Welcome To Martin Packer’s Mainframe, Performance, Topics Blog

You can find all the blog posts here.

The posts are categorised with tags:

You can find the related podcast I host with Marna Walle here.

But before you read the posts or listen to the podcast you might like to know a little bit about me, and therefore what to expect.

Where I’m Coming From

This is Martin Packer’s personal blog. It covers a lot of topics, from Mainframe Performance to iOS Automation – and many places in between.

I write about what I want to write about, when I want to write about it and how I want to write about it.

I’ve been doing computing since School – which is a very long time ago.

Then I got a job as an application programmer – between school and university.

I got my first degree at UCL in Mathematics & Physics. And my Masters also at UCL in Information Technology.

Then I joined IBM in 1985 as a Systems Engineer. And I’ve never left (nor really stopped being a Systems Engineer).

I’ve progressed from being a Large Systems Specialist in a marketing branch to being a Performance Specialist – first at Country level, then EMEA, now Worldwide.

I’ve worked with many customers in many parts of the world. Some small, some large, and most somewhere in between.

Along the way I’ve picked up aspects of Capacity Planning and, latterly, Infrastructure Architect.

But I’m really a toolmaker. Much of this is to do with z/OS Performance (and so on) but I’m the author of quite a few open source projects now. Some are mainframe focused, others certainly aren’t.

So you’ll find me writing about lots of different things. Things that cover the diverse aspects of my geeky existence. Things I find fun to think about and write about, and I hope you enjoy them, too.

14 thoughts on “Welcome To Martin Packer’s Mainframe, Performance, Topics Blog

  1. Looking forward to hearing more from you! I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to find my way to your blog – I’ve been a mainframe capacity planner for over 20 years.


  2. How much weight does an VL CP get when it is Unparked? Also would it be advisable to add 1 more VH/VM in case the VL’s are Unparked more frequently?


    1. Hi Satish!. A VL has 0 weight – whether it’s parked or unparked.

      If work is running on VLs a lot it would be ideal to shift LPAR weight – for this poll – towards that LPAR. But that might not be feasible; It’s a business decision.


  3. Hey Martin!

    I just stumbled upon your question on Stack Overflow (Get dimensions – or proportions – of an SVG file with CairoSVG) and saw your website. I’m working on a similar project, but am not restricted to using CairoSVG. I’m open to using Python, Inkscape command line, or any other process friendly to batch jobs.

    Would love to hear more about what your doing, let you know what my team is up to, and try to come up with some solution that can help us both out.

    Even if this doesn’t bear fruit I think it is always good to connect with a fellow gear-head 🙂



  4. Hi Martin,

    Is there any way to findout number of different type of records in SMFDUMP using REXX?
    Like how many SMF17/18/19 Records are there in SMFDUMP?



    1. Hi Upendra.

      I wouldn’t do it with REXX as the volume will be too high. I would do it with DFSORT – as record type is in a fixed position in the header. Why REXX in particular? I only use it with lowish volume record types such as 89 and 70.


  5. Hi Martin,

    Thanks for your prompt response…
    Thought doing in rexx is easier.. Do you have any job to populate count of different type records in SMFDUMP?



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