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Breaking News All | Religion | Society | Tech | Choice | SA Newsroom
FRONT PAGE  |  3/3/2021
FRIDAY, APR 10, 2020  |  6 comments
Wanted urgently: People who know COBOL
On top of ventilators, face masks and health care workers, you can now add COBOL programmers to the list of what several states urgently need as they battle the coronavirus pandemic.

In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy has put out a call for volunteers who know how to code the decades-old computer programming language called COBOL because many of the state's systems still run on older mainframes.

In Kansas, Gov. Laura Kelly said the state's Departments of Labor was in the process of modernizing from COBOL but then the virus interfered. "So they're operating on really old stuff," she said. ...


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News Item4/12/2020 4:40 AM
Chrisgp from England | England  Find all comments by Chrisgp from England
Well, well, well. In the very early 1990’s, I did an employment training course that included some basic COBOL programming. I didn’t even know it was still going!!

These were the days of massive dot matrix printers, black and white or green and white screens, chunky keyboards, floppy disks, WordPerfect, Lotus 123 spreadsheets, keystrokes with F buttons, (at this stage a mouse was still a rodent with a long tail!!), huge mobile phones strapped round the waist with a very long aerial, and the Internet was a very crude system with an ultra slow connection through a dial up modem, with associated screeching noises on connection!!

How things have changed!!

6

News Item4/11/2020 1:38 PM
Jim Lincoln | Nebraska  Find all comments by Jim Lincoln
[Removed by Moderator Alpha]
5

News Item4/11/2020 1:08 PM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
Jim Lincoln wrote:
Neil, you may be missing out on some big money!
I do not expect advice like that from a Christian. And as I said below, if throughput is the problem with processing all those unemployment claims, then newer, faster hardware, not modified software, is the solution.
4

News Item4/11/2020 12:35 AM
Jim Lincoln | Nebraska  Find all comments by Jim Lincoln
COBOL is still used, though if you noticed by the article, sometimes grudgingly.

You'll find an interesting story about the inventor of COBOL, Commodore Grace Hopper, on Wikipedia.

https://tinyurl.com/y7dgssh2

Neil, you may be missing out on some big money❗💰💸

3

News Item4/11/2020 12:35 AM
Jim Lincoln | Nebraska  Find all comments by Jim Lincoln
COBOL is still used, though if you noticed by the article, sometimes grudgingly.

You'll find an interesting story about the inventor of COBOL, Commodore Grace Hopper, on Wikipedia.

https://tinyurl.com/y7dgssh2

Neil, you may be missing out on some big money❗💰💸

2

News Item4/10/2020 3:08 PM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
Sounds like the problem is the old hardware, not the old programming language. There are two options I can think of not requiring any or much COBOL expertise:
1) Port the old software to a COBOL (e.g. GnuCOBOL) that will run on new, faster hardware. This entails some compatibility risks;
2) Write or obtain a virtual machine that emulates the old hardware on new hardware, and run the old software on it; despite the overhead, it'll still be many times faster than the obsolete systems. However, this can be very painstaking, if written from scratch.

BTW I took a COBOL course for summer school ca. 1980, which used a 60 bit CDC Cyber mainframe. But I'm not looking for a new job.

1
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