Hoff "Gets It"!!

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Yes, finally, I "Get It".

Look, people, just did a search of bit.listserv.ibm-main.

These are the "super-geeks" of the mainframes. The systems that run the civilized world. The "best of the best"!

There are, Oh, 50,000 of these running the world. From Dee Cee to Duh Moine, even hear Klinton "slipped" a few of these over to China!

And here's the truth, folks. You think these things are actually working? HAH! They're NOT!

This has to be the biggest scam running! These things BREAK! All the time!

Don't believe me? Look for yourself! This is just for September!

Deja Search bit.listserv.ibm-main for September

Page after Page. Personally, stopped after I reached 1100, and hadn't even made it back to September 17th!

Every one a problem, a failure, or someone who didn't know how to actually do something! Screaming HALP!

Things just can't be working NOW! They CAN'T! I mean, over 2,000 messages? Just from September? Must be about 4% of these mainframe shops! And these are the "super-geeks"; what about the rest?

Sure, a couple hundred might be running OK. Some quick fixes. Some poor geek doing 36 hour days, bleary-eyed, staring at his console. But the evidence is overwhelming.

Don't argue with me. Argue with Dan, Rick, Mark, Jonesy, Phil...

The coverup must be HUGE! How many people are hidden in the backroom, under the platform, doing the jobs the mainframes are supposedly doing? No wonder unemployment is at all-time lows!

Look, all you big-brained Why2k Doooooooomers, fuhget about it! Only *67* of them were about Why2k! It's a drop in the bucket!

BIG thanks to Cory and 'a' for pointing me towards the light!

-- Hoffmeister (hoff_meister@my-deja.com), October 02, 1999


I'm glad you finally get it. Now you must leave our country soon, before you get herded into the American Death Camps.

-- Mr. Nugget (nubuttet@better.mousetrap), October 02, 1999.


-- no talking please (breadlines@soupkitchen.gov), October 02, 1999.

You don't have to be a genius to read through that sarcasm. When the foreign banks begin to fail, it will be too late for you to change your minds. Crossfaults. You'll be able to spell doomed Hoff, even if you can't spell doomers.

-- DGBennett (bennett1@peachnet.net), October 02, 1999.

Hoff, read this Link hopefully it will clear up your alleged mind!!

Your Pal, Ray

-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), October 02, 1999.

Yup, things do break now, everyday. I guess I'm a S.G. The tech support kind, both my own, being a big-time S/3x0 and x86 ASM guy, and for the rest of our 40 employee company. Been doing it for almost 32 years, and yes, I've pretty damned busy the whole time. So has every oher programmer that I've ever met, and I've met quite a few over the years. I usually have a stack of mainframe dumps on my desk. People knocking on my door every hour, with some network problem, or operations problem, or some such thing. All the while, trying to write at least a little new code.

Now add Y2K.

What's your point Hoff?

Tick... Tock... <:00=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), October 02, 1999.

Sorry for the typos. I need more coffee... MORE COFFEE!!!


-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), October 02, 1999.

Mr Nuggett.

Can you further explain your American Death Camp posting as I am somehow confused as how that is connected to Y2K??

-- y2k dave (xsdaa111@hotmail.com), October 02, 1999.

Hoff -- you do better when you're not trying to be funny. There is an art to it. Ironically, your "humor" here reveals more about the inadequate scope of your technical mindset than any analysis of function points could.

"As if" Cory, Sysman, a, myself and others confuse normal mainframe breakdowns (or the marvelous way that mainframes have serviced our infrastructure for 35+ years) with Y2K .....

ROFLMAO. But not at your post.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), October 02, 1999.

Hey Y2K Dave, did the panic actually happen in September like you had predicted?

-- Memories (Thanks@for.the), October 02, 1999.


This is the old "if we don't finish our 2 1/2 year Y2K project in time, we'll set aside two or three days in January 2000 to take care of it" argument. You're capable of more persuasive reasoning than this. If it was that easy, then we could just set the date ahead now, let the problems reveal themselves and take care of them long before January ever gets here.

-- Linkmeister (link@librarian.edu), October 02, 1999.

Give it up, BigDog! You're preachin' to the choir!

Quote from Cory:

"In most cases, the big shops right-sized so much in the 1980's that there wasn't anyone left with two good synapses to rub together."

Can't say it any clearer. The Deja posts are the proof; and they are just the tip of that iceberg. Obviously, these guys have absolutely no clue; why else post on the newsgroup?

And these guys run the systems that run civilization? HAH!

Another from Cory:

"The ones in worse shape are those that went balls to the wall and bet the firm that some wacky new technology would replace the legacy system. We've seen several reports about SAP flops, Peoplesoft vaporware (the University problem), and other situations that will hit the wall in 91 days."

See? But Cory's too focussed. These things aren't "hitting the wall in 91 days"; they've been "hitting the wall" for the last 5 years, at least! No way these systems could actually be working, right?

It has to be some joke, right? Here's a list of YR2000 PTF's for OS/390:


Goes back to 1996, at least. 188?? Out of how many thousands of PTF's IBM's released since 1996?

And these PTF's mean these systems must be failing, right?

This whole computer thing has to be scam. If all these supposed computers were actually doing anything, the "Cross-Defaults" alone from all these problems would have taken us down.

No question.

-- Hoffmeister (hoff_meister@my-deja.com), October 02, 1999.

We commonly ecounter periods of low rates of wind and low rates of rainfall, some here and some there, and we call it ordinary weather and it's no big thing. Then along comes a large system of high rates of wind, and high rates of rain, and we call it a hurricane. But it seems that Hoffy would say that's just like ordinary weather only more so, so it, too, must be no big thing.

To borrow a word from Diane: Sigh.


-- Jerry B (skeptic76@erols.com), October 02, 1999.

C'mon, Jerry! Open your eyes! Obviously, it hasn't been a "low" rate of wind and rain. We've been duped!

Take the PTF's. 188? That's the "hurricane"? Here's a list of closed APAR's for S/390 Operating Systems just from March and April of this year! 882! These things are crashing constantly. They must be, right?

Or SAP. 20,000+ systems? Obviously, using this "wacky new technology" had to have failed. I mean, just look at World Bank, or Hershey.

No, guys, the only possible conclusion is it's just a huge scam! Haven't you read Gary North and the rest? It's all "systemic". Computers crashing, passing bad data around, leading to "Cross-Cascading Failures". If these systems were actually running things, we'd have gone "InfoMagic" long ago.

-- Hoffmeister (hoff_meister@my-deja.com), October 02, 1999.

"I'm tell you for the last time, this rumour about the coming ice age is just that, a rumour. Are you really going to listen to those guys?" Hoffasauras

-- There's One In (Every@Generation.DUH), October 02, 1999.

Calm down, Hoff.

You were never supposed to RESEARCH Cory's statements. That's cheating. You're just supposed to BELIEVE. [I checked myself a while back. Notice how seldom Cory posts there? He needs the non- techs on csy2k to back up his theories.]


You've posted absolutely NOTHING to lead me to believe that you have any experience either in Y2k or mainframes. In fact, you've led me to believe quite the contrary. 'a' has only stated that folks don't understand how complex these systems are. No offense intended, 'a', but nothing is complex if you know what you are doing. Sysman has already stated that he can't handle the problems he has now, let alone any that come his way for Y2k. Let's add Larry...the COBOL programmer into the mix. He openly admitted on this forum that he did absolutely NOTHING for 6 months on a project hoping it would be cancelled. He went on to state that RPG was akin to assembler language. RPG (Report Program Generator) was one of the first high- level languages developed for use by folks who didn't know how to code. Yep...this forum ABOUNDS with techies who know the state of Y2k.

-- Anita (dontgive@anymore.com), October 02, 1999.

Sorry, the link for Closed APAR's is:

IBM S/390 Software Support

Searching only March and April gave 882!

Check out the rest. Check out Microsoft, and any other supplier of "supposed" software. Thousands and Thousands of fixes. How could these things be running?

Nope, don't think so.

-- Hoffmeister (hoff_meister@my-deja.com), October 02, 1999.

Just like our man Flint, I'm afraid that as the big date approaches, poor Hoffy is becoming unglued. I kind of saw that a few days ago on another thread, where Hoffy suddenly opined that Coca Cola's famous "new coke" fiasco of the mid 80s (gawd, I still remember that foul stuff, tasted like a flat Pepsi) was nothing more than a PLOT to actually promote "classic coke". Hoffy says that his father SAW THE TRUCKS with CLASSIC coke ads rolling out even as Coca Cola was claiming to be "discontinuing" that product. To his credit, Hoffy stopped short of claiming that the U.N. was involved, or that black helicopters were conducting secretive operations on Pepsi.

Time is getting short folks, and our resident pollies are going supernova with all kinds of idiotic antics. Poor Hoffy, who was once perhaps our most respected polly, reduced to a puddle of statistical ooze and delusions.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), October 02, 1999.


Do you believe that a mainframe with poor or incomplete remediation is likely to be returned to working condition within two or three days in January?

-- Linkmeister (link@librarian.edu), October 02, 1999.

Hoff -- It's STILL not funny! Anita, on the other hand, now, THAT'S funny.

Less than three months till rollover -- just chill out, finish your preps and enjoy the show. That'll be easy for you, Hoff, since you finished before you begun. If things go wrong, you can always get thyself to a warming center. All that SAP doc tossed on the flames can keep a few people toasty, I'll bet!

Now, off to feed the piggies. No, I didn't mean here ....

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), October 02, 1999.

King of Spain - you a funny guy

-- LiarLiar (Pants@Fire.ouch), October 02, 1999.


Forget about the OS issue, and the PTFs. I have much faith in OS/390, and I'm not worried in the least about how well the OS itself supports Y2K.

It's the stacks of USER PROGRAMS that have the real problem Hoff.


05 MONTH PIC 99.

05 DAY PIC 99.

05 YEAR PIC 99.

Note the keyword here Hoff - CURRENT-DATE. The only scam that I see is this load of crap that you are trying to sell us that Y2K is happening now! Give it up!

How many times do I have to say it. Programming is all about choice, A or B, C or D, and the "00" choice hasen't happened yet. Yea, programs may be "fixed" and in production, but the data isn't, except for a tiny number of forcast programs. The choice on how to process 2000 isn't happening now!!!

Tick... Tock... <:00=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), October 02, 1999.


Sysman, you consistently miss my point. Perhaps deliberately, perhaps not.

The issue is system bugs and failures. A system or program that fails, doesn't care whether or not it's due to "Y2k". Neither do the users.

A very small percentage of the errors I've talked about have anything to do with processing "Y2k" dates. Yet you consistently misrepresent my points. Why?

It's not whether or not it's "Y2k" yet. It's whether or not Y2k will generate a substantially higher rate of errors than we're currently experiencing.

-- Hoffmeister (hoff_meister@my-deja.com), October 02, 1999.


I haven't worked on EVERY mainframe in the world. NO remediation will stifle some firms. Poor remediation will indeed be corrected in a matter of hours.


Has your firm done absolutely NOTHING to address Y2k?


Where are those 25 rules of disinformation again?

-- Anita (notgiving@anymore.com), October 02, 1999.


Sounds like you've removed those blinders that were giving you tunnel vision. It's easy for those working in the field to be focused only on what they are working on, and easier for someone not in the field to see the overall picture more objectively. Yep, it isn't that humans cannot fix these problems, it is that we are overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of it. Congratulations!

-- @ (@@@.@), October 02, 1999.


So once aging, I'll ask. Do you see Y2K as just another work order? The largest technology problem in history as just another fix? Just a few more dumps on my desk? A few more knocks on my door? Another couple of late night cell phone calls? Yea, I get it now.


Look up some of my history in the archive. We are rewriting our #1 client's system, using state of the art stuff, Visual Studio for example. Throwing out hundreds of mainframe COBOL and ASSEMBLY programs, many that don't anything with dates.

Why? Y2K, and that's the ONLY reason. The old mainframe could continue to do a fine job for years, except for this little problem.

Cost? 1) Don't know yet, more that a million, closer to two. 2) Lost other clients because we're too busy with this project. 3) Had to turn away new business for the same reason.

Status? We hope to have enough done to produce enough of a product to keep the client in business?

Will we finish? Not sure yet, but not looking all that great. Many bugs. Much still to develop, just to get a minimum system.

The one good point that I can see? The company isn't going to have much money in the bank!

Ain't technology wonderful?

Tick... Tock... <:00=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), October 02, 1999.

PS - OH, and the date stuff, we've got a few bugs to work out in the new code, sort keys and such, but no big problem!!!!!!!!!! <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), October 02, 1999.

90 days.


-- Jack (jsprat@eld.~net), October 02, 1999.


90 days.


-- Jack (jsprat@eld.~net), October 02, 1999.

A few basics for those not well acquainted with IBM mainframe operating system software support (using MVS as one example):

1. the potential impact of any given MVS bug varies from small effects on few users to large efects on many users.

2. the latter bugs usually get fixed most quickly (surprise!).

3. MVS sites commonly delay installing new releases until they have been cleaned up considerably, thereby being totally unaffected by however many bugs that were originally present but fixed in the meantime.

4. delaying installaion of fixes required for Y2K will not be an option starting in about three months.

5. unlike custom application bugs, IBM will provide fixes for MVS bugs (excepting such as those closed PREST :-) ).

6. most Y2K problems on IBM mainframes are likely to be in software other than the operating system, for example in custom applications.

7. bugs in custom applications will not show up, either pre or post 1-1-00, in data bases of IBM APARs and/or PTFs.

8. fixes for bugs in custom applications will not show up on IBM PTF tapes.

9. and (surprise!) the year 2000 has not yet arrived.


-- Jerry B (skeptic76@erols.com), October 02, 1999.

So once aging, I'll ask. Do you see Y2K as just another work order? The largest technology problem in history as just another fix? Just a few more dumps on my desk? A few more knocks on my door? Another couple of late night cell phone calls? Yea, I get it now.

The "largest technology problem in history" has also been met with the largest and most consolidated system replacement and modification period in history.

The "fix" for individual Y2k problems are nothing more than work orders. It's the number of them that has been cause for concern.

As I've tried to show, that number has lead to a massive replacement/modification effort, that in and of itself has generated enormous amounts of errors and down-time. In total, errors that dwarf Y2k errors in number.

Example? Currently working on conversions for a somewhat smallish client. Shutdown their systems Thursday. Supposed to be back up on SAP Monday, but no way. The legacy systems are behind schedule on providing conversion files. Were supposes to provide Open Receivables by yesterday morning; just got it about 30 minutes ago.

Best guess, they'll be up Wednesday.

That's almost a week without computers. No legacy. No SAP.

The users don't care whether the systems are down due to conversions, or down because of bugs. They just have to deal with the system being down. And they will.

All this is pretty typical.

And has been happening at an extremely high rate for the past year. In addition to the errors being generated by new systems and modifications strictly from the code.

-- Hoffmeister (hoff_meister@my-deja.com), October 02, 1999.


Yep. Of course, the majority of your statements apply to Y2k bugs, as well.

So, issuing a PTF, or discussing problems on a newsgroup, doesn't mean these systems are all failing?

Better tell Cory before the next WRP hits the presses.

-- Hoffmeister (hoff_meister@my-deja.com), October 02, 1999.

Cory is welcome to take my Sept 4 comments in the thread "IBM Patches and Bank Compliance" for whatever he may regard they are worth.

Those comments were:

FWIW, trying to estimate the number of IBM mainframes that may require a newly announced PTF is not a trivial exercise. To say the least, Cory's estimate appears to have been based, at least in part, on the assumption that all OS/390-MVS HIPER PTFs must be applied to all mainframes running any flavor of OS/390 and/or MVS. There are numerous grounds for regarding such an assumption as invalid.

For a moment, consider the common practices pre-Y2K: at any given time, most, probably something near 90%, of IBM mainframes running OS/390-MVS are operating very well without having applied some OS/390-MVS HIPER PTFs. Not all HIPER PTFs for a give OS are actually needed by all users of that OS.

When we add Y2K to the mix, we can assume that OS/390-MVS shops will need some working subset of applicable Y2K code but not necessarily all of it. So unless there is no working subset of Y2K code in any flavor of OS/390-MVS, then there can be HIPER PTFs that do not need to be applied.

These considerations to not help us zero in on a good estimate, they simply indicate that such estimates can be more difficult than some may imagine.


-- Jerry B (skeptic76@erols.com), October 02, 1999.

Since we can't get off the PTF noise, consider this. Most PTFs, Y2K related or not, are not issued for the core OS. They are for the IBM applications that ship with the OS. Things like CICS, VTAM, SORT, the compilers, etc. Most of the stuff that the programmer uses, like CURRENT-DATE have few if any problems.

Once again, the OS is such a tiny part of this puzzle, that it's hardly worth talking about. Yes, very critical, but also yes, works very well.



You can tell me all you want about how successful things are, but in my little corner of the world, we may very well go out of business. We've already had talks about it. We've already layed people off, just when we need them the the most, because we can't afford to pay them. And if we do go out of business, it's a big threat to not only to our #1 client, but many of our other clients as well. It's too late for them to find someone else to do our job.

Should we have made the choice that we did? Should we have tried to buy a new, compliant CPU, and fix the code? Maybe we should have, but it's too late now.

Tick... Tock... <:00=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), October 02, 1999.

It's all about fault tolerance, folks. Granted, we in general have been able to keep things running given what resources we have.

However, Y2k could throw alot of problems at us to a degree where we may not be able to fix the problems fast enough in a timely manner to keep things humming along.

And you think it's tough getting technical support now...

-- Tim (pixmo@pixelquest.com), October 03, 1999.


There you go again - confusing people with facts.

The rules of evidence here are:

Doomerism is a religion, with less evidence than most offer, and certainly more denial of reality.

Andy Ray

-- Andy Ray (andyman633@hotmail.com), October 03, 1999.

Anita, that was not "Larry the COLOL programmer" it was me. Stop being so careless with your accusations.

What I said was that RPG compared to PL/I is like a machine language. Converting the old RPG system to PL/I was a nightmare. And the reason why I "wasted" 6 months was because management didn't have an adequate plan of action. That was my point, you dense broad. It was not because I was lazy or incompetent. I was also performing all of the programming for the engineering department during that time.

So how's your job search going - have you found meaningful employment or are you still just sitting on your ass?

-- The Programmer (The Programmer@code.com), October 03, 1999.

It seems that I owe "Larry the COLOL programmer" an apology. Larry...please accept my apology on this one.

The programmer: So you compared RPG to machine language rather than assembler language, and are now blaming management for your wasting 6 months? I rest my case.

-- Anita (notgiving@anymore.com), October 03, 1999.

Anita - have yo ever been given marching orders from someone in management that didn't know their ass from a hole on the ground? Thought so. I rest my case.

-- The Programmer (The Programmer@code.com), October 03, 1999.


-- black type is (always.easier@to.read.andy.ray), October 03, 1999.

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