Just a minute
We were demoing a database product. It wasn't our product - we were the local agents for it in a far away country. We had spent a week of twenty-hour days setting up a system to their specifications on the client's VSE mainframe (a baby IBM machine compared to the OS370 brutes) - what we used to call a "benchmark" demo.
Now on the Friday the big bosses had come down to see. And one of them thought he had us nailed.
One of the features was a Transparency that made flat files (VSAM) look like database tables. A big deal in the '80s. It was key to the deal.
I'm talking; Trevor is driving the keyboard. As we showed this feature, one of the bosses (who had obviously been primed by a competitor) said "Show us ESDS". ESDS is one flavour of VSAM - we only did KSDS (and another I've forgotten now - anyone?).
I was about to break it to them when Trevor says "No problem. Nina, show them the query tool for just a minute while I set up for ESDS".
As they wandered over the other side of the room I hiss at Trevor "What the @#*@ are you doing? We don't do ESDS."
"Sure we do" says Trev, and starts pulling up product modules onto the screen from core and zapping direct into the memory in hex. Not assembler, hex. "Now buzz off I need to concentrate. Let's see; move register offset..."
I lean against a wall feeling sick until after about five minutes Trevor says "ready". I can see that he hasn't tested anything, just hacked code. In hex.
They come back over and Trevor says "What ESDS dataset would you like?" The CIO names one. Trev goes "OK so I do this and I do this and... there you go, ESDS as a relational table".
The hostile boss looks nonplussed. I bet he had some nasty questions for the competitor salesman who set him up with the ESDS question.
After they've gone I'm in awe. "How'd you do that?".
"Oh" says Trevor casually "I've been telling the developers for ages that it is possible but they won't listen".