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Troubleshooting Programs on the IBM 360

Created by key_man

Fun Trivia : Quizzes : Operating Systems
Troubleshooting Programs on the IBM 360 game quiz
"Much of the information fed back to programmers in IBM S360 was quite cryptic. Programmers were required to be master detectives sometimes just to find out what went wrong. How would you have survived in this era?"

15 Points Per Correct Answer - No time limit  

1. If you received an 0Cx exception code your program had failed. Which of the following was the fairly simple to fix "data exception" error?

2. Program runs which threw exceptions provided a dump which gave the exception code and the location in the machine memory where the error occurred. To locate the offending command you needed to use what information provided?
    AAI (Absolute Addressing Index)
    DIE (Dump Index Error)
    Nothing - you could not find the information in the dump
    BLL (Base Locator for Linkage) cell and Displacement

3. If someone told you that they thought your program would work if you changed from using QSAM to ISAM, what part of your programming were they asking you to change?
    randomizing algorithms
    data file access type
    data declarations
    programming language

4. Programmers were responsible for dividing their programs into pieces of code that could fit in the physical memory of the particular machine.

5. The IBM360 used EBCDIC character representation, using one byte to represent a letter or number. The EBCDIC character code was often shown as a two character Hexadecimal number. However, portions of dumps were provided in binary depictions of the bytes. Which of the following bit patterns represented the digit 1 in EBCDIC?
    1010 1010
    1111 0001
    1111 1111
    0000 0001

6. Even working with COBOL and other "high" level languages compilation process first interpretted these into "assembler code" which then compiled into executable code. When you received a dump, you often had to deal with the intermediary assembler interpretation of your program. What would you expect the result of XOR executed against a pair of bytes whose values were 0110 1001 and 1001 0110 to be?
    1111 1111
    0110 1001
    0000 0000
    1001 0110

7. When you received a "parity" error reading data from a tape, what would have been the first thing you normally did?
    Had the tape cleaned
    Demanded parity with other programmers
    Requested a core dump of the machine
    Called IBM to report a fault in the operating system

8. Before you could execute your program, you needed to get a "clean" compile. To avoid errors introduced keypunching what you had submitted on the source coding sheets, you normally requested that your coding sheets be "keypunched and __________"?

9. Another source of errors for the programmer was in the JCL (Job Control Language) deck created to wrap around your programs. This was where you called for specific tapes, defined which GDS to use, put various conditions on executing/bypassing steps within the job, what to do with errors, etc. If you incorrectly specified which GDS to use what might happen?
    you could use an incorrect version of the data
    the system printer would be used for all output
    the IBM S360 System would shut-down
    your program deck would jam in the reader

10. To find syntax (typos) problems in your JCL (Job Control Language) without actually running any programs or executing and JCL, you could add what parameter to the JOB Statement in your JCL deck?

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Compiled Jun 28 12