The operator's console

operator console annotated

The operator’s console allows you to monitor and control your MTS system. Although you will likely use only a fraction of the features that a real operator would have used, it is worth getting to know how it works and what features are available.

This post has two sections: a quick tour of the screen, commands and keyboard controls followed in the “Further Information” section with a full list of commands.

The tour

Parts of the screen

The top two lines show a summary of the system’s status. An asterisk by an item means that the system is overloaded.

The next line, the third, will normally be blank but will show any system alerts. On the screenshot you can see PCH as the punch device is currently offline and I need to do a Hercules devinit to bring it back online. This line can also show HASP status alerts, such as when HASP has been started but batch job execution has not been resumed yet.

Taking up the bulk of the screen is the message area, showing results of commands you type and any job messages. If jobs require any input they will be bolded: on the screenshot you can see a tape mount request that needs a response.

The last but one line is the request area where you can type commands, and at the very bottom is the system name, date and time.


Note that the cursor position is important: in the screenshot above I can put the cursor in the line after ****** and response to the tape request, or put the cursor in the request area at the bottom to enter commands. When there are multiple input areas active, pressing Tab will move between them.

Don’t press SysRq, as this will ask for a dump tape and will exit the operator’s console program.

Types of commands

There are four types of commands that can be entered in the request area:

Job commands include HASP and SHUTDOWN, used in the start up and shut down process.

The GOOSE, STOP and BLAST commands, in order of severity, can be useful when dealing with user terminal jobs that appear stuck. Be careful with BLAST as it can lead to file system damage.

The MTS job has three meanings useful on Hercules

  1. To run MTS operator command files, eg MTS *LAS; a list is given below.
  2. To start an interactive MTS session on the console for any ID, without having to give a password. Type MTS OPER then SIGNON XXX where XXX is the account you want. Can be useful for a quick command but better to use a separate terminal normally.
  3. To restart MTS on a terminal if it has been STOPed or hung up; use MTS DSxx for this where xx is the sequence number of the 3270 connection; this is displayed at the top of each terminal connection.

HASP commands include

System status commands are similar to the user MTS command $systemstatus but replace that word with a /. So in userland you would do $systemstatus tasks to view a list of tasks but on the console you would do /tasks (or just /t). There are a number of additional subcommands only available on the console.

Device commands include %wrap to control line wrapping and %PF to set PF hotkey definitions.

Further information

System status columns

Key to the abbreviations in the system status area (taken directly from the D6.0A FAQ):

	DT   = Delta Time [time in seconds covered by the sample displayed]
	EXQ  = Execution Queue [number of batch jobs waiting to execute]
	PRT  = Print Queue [number of jobs waiting to print]
	PCH  = Punch queue [number of jobs waiting to punch]
	BP   = Batch Preferred [the number of batch jobs the system would 
	                        "like" to be running]
	AB   = Actual Batch [the number of batch jobs actually running]
	BHP  = Batch per Hour [average number of batch jobs completed per hour]
	AL   = Active lines [MTS terminal sessions]
	VP   = Virtual Pages
	RP   = Real Pages
	DPA  = Drum Pages Available [pages available on the high speed 
	                             paging devices, rather than disk]
	PA   = Paging Activity [paging I/O operations per second]
	DA   = Disk Activity [disk I/O operations per second]
	CA   = Channel Activity [channel I/O operations per second, 
	                         includes DA and a portion of PA as well as 
	                         other I/O operations]
	%PI  = Percent Processor Idle
	Q    = Global CPU Queue [jobs waiting for the CPU]
	TQ   = Tape Queue [MTS jobs waiting for one or more tapes 
	                   drives to become available]

Job commands

A summary of the job commands available is given below. Full documentation can be found starting from page 81 in the Operator’s Manual.

MTS operator’s files

All commands below need to be run by MTS and prefixed with *, eg MTS *BBS. Many (most?) of these will not be of use on Hercules, eg those involving networking or plotting hardware. Full documentation starts from page 161 in the Operator’s manual.

HASP commands

Once the spooler has been started by running the HASP job, there are a number of commands available to control spool execution. Full details in the HASP manual.

System status commands

Full documentation can be found starting from page 456 in the Operator’s Manual.

There are also some synonyms, eg /MODIFY for /ALTER.

Device commands

Like on MTS terminals, device commands start with %, but the set of available commands is different. Full details are on p331 of the Operator’s Manual.


Operator’s Manual
HASP Manual


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