Being safe on the internet (was Re: Here we go again - ISP DPI, but is it interception?)

ken k.brown at
Wed Aug 11 19:52:36 BST 2010

On 10/08/2010 17:19, Ian Mason wrote:

> It also contains the immortal line:
>> Real Programmers do Artificial Intelligence programs in Fortran.
> And once that was exactly what I was employed to do. Thus I feel that
> have some justification to consider myself a cut above the rest. :-)

Going by that standard I was at least a Great Programmer:

"No, your Real Programmer uses OS/370. A good programmer can 
find and understand the description of the IJK305I error he just 
got in his JCL manual. A great programmer can write JCL without 
referring to the manual at all. A truly outstanding programmer 
can find bugs buried in a 6 megabyte core dump without using a 
hex calculator. (I have actually seen this done.)"

Not that there is an IJK305I error, but I used to know at least 
a few dozen of those codes off by heart and knew where int he 
shelfloads of manuals to look for the rest. And I could 
certainly write JCL (and wrote programs to write JCL).  I 
occasionally found errors in hex dumps without benefit of 
calculator as well, but only in VM (or occasionally MVS) control 
blocks and with the help of the data structure manuals.

A colleague of mine could both do hex arithmetic in his head and 
read 360/370 machine code from dumps and at least once confused 
the people who took problem calls at IBM by telling them exactly 
what the programmers had done wrong in the source code of a 
program for which we didn't have the source code - the error was 
produced by an obvious typo in the assembler. Obvious to him 
that is. Not me.

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