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Having trouble getting the files?

Here is some general help on downloading the files from this site and getting them back on an MVS system in a useable state. 

The majority of the files were packaged on MVS for transfer using the TSO transmit (XMIT) command to transmit them into a data set.  This is done to turn PDS(s) and other odd files into nice FB 80 files which will FTP nicely to PC and UNIX systems.  These files are downloaded to a PC and then compressed with PKZIP to reduce the size since we have limited disk space and most people have limited bandwidth to download.  Files suffixed .XMI are packaged in XMIT format while there are still a few files here suffixed .DAT that are straight sequential files.

  • Download name.ZIP file to PC using your web browser or an FTP client
  • Extract name.XMI or name.DAT file from name.ZIP file on PC .  You will need a small utility program to do this.  I recommend PKZIP or WinZIP.
  • Upload name.XMI or name.DAT files to MVS using a binary file transfer method (no CRLF or ASCII translation) and that the MVS dataset created is LRECL=80,RECFM=F,DSORG=PS   Note that you can upload into a PDS if you want as long as it is FB80.
  • name.DAT files are sequential files and ready to use onece you have uploaded them.  We are trying to switch to packing everything in XMIT format to make it more consistent so these should slowly go away.
  • Receive the name.XMI file on MVS
    • Issue command: TSO RECEIVE INDATASET(name.XMI)
    • When prompted by message "INMR906A Enter restore parameters or 'DELETE' or 'END' +":

Enter: DA(name.of.your.library) UNIT(unit) VOLUME(volume)

Note: The UNIT() and VOLUME() operands are optional but shown in case your installation puts RECEIVE files on work packs by default like mine does

  • Most files which have some documentation in them to help you use the contents.   Look for $DOC, $README, $INDEX, or similar members or comments at the top of the file.  File 1 is the roadmap for CBT tapes and so also may have useful comments about the files contents and format.

Most of the content on the site when selected through the web pages downloads using the HTTP protocol which is normally allowed by most firewalls.  If you are using an FTP client to directly access the archive you might have trouble downloading if you are behind a firewall.

If you are having trouble downloading from the FTP site try to find out if you are behind a firewall.   If you are behind a firewall and you cannot get your network folks to configure it to allow you to download using a web browser try getting an FTP client like WS_FTP that has a few firewall friendly options (PASV mode) that might help.  Failing that download from home and email yourself the files or bring them in on a floppy as most are not that large. 

FTP clients worth paying for include my favorite WS_FTP Pro from Ipswitch and Blue Zone FTP from SEAGULL Software which is probably worth paying for but is free.  You can access this site's files directly by using an FTP client to connect to ftp.cbttape.org but you will miss the news and notes on the web pages.

Some users who upload by FTP have encountered this IBM Problem

PQ29921 FTP to MVS Data Loss
Applicable to OS/ 390 2.7 only
FTP of FB binary to MVS uses double buffering
Only one buffer flushed at end of transfer
  • Use APPEND instead of PUT to create a new dataset
  • APPEND into an empty pre- allocated dataset

Some users have also reported this as a common problem 

Some terminal emulation packages or FTP clients which you may use to upload the files default the attributes to VB 255.  If you were paying attention above you remember that won't work!  The uploaded file must be FB 80.  If you have trouble convincing your emulator or FTP client to do this a simple solution is to PREALLOCATE the files using a batch job IEFBR14 or ISPF Option 3.2

The errors from RECEIVE can be very misleading and may add to the confusion.  So for comparison here is what this looks like.  If this is happening to you check and make sure you got the intended attributes on your uploaded file.

The messages are:

INMR007I Time stamp in the incoming data is not valid.  Zero will be substituted.
INMR102I Restore not possible.  Input data is not complete.
INMR921I Received file appears not to be an Interactive Data Transmission Facility file. The first record is:,
INMR907A Enter copy parameters or 'DELETE' or 'END' +,


Thanks to Mike Cleary and David Alcock from whom I borrowed an outline and a thought or two in writing the above directions.  Thanks also to John Hallgren who made suggestions for improvements to this page.



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