Roger Bowler's Personal Home Page

I am a z/OS system engineer and the creator of the Hercules ESA/390 emulator, which in 1999 caused a minor revolution in the mainframe computing world by enabling private individuals for the first time to run mainframe computer software on their own PC's. And what's more, I gave it away for free. I must be nuts!

Patents are Evil

Originally designed to encourage invention, the patent system has been abused by large companies who build up patent portfolios so that they can use them as a tool to crush smaller competitors. Read more...

Landmines are Evil

It would be difficult to argue that antipersonnel landmines are not evil. Yet incredibly, 36 countries including the USA still refuse to sign the international treaty which bans their use. The US Campaign to Ban Landmines is working to change this.

Hints and Tips

My Trucs and Astuces pages contain some miscellaneous hints and tips which I have found useful in my work as a z/OS systems programmer. And who knows, you might find something useful here too.


Roger's recommendation

Do you need to deliver 3270 legacy applications to your users via a web browser?

Then get VIRTEL Web Access from SysperTec Communication.

VIRTEL delivers any VTAM 3270 application (CICS, IMS, TSO, RYO) to any user who has a web browser.

  • No 3270 emulator needed.
  • No tn3270 needed.
  • No Java applets.
  • No intermediate servers.

    VIRTEL delivers HTML direct from z/OS or VSE to the browser.

    SysperTec is an independent software development company owned by its managers. SysperTec has over 20 years experience of supplying mission critical software to more than 200 of France's leading financial, manufacturing, and government institutions.

    From 2001 to 2013 I worked for SysperTec supporting their flagship product VIRTEL.


    I am the developer of the following software products, which are currently not being marketed:

    SNACONS: Remote console operation for OS/390

    SNACONS is a terrific product (I use it all day every day in my work), but marketing and supporting it actually cost me more than the meagre revenue it brought in. With the lowest-priced OS/390 development system offered by IBM costing more than 20 times the gross annual revenue of SNACONS, it just wasn't a cost-effective proposition. As Dave Cartwright said, “Great product, rotten marketing”. Any hope of SNACONS becoming a viable product was scuppered by the announcement of z/OS V1R1, when the folks at Poughkeepsie decided that similar functionality would henceforth be shipped as an integral component of the operating system. Errr, thanks guys!

    SNIPIX™: SNA over TCP/IP for Linux, SCO, and Solaris

    SNIPIX was a terrific product too, but it failed to sell a single copy, living proof that nobody is interested in SNA any more. At least, nobody with a budget. And the announcement that Anynet will no longer be available after z/OS V1R7 was the final nail in the coffin for SNIPIX. Is it my imagination or are they trying to tell me something?

    GW3270: 3270 LAN gateway for Linux

    Another great product which bit the dust before it even hit the market. A nice idea but badly timed. The demise of SNA happened faster than I predicted.

    ANYFILE: Unix to AS/400 file transfer

    One satisfied customer (MAN Truck and Bus UK Ltd). Not sure why this wasn't more successful. Wait while I chastise the marketing director (ouch! that hurts!).

    REXXSession: Automated operation for the P/390

    My first, and surprisingly, most successful product. Sold around 40 or 50 copies if I recall correctly. Faded into obscurity when I decided not to produce a Windows 95 version, having thrown my hat into the OS/2 camp at the time. Oh well, we all make mistakes.

    Links for mainframe systems programmers

    Projects The Hercules project -- S/370 and ESA/390 on a Pentium! The Linux/390 project SPF for Windows

    Discussion lists IBM Mainframe Discussion List Linux/390 Discussion List!forum/bit.listserv.vse-l VSE-L Discussion List Hercules Discussion List

    CICS links CICS Community Forums by Corneel Booysen and Ian Steyn

    IBM links IBM employee e-mail directory IBM Apar and Technical Support Database IBM z/OS Technical Support: Apar and PTF ordering IBM z/OS and OS/390 Technical Documentation IBM Bookmanager Server IBM Publications Ordering IBM Systems Journal, IBM Journal of Research and Development

    Utilities The original home of MVS freeware Mark Zelden's MVS utilities Neal Johnston-Ward's XMIT manager Nigel G Thomas's file browser for Windows Tom Brennan's Vista tn3270 for Windows Jan Jaeger's ZZSA standalone editor for OS/390

    MVS sites Dave Alcock's MVS page Jay Moseley's home page Tommy Sprinkle's home page

    JavaScript Guru Sites Douglas Crockford Peter-Paul Koch Mark Nottingham

    Information Technology Consultants Capware, Paris 15 Contact: Jacques Attia EdelWeb, Puteaux (Hauts-de-Seine) Contact: Peter Sylvester

    Museums Dutch Owen's online computer museum John Atkinson's online computer museum Mike Ross's online computer museum Dave Nichols's 1401 museum Ed Thelen's Computer History Museum pages Lawrence Wilkinson's IBM 360/30 page Paul Pierce's Mainframe Computer Collection

    Last updated 20 Dec 2013