Part One

Part One objective is to logon to z/OS and complete a few simple tasks.

'No Experience Necessary'. You will be shown exactly what to do.

Contest IDs: Each contestant has a unique numeric identifier following the Z. When Z##### is mentioned or shown in a screen shot, please substitute your assigned ID or the challenges will not work as designed.

For example, if Z##### is in the written instructions or on a screen shot when your ID is Z00001, then replace Z##### with Z00001.

Success is a matter of reading the instructions carefully!

Questions & Password Resets
  • Contest Question & Answer Slack Channel
  • 3 failed password attempts result in the following messages:
    We are aware your ID has been revoked.
    Wait for 20 minutes, then try to logon again with the initial password you received in an email.
    If a password reset is still needed after following instructions:
      Send note to zskills@us.ibm.com.
      On subject line write "Password Reset" and your unique ID.
  • Master the Mainframe Facebook Page

Master the Mainframe instruction page information:

  • When the instruction web page is large, then drop downs are visible
  • When the instrucion web page is small, then the drop downs may not be visible
  • When the instrucion web page is small, then click 'pancakes' to view options

Next: Workstation Preparation

Mainframe 101
Part One

IBM's mainframe has gone through many name changes reflecting advancements in the technology.
   The word mainframe captures an impressive history.
   The latest IBM mainframe is a z14 with technical DNA from 50+ years of advancements.

Next: Welcome

Hear the story from Connor, a high school student, who decided to buy a near 20 year old IBM mainframe, moved it to his parents basement, and made it work.
I Just Bought an IBM z890 - Now What?

Connor now works for IBM on IBM Z technology

Workstation Preparation
Part One

Three pieces of software are required to participate in the contest:

  1. Telnet 3270 Emulator (TN3270) - access mainframe environment applications such as z/OS ISPF. TN3270 is a text only interface.
  2. SSH Client - access z/OS Unix System Serivces shell using VT100 or VT220 terminal emulation. A text only interface.
  3. Web Browser - Done, given you are reading this text.

TN3270 Emulator and SSH Client installation for Windows, Linux, and Mac are described in the Preparation Guide > Required Workstation Software.

TN3270 Emulator and SSH Client configuration for Windows, Linux, and Mac are described in the Preparation Guide > Connection Instructions.

Next: z/OS ISPF

Completing Part One
Part One - Challenge #01

Log on to z/OS ISPF

Click twisty to expand sections

3270 emulator software prerequisites
3270 emulator software prerequisites:
  • Installed
  • Configured to access IP Address
  • Session started

If prerequisites are not met, then see the Preparation Guide drop down and review Connectivity Instructions.

The screen below will appear as a result of starting a successfully configured 3270 emulator session.
If the screen below fails to appear, see the Preparation Guide, Overview drop down.

Logon to the Time Sharing Option (TSO) environment using 3270 emulator software as instructed.

The input cursor is positioned in the lower left - waiting for logon z##### to be typed followed by enter key.

** Don't forget to replace Z##### with your ID.

Enter Key: Most TN3270 emulators use lower right side Ctrl key as the enter key. If you want to change location of the TN3270 emulator default enter key, the emulator software has a keyboard mapping function.

TSO/E LOGON screen should appear.
The cursor is placed at the Password input field.

Type the password previously sent to you in an email.

Password ===>

press right side Ctrl key which is the default enter key in most TN3270 emulators

A message current password expired is displayed.
Enter a new password of your choice in the New Password input field to continue.

Avoid using a password that you've used previously on this system or on any other system.
Make sure your contest password is completely different than your Facebook, Google, Apple, Yahoo!, online banking, laptop/desktop, or other password.

Choose a new password that follows rules highlighted below
Pay attention to the directions on the screen.
z/OS requires new password twice.
What you type and enter is NOT visible on your screen.

Password Rules:

  • Less than or equal to 8 characters in length.
  • Not be a password that you've used previously on this system.

If you receive an authorization error, retype the password again making sure that you are entering it correctly.

If a mistake is made during this process, system will prompt again for the correct password format until requirements are met.

If all goes well, then logon messages will appear

The above screen will appear momentarily.

Below - notice the three asterisks *** to the left of the cursor?
z/OS is waiting for enter key to continue.
Press the enter key (Ctrl) and you're on your way!

The screen below will appear with the ISPF Primary Option Menu.

Submit JCL to Allocate Part 1 Data Sets

Enter tso submit 'zos.public.jcl(part1)' as shown

Enter a as shown in response to ENTER JOBNAME CHARACTER(S) -

Remember -enter- is required to proceed when *** is displayed.

Verify Successful Allocation of Part 1 Data Sets

The ISPF Primary Option Menu is displayed, then type 3.4 -enter- as shown

The ISPF Data Set List Utility panel is displayed.
Type your assigned ID in the Dsname Level field, then -enter- as shown:

Data Sets Matching the type ID are displayed

Using ISPF to view Unix File Path and Files

Depress function key 3 (F3) or enter exit to return to previous panel.

On the Data Set List Utility panel, type over your ID in the Dsname Level field with /z/z#####
(replacing ##### with your ID unique number)

Note: Unix file names are case sensitive

The result is z/OS UNIX Directory List for Pathname /z/z#### which is empty.
You will create a UNIX file in your directory during Part 1.

Enter return to display the ISPF Primary Option Menu

Create and Copy Unix File to a Data Set

Enter u on the Option command line as shown

A z/OS UNIX shell prompt is displayed
Enter who am i > me

The output of unix command who am i is redirected > to unix file name me

Now copy UNIX file me to a partitioned data set name, pds.data, as member name me using the unix cp command as shown
Enter cp me '//pds.data(me)'

Enter exit to terminate the z/OS UNIX shell session

Session ended message is displayed. Press -enter- to proceed.

On the ISPF Primary Option Menu, enter 3.4

The Data Set List Utility panel is displayed again.
Enter your ID in the Dsname Level field.

Observe a Command ===> line exists and a Command column exits.
Tab to the left of Z#####.PDS.DATA, then enter e as shown

Below - observe EDIT in the upper left corner indicating Z#####.PDS.DATA is in EDIT mode.
Tab to the left of member named ME and enter s to select member ME as shown

Displayed is the content of member ME in data set name Z#####.PDS.DATA
Enter return

Get credit for completing Part 1

From the ISPF Primary Option Menu enter tso scorep1

A message You have successfully completed Part 1 is displayed.
Enter to proceed in response to ***

How to terminate ISPF session and logoff

When you want to terminate ISPF session and logoff TSO, then -
From the ISPF Primary Option Menu, enter x to terminate the ISPF session.

If Specify Disposition of Log Data Set panel appears as seen below, select
Process Option .... 2 to Delete data set without printing

A 'logoff' existed in the command field of the TSO logon panel resulting in a logoff from the TSO environment.

The TSO logoff command is explored in Part 2.

Part 1 introduced terminology and basics used in Part 2:
  • TN3270 emulator to connect z/OS
  • Logon to z/OS Time Sharing Option, TSO
  • ISPF, Interactive System Productivity Facility, a panel driven TSO application
  • Data Set Names
  • UNIX file directory and file names
  • UNIX shell prompt command processing
  • Edit a Partitioned Data Set member
  • Terminate ISPF session and logoff of TSO

While there are many ways to interact with z/OS, learning 3270 TSO/ISPF accelerates mastery of other web based z/OS interfaces.

Participation in the Master the Mainframe contest can prove useful in your résumé.

Hands-on mainframe experience distinguishes you from other job seekers and employers are always excited to meet young people who've learned something about the mainframe.

Brag to your friends about completing Part 1 by posting a message to your social media networks.

For more background and information about mainframes and to see examples of how important the mainframe is, check out the following web site:

Thanks for participating, and good luck in Part 2!

Next: Part Two - Challenge #01