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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year
Year 2000 Computer Update

By Matt Winston

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 05 - September 25, 1997

Because our current MVS/XA operating system is not able to run beyond Dec. 31, 1999, the university must convert to MVS OS/390 in preparation for the year 2000. In October or November 1997, depending on how testing and problem resolution goes, MVS OS/390 will become the permanent production operating system.

To that end, free tests of MVS OS/390 are being planned for several Sundays beginning September 28. All users of MVS (for example, jobs that use JCL), IMS, CICS (FRS), and the VM SUBMIT command may be affected by this change. Since this new operating system is a major change from our current system, employees are encouraged to test their programs.

If the Sunday free tests go well, there will be an October 19 target date for putting MVS OS/390 into production. When MVS OS/390 goes into production, the old MVS/XA operation system will no longer be available.

What's the Rush?

Preparing for the year 2000 by putting MVS OS/390 into production in fall 1997 may seem needlessly hasty but it's not when you consider that this is only the first task to be done. A second job is to study, analyze, and convert 2.7 million lines of code in the university's 1,500 student-business computer programs. All end users will need time to do the same analysis of their own programs. Remember that, just because Virginia Tech offers a year-2000 compliant version of something like SAS or Fortran, it doesn't mean that date routines in your SAS or Fortran programs will work as you wish. See http://www.cc.vt.edu, select Fastline and then select MSV OS/390 for important details concerning the free test and the conversion.