[vcf-midatlantic] Mystery code

Adam Michlin amichlin at swerlin.com
Sat Jul 22 13:11:48 EDT 2017

Thanks everyone!

This was posted on a Facebook group I run, in case anyone is interested 
in Computer Science (yeah... duh):


My father, who cut his teeth on 360s had this to say about the code:

"I fired up my laptop and read the IBM code, and there's less there than 
meets the eye. This is essentially a project to convert a set of macros 
(i.e. assembly time routines) into executable code that can be invoked 
as part of execution. The macros (and the executable code that replaces 
them) were probably invoked as part of application code written in 
assembly language (yes, until the mid 1990s people in some organizations 
actually wrote application code in assembly language). I looked at the 
code itself and found that what you have is only the preamble that 
assigns storage for variables. Well written IBM assembly code did this 
rigorously. The code you provided doesn't seem to include the actual 
executable part. It doesn't matter too much anyway because most likely 
it was specific to the company and applications involved. Anyway, the 
printouts are more a snapshot of computing history than any sort of 
technically revealing material about computer science. Still, the 
history itself may illuminate a bit of what your father dealt with."

Thanks again everyone for the help and please know the VCF was credited 
multiple times for assisting. I've suggested that the original poster 
scan everything to a pdf and, if he does, I will post a link to that for 
everyone's viewing. Probably mundane code, but you never know!

Best wishes,


On 7/22/2017 12:46 PM, Dave McGuire via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
> This would be for MVS, not VSE. One of the qualifiers in the dataset 
> name at the top of the listing on mystery02.jpg is "ispf", and ISPF is 
> an MVS product, not VSE. -Dave On 07/22/2017 02:05 AM, Bob Flanders 
> via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
>> This is definitely s/370 or s/390 code for CICS. I noted the 
>> "mystery03" page uses the DFHEIENT macro, which is for CICS. Here's a 
>> reference to that macro... 
>> https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/en/SSGMCP_5.1.0/com.ibm.cics.ts.applicationprogramming.doc/topics/dfhp4b00139.html 
>> The 1990 dates shown is MVS era .. but also DOS/VSE era. CICS ran 
>> under both. Regards, Bob On Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 9:03 PM, Neil Cherry 
>> via vcf-midatlantic < 
>> vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:
>>> On 07/21/2017 07:57 PM, Adam Michlin via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
>>>> Hi Everyone, Way before my day, I'm trying to help someone identify 
>>>> some code that his father (who passed away) left him. Sure looks 
>>>> like it must be mainframe or mini from back in the day: 
>>>> http://ceos.io/mystery/ Two pictures of code and one of the 
>>>> (redacted) father's resume. 
>>> Not an expert but it looks like IBM assembly to me (Mainframe 370). 
>>> like the stuff I did in college. -- Linux Home Automation Neil 
>>> Cherry ncherry at linuxha.com http://www.linuxha.com/ Main site 
>>> http://linuxha.blogspot.com/ My HA Blog Author of: Linux Smart Homes 
>>> For Dummies 

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