Tuesday, March 15, 2022

I haven't heard that name in years …

I commonly write my name as "Drew Derbyshire", but for legal purposes my full name has always been "Andrew H. Derbyshire"; the former never has my middle initial, and the latter generally does. Unfortunately, people tend to shorten my birth name to "Andy", which my mother (and by extension, me) disliked. 

Thus, I've used "Drew" since August 1985; I switched when returning to Clarkson for my final undergraduate tour of duty. My login was "$AHD" or "ahd", but my email said I was "Drew Derbyshire", and people simply accepted it. Now, decades later, I still use "ahd" when I can, and there many people who have no idea where the user id comes from. 

(I just tell them "Automated Help Desk".)

Earlier at Clarkson (as a freshman) when I still went by Andrew, I first learned the ancient incantations of IBM OS/360 and its Job Control Language (JCL). I extensively used it in my work well into the Drew era (1995 or so). OS Jobs run with JCL start with a JOB card; it has an account number, a jobname (often based on the account), and a 20 character field for the programmer's name and job description (printed on the green bar listing to keep it from becoming Little Listing Lost).

(Of course, when was last time you even saw green bar paper? But I digress …)

Meanwhile, I've written before about my muscle memory on computers. I'll go to do something on an old IBM host, Microsoft box, or UNIX system and I can't remember how. However, my fingers tell my brain to "Stop thinking … we are on the case". So my head listens to the stereo, and they summon the ancient incantation and bang it out.  Usually, it's right.

Lately, I've been playing with OS/MVS systems (the successor to OS/360), including writing jobs on it. Yesterday, I noticed my magic fingers had taken charge without bothering to tell me, as shown by the attached.

Simple batch JOB on my local copy of OS/MVS

When I looked at that job the last night, I realized my fingers were indeed trained to write OS JCL in the "Andrew H. Derbyshire" era. Well, that's what they still do, and who am I to argue?

No comments:

Post a Comment