Ready or not, here we go… Welcome to the 2020 Blogging from A To Z April Challenge!
When I started to work with IBM computers, I learned the online language that you had to speak to make the Time Sharing Option (or TSO) know what you wanted to do. When you signed on, the machine would print a couple of lines about who you were, maybe include a thought for the day if your systems programmer enabled that script, optionally execute any scripts you might want it to at signon time (we had a crude animation that we spent most of one afternoon making, of a man farting in a dog’s face and knocking the animal unconscious, that our boss made us promise never to run during business hours), then give you this:
At which point you’d type a command and TSO would execute it. More often than not, the command was
which would put you into the Structured Programming Facility. That made TSO a whole lot easier to use. SPF went through a few changes, becoming first ISPF, then becoming a part of something larger called PDF (no relation to Portable Document Format) that took many of the great SPF screens and moved them where you couldn’t find them. When you were done working for the day, you’d get out of SPF and see
again, at which point you’d
and go to the train station or the bus to go home. Data processing, ’70’s style.
And now a word from Betty Crocker Ready-to-Spread frosting.