Retro coding

’tis been awhile.. but I’m currently writing some code (the Student Parking Registration rewrite) that communicates directly with our system of record for SIS, the HP3000 mainframe. I haven’t done this for 6 or 7 years (although I’ve made tweaks here and there, this is the most I’ve done with it since 2000 or so). And I had forgotten how comically antiquated the whole process is. Now, I don’t write code on the HP (God forbid.. it’s all Cobol), but I do interact with a TCP/IP socket-based server that runs on the HP. And, I have to send data buffers over the socket in a format that the HP will understand. It’s remeniscent of FORTRAN, or Assembly Language, or something like it. The HP is very fussy about field width, positions of parameters within buffers, etc. If I’m off by a character, for example, subsequent fields all end up shifted over too far. Suffice it to say, it’s not much like the stuff I’m doing nowadays – Java, PHP, XML, etc. It’s quite nostalgic. It makes me want to go log into the VAX 4000 and run my old 4-bit assembly simulator.

Oh well.. back to work. I’d hate not to finish this, and have 13,000 students unable to be billed by Parking Services next fall. That might affect my next raise…

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