Mailbag rescues desperate writers
Inside VESOFT covers tips and techniques you can use with VESOFTs products, especially MPEX.
The deadline is looming
Im stuck for a topic for this column. Desperate times
call for desperate measures (except for Sundays at 9/8 Central, which
calls for Desperate Housewives). Its time for the fake
Last week, management
fired this jerk programmer. He always arrived late, took long lunches
and left early. He smoked like a chimney, and I think those long
lunches included beverages that made Milwaukee famous. Unfortunately,
they told him he was out the door about a hour before they told the
rest of us, and in those 60 minutes, he put lockwords on random
crucial files. Weve found about five and corrected them with
the help of MPEX, but we have no idea how many others are out there.
Were concerned there may be a lockword on a file that will shut
down production. Can you help?
First of all, let me
say the jerk was not me! I know he sounds like me, but Ive
never been in Durango! That aside, come in off the ledge because I
can help. Just log on as system manager, run MPEX and:
Lo and behold, every
file on the system with a lockword magically appears on your screen.
Or if you put your output into my favorite option - an indirect file
- and then alter the files with
And next time, when
they fire a jerk, ask management for a heads up so you can lock up
his logon before they lower the boom.
In our production
environment, we close out the books on a monthly basis.
My job includes most of the duties involving closing the old month
and opening the new. I have a list of about 25 steps I have to
perform and one of them involves clearing out the existing files for
the new month. There are a bunch of them and they are different
formats, record lengths, blocking factors, etc. I usually text them
into and editor and delete all the records or I purge and rebuild the
file. But I almost always screw up one of them. This means nasty
phone calls from the production floor, or worse, we dont notice
it until later and have to rebuild the data midway through the cycle.
Can you help?
Theres a man out there to help you and it is me. First of all, you need to write a script to do all that work for you. When we were doing Y2K testing, I had a couple 1000-plus line scripts to test values and examine dates, then reset all the data and files for the next date to test. But that aside, you can do everything you want to do with one simple MPEX command: %ERASE fileset
Viola! The data is cleared
out, but the file structure remains. Even the EOF, which if I know
from experience may be critical to your operation, is preserved. And
you can include all sorts of MPEX commands in those scripts you
should start writing - tomorrow.
There are times when
I need to run an MPEX process in job mode rather than session mode. I
hate to try to build a job stream because I always do something wrong
and it takes about five or six tries before I get it right. Any
%SUBMIT MANAGER.SYS;OUTCLASS=LP,1,1 PURGE LOG####.PUB.SYS
This tells MPEX that you want to submit a job with the user MANAGER.SYS, with the output going to the line printer with one copy and the output priority of 1. That job will purge all the log files in PUB.SYS. as MANAGER.SYS. If your current logon does not have SM capabilities, then MPEX will prompt you for the appropriate passwords before it streams the job. Remember that the %SCHEDULE command also does something along these same lines.
Correction from December column: It was brought to my attention by VESoft President and Chief Proofreader Vladimir Volokh that I had what could be a confusing typo in the December column. When discussing use of the %PRINT...command; I said:
%PRINT filename; FORMAT=...
The trick is that the FORMAT option does not output the exact record, but instead outputs some function of the record. FORMAT=R[0:15] not the square brackets will only print the first 15 characters of any given line.
should have been note note the square
brackets. Mea Culpa. I apologize for any confusion, job
failures or early morning phone calls.
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