed polyethylene sleeve on a 3480 cartridge.
SMP/E will verify the checksum and Do No Evil.
I have asked the auditor and he seems happy with a plastic sealed envelope that is handled by signatures.
"signatures"? Do you mean you expect Ginni to pick up a Sharpie and
sign the plastic sleeve?

I believe John Eels at SHARE Denver predicted the demise of tape as an
interchange vehicle. In part because the media are no longer being
manufactured.

A customer asked, "Then might it be permissible to return used tapes to IBM
for re-use?"

"No."
Like I said I was always happy with a 3480/3420 tape. I suspect that if someone is going to intercept a tape they are reasonably advanced counterfiting team.
Since in the near future no one will be able to create a tape, it follows logically
that no one will be able to counterfeit one.

You need to get a different auditor; one who is comfortable with the fact
that in the 21st Century enterprises widely use the Internet to transfer
busiess-critical data.

-- gil

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Clark Morris
2017-10-13 01:26:22 UTC
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[Default] On 12 Oct 2017 13:57:48 -0700, in bit.listserv.ibm-main
Post by Paul Gilmartin
IOW we are going to be majorly hurt if IBM decided to drop tape.
I'd be inclined to trust the SHA-1 checksum transmitted via an independent
verifiable conduit more than a heat-sealed polyethylene sleeve on a 3480 cartridge.
SMP/E will verify the checksum and Do No Evil.
I have asked the auditor and he seems happy with a plastic sealed envelope that is handled by signatures.
"signatures"? Do you mean you expect Ginni to pick up a Sharpie and
sign the plastic sleeve?
I believe John Eels at SHARE Denver predicted the demise of tape as an
interchange vehicle. In part because the media are no longer being
manufactured.
A customer asked, "Then might it be permissible to return used tapes to IBM
for re-use?"
"No."
Like I said I was always happy with a 3480/3420 tape. I suspect that if someone is going to intercept a tape they are reasonably advanced counterfiting team.
Since in the near future no one will be able to create a tape, it follows logically
that no one will be able to counterfeit one.
Given that IBM has reported a way to create multi-terabyte tapes (and
presumably read them), I find it hard to believe tape is dead. Whether
there will be enough drives of a given type commonly available at the
dwindling number of mainframe sites to make it worth while for IBM to
have that tape drive to create the tapes is another question. 3420s
and then 3480s were at one time ubiquitous. Now I suspect the variety
of incompatible drives is making make it increasing interesting for
any vendor to supply their software on tape.

Clark Morris
Post by Paul Gilmartin
You need to get a different auditor; one who is comfortable with the fact
that in the 21st Century enterprises widely use the Internet to transfer
busiess-critical data.
-- gil
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Paulo Roberto Leonardo Pereira
2017-10-13 12:11:10 UTC
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Maybe something like this (I am ot sure):

CREATE TRIGGER PU_UPD_PPSTA
AFTER UPDATE OF LCR ON PPSTA
REFERENCING OLD AS O NEW AS N
FOR EACH ROW
MODE DB2SQL
BEGIN ATOMIC
UPDATE HIST SET LCR.HIST = LCR.PPSTA
END;
I need to know how can I get examples of triggers to update a different
table from an update on another one.
I have a table called PPSTA which have an atribute called LCR. Another
table called HIST has the same attribute. Also sometimes the PPSTA table
will have a mass update to which need to replicate on HIST the same way.
What I need is: Every time that LCR were updated in PPSTA I need to
replicate this change on HIST table using TRIGGER.
Is there how to do this ? Please give me examples
Thanks
Paulo
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Charles Mills
2017-10-13 14:01:00 UTC
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You know there is a GREAT DB2-specific list? Go to IDUG.org and you should
be able to find it.

Charles


-----Original Message-----
From: IBM Mainframe Discussion List [mailto:IBM-***@LISTSERV.UA.EDU] On
Behalf Of Paulo Roberto Leonardo Pereira
Sent: Friday, October 13, 2017 5:12 AM
To: IBM-***@LISTSERV.UA.EDU
Subject: Re: DB2 trigger



Maybe something like this (I am ot sure):

CREATE TRIGGER PU_UPD_PPSTA
AFTER UPDATE OF LCR ON PPSTA
REFERENCING OLD AS O NEW AS N
FOR EACH ROW
MODE DB2SQL
BEGIN ATOMIC
UPDATE HIST SET LCR.HIST = LCR.PPSTA
END;
I need to know how can I get examples of triggers to update a
different table from an update on another one.
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John Eells
2017-10-13 12:49:17 UTC
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Exactly! There is more than one use case here.

Tape as a backup medium is certainly not dead. It's the cheapest (or
among the cheapest) of alternatives for long-term offline storage. And
for verifiable archives, WORM tape is a great solution.

As an *interchange* media, it's problematic unless all data exchange
partners have compatible drives.

As a *software delivery* media, it appears to be dying from the numbers
I see for our own software delivery. It would be interesting to know
what the other vendors are seeing, but I would expect them to be seeing
a similar trend.
Post by Clark Morris
Given that IBM has reported a way to create multi-terabyte tapes (and
presumably read them), I find it hard to believe tape is dead. Whether
there will be enough drives of a given type commonly available at the
dwindling number of mainframe sites to make it worth while for IBM to
have that tape drive to create the tapes is another question. 3420s
and then 3480s were at one time ubiquitous. Now I suspect the variety
of incompatible drives is making make it increasing interesting for
any vendor to supply their software on tape.
--
John Eells
IBM Poughkeepsie
***@us.ibm.com

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John Eells
2017-10-13 12:37:13 UTC
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<snip>
Post by Paul Gilmartin
I have asked the auditor and he seems happy with a plastic sealed envelope that is handled by signatures.
"signatures"? Do you mean you expect Ginni to pick up a Sharpie and
sign the plastic sleeve?
I believe John Eels at SHARE Denver predicted the demise of tape as an
interchange vehicle. In part because the media are no longer being
manufactured.
*Older* media are no longer manufactured. Current media remains
available, of course. However, cross-vendor compatible media is no
more. If you don't buy our drives, you can't read our tapes. Some
customers run tapeless, and others buy from The Competition. Tape
orders are dwindling fast. The confluence of these things is what leads
me to the conclusion that software delivery on tape is dying.
Post by Paul Gilmartin
A customer asked, "Then might it be permissible to return used tapes to IBM
for re-use?"
"No."
And I stand by that answer for a number of reasons, practical,
technical, and legal.
Post by Paul Gilmartin
Like I said I was always happy with a 3480/3420 tape. I suspect that if someone is going to intercept a tape they are reasonably advanced counterfiting team.
Nobody makes either of those any more. Further, 3420 is far past
end-of-life because the oxides and binding agents deteriorate rapidly in
comparison to 3480 and later tape.

<snip>
--
John Eells
IBM Poughkeepsie
***@us.ibm.com

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John Eells
2017-10-13 12:48:59 UTC
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John Eells wrote:
<snip>
Post by John Eells
Tape
orders are dwindling fast.
To clarify what I meant, in case anyone didn't get it from context,
orders *for software* on tape are dwindling fast. I do not mean to
imply that we're not selling tape drives! Nothing could be further from
the truth.
--
John Eells
IBM Poughkeepsie
***@us.ibm.com

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Edward Gould
2017-10-13 14:29:18 UTC
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Post by Paul Gilmartin
IOW we are going to be majorly hurt if IBM decided to drop tape.
I'd be inclined to trust the SHA-1 checksum transmitted via an independent
verifiable conduit more than a heat-sealed polyethylene sleeve on a 3480 cartridge.
SMP/E will verify the checksum and Do No Evil.
I have asked the auditor and he seems happy with a plastic sealed envelope that is handled by signatures.
"signatures"? Do you mean you expect Ginni to pick up a Sharpie and
sign the plastic sleeve?
I believe John Eels at SHARE Denver predicted the demise of tape as an
interchange vehicle. In part because the media are no longer being
manufactured.
A customer asked, "Then might it be permissible to return used tapes to IBM
for re-use?"
"No."
Like I said I was always happy with a 3480/3420 tape. I suspect that if someone is going to intercept a tape they are reasonably advanced counterfiting team.
Since in the near future no one will be able to create a tape, it follows logically
that no one will be able to counterfeit one.
You need to get a different auditor; one who is comfortable with the fact
that in the 21st Century enterprises widely use the Internet to transfer
busiess-critical data.
That is not going to happen anytime soon. BTW I like the auditor as he is reasonable when it come time for Z/os but NOT for the INTERNET.
He has defended me several times for various items. He is reasonably young in his 40’s. I keep telling him not to pay attention to the horror stories and he comes right back with another horror story.
Rightly or wrongly he has convinced upper management not to allow any INTERNET connection to the MF.
Today I had a chance to talk with him about this issue and he got really upset about it. I tried to calm him down but he is convinced he has to take this to upper management. I am trying to restrain him but once he gets a whiff of someone/something on the Internet is going to infect the MF, I can’t do anything with him except to calm him down.
I have repeatedly told him his stories are false and there has *NEVER* been a case of a virus hitting the MF. (I haven’t told him about the Christmas “virus” yet).
Ed
Post by Paul Gilmartin
-- gil
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Paul Gilmartin
2017-10-13 20:22:47 UTC
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Post by John Eells
Nobody makes either of those any more. Further, 3420 is far past
end-of-life because the oxides and binding agents deteriorate rapidly in
comparison to 3480 and later tape.
Alan Altmark had things to say about this on a day before Friday:
https://listserv.uark.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind1710&L=ibmvm&O=D&P=97777
(subscription required)

-- gil

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Paul Gilmartin
2017-10-13 22:05:39 UTC
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Post by John Eells
".. might it be permissible to return used tapes to IBM for re-use?"
"No."
And I stand by that answer for a number of reasons, practical,
technical, and legal.
Decades ago a rogue co-worker told me that in his previous position he
sometimes distributed shareware. He always asked recipients to supply
a tape to which he could copy.

But each such tape he first copied to one of his tapes.

"I got lots of great software that way!"

-- gil

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Phil Smith III
2017-10-13 22:46:15 UTC
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Post by Paul Gilmartin
Decades ago a rogue co-worker told me that in his previous position he
sometimes distributed shareware. He always asked recipients to supply
a tape to which he could copy.
But each such tape he first copied to one of his tapes.
"I got lots of great software that way!"
*facepalm*



Since it's Friday and we're swapping tape stories, back in the day, I had a
couple of red 3480 cartridges that I'd picked up somewhere. I'd take 'em to
customer sites, because it was usually easier to tell the operators "It's
the red one" when I needed it mounted or returned.



That is, until an operator put it into an STK silo. Seems the red cartridge
and the red laser didn't get along: the silo insisted the slot was empty,
and then of course wouldn't pull the cart to return it. They had to power
down the silo to extract it manually. After that, I took two: a red and a
black, and asked about silo use before providing either.



Anyone know if Sterling Forest still has 3420s? Last time I was there
(2004?) they did, and even a 7-track drive IIRC.



.phsiii


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Tony Harminc
2017-10-14 00:45:29 UTC
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Post by Phil Smith III
Anyone know if Sterling Forest still has 3420s? Last time I was there
(2004?) they did, and even a 7-track drive IIRC.
Also in 2004 I was surprised to see a short string of 3420 drives, all
powered up and lights on, at one of our UK banking customers. I asked,
and it seems they were used only for data exchange. A nightly courier
would arrive from each of the other big banks with tapes, and be
dispatched with the ones from this bank. I had a vision, perhaps not
inaccurate, of each bank having such a dusty set of drives used only
for the same purpose.

Maybe someone at a UK bank can tell us if that scheme survives today...

Tony H.

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David W Noon
2017-10-14 19:01:06 UTC
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On Fri, 13 Oct 2017 20:46:36 -0400, Tony Harminc (***@HARMINC.NET)
wrote about "Re: ShopZ order response" (in
Post by Tony Harminc
Post by Phil Smith III
Anyone know if Sterling Forest still has 3420s? Last time I was there
(2004?) they did, and even a 7-track drive IIRC.
Also in 2004 I was surprised to see a short string of 3420 drives, all
powered up and lights on, at one of our UK banking customers. I asked,
and it seems they were used only for data exchange. A nightly courier
would arrive from each of the other big banks with tapes, and be
dispatched with the ones from this bank. I had a vision, perhaps not
inaccurate, of each bank having such a dusty set of drives used only
for the same purpose.
Maybe someone at a UK bank can tell us if that scheme survives today...
I can't vouch for today, but the use of 9-track, reel-to-reel tapes was
the standard back in the late 1990's.

From 1996 to 1999 I was working at Lloyd's Bank in London. I was working
in a section called Autoclearings and our batch jobs wrote and read
these tapes.

The Bank of England ran a clearing house through which all financial
transfers were made between clearing banks. The concrete bunker was in
Uxbridge. All the clearing banks would write their pending transactions
to 9-track tape (with ANSI labels and RECFM=DB ASCII records). These
tapes would then be put into an armoured car and sent off to Uxbridge.
Tapes containing completed transactions would be sent back to the banks
so they could reconcile their accounts.
In 1998 the Bank of England announced that they had a new system called
High Speed Transfer (HST). This consisted of custom terminals with
hardware cryptography connected to leased lines ... that went to
Uxbridge. The data transmissions were made up of ANSI format HDR1 and
HDR2 records, a stream of ASCII data records in RECFM=DB format,
followed by ANSI format TLR1 and TLR2 records. This was not warmly
received by the clearing banks as state-of-the-art technology.

I find it a little surprising that reel-to-reel tape was still being
used in 2004 but, given that the HST alternative was really no better, I
guess we should not be really surprised.
--
Regards,

Dave [RLU #314465]
*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
***@googlemail.com (David W Noon)
*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

 

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Tom Brennan
2017-10-14 19:44:45 UTC
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Post by David W Noon
I find it a little surprising that reel-to-reel tape was still being
used in 2004 but, given that the HST alternative was really no better, I
guess we should not be really surprised.
Earlier this year I was at a large datacenter and happened to wander
into a room that time-warped me back to the mid 1990's. It was a tape
room with 24-hour operators waiting for highlighted mount messages on
maybe 10 separate z/OS consoles. An operator mentioned they had just
gotten rid of their last round tapes 5 years earlier, which would be
around 2012.

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Edward Gould
2017-10-17 05:09:46 UTC
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Post by David W Noon
I find it a little surprising that reel-to-reel tape was still being
used in 2004 but, given that the HST alternative was really no better, I
guess we should not be really surprised.
Earlier this year I was at a large datacenter and happened to wander into a room that time-warped me back to the mid 1990's. It was a tape room with 24-hour operators waiting for highlighted mount messages on maybe 10 separate z/OS consoles. An operator mentioned they had just gotten rid of their last round tapes 5 years earlier, which would be around 2012.
———————————————————————————————————
David:
Thanks for the kick start as now I remember something slightly different than yours.
year 2016: I was given a tour of a large DC in the Chicago area. Like you they had a room for round tapes and some 3480’s (I couldn’t get close enough to tell).
The person giving the tour told me that they got round reels and 3480 tapes in *ALL* the time. I asked what he meant all the time, he said every day the mail was delivered. I asked how they identified which tape belonged to who he said they had a barcode system. I was being a pester and asked for a WAG as to the number of reels they received every day and he said approximartely 250 he was not sure and he admitted it could be 300.

So, it seems that round tape is not even close to being dead.

I checked with a friend of mine today and he said his DC got around 10 a day. Since he was a friend I thought I could push him a little and asked where the tapes came from, he told me small shops that weren’t all the large and all they could afford were round reels but some managed 3480’s he told me the 3480’s would be around for a long time as the small shops just can’t go to 3490’s because of costs.
I asked him what kind of shops are we talking about, he said AS400’s and the ILK, he said there was some SERIES 1 shops as well. The tape they produces was really small, maybe 8 inches. Series 1 is essentially dead he said and sooner or later they will have to do something. That is what he told me.

I don’t have connections like I used to, so I cannot verify what he said. From 20 years ago a *LOT* of small brokerage firms are determined to stay static and not change their hardware .

Ed


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Edward Gould
2017-10-14 04:41:39 UTC
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——————————SNIP--------------------------------------------
Anyone know if Sterling Forest still has 3420s? Last time I was there
(2004?) they did, and even a 7-track drive IIRC.
Phil:
I was never in the loop about Sterling Forest, but didn’t they have a fire that ruined pretty much all of their tapes?
This had to be in the 1980’s (Think). I actually ordered the source from them one time and I think it was a renumber subcommand of basic.
I tried many hours to get it to work and I didn’t even come close. I was sort of supporting VSBASIC out of our NY office. They had all sorts of requests that cost me hundreds of hours tracking them down and seeing if we could incorporate it on our system. I put my foot down when they wanted to support a plotter. I said no can do.

Ed
.phsiii
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Paul Gilmartin
2017-10-13 23:02:38 UTC
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Post by Phil Smith III
Post by Paul Gilmartin
"I got lots of great software that way!"
*facepalm*
Since it's Friday and we're swapping tape stories, back in the day, I had a
couple of red 3480 cartridges that I'd picked up somewhere. I'd take 'em to
customer sites, because it was usually easier to tell the operators "It's
the red one" when I needed it mounted or returned.
Legend is that Ralph Griswold, the author, mischievously distributed
SNOBOL4 on red flanged tapes (3420? 729?). At some highly secured
sites possessing a red tape was a security violation.

You were lucky.
Post by Phil Smith III
That is, until an operator put it into an STK silo. Seems the red cartridge
and the red laser didn't get along: the silo insisted the slot was empty,
and then of course wouldn't pull the cart to return it. They had to power
down the silo to extract it manually. After that, I took two: a red and a
black, and asked about silo use before providing either.
Anyone know if Sterling Forest still has 3420s? Last time I was there
(2004?) they did, and even a 7-track drive IIRC.
They could contract to cut service tapes for Ed.

-- gil

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Chris Hoelscher
2017-10-14 01:15:29 UTC
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SNOBOL ?? should have been distributed on a yellow tape .....

Chris Hoelscher
Technology Architect, Database Infrastructure Services
Technology Solution Services

123 East Main Street
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-----Original Message-----
From: IBM Mainframe Discussion List [mailto:IBM-***@LISTSERV.UA.EDU] On Behalf Of Paul Gilmartin
Sent: Friday, October 13, 2017 7:04 PM
To: IBM-***@LISTSERV.UA.EDU
Subject: Re: [IBM-MAIN] ShopZ order response
Post by Phil Smith III
Post by Paul Gilmartin
"I got lots of great software that way!"
*facepalm*
Since it's Friday and we're swapping tape stories, back in the day, I
had a couple of red 3480 cartridges that I'd picked up somewhere. I'd
take 'em to customer sites, because it was usually easier to tell the
operators "It's the red one" when I needed it mounted or returned.
Legend is that Ralph Griswold, the author, mischievously distributed
SNOBOL4 on red flanged tapes (3420? 729?). At some highly secured sites possessing a red tape was a security violation.

You were lucky.
Post by Phil Smith III
That is, until an operator put it into an STK silo. Seems the red
cartridge and the red laser didn't get along: the silo insisted the
slot was empty, and then of course wouldn't pull the cart to return it.
They had to power down the silo to extract it manually. After that, I
took two: a red and a black, and asked about silo use before providing either.
Anyone know if Sterling Forest still has 3420s? Last time I was there
(2004?) they did, and even a 7-track drive IIRC.
They could contract to cut service tapes for Ed.

-- gil

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Edward Gould
2017-10-14 04:33:24 UTC
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Post by Paul Gilmartin
Post by Phil Smith III
Post by Paul Gilmartin
"I got lots of great software that way!"
*facepalm*
Since it's Friday and we're swapping tape stories, back in the day, I had a
couple of red 3480 cartridges that I'd picked up somewhere. I'd take 'em to
customer sites, because it was usually easier to tell the operators "It's
the red one" when I needed it mounted or returned.
Legend is that Ralph Griswold, the author, mischievously distributed
SNOBOL4 on red flanged tapes (3420? 729?). At some highly secured
sites possessing a red tape was a security violation.
About 20 years or so maybe longer 30? anyway, A contractor working for one of the large aero space companies, came to Guide with a large box of tapes. On each tape was a copy of IBM’s compiler that IBM used to create source (PLS if I am not mistaken). I wasn’t interested but when he opened the box after the session I have never seen a black Friday sale but one of the women there said it reminded her of one.
My memory is stretching here but somehow the legal department got involved and they tracked down 30 or the 32 tapes.
No one that got one of the tapes was willing to talk about it at the next Guide. There were whispers of the FBI but no one would confirm it.

Ed
Post by Paul Gilmartin
You were lucky.
Post by Phil Smith III
That is, until an operator put it into an STK silo. Seems the red cartridge
and the red laser didn't get along: the silo insisted the slot was empty,
and then of course wouldn't pull the cart to return it. They had to power
down the silo to extract it manually. After that, I took two: a red and a
black, and asked about silo use before providing either.
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Phil Smith
2017-10-14 18:35:04 UTC
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Post by Tony Harminc
Also in 2004 I was surprised to see a short string of 3420 drives, all
powered up and lights on, at one of our UK banking customers. I asked,
and it seems they were used only for data exchange. A nightly courier
would arrive from each of the other big banks with tapes, and be
dispatched with the ones from this bank. I had a vision, perhaps not
inaccurate, of each bank having such a dusty set of drives used only
for the same purpose.
Maybe someone at a UK bank can tell us if that scheme survives today...
Heh, I believe that. My dad was doing camera-ready copy in the late 70s and early 80s--long before it was common--and had to deliver it on 8" floppies. Mutual Life of Canada ("MuCana") was still using 8" floppies on a daily basis, and he somehow made a connection there and would run a 3420 over and get back a floppy. This went on MUCH longer than sanity would suggest.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it"; such things usually get fixed when it does break, and either parts are no longer available or the only guy who knew how to fix it is retired or DEAD. Like the dude in Pennsylvania who was still servicing keypunches in the early 2000s. That stopped when he passed away--at 86.

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Phil Smith
2017-10-15 00:17:31 UTC
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I was never in the loop about Sterling Forest, but didn't they have a fire that ruined pretty much all of their tapes?
This had to be in the 1980's (Think). I actually ordered the source from them one time and I think it was a renumber subcommand of basic.
No idea, sorry!
About 20 years or so maybe longer 30? anyway, A contractor working for one of the large aero space companies, came to Guide with a large box of tapes. On each tape was a copy of IBM's compiler that IBM used to create source (PLS if I am not mistaken). I wasn't interested but when he opened the box after the session I have never seen a black Friday sale but one of the women there said it reminded her of one.
My memory is stretching here but somehow the legal department got involved and they tracked down 30 or the 32 tapes.
No one that got one of the tapes was willing to talk about it at the next Guide. There were whispers of the FBI but no one would confirm it.
In the early 90s, IBM PartnerWorld went pay-to-play briefly--$5K/year IIRC. As part of that new offering, we could get the PLX (PL/X?) compiler. So I said sure, send it to me.

A few months later, they revamped the program again and said they were refunding the $5K. Except...I got to go to my VP and say "I have good news and bad news, and they're the same news: we're getting MOST of that $5K back". We lost about a third of it because PWD had to pay Raleigh for the compiler. Of course we never actually used it.

Hmm, as I finish typing this, it feels like maybe I've already shared this anecdote. Apologies if so.

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