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Troubleshooting Programs on the IBM 360
"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
If you received an 0Cx exception code your program had failed. Which of the following was the fairly simple to fix "data exception" error?
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
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?
data file access type
Programmers were responsible for dividing their programs into pieces of code that could fit in the physical memory of the particular machine.
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?
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?
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
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 __________"?
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
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