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Do you remember what the mainframe was like when you started on your mainframe career path? Today IBM blurs distinctions between the mainframe and distributed environments through Linux and Java, as well as cloud and mobile delivery models. Heck, you can run Windows natively on x86 cards in a zBX cabinet managed from a console on the mainframe itself. Maybe it’s not the most efficient way to do it, and expect better ways coming from IBM, but it is doable now…

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The mainframe world lost a true legend last week with the death of Dr. Gene Amdahl. Dr. Amdahl, as chief architect, was a key member of the team of IBMers that worked on the System/360 series of computers. In fact, IBM chairman and CEO, Thomas J. Watson Jr. referred to Dr. Amdahl as the "father of the System 360," the most successful line of mainframe computers in IBM’s history…

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IBM posted another down quarter this past Monday, maybe the thirteenth in a row; it’s easy to lose track. But yet again, IBM z Systems provided a bright spot, a 15 percent increase compared with the year-ago period. Last quarter z Systems also came up a winner. Still, the investment analysts went crazy, the stock tumbled and wild scenarios, inspired by Dell’s acquisition of EMC no doubt, began circulating…

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The last z System that conformed to the expectations of Moore’s Law was the zEC12. IBM could boast that it had the fastest commercial processor available. The subsequent z13 didn’t match it in processor speed. The z13 chip runs a 22 nm core at 5 GHz, one-half a GHz slower than the zEC12, which ran its 32nm core at 5.5 GHz. Did you even notice?…

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Nowadays, most RACF administrators report to Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) who have never worked with z/OS or RACF, and they are being inspected by auditors, both internal and external, who likewise have had little exposure to the mainframe. The RACF administrators we speak with and those who post messages on discussion forums are constantly saying something like "my (fill-in-the-blank) doesn't understand RACF, and this is causing me endless headaches." To address this situation, we took it upon ourselves to write a brief description of RACF that administrators can pass on to their manager and others within the organization who need a basic understanding of RACF's purpose and function. The following overview is the result. Although the overview has just been published on our website, it has already been downloaded many times, and we have received feedback that it has been helpful. We hope you find it helpful, too…

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Coaching Mainframers

There’s absolutely no doubt from the research that coaching does help individuals. And it is often part of the role of managers to coach their staff. The research also shows that businesses benefit from having their staff being coached. Although, having said that, there is anecdotal evidence of organizations using coaching in a fairly random way, where HR has no record of who the coaches being used are and what the outcomes of the sessions led to!…

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