Machines (Back To Humans)

(Originally posted 2014-03-15.)

As you know I mainly deal in SMF data (and other machine-generated instrumentation). While I’m perfectly adept at conducting interviews and handling evidence from real live people there’s much merit in instrumentation.

I’m also not keen on just replaying what you say back at you, with no value added in the process. But I’m making an exception:

I’ve just added to my code the ability to name physical processors or machines as I prefer to call them. That’s part of the origin of the title of this post.[1]

What RMF actually provides to label a physical processor is the plant number (eg “51”)[2] and serial number (eg “12345”). Previously I just printed this. In this example I would print “51–12345”. I think you’ll agree this isn’t a great way to refer to a machine. In fact not many customers are familiar with their machine serial numbers.

So, if you tell me the plant and serial number and what you call the machine I’ll use that information to build a table which my code uses to label graphs and reports. In fact if you say something like ’the System z10 with SYSA on is called “Ewelme A” or some such I can work it out from there.

So I’m reliant on two human factors here:

  • You telling it to me straight.
  • My not getting confused and building the table wrong.

I think I trust you to do your bit right more than me to do mine. 🙂

Actually my bit is fiddly: I wrote very simplistic code that literally takes plant and serial number and a name on a single line. It doesn’t take any other form of identification. So I have to use other means to correlate plant/serial and customer-friendly name.

As I said I’m not wowed at manually inputting anything. But in this limited case I think it’s worth it: I’d far rather use the terms (including pronunciation) you use, rather than an identifier you’ve never heard of. It just seems courteous and friendly. And as if the machine was a real one. 🙂

And of course, as most recently discussed in LPARs – What’s In A Name? I’m somewhat inquisitive about names anyway. 🙂

  1. OK, with such a contorted title it’s actually the name of a very fine Queen song, from The Works  ↩

  2. I’m familiar with 02 (Poughkeepsie), 51 (Montpellier), 83 (Dublin) and 84 (Singapore).  ↩

Published by Martin Packer

I'm a mainframe performance guy and have been for the past 35 years. But I play with lots of other technologies as well.

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