Thursday, April 23, 2015

Merge Purge

Back in the early days of mainframe computing we used to run the big batch job of the night called "merge - purge."This was in the day when there were few or no random access devices (read disk drives) and everything was done on tape. Essentially we would run the day's transactions through the edit software. Then it would be "merged" with the database. Then all the deleted records would be "purged" It was possible to mark a record as deleted on a tape but the normal process was to copy the tape to another tape dropping all the deleted records. This batch job was the "big deal" for two reasons: it was the "eye of the needle" that every other job needed to pass through; and it usually ran for several hours. If it crashed the result was no computer reports the next morning.

I was reminded of this because I spent the better part of today on a merge purge. I have a number of storage boxes on Reboot and over time they have gotten filled with a random assortment of things. As a result whenever I need something I have to go through all of the boxes. So today I did the big sort (usually done twice or three times in every merge purge batch job) and merged all the tools into one box, the parts into another box, etc. In the process I purged about 300 lbs of stuff: sold some, put some on the free table, and put some in the trash (like my HP calculator I used in school back in the day.) My back is a bit sore but I got a lot done. I am feeling accomplished.

Fair winds and following seas :)

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