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Comment Re:MVS core dumps (Score 1) 615

I found the loop that was being infinite, but didn't know what it was supposed to be doing instead of being infinite. So I had to wait for the guy who knew (who was asleep on a railway station bench, having missed the last train home to Gosford the night before) to get home so I could call him and then wait for him to drive the 60 KM or so to the Sydney CBD where I was with the dump.

So I missed the 5.00 am deadline, but luckily it was Friday (well, Saturday by now) so they were able to defer things.

Comment MVS core dumps (Score 2) 615

Reading a core dump on a System 390 (running MVS / OS/390 / etc) machine.

It's 3.00 am and the program has crashed after running for 6 hours. You can't re-run it, you have to find out why it crashed, fix it, and checkpoint-restart to completion. You have until 5.00 am. Your time starts now. Oh - and it's PL/I. An infinite loop in an IMS/DB program. Be afraid.

The ONLY information you have is the core dump, the program listing (albeit with object map), the linker map, and maybe - if you're lucky - a DB dump.

Did I mention it's a program you've never seen before? Those who have seen it are recovering from the party to celebrate a week of successful running. But they're not the ones on call that week, are they?

Ah, 1984. What a year.

Submission + - Microsoft forcing Windows 10 installation 1

grimmjeeper writes: From the "You'll take it and you'll like it" department:

Ars Technica is reporting:

For the first year of its availability, Windows 10 is available for free to most Windows 7 and 8 users, and Microsoft has been trying to coax those users to make the switch by delivering the operating system through Windows Update. Until now, the OS has been delivered as an optional update; while Windows Update gives it prominent positioning, it shouldn't be installed automatically. This system has already generated some complaints, as Windows Update will download the sizeable operating system installer even if you don't intend to upgrade any time soon, but, over the last couple of days, the situation seems to have become a little more aggressive. We've received a number of reports that people's systems are not merely downloading the installer but actually starting it up.

I have seen this first hand. They are doing it by making it an "optional" update that gets checked by default. And not only do they check it by default, they bring it back and check it again, even if you tell Windows Update to hide the update.

Comment Pandora's Seed (Score 1) 281

There's an interesting book on this subject called "Pandora's Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization" by Spencer Wells. Basically says that agriculture and its trappings (towns, etc) is a bad idea.

The Military

United States Begins Flying Stealth Bombers Over South Korea 567

skade88 writes "The New York Times is reporting that the United States has started flying B-2 stealth bomber runs over South Korea as a show of force to North Korea. The bombers flew 6,500 miles to bomb a South Korean island with mock explosives. Earlier this month the U.S. Military ran mock B-52 bombing runs over the same South Korean island. The U.S. military says it shows that it can execute precision bombing runs at will with little notice needed. The U.S. also reaffirmed their commitment to protecting its allies in the region. The North Koreans have been making threats to turn South Korea into a sea of fire. North Korea has also made threats claiming they will nuke the United States' mainland."

Comment Re:Do companies really use Big Iron anymore? (Score 2, Interesting) 230

It's not the number of decimal plaaces that's the issue. Mainframes can store and manipulate a number like 1.23 as EXACTLY 1.23, whereas a lesser machine would have to use some binary floating-point approximation (1.230000001234 or 1.229999999993241 for example) with rounding, etc. Even the programming languages used on mainframes (mainly COBOL and PL/I but also RPG) have specific provision for fixed-point decimal data types, whereas C and its derivatives (C++, C#, Java, Objective-C, D, etc) are utterly clueless.

But mainframe financial applications do relatively little actual arithmetic. Most of their time is spent moving strings and structures around - something that C and its derivatives also just can't do efficiently, if at all, whereas COBOL and PL/I do it easily and quickly.

In mainframe software, anything that can be static is static; data is only dynamic if it absolutely has to be. This is the basis for the high efficiency of mainframe software. COBOL has no equivalent of C's 'new'; PL/I does (of course - 'ALLOCATE') but it's used relatively rarely. You therefore almost NEVER see memory leaks in mainframe software.


Microsoft Won't Vouch For Linux 208

theodp writes "Gov. Christine Gregoire applauded Microsoft's job training partnership with WA state and county government agencies, which calls for the distribution of 30,625 training vouchers statewide during the next 90 days. 'This program [Elevate America] is all about equipping people with the new skills they'll need to get a job in the changing economy,' said Microsoft Counsel Brad Smith, who also made it very clear that getting 'workforce ready' won't involve acquiring any Linux skills. At least this offer appears to be no-cost, unlike the $35 Microsoft requested in an e-mail come-on for 'The Stimulus Package for Your Career' (so much for Smith's and Gregoire's war on spam)."

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