Mainframes??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by LDfan, Jan 17, 2002.

  1. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    Anyone know anything about mainframes? A friend of mine is looking for a job and asked me if I knew anything about them such as? What kind of OS do they typically use? Do you mostly use command line or GUI? etc... The more info the better!

    thanks,

    Jeff
     
  2. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    Mainframes are dinosaurs. The most common type (and the only ones I'm familiar with) are the ones IBM makes. They typically run an OS such as VM or MVS (yes, everything in mainframe land is an abbreviation for something). Most code is written in COBOL, though you might find some C or assembler code in places. The most common user interface is a 3270-type terminal, which doesn't even have a type ahead buffer (though nowadays I bet many places use PCs with terminal emulation instead of an actual dumb terminal).

    I don't know what the demand for mainframe programmers is nowadays, now that Y2K is long over. I would expect there would be some demand, since most people with mainframe experience are either retiring or have been promoted, and not many younger folk have mainframe knowledge or experience. In general, mainframe technology is years behind PC technology, there's really nothing cutting edge about them. They're geared more toward batch processing (taking large amounts of data and processing it in the background) rather than real-time online processing. It takes a certain amount of discipline (and patience) to master the "art" of mainframe programming--a lot of the tools are prehistoric compared to PCs.

    I did mainframe programming in my prior job 6 years ago. When I found something better (a shop doing PC programming), I left there and haven't looked back. There's nothing glamorous about mainframe programming. Watching paint dry is more fun.

    Hope this gives you some information.

    KJP
     
  3. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    I've worked on mainframes for over ten years. They are pretty old-hat now, but you'll still find many big organisations using them for legacy work. In terms of computing power the numbers don't look that impressive, but you have to consider that generally there is no GUI, so the crunch power isn't wasted much. Mainframes are great for running a large quantity of work together at the same time and also for online TP (transactional processing) services where fancy interfaces aren't required.
     
  4. Shawn Shultzaberger

    Shawn Shultzaberger Supporting Actor

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    I now work for a company that uses and supports MVS mainframes, open systems hardware and SAN's. I also used to work on Honeywell mainframes while I was in the Military. I much prefer working on the mainframes than I do with "Open Systems". Although they are now deemed old and dinosaur like the mainframes were easier to work on and more durable. The "Open Systems" (i.e. Solaris, HP, Windows & AIX in one environment) we have these days are more prone to failure and much harder to troubleshoot. Stress is high and tempers are flaring. Everyday the complexity of these systems goes up.
    It's not unheard of to have well over 4000 clients and hundreds of media and master servers for backup and restores. And all of them using any one of the numerous operating systems, fiber or scsi connection, serveral different types of HBA's and numerous silos/libraries for tape storage. It is getting to the point were the hardware will need to monitor itself.
    Give me the days of mainframes. Those were much simpler times. [​IMG]
     
  5. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

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  6. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Brett,

    Do you know why it is still being used with "more than acceptable results" ? That would be because IT WORKS..

    I work for a power company that serves PA,WV,VA and a few

    other states. We have millions of customers and we run an

    IBM RS 390.2 Enterprise Server (Mainframe) with MVS.

    We also have tons of small systems NT,Linux,Unix,AIX You

    name it we have it.. And everything else just plain IS NOT

    STABLE.. (with exception to Linux/Unix)

    To those people saying Mainframes are not that fast... LOL!

    Mainframes UNLIKE PC's (Call them "servers" if you wish) can

    Paralell Process..... end of story.
     

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