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Comment Re:Interactive COBOL (Score 1) 318

Another rare critter here also - I started using Westi for interactive processing back in the early 80's then switched to CICS with IMS/DB & DB2 or IMS DB & DC with Oracle where I am right now.

Somewhere along the way I ended up working on a Wang VS system for a few years. Wang VS was way better for the interactive stuff than anything else that was available at the time. Unfortunately it is long gone, I have wondered a few times what it would have evolved into if it ever got onto the web

Comment Re:I don't think there will be a shortage. (Score 1) 318

Sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with you. You can learn basic cobol in a week, sure.


Bear in mind also that most COBOL is mainframe still, so chances are that as well as the language itself, you're going to have to learn DB2, JCL, CICS and suchlike

You could just as easily slug in "Java" for "COBOL" and "generic SQL, shell scripts, Spring, and assorted other frameworks...." for "DB2, JCL, CICS" and the statement will be just as true (except for the fact that most Java is not mainframe), but the idea is still the same.

It is not the programming language, but all of the other 'stuff' that goes with it that makes it useful. It is the other 'stuff' that takes time to learn and become proficient with.

Comment Re:Not replacing, wrapping... (Score 1) 318

That is exactly what we are doing at my shop (a major research university). We are slowly wrapping nice gui web front ends around the existing code. This way we can present a modern appearance - while retaining all of the business logic that is embedded in the legacy COBOL (and some PL/1) code.

Whenever there is a need for a brand new application, it is quite often easier to access the data (usually a combination of IMS and Oracle databases) on the mainframe, and use zDirect to grab the IMS/DC screens. Sometimes new programs are written, sometimes old programs modified.

Comment Re:If a technology is outdated, outsource it. (Score 1) 318

The VAX had DCL - Digital Command Language, and as far as JCL goes, it is essentially a method of setting up environment variables so programs can access external resources, a shell script - nothing more.

I don't remember ever seeing Zeke & Zack (not Zeek & Zed) on a Z/OS system - If I recall they were mostly on VSE systems and were a automated operator/scheduler. I can't remember which was which, it has been a long time since I have worked on VSE, Z/OS is a daily thing.

Comment Re:Cost vs injury (Score 1) 499

In Germany at 100km/h if you're within 50km of the car in front you're tailgating. (Speed in km/h)/2 = (distance in m) in space you need between the car in front of you.

I think you meant 50m, not 50km - at a 50km following distance, you would never see another car.

Comment Re:Cost vs injury (Score 1) 499

The only thing that is certain to increase is the number of tickets (i.e. municipal revenues). Anything else is just an unintentional side-effect

Most of the tickets generated seem to be for failing to stop for $number_of_seconds before making a right on red. NJ state law does not define a specific $number_of_seconds and local towns have made it whatever they feel like making it.

FWIW I have seen the photo flashes going off when there was no vehicle in or even near the intersection. No idea what they trying to ticket - low flying birds perhaps?

Comment Re:That was my experience at school (Score 1) 5

Did you know that ten tmes as much money is spent on special education for lerning-disabled kids than on gifted kids?

Learning disabled & gifted should just be different flavors of the special education ice cream. Unfortunately most school districts don't see it that way -- especially when they get more state aid for the kids who have difficulties than those that are ahead of the rest of the class.

Personally I hate both terms (learning disabled and gifted), and prefer to use "differently learning"

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