Explain it to me

My sons went to public elementary school before we started homeschooling. At the earliest opportunity, they were put in ‘honors’ math. Suddenly I was exposed to new teaching methods and had to understand those methods before equating them to my knowledge of basic and advanced math. 

I was a Liberal Arts major in college – not math. What started as a fun way of thinking with my sons (palindromes) quickly became a challenging addition to my day. 

To save face, when they asked me to check their work, I instead replied “Tell me how you got that answer”. As they taught me their math, they were able to recognize their mistakes and reinforce what they were learning. It worked every time!

Isn’t coding and System management the same? When we explain why/how something is done, others learn and begin recognizing what is correct or possibly a problem. After that ‘now you know’ moment, they in turn can explain the action to others. 

(The future Biochemistry Major putting together a Big Wheel with Granddaddy)

I certainly feel a lot more comfortable when I have more information about something and can act from a position of knowledge. I’m confident you and the people you work with do too! 

At the recent NonStop TBC in Denver, I asked a few of my Partner Exhibitors to explain something about their service/product on the NonStop:

No… DSM/TC (Mediacom) is not required to use ETI-NET BackBox.

At the NonStop TBC this year, we heard several times that you need DSM/TC to backup files to ETINET BackBox.  Well, that isn’t correct.  Regarding tape access, BackBox acts as any other tape device on the NonStop.  Create a define, then open the virtual tape drive.  There you have it.   

You might think that DSM/TC is required to catalog your backups using ETINET BackBox.  This also is a misnomer.  Q/Tos is a backup catalog that also works with BackBox.  But why would I use Q/Tos instead of DSM/TC you might ask.  You might want to catalog BR2 backups of OSS and SQL/MX.  You might want an interface that’s User friendly or even a GUI interface.  Maybe automated define creation for backup and restore or even a fully automated process for restoring files.  

If any of these things interest you, check us out at WWW.QSA.COM 

Modernize, not ostracize, your NonStop, and you could realize ROI in many folds!

Rather than relegating your NonStop System to the shadows, consider modernizing this invaluable platform to unlock substantial returns on investment. Here’s why taking this path is a wise decision: 

1.     Elevate Productivity with a User-Friendly GUI: Modernize your application’s user interface by employing tools like LightWave Server, which offers REST API integration with contemporary technologies such as Angular and HTML5. Upgrading the graphical user interface not only enhances user productivity but also adds value to your NonStop applications. 

2.     Harness the Power of Cloud Technologies: Cloud giants like AWS, Salesforce, Splunk, Kafka, and others offer myriad advantages. The good news is you don’t need to rewrite your NonStop applications to tap into these modern technologies. Utilize tools like LightWave Client, JSON Thunder, S3Utils, uLinga, and Shadowbase to seamlessly integrate and reap the benefits of these offerings. 

3.     Cultivate a Robust Development Team: Modern tools provide a dual benefit to your development team. First, they empower your existing team to acquire knowledge of new technologies, keeping them engaged and productive. Second, contemporary development tools like the LightWave REST product suite, NSGit, uLinga for Kafka, and NSDEE make your NonStop system appealing to a new generation of developers who are already familiar with these tools. This, in turn, simplifies the process of recruiting new talent for your NonStop development team while retaining the efficiency of your current workforce. 

Your NonStop System is a valuable asset! Embrace available modernization tools to stay ahead of the curve and future proof the platform.

You really don’t want to run out of virtual memory…

Virtual memory is not something people think much about with today’s NonStop Systems. However, it is a vital resource you never, ever, want to exhaust!!! Most of all physical memory in a processor is backed by disk space. When physical memory runs low, seldom-accessed memory is swapped out to disk to make room for more immediate processes waiting to access their storage. Accessing memory paged out to disk is slow, but it still works. When a process requests memory and virtual memory runs out, the resulting memory allocation failures are seldom expected, and seldom treated as a transient condition. Unpredictable user and system failures result and unfortunately the safest recovery is to halt and reload one processor – if you are lucky (unlucky = cold load all of them)!  

An ounce of prevention is worth many pounds of cure. The old rule-of-thumb (and tool) is to use NSKCOM and set each processor’s virtual memory to 2 ½  times its physical memory. Naturally, your mileage (i.e. situation) may vary, but consider the old rule as ‘setting it once’, and move on to expecting bigger and better things!!!  

You can learn a lot when you get together with other NonStop users! There are many opportunities when acting from a position of knowledge. The NonStop Community was very active in 2023, but wait – there is more in 2024!  I hope you make plans to attend one of the many NonStop User Groups (RUGS) scheduled for 2024, and especially the NonStop TBC to be held in Monterey, California from September 23rd to 26th. 

BTW – my son’s 30 year old house did require a new air conditioner… It made the $700 electricity bill go down to a more reasonable $300!  Now the new unit gets to experience winter 😊 

Happy Holidays to you all! 


  • Kathy Wood

    As a wife, mother and grandmother, Kathy has served in many capacities: At home mom, Room mother, Homeschool mom, BSA Advancement Chair, Church leader in children’s, women’s, benevolence, and bible camp ministries, caregiver, BlackWood Systems marketing, NonStop Partner SIG/Vendor Chair and TBC Planning Team. Kathy uses her Liberal Arts degree from Purdue University to ‘learn how to learn’ and has been participating in ITUG and its successors since 2000.

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