Ice Cream Jonsey wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:59 pm
You're not saying a Unix terminal is bad, right? That's where anything worth doing gets done.
We had a sign on the door of the computer room at school: "This is the terminal room, but please don't die in here."
Circa 1978, we were using a Univac 90/60 mainframe, which was an IBM 360 workalike but with enhancements including virtual memory. The operating system, VS/9, was one of the best command-line systems, far superior to IBM's OS/VS1, and included the EDT text editor, the best text editor ever made. I would say most of my time was spent using the editor and a small amount of time issuing commands, because most steps of things to do couldn't be automated as well as you can in a Unix or Unix-workalike shell.
For people on IBM mainframes using TSO, the ISPF editor provided the ability to take the current workspace and submit it as an OS/VS1 batch stream, so you could automate a task instead of manually issuing the commands to set up whatever you needed to do.
Your statement implies that (1) your system does not have a decent text editor allowing you to submit the file you're editing as a spawn task or batch process; (2) your work is so much ad-hoc and non-repeatable tasks that you can't write scripts to automate much of it.
With the capacity to use virtual environments on computers, to encapsulate workloads using Docker and Puppet or Chef (or similar competitors) it should be easy to hive off tasks and throw them at spare (real or virtual) machines as needed. Your comment seems to imply there isn't enough capacity to script activities for better automation.
There is one thing mainframes did well on: the creation of parameterized procedures in batch streams so you could change the arguments as needed on the task, and the ability to start jobs from the editor using the file you are editing. Univac used the "DO" command; IBM used the PROC / EXEC function. Digital (now HP) VAX had DCL which provided very strong job management.
Also, they tended to have better scripting languages than CShell / Bourne Shell / Korn Shell. IBM has a reasonably good scripting facility with REXX but like with everything IBM produced, it tended to be overly hard to use, razor sharp and dangerous.
In Unix and woralikes like Linux using non-X terminal environments, the use of Pseudo Terminals where keyboard keys F1 through F9 - depending on the configuration - could be used to logon to separate shells. Is this used much anymore?
It's a rudimentary batch system but not that good, and even "cron" is lacking in some of the batch features mainframes had - especially non-IBM, competitors had to be superior to IBM to get their foot in the door to try to make a sale - 40 years ago.
I think that the use of rack-mounted and virtual computers such as (and yes, this time I looked it up) Amazon Elastic Cloud, there is some capacity for job processing of workloads but I suspect it's weak.