As one who works in the financial services industry, I get the vituperation privilege of working with a mainframe on what seems to be at least a weekly basis, if not daily for weeks at a time.

As I fire up certain programs that are required for my job, I'm confronted with the following woes:

  • Certain software doesn't know what lower-case letters are or how to utilize them.  This, to me, comes off as THE MAINFRAME SCREAMING AT ME.
  • Version 2.08 of some program no one cares about anymore is now Y2K Compliant!  Oh, the joy!
  • A typoed query can easily ABEND certain applications, jettisoning the user back out to the ISPF or TSO prompt.  I jokingly call this "Crashing the mainframe" however I'm really just crashing a poorly written (non-mission-crtitical, mind you) application.
  • These insidious machines have somehow leveraged the ability to use electronic mail.  Simply not logging into the mainframe does not spare me from its wrath.  Occasionally, I will get e-mail from one of the nodes, again, tactfully crafted IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS just so that I get the point.
I suppose I'm relatively young and as such biased towards the flexibility and interoperability of modern Open Systems over monolithic big-iron mainframe dinosaurs of hackneyed days (even if some of the mainframes in use aren't all that old)

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