Welcome to Michel Castelein's Home Page

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(Last updated on 13 December 2013)

For more than 30 years I enjoyed being an z/OS (formerly known as MVS and OS/390) system engineer, i.e. I'm a freak that loves genuine computers (= mainframes).
(So, don't ask me anything about Mickeysoft's Windoze etc.)

There are two kinds of people: those who do, and those who say what & how to do.
Well, in 1987 I switched sides as I am now an education consultant/instructor.
Since beginning 2005, I'm freelance.

I've written and taught a lot of mostly z/OS-related courses, but "Java Programming" is an example of platform-independent course I've developed.

I have already conducted a huge number of public (i.e. open enrollment) and in-house course sessions mainly in Belgium, but also in Luxembourg, the Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and Israel.
GB F NL B ! The handouts are written in English but I teach my courses in Dutch, French, and English.
It is worthwhile to mention that I also trained people "from scratch". They had no prior IT knowledge but became operational after a 2-month "mainframe academy" education.

You want a huge list of references? Attend an open session? Have education organized at your premises?
! Send me an e-mail.

The complete list of available courses:
ball z/OS Introduction
This 3-day course provides the theoretical basic knowledge for all IT professionals (system programmers, system operators, application developers, ...) who have the privilege to work with the real stuff.
It is also to be attended by managers, sales people, etc. who want to become (well) informed about the mainframe world.
ball z/OS Job Control Language & TSO/ISPF
Job Control Language (JCL) is not clumsy and cumbersome. It is a powerful language used to define and control the entire workload. Hence every mainframe professional must acquire an in-depth knowledge of JCL.
This 5-day course combines an exhaustive theoretical explanation with practical exercises.
During the exercises, you will also learn how to use TSO and ISPF (ISPF-panels, editor, etc.).
See below for a course extract.
ball z/OS MVS & JES2 Operations
This is a 2-day course designed for z/OS computer operations personnel and system programmers.
ball VSAM Fundamentals
A 3-day course, including a lot of exercises, about how to properly create, use, and optimize Virtual Storage Access Method (VSAM) data sets.
ball ICF Fundamentals
This 2-day course covers all aspects of the Integrated Catalog Facility (ICF).
But it's also about disk organization, disk initialization, etc.
ball REXX Programming
REXX is a programming language intensively used in the mainframe world to write scripts.
But REXX is also available on many other platforms. Therefore the course covers the use of REXX in z/OS & z/VM, and on PC.
This 5-day course combines theory and practice.
Although REXX is very powerful, you can paradoxically also attend this course to learn your very first programming language.
ball CLIST Programming
The term CLIST is short for Command List because the most basic CLISTs are lists of TSO commands.
CLIST is an old scripting language that has been superseded by REXX.
However, you need this 2-day course to understand, debug, and maintain IBM-supplied CLISTs and various legacy code.
ball ISPF Dialog Development
The Interactive System Productivity Facility (ISPF) provides the services to build full-screen applications that run under TSO.
(I hate the comparison, but think about Windows and MS-DOS.)
This 5-day course covers the customization of ready-made applications (such as the Program Development Facility, i.e. PDF) and the writing of your own ISPF applications.
See below for a course extract.
ball COBOL Programming in z/OS
This 5-day exhaustive course covers what COBOL application developers need to know about COBOL in general and COBOL in z/OS in particular.
It treats much more than the COBOL language.
It also deals with the various data formats, performant arithmetic, VSAM I/O, etc.
See below for a course extract.
ball Assembler Programming
You want to use Assembler in z/OS, exploit system macros, and write you own macros?
You need to know machine language to analyze dumps?
You want to gain an in-depth understanding of the hardware and the z/OS system internals?
This 7-day (i.e. 4 + 3) course is the right choice.
See below for a course extract.
ball C Programming in z/OS
This 5-day course treats everything about C in general and C on the mainframe in particular.
It covers the ANSI C89 and C99 standards, 64-bit programming, interlanguage communication (ILC), etc.
In fact, it also provides a (solid) introduction to z/OS UNIX.
See below for a course extract.
ball Java Programming (J2SE)
This 5-day course covers all Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) concepts and the complete Java programming language.
It also includes comprehensive information about Java in z/OS in particular.
!Click the course title to get the complete course description.

!You'd like a taste of the materials I developed?
  1. This extract from the Assembler Programming course explains the representation of data in object code: displayable data (EBCDIC), zoned and packed decimal numbers, fixed-point numbers, and hexadecimal, binary, and decimal floating-point numbers.
  2. This extract from the Job Control Language course explains conditional JCL.
  3. This extract from the ISPF Dialog Development course illustrates the use of a dynamic area and panel REXX in a scrollable selection panel, hereby eliminating the need for multiple submenus.
  4. This extract from the COBOL Programming in z/OS course explains how to pass arguments through JCL to a COBOL program.
  5. In z/OS, the REGION and MEMLIMIT settings are used to limit the amount of virtual storage that is available for allocation. This extract from the C Programming in z/OS course explains this feature. While a TSO user can specify a REGION value at LOGON time, the TSO LOGON screen provides no field to enter a MEMLIMIT value. However, this extract also describes how, once logged on, you can change the MEMLIMIT value via z/OS UNIX.
! Don't hesitate to send me an e-mail if you want more information.

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The URL of this web page is http://www.arcis-services.net/index.html
It is pointed to by the following pages that contain a lot of interesting information and/or links:
ball IBM's z/OS UNIX System Services web page → Links
ball IBM's IBM REXX Family web page
ball CBT TapeLinks
ball Dave ChurchillMVS & OS/390
ball Eric Loriaux
ball Mark Zelden
ball Planet MVS (David Alcock)
ball Texasrock (Rock Painter) → EBCDIC
ball Torben Schou Jensen
ball z390 (a Java-based mainframe assembler emulator, developed by Don Higgings)
Sam Knutson maintains a nice list of newsgroups.
And Gilbert Saint-Flour provides a lot of freeware for z/OS and TSO & ISPF.

BTW, did you click on the friendly beast in the upper-left corner?

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