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(BBC-US)   Happy 50th birthday, IBM mainframe. If you'd like to interface with one, just book an airline ticket or check your bank balance   ( divider line
    More: Interesting, IBM, production house, legacy system, processors, milestone  
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1178 clicks; posted to Geek » on 07 Apr 2014 at 1:58 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2014-04-07 04:46:35 PM  
1 vote:

Tango_down: I'm not sold.  Far from it.

My last interaction with a Mainframe team wasn't good.   I'm converting a reporting system to new hardware.  I had to have the mainframe guys start sending the files to the new servers too.   It was so much work that we had to hire a contractor for them.  Something about JCL or something.

I know the files were divisional files so for each division they had a separate JCL? Stupid.  Where is the loop?  Where are the variables?  This concept is very basic in any other language.

What kind of interfaces does it have into other database systems?

That's kinda like wondering why I can't plug in my 1932 Bugatti to charge the batteries. Everything is done differently at the higher level because the lower level didn't support what are now basic features at that time. If there was no need for two mainframes to be connected then they weren't designed for that.

I've designed a couple gateways that connect ancient legacy systems with modern servers. It's a very difficult but endless market you can get paid big bucks if you are making good products. As long as there is some sort of input/output bus then it's technically possible to connect it to any computer or system. The big complication comes from really specific mainframes that don't have any traditional I/O bus. I've seen creative solutions where a plug is made for the keyboard for input to the machine and another plug from the terminal screen port used as output. It allowed them to use machine vision to read the 80x80 video output and then "type" into the terminal to make it do work.

I've also met some serious characters while working with legacy systems. Those people are strange.
2014-04-07 07:54:29 AM  
1 vote:
We run a mainframe app here that's been slated for retirement for as long as I've worked here (22 years).  It holds some very key data that impacts all the activities in this Fortune 50 company.  Every 5 years or so a company like Siemens or SAP will come in promising to "modernize" system, "who uses green screens these days, you need something web bases, blah blah blah...".  I, along with a couple thousand concurrent users, can search a multi-billion record database with sub second responses.  Out mainframe system leaves their catch-phrase-of-the-day enterprise system crying in the fetal position in the corner of the shower.
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