* Posts by Beleagured Greybeard

7 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Jul 2021

Your AI can't tell you it's lying if it thinks it's telling the truth. That's a problem

Beleagured Greybeard

Re: "tweak one of the inputs slightly and run it again"

Kobayashi Maru

Beleagured Greybeard
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Re: As somebody who is likely also on the so-called spectrum (cerulean! I wanna be cerulean!)

Wow! I've always thought of myself as 'normal' or 'neuro-typical' or whatever they call it. I've never had a diagnosis of being on this so-called spectrum.

But I can absolutely relate to the bit about what I've always thought of as 'foot-in-mouth' syndrome - i.e. its all too easy to blurt out what you genuinely think rather than what others expect, or would like, to hear - even though I know I'm right!

I wonder if its more a symptom of intelligence and honesty? Rather than us being the ones with a so-called 'disorder', its actually all the other idiots an liars who have the problem!

IBM Cloud to offer Z-series mainframes for first time – albeit for test and dev

Beleagured Greybeard

Re: I could have sworn I heard about them doing this years ago

Yep, "Cloud Managed Services for z" AKA "zCloud" has been around for over 10years. Its running production (and non-prod) mainframe services and workload for many 'famous name' companies.

IBM offloaded it with the Kyndryl spin, so its odd that they now want to re-invent it under the guise of "IBM Cloud". If its a strategic platform, why didn't they hold onto it instead of spinning it off to Kyndryl?

Sounds like yet more daft leadership decisions going on at big blue. "Why aren't we doing mainframe in our Cloud"? .... "We were, but we got rid of it with Kyndryl." ... "Ooops! Well we'd better re-invent that wheel then."

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... a coding puzzle and it's a doozy

Beleagured Greybeard

Re: I challenge you to use a better language...


WOW! That takes me back!

Computer Education in Schools Instructional Language.

Waaaaaaaay back in school when I chose "Computer Studies" as an O-level subject, it was my very first exposure to a programming langauge, used mainly to teach the concepts of operators, operands, input, output, variables and constants, etc. After a term of learning it we switched to BASIC and never touched CESIL again.

If I remember correctly (it was 40yrs ago now!) it only had 12 instructions:


You couldn't work on 2 variables at a time, just one variable (or a consant) and the Accumulator!

something like c=a+b would be




There was no IF type comparison. Basically the only 2 conditions were JINEG (Jump If Negative) and JIZERO (Jump If Zero), used (if memory serves) to learn the construct of loops.

Happy days in a simpler world.

When civilisation ends, a Xenix box will be running a long-forgotten job somewhere

Beleagured Greybeard

I got that t-short too.

One of my first "client' jobs after I moved to [insert large IT company here ... the one that recently spun out its services arm into a brand new, if wierdly named, company] back in the late 1990's. I was assigned to a customer that had just upgraded their mainframe system, and took the opportunity to update their operating systems and software stack now that they had a new shiny mainframe to run it all on. I was the mobile workforce "sysprog with a laptop and company car" that was doing most of their software upgrades. I came across one file transfer process that was taking literally hours and hours overnight every day using some very expensive vendor product to move large mounts of data between the mainframe and some mid-range systems. Apparantly, back in the day they used to use this software product for lots of data transfers but now this was the last one. So yours truly gets out the toolkit and basically rewrote this data transfer process from scratch using just standard operating system utlities (for this speific operating system, that meant JCL, VSAM, REXX and TCP/IP FTP). First time it ran, it moved a couple million lines of whatever the dataset was in about a tenth of the time the vendor file transfer sofware used to. In fact it finished so quickly, cue lots of checking to make sure the results were the same, and as expected. Yup. Give it a couple more days of running to make sure that one time wasn't a fluke. Passed with flying colours. So the customer terminated their expensive software licence and just ended up paying my erstwhile employer a few £k's worth of my time on a daily rate basis for code I'd plastered with "Bespoke customer code to perform a specific task" and "No support is implied or intended" disclaimer comments all over it. I move on to other projects, other customers, different systems, years and years go by but occasionally kept in touch with that first client. Every time they'd say "Remember that FTP pprocess you wrote in REXX in a few days? Well its still churning away, never had a problem with it." Last time was when the client techie I'd worked with retired a few years ago. His signing off comment was "That FTP thing you wrote is still going. But don't worry, I didn't leave anyone your contact details when I left." At that point it was over 20yrs since I'd cranked it out and hoped for the best, fully expecting to be contacted after a couple weeks when it stopped working due to running out of disk space, or encountering a dataset format it wasn't designed to cope with. But nope, nothing. Fire and forget software inc! LOL

China plans to swipe a bunch of data soon so quantum computers can decrypt it later

Beleagured Greybeard

Asimov's 3 Laws?

> Integrated warfare based on Internet of Things systems that uses intelligent weaponry and equipment and their corresponding methods in the land, sea, air, space, electromagnetic, cyber, and cognitive domains

So we're not going with the traditional 3 laws of robotics then?

Link to pertinant XKCD comic ==> https://xkcd.com/1613/

IBM's z/OS update for mainframes about to land – on last day of predicted launch window

Beleagured Greybeard

Odd VutlureCentral spin on release and GA date?

> z/OS 2.5 – the first upgrade of real significance since 2019.

z/OS has been on a 2-year cadence release cycle since v1.13 in September 2011. Its now 2021, surprise surprise, 2 years after 2019.

> IBM has given itself until the very last day of that month – September 30, 2021 – to get the OS out the door.

z/OS releases have traditionally been end of September.

z/OS 1.13 GA: 2011-09-30

z/OS 2.1 GA: 2013-09-30

z/OS 2.2 GA: 2015-09-30

z/OS 2.3 GA: 2017-09-29

z/OS 2.4 GA: 2019-09-30

z/OS 2.5 GA: 2021-09-30

The news is what is in z/OS v2.5, not that its 2yrs since the previous release or that the release date is the end of the month.