IBM’s Master the Mainframe Course

I’m trying out IBM’s Master the Mainframe course and its been a bit of a bumpy ride already so figured I’d share my experiences and hopefully help others along.

  1. You can sign up for the free course on the IBM Master the Mainframe page.
  2. You’ll receive an email with further instructions from IBM on accessing the course.
    1. In my case this email was filtered off somewhere and it wasn’t until a day had passed without seeing the email I went searching for (and found) it.
  3. The email includes a URL to visit for setup instructions and a username/password that will be used to access a mainframe IBM provides.
  4. You are warned early on that “3 failed password attempts result in revoked ID” which is a bit ominous…see below.
  5. After following the provided instructions for setting up a TN3270 emulator (seems similar to an SSH/Telnet client) you are told how to connect to the system and that you will need to (but not how to until the next page) change your password.
    1. You must change the password they provided.
    2. You cannot connect via SSH until you’ve changed the password.
  6. And here is the most important part to know thus far:
    1. Once you are connected to the mainframe type logon userid where userid is the “personal Mainframe ID” provided in IBM’s aforementioned email.
    2. You’ll be prompted for the “initial password” – type it and hit enter.
    3. You’ll be present with a profile screen of sorts that includes information you don’t need right now.
    4. Use your keyboard to move the cursor over the New Password text and hit enter. This will activate the New Password field.
    5. You can now enter your new password. Hit enter and it seems like nothing has happened, but take a second look and you should see a line at the top of the emulator screen telling you to confirm your password by entering it again. Reenter the password and hit enter. With any luck you are good to go!
  7. Small Tip: The 3 tries on the password can be a bit intimidating. If you mess up entering your password don’t finish and hit enter, instead choose to reconnect (in Vista TN3270 this is under the File Menu).
    1. This drops you back at the initial login screen. Once your hands have stopped shaking you can finish successfully entering your password and hit enter.
  8. Logging into SSH is straightforward in comparison. Launch the SSH client (see IBM’s instructions), enter your password and you should be dropped to the command prompt of the mainframe.

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