I recently inherited the VM support role very suddenly. The person who
supported it left without any kind of turnover, and I have very little
experience with VM.
I took one IBM class, but that's been a while. I can perhaps find another
class, but I have several 'newbie' questions. I have manuals, but it's
hard finding answers to the really basic questions.
I have extensive MVS/ZOS experience. Doesn't help much with VM.
I have questions that excrutiatingly simple, not comfortable using ETR to
ask how to find console logs (how do I find console logs? They seem to be
scattered all over).
I thought perhaps this group would be a good resource but it doesn't seem
to be very active. Any other discussion groups or community sites that are
similar to this one?
I empathize; I've done Sysprog on VM/VSE/MVS for 30+ years. It's much
easier to know what you want to do than knowing how. I have a
particular problem flipping back and forth between ISPF Edit & XEDIT -
PF key wise as well as prefix command wise.
Anyway. Thought you could take a look at a couple of things to get
your feet on the ground:
If you know REXX, you'll have less problem; REXX provides the MVS
BATCHyness in "interactive" CMS, and execs usually perform their
duties well, once debugged - just like JCL does.
Probably the best advice I can give anyone trying to come up to speed
on anything IBM is this:
- Recycle paper manuals - except for really old ones, and PLMs
(program logic manuals); IBM used to tell us great stuff that they no
- Learn to exploit IBM Library Reader For Windows (ILR) - an obsolete,
16-bit app that still runs on Win XP and below (don't know about
Vista), and get yourself the Softcopy DVD for your current or
superseding operating system version (in later version DVDs - previous
versions' pubs are still there); here's why: After committing the 5
most useful ILR keystroke commands to heart, you'll be able to access
the probable answers to your questions in under 30 seconds -
After you amaze yourself a few times, with this extraordinarily
productive ability, take a moment of Silence to appreciate IBM's
benevolence in still making this "obsolete" tool available:
- All directory level names pointing to shelves & books, etc. MUST be
8 characters or less.
- Minimize all windows & quiesce running programs before installing
ILR; you don't have to close everything, but do absolutely nothing
while the install is running; be prepared to see "99% complete" for a
couple of minutes if installing on XP; don't know why - don't care -
but these conventions produce effective ILR product installations.)
The 5 most useful ILR keystroke commands?
- Ctrl+s - get the search dialog box for the Bookshelf you opened, say
- Alt+r - start the search for the string entered in Search Request:
- CursorRight, CursorDown - to 1) view the pub title; 2) navigate from
most likely pub to less likely pubs - The pubs are presented in order
of most useful to least
- CtlMenuMove - the fastest way to reposition the selected pub's
Search Results window from over the text area, to the high level
navigation pane on the right, where it's less obtrusive when it's open
- Ctrl+r - Pop up the pub's Search Results window, if you've hit Esc,
and "disappeared it".
This is not a lot to remember - just more than most people want to do
to learn something. But after about 10 times or so, these keystrokes
will start to roll off your hands like flipping your turn signal on
your way home. Looking up something will no longer be a chore.
The CtlMenuMove thing is the keyboarder's way to manipulate windows
without resorting to the mouse; (you're hands seldom err when striking
keys, and THEY never move; the mouse cursor must always be located
using unproductive movements before tediously positioning on a
control). Every MS Windows window has a Control Menu - usually
represented by an icon at the far left of the Title Bar. You can
click this with the mouse, or with keys, Alt+Space Bar, and the
Control Menu will drop down. For this discussion, we're interested in
Move; strike the "m" to enable the Move function, then, for our
illustration of moving the Search Results windows to the right, hold
down the typamatic CursorRight key until the window is where you want
it; then hit ENTER to complete the Move command. Play with the other
functions of the Control Menu. When your Windows Keyboard Repeat rate
is fastest, and your Repeat delay at least 3/4 to Short, you may find
as I do, that this means of navigation and positioning windows is
faster than using the mouse, and can be more precise.
Anyway, You have some reading, and you have some infrastructure to set
up - well worth the effort. Alternatively, IBM's PDF add-on to
Adobe's Reader (7 or 8 - not 9 yet) - Advanced Linguistic Search -
will apply Bookmanager's extraordinary search speed to many IBM PDFs.
Eventually, Softcopy Reader's shelf search will be extended across
multiple shelves for even greater convenience. Because it's JAVA
program, I can launch the Softcopy Reader, then launch Library Reader
for Windows (ILR), locate the probable shelf, perform the search, get
the search results, locate the item I'm looking for and get my answer
- all before Softcopy Reader appears and renders the list of shelves -
but that's JAVA. However it is a reasonable alternative especially,
if you'd like to locate something to study; printing a few .PDF pages
to carry with you is a great benefit.
Being able to find the answers to vital as well as trivial questions
so conveniently will speed the learning you require to be effective
Have fun, and the best of luck in your new endeavor.