Calling all BAL/Assembler programmers

programmers with IBM Assembler Language experience

STM 11,13

Only real cowboys ride bulls… Only real programmers write BAL. and a BALR 14,15 my friend

And hats-off to us machine language coders! I miss those SIO’s and CCW’s.

I don’t…While I have used almost every facility available except WAIT and POST, I prefer XLC to do the dirty work. What I do miss is SETA SETC macro coding. That was fun

I was trained as a TPF Assembler programmer for a GDS in the mid 9Ts. I seem to remember TPF used a 2 byte date format (or maybe it was just the GDS I was working on), that would expire in 2027. I haven’t worked on TPF since 1998, so don’t even know whether the airlines still use it, or whether the date is still held as two bytes. But, maybe there’ll be a call for BAL/Assembler programmers to help out on the TPF two byte date problem sometime soon.

I have since moved to other Assembler systems, but nothing beat working on the Availability and Schedule Change system where testing often involved thinking up city pairs to ensure the correct response was returned to the travel agent.

Not many of us bits and bytes guys around anymore. But there’s still a lot of old systems out there that we could be called in on.

I afraid that TPF ( Transation Program Facility) is been using by AMADEUS Arlines System

I spent 20 years with BAL, Sysgens, OS/MFT+HASP, OS/MVT+HASP, MVT Nucleus Init coding to move portions of LinkPak to LCS memory, OS/SVS+HASP4, and a installation of HASP4 on OS/VS1. The joy of a clean Sysgen followed by an IPL for a running system still gives me a warm fuzzy.

I still have my Little Orphan Annie decoder cards for OS/360, OS/370, TSS/67, and VM/370.Give me a core dump and a week to refresh and polish my skills, then “put me in coach, I’m ready to play.”

Butch Kemper

I go back to MVS, JES2/3, TSO, CICS, VTAM, NCP, MSNF, sysgens, dump reading, etc., etc. Those were the days! Still miss coding in BAL.

I go back even to DOS 360 assembler! Passed OS/360, MVS, OS/390, z/OS. Any request for a dinosaur? :slight_smile:

Run Hercules… Takes a bit of cut and pasting, but It’ll bring back those find memories of yesteryear.

I worked at Platinum technology 5 years, which was acquired by CA technologies (another 19 years) on zOS DB2 Tools.(Software Engineer there on first QuickCopy (2 years) and FastUnload (22 years) (for which I was development lead for14 years)), and MCCI (banking data center) for 7 years. All of this was Assembler (BAL), DOS/VS at MCCI (mid '70s) and zOS (‘OS’ variants) after that. Remainder of career was COBOL except for 4.5 years in Pascal/VS at DBMS. Until you get down to zOS (or other) macro interfaces, and LOWER (like cross-memory access and SUPERVISOR STATE / KEY 0 coding), most of what you do in BAL you can do in Pascal/VS. Though, the last 24 years was Authorized Assembler full of code you could ONLY do in Assembler (at that time). Fun stuff…

STM 11,13,WHERE ? Not all programmers have to write BAL, but they ALL should understand what’s been generated by their compiler and WHY to write x-language well, IMO…

You need to learn assembler in order to deal with system level problems, address space problems as the RTM can be a bit confusing (the PSW is your real friend) . Otherwise you can continue to be like every other 10 cent programmer out there and rely of ABEND AID. There are still a ton of things that are assembler only on z/OS (SAF for one). That’s never going to change as long as vendors are OCO with their products.
Learn XLC/C++ on z/OS if Assembler frightens you or anyone else for that matter. Best guess is that more and more API’s with have a C/C++ interface and USER EXITS will still be coded in Assembler in mind.
The last RACF exit I compiled a heap of XLC .h header files in the output listing. It surprised me even me. Shows you how much I really know.