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Craziest/mischevious thing done with Mainframes


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vasanthz

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Joined: 28 Aug 2007
Posts: 1689
Location: Tiruppur, India

PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 5:19 pm
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What is the craziest program or funniest program u have seen or coded on the mainframe.
Or have you done any mischief with it?? icon_biggrin.gif
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rockish

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Joined: 05 Jun 2009
Posts: 185
Location: Planet Earth

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:58 am
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In one of my projects, I saw one of the COBOL programs printing the 'F word' in the SYSOUT of its production version continously... I was shocked to see that happening and tried tracing back its origin. When I came to know that it was a DISPLAY statement used by the developer to show errors while testing and the fact that he just MISSED to remove the same before moving it to production, I seriously dint knew how to respond !!!!
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enrico-sorichetti

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Joined: 14 Mar 2007
Posts: 10714
Location: italy

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:19 am
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while testing a prototype for an ATM application one legal sequence of events would be...

... mumbo jumbo ...
give back the card
issue the money
print the receipt

... in case of a print failure the screen would display a message like...
unable to print the receipt, transaction completed successfully anyway ,
check the bank statements for confirmation of the withdrawal

we tweaked things a bit in order not to issue the money
and display on the screen the message
unable to issue the money, transaction completed successfully anyway ,
check the bank statements for confirmation of the withdrawal

it took a looong time to decide to take it away before the final acceptance test icon_biggrin.gif
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Bill O'Boyle

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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
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Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:27 am
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In the mid-80's, we had an intern at the software company, who was responsible for shipping update tapes (3420 REELS) to customers.

One day, she dropped one and it had a write-ring in the back. Well, it popped out and we told her that the tape-data was now ruined and the tape would need to be recreated, which at that time was a long process.

When she found out we had played this joke on her, boy was she furious, but she calmed down and laughed later on.

Bill
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Robert Sample

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Joined: 06 Jun 2008
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Location: Dubuque, Iowa, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:28 am
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Way, way, way back when I was an operator on a 360/30, you could tune a radio and pick up the static from the processor. The system programmer at that site had a program deck that would play "Mary had a little lamb" in the static on the radio.
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MBabu

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Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 401
Location: Mumbai

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:34 am
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Wrote a program that sent full screen (simulated) TPUTs to other coworkers to display dancing girls doing the can-can across their TSO screens. Ah, I can still hear the screams almost 30 years later. Most of them were women, so to get me back, the women all wore clothing the next day that they knew would drive me crazy (for some reason, that topic had been discussed at lunch a few days earlier). These days, either activity would get you drawn and quartered on the alter of correctness, you'd then be burned at the stake, and then a lawyer would flush your ashes down a prison toilet.
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Terry Heinze

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Joined: 14 Jul 2008
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Location: Richfield, MN, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:24 am
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The console operator of a Univac 90/30 could execute a program by keying "run xxxxxx". Since CPUs are never as fast as you want them to be, a common complaint I'd hear as a programmer was that it wasn't running fast enough. I wrote and installed a program, unbeknownst to the operators, named FASTER that did nothing more than display "I'm running as fast as I can.". One day when I heard a familiar operator complaint, I told him to key, "run faster" to see if it would help. The result was obvious.
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rockish

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Joined: 05 Jun 2009
Posts: 185
Location: Planet Earth

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:27 am
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hey Terry, I think you have this one posted somewhr else I guess !!!!! I remember reading this already icon_smile.gif
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Terry Heinze

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Location: Richfield, MN, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:28 am
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Yep; posted years ago I think.
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gcicchet

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Joined: 28 Jul 2006
Posts: 1702
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:46 am
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Back in the days of the 360/45 we shared the floor with another government department.

They worked 24x7 and we worked 24x5.

Over the weekend when we were on our days off, one of the ops from the other departmnent decided to swap the start and stop buttons on our machine, they were the days when you powered the machine off before you went home.

Come Monday morning and our machine would not come up, it took the IBM engineer over 12 hours to track the problem down.

The people responsible were on their rostered days off.

No-one ever owned up to it but I can assure you, management was absolutely furious. (no sense of humour)
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Kjeld

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Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 365
Location: Denmark

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:43 pm
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One of my colleagues once tried to generate code into one of our PDS source code libraries. The source library system at that time were quite homegrown and relied on PDSs for source repository.

He forgot to code the member name in the DD statement he was writing to, which of course caused him to overwrite the directory space of the PDS.

As all developers could be affected by this, loosing work in progress, he had to report his mistake to his peers to get the library restored and to get the information to everybody.

Thank God for back ups!
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expat

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Joined: 14 Mar 2007
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Location: Welsh Wales

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:52 pm
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Once zapped the VTOC to switch on the "Password protected" indicator for a colleagues datasets.

Another one was with the old 370/158 with the roller bar and light displays. We told the trainee ops that if they cleaned the contacts on the back of each bulb the electricity would go faster and cut down the overnight batch runs.
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alexlloyd54

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Joined: 22 Apr 2010
Posts: 2
Location: Kuwait

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:59 am
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I've always been very careful when dealing with the mainframe opsys, because i used to consider the system like my own (Child) icon_smile.gif

but I once did a HUGE mistake that I could not forgive myself for it

I was using one of RACF utilities which dumps the sys1.racf dataset to a sequential file, and I set (by mistake) the input to the empty sequential file, and the output to sys1.racf icon_eek.gif

As soon as I submitted the job and hit enter, I discovered the stupid thing I have done!

This happened during office hours in the morning, where all our online production users were busy servicing customers icon_evil.gif

Of course i fixed the problem quickly
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sai.bhagavatula

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Joined: 05 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:34 am
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One of the worst things I did was trying to rename a production file. Those were the days we had production access and all stuff used to be done by us manually. When I pressed 'RENAME' in Fileaid, the screen got stuck and it took forever to respond. I hit the ATTENTION key and when I logged in back, imagine what? I found both old file and new file in system.

Though we fixed it later and it taught me that anything you do in production, do it in BATCH. Never in foreground unless it is required and you dont have a choice.
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GuyC

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Joined: 11 Aug 2009
Posts: 1281
Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:04 pm
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A long time ago I needed to print a complete file (12.000 records) ~ 1 box of Fanfold paper.

I used an FCB for setting Lines/inch to limit the #pages, but forgot it also uses the first character of the file as a ControlCharacter.
90% of the records started with 1 (=Top_of_Form).

The next morning I received 6 boxes with on each page 1 record and an angry call from the operator.
The paper flew through the printer faster than he could load it, it took him 6 boxes to figure out something was wrong and purge the job.
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Sys Edwin

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Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 7
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:40 am
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Years ago I was working with a wag named Mark on a DOS/VSE system. He thought it was really funny to write a program which displayed a console message "I am getting bored with all this mundane repetitive crap you are making me process - I need a rest". Later "If you do not give me a break I will have to slow down". This general thing along with a routine that sucked up cycles. Finally when the machine was running really slowly it displayed " I have had enough, I warned you, I am going to sleep" at which point it went into a hard wait.
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vasanthz

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Joined: 28 Aug 2007
Posts: 1689
Location: Tiruppur, India

PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:28 pm
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Once my colleague(X) sent an email using SMTP to Z, as if Y(lady) has sent the email. by changing the FROM field in SMTP JCL.

Z replied to Y and it became an issue of abuse.. X was fired!! icon_eek.gif
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yogeshwar_ade

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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 103
Location: INDIA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:07 pm
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This thing happened when I was just started in Mainframe. I was trying to run the Batch Cycle in Test Environment but by mistake I forgot to make a reports to be printed in SPOOL instead of Printer.
After submitting job my client got all policies printed on TEST PRINTER and next day I got call from Client for its explanation and wasting of millions of Papers.
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vasanthz

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Joined: 28 Aug 2007
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Location: Tiruppur, India

PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:44 pm
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..
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ankit.goel

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Joined: 07 Mar 2011
Posts: 3
Location: INDIA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:22 pm
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It happened when we had access of production because of some urgent task needs to be completed by EOD. Actually we are having some provisions set in forms of tables and we have to follow the rules while working. I tried so much on one ppt in Production but continuously hitting by Edit and can't move forward. I just deleted the edit first from system but then checked, it works but edit was not triggering where it was necessary.
So, I finally deleted the participant from the production, and later came to know the data set on ppt was wrong.
We do have data on mirror dab too, so I re-create the ppt accordingly. but it was a good experience and I came to know the reason behind...
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anshuljain26

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Joined: 04 Apr 2010
Posts: 37
Location: Chandigarh

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:21 am
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GuyC, really a good one to read.
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yuvrajdutta

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Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Posts: 40
Location: India

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:17 pm
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M/F Spawner

Ran a REXX in foreground which in turn SUBMITS a JOB which executes the same REXX in BATCH and SO ON....

Soon the SPOOL is FULL. .. and no matter how many jobs you PURGE from the SPOOL more JOBS would come up by the time you are done with the PURGE..

and coz the SPOOL is full and if you're malicious enough to generate random CLASSes etc.. you got yourself a WINNER... Believe me if the ADMIN needs to login even he cannot unless the entire SPOOL limit has been reached and the only active JOB is terminated and of course no one else can login ;)

And the best goof-up.. managed to empty out my personal CICS MAP Library icon_sad.gif[/code]
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prino
Warnings : 1

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Joined: 07 Feb 2009
Posts: 1241
Location: Vilnius, Lithuania

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:15 am
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In the very early 1990'ies I calculated "e" to 1,000,000 places, which was before the 1 April 1994 10,000,000 digit result of Robert Nemiroff & Jerry Bonnell. Company wasn't very happy when they found out - my job would run for only 10 minutes at a time, but if you run dozens in quick sucession something will show up.

I'm pretty sure it took a few weeks (if not longer) and used a huge amount of CPU time. Pity I never informed any newspapers, it would have given me another 15 minutes of fame. If you want to have a copy of the PL/I program, decipher my email address...
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Pandora-Box

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Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 1565
Location: Andromeda Galaxy

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:45 pm
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Easrly stage of my job I changed a small code with a SMALL bug which made nearly trigger atleast 1500 mails as I had truncated the money account by 2 digits icon_redface.gif and luckily none was complained of heart failure
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rajesh1183

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Joined: 07 Jan 2008
Posts: 98
Location: Hyderabad

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:21 pm
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we have a TEST & PROD environments. One busy day, I have logged into PROD environment and searching for my test datasets. As usual, I couldn't find them over there. Forgetting the thing that I have logged in PROD environment, I panicked, escalated to my manager and called the Storage admin for restoring my test datasets...

And to be more, I pinged my colleagues and asked them to check their test datasets. I have also shared the storage admin to be contacted in case of missing test datasets...

Later discovered my dumb mistake and couldn't stop laughing out of shy... icon_redface.gif
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