blueshantung


Biography

From the moment I was introduced to the BBC Micro and Sinclair ZX81 back in the 1980s, I was hooked by the fast emerging world of IT.

My early days were spent writing programs on these, the Commodore C64 and the Commodore Amiga. I subsequently taught myself SAS/C and developed projects such as accounts, system utilities and Football (to manage football scores) which was published on Aminet and the Amiga Format magazine.

With the arrival of the Internet, I branched into the web languages of Perl, PHP & MySQL, HTML and Javascript. The web browser was a blank canvas where I was only limited by my imagination. I wanted to use a typical programmer concept - make it as complicated as possible - but I found that this didn't work in the new world. Simplification was key with a pleasing visual experience. Overcrowding a page with content and colours was yesterday's mantra. Today is about focusing on the necessary, even if the project takes longer to complete. We should never add to the complications of the modern world - your user will never return to your project if you do not deliver a fully functional yet simple design.

This new world has taken me on a journey from ideation to prototyping and to many finished projects.

Check out a sample and drop me an email if you want to know more.

Mark.
View Mark Naughton's profile on LinkedIn
 


Android

I entered the world of Android in 2013 and was very different to my previous work. The concept of object-orientated programming had never entered my previous projects and now this was a chance to design user interfaces which weren't solely web-based.

It was a modern OS with a clean and standardised visual design - something I had not seen since the release of AmigaOS 2.0 and the Amiga User Interface Style Guide back in 1990. Now Apps could be designed with a consistent feel and user experience so users could move from one to another without reading reams of documentation. The Open Source licensing of Android also made it appealing and allowed unhindered development. While iOS also gave a consistent visual design which I admire, the development process has put me off for the time being.

My first Android app was Mikey Hall Yoga and was designed around Material Design. My second one merged my two passions, Mainframe and Android, and was called z/OS System Monitor which displayed data generated by System Data. While this last one has been on hold, other projects are nearing fruition.

All of my Android experience so far had been based on self-teach and now I was able to supplement this with online training. The concept of designing for users, with or without internet access, offers a broad range of ideas. Additional links will appear as these move further in the development cycle.

z/OS System Monitor

After moving into Android programming, I decided that I wanted to pull the data from the MVS systems into an App. I wanted to be able to respond to system issues without Operations contacting me - to show what changes had been made and if there were any potential issues with the running systems.

From these requirements, I created z/OS System Monitor. The App downloads data generated by System Data from a FTP server - it shows any warnings or alerts which I have set up in each Environment. So far, I have used my App on several occasions to fix issues, before they became a problem, thereby saving an early morning callout and keeping the systems available.

This is still in development.
Preview
IBM z/OS, Mainframe, Android

Websites

I started designing websites back in 2001 with the limited base of HTML, CSS and Javascript available at the time. These original sites were functional and blazoned with colour, but they lacked a finesse in the layout and gloss you see today.

Over the years, I have designed a number of commercial sites; the rest were for my own use or friends.

In 2003, I branched into PERL and PHP with MySQL and this opened up new possibilities. I replaced a Mainframe-based tool which allowed 24x7 Operations to record incidents. This has been in active agile development for over 14 years. Another site was designed to allow recording of changes to the systems with a peer review/approver process, using a unique platform configuration for different groups.

And I haven't stopped there. Google's Material Design Lite (for websites) has lifted websites to a clean future. Add responsive web design and user experience, and future websites can now be designed for ease of use, with the visitor in mind.

z/OS Mainframe

I have worked in MVS or z/OS for 30 years; 19 of those as a System Programmer. I have always been intrigued by large interconnected systems, sharing workloads and multi-processing realtime and batch work. They offer many different opportunities for understanding and growth.

Over time, I have installed z/OS versions from OS/390 2.8 through to z/OS 2.2 - each presenting new challenges. I have written numerous programs and user exits in C and Assembler, all requiring a bespoke design and utilising the MVS functions but never to over-inflate them with unnecessary code.

As well as supporting the MVS systems, I also support CA OPS/MVS (designing and writing a new Automation package for my company's systems to replace a previous version which was prone to errors), Phoenix Software's E(JES) and many others.

And my work has not remained just at the software level. I have consolidated MVS/JES3 systems, removing some and creating others. I was the Technical Lead in several Hardware projects to refresh processors, DASD and virtual tape hardware. Each has required extensive use of HCD to create IOCP/IODFs for the hardware configuration. Ultimately, my aim is to simplify each environment and ensure detailed documentation is produced for future understanding.
Preview
IBM z/OS, Mainframe

System Data

v1.7.0 (16 Aug 2017)

After working with the Mainframe systems for some time, I found myself trawling through the CBT website, looking for utilities and understanding the layout of the control blocks of the system. And while each gave me something, I wanted all of the data in one place. I spent a year, on and off, creating an 31-bit Assembler modules which were called by a program running as a started task. The result was System Data.

This set of programs analyses the MVS system and produces either output in the DD:SYSPRINT or writes it to a PDS member. I also wrote a program to interface with BCPii to collect data at the processor level. I use this at my company to supply two TSO CLISTs and a website.

TCPIP Trace Parser

v1.3.1 (02 May 2017)

Written in z/OS Assembler. This program was initiated from a project requirement to search for strings in packets from z/OS TCP/IP trace data - a feature that was missing from IBM's IPCS at the time. As there is a large amount of data to be processed, it is read into a dataspace and parsed, then the output is written to DD:SYSPRINT. A TSO/ISPF front end was also developed to aid the end-user when searching for specific dates/text etc.

System Logger Reader

v2.0.5 (21 Jan 2014)

Written in 64-bit z/OS Assembler. This program extracts data from the MVS System Logger logstream using multi-block reads. Data is extracted for the previous, current day or between specified dates with filters which include Jobname, System ID, Message and Search text.

A previous version was available on CBT Tape under File #747

Contact

Feel free to drop me an email and I'll get back to you.