My Blue Monday

Sounds like a Beetles song, right?

This is a blog post about nothing, with all due respect and reverence to Seinfeld. Wait, maybe that's redundant. Respect and Reverence? Hmm. I shall have to ponder that one.

Once upon a time in a previous lifetime, I worked at IBM. On the internal IBM website was a site called ‘Blue Monday’ It was an irreverent, satirical, totally awesome site that was the antithesis of the stereotypical IBM. Blue Monday had jokes about IBM, a Buzzword Bingo game, Onion-like news articles, and more.  Blue Monday is one of the things I miss the most about IBM, aside from some wonderful people. So in the spirit of Blue Monday, today I give you a blog post full of junk with absolutely no redeeming work-related qualities, but it should be fun! Enjoy!

progress (n.): The process through which MVS has evolved from smart people in front of dumb terminals to dumb people in front of smart terminals. Thank you Sam Knutson.

Acronyms’ Alter Ego’s:

CEA . . . . . . California Earthquake Authority
GRS . . . . . . Geriatrics Review Syllabus 
ASID . . . . .  American Society of Interior Designers
SMF . . . . . . Santa Monica Freeway
WLM . . . . .   Windows Live Messenger
PMR . . . . . . Pimp My Ride
HMC . . . . . . Harvey Mudd College
PFA . . . . . . Please Find Attached
JCL . . . . . . Johnny Come Lately

And then there’s this one, a most egregious of thefts, imho:

BCP. . . . . . Business Continuity Planning  

Now these people really should have known better.

So I tried to think of a well-chosen acronym that couldn’t possibly have another meaning. ZNG! Nope. Zero Nominal Growth (budgets?)  Oh well.

Quotable Quotes (Does Readers Digest have that phrase trademarked??)

A computer without COBOL and Fortran is like a piece of chocolate cake without ketchup and mustard.

The problem with troubleshooting is that trouble shoots back.  ~Author Unknown

And one of my all-time personal favorites:

There are 10 types of people in this world:  those who understand binary and those who don't.  ~Author Unknown

So back to acronyms. I thought that perhaps I should be going with bigger than three characters; that might limit the possibilities. So I started with SMPE. Society of Marine Port Engineers.

How about SDSF. Are you ready for this??

SDSF     System Display and Search Facility (IBM)
SDSF     Spool Display and Search Facility
SDSF     Soquel Demonstration State Forest
SDSF     Swiss DanceSport Federation
SDSF     Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome Foundation
SDSF     Sveriges Dövas Schackförbund
SDSF     Sustainable Development and Small Farms (USDA)
SDSF     Sand Dunes State Forest (Minnesota)
SDSF     Severe Disabilities Services Fund
SDSF     Secure Distributed Storage Facility
SDSF     Software Development and Support Facility
SDSF     single duct systems and fancoils
SDSF     San Diego Scholarship Foundation
SDSF     second division segregation frequency
SDSF     Self Diagnostic Safety Features
SDSF     Standoff Detector Staging Facility
SDSF     San Diego Skate Foundation

For real??  Even discarding the foreign language results, that’s still a lot.

I kept at it, and finally…I came up with…GDDM. Graphics Data Display Manger. The first 20 google results on GDDM are all about…well, *our* GDDM. And JES2. Adding the number makes it unique!

Whew. What a relief that is.  Bigger is better and so once I got to FIVE characters, things really started to roll: DFSMS. DFSORT. (Not really an acronym, I know). XCFAS. BCPII.

Can you come up with any mainframe related acronyms that don’t have another meaning?


How was Herman Hollerith buried?
9 edge face down.

What do you call a JCL specialist that takes care of procs?
A Proc-tologist

How does a Systems Programmer screw in a lightbulb?
He holds it into the socket and waits for the world to revolve round him.

Two bytes meet.  The first byte asks, “Are you ill?” 
The second byte replies, “No, just feeling a bit off.”

Why do programmers always mix up Halloween and Christmas?
Because Oct 31 equals Dec 25.

Hardee har har. I think you've been subjected to enough for today. If you're still with me, your link today is to Murphy’s Laws of Technology:

Till next time,

Mary Anne


1 Like

BlueModay around here?

May 13, 2013 11:40 AM by Marna

Really fun for a Monday!  Thanks for posting it!  I haven't seen a BlueMonday thing around IBM, so I suspect that it was sunset.  Too bad - it sounded like a good way to start the week.

Spool Display and Search Facility

May 13, 2013 11:55 AM by Edward Jaffe

Spool Display and Search Facility as also an IBM-assigned meaning for SDSF (which is technically an initialism and not an acronym). It was the original name Carl Porter gave to his creation and I believe it even survived the transition from FDP to Program Product for a while.

BlueModay around here?

May 13, 2013 12:40 PM by Mary Anne Matyaz

That's too bad, was pretty funny and I looked forward to it on Monday's. Of course that was at least 8 years ago, long before the content police. :(

My faves

May 17, 2013 12:22 PM by M. Ray Mullins

One of my favorites is TLA - Three-Letter Acronym.

I have yet to find a different one for HLASM. The "high-level assembler" concept does exist, which gives HLA, and that has matches.


These days, we can't forget that there is no place like or ::1.

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