Number Hunt
Part Two - Challenge #08


The result of completing this challenge is a single number.

The answer requires locating, interpreting, and summing 9 separate numbers to arrive at the single number.

The 9 numbers are located in 3 separate data sources:
  1. Z#####.HUNT
  2. Z#####.DATA(HUNT)
  3. /z/z#####/hunt
  --- where ##### is the last five digits of your personal ID
  --- note - z is lowercase in the unix file names

The 9 numbers are in 3 separate encoding formats:
  1. Packed Decimal - (remember this can be a positive or negative number)
  2. ASCII

  • 4 numbers are Packed Decimal
  • 3 numbers are ASCII
  • 2 numbers are EBCDIC

The 9 numbers are in specific record numbers, starting in specific column positions within the record.
Each number has a length of 4 bytes

Terminology byte, nibble, and bit are explained at bottom of Character Encoding Summary

Challenge instructions below provide:
1. Data source
2. Record number in data source
3. Column position within the record number

Please reference link below for encoding formats
Character Encoding Summary

Encoding formats must be identified, then the corresponding decimal values are summed to arrive at the final number.

ISPF View ( v ) provides all the capabilities of ISPF Edit ( e )
ISPF View disables ability to save any accidental changes

Use ISPF View ( v ) on the data set name or unix file name to locate data fields and interpret encoding format

  • up, down -- primary command available to position to desired record number
  • right, left -- primary commands available to position in area of desired column
  • hx -- line command provides hexadecimal representation of each column
  • cols -- line command provides column position ruler
  • Columns area -- ISPF View display top right shows the data columns that are being displayed

Helpful Hint: A unix file directory path (such as unix file directory path /z/z#####) can be entered on the =3.4 data set list panel, then ( v ) to the left of any unix file in the directory to ISPF View the unix file name


Submit JCL to allocate the data to be "hunted":
tso submit 'zos.public.jcl(p2ch8)'

Note: If you need to start over, submit the above JCL again because the JOB08 to record answer deletes the data sets and unix files needed for this challenge

Data Source Record Column Length
/z/your_id/hunt 4 34 4
/z/your_id/hunt 8 1 3
/z/your_id/hunt 26 40 4
your_id.PDS.DATA(HUNT) 17 45 4
your_id.PDS.DATA(HUNT) 23 16 4
your_id.PDS.DATA(HUNT) 25 33 4
your_id.HUNT 2 650 4
your_id.HUNT 2 830 4
your_id.HUNT 4 1021 4
Once the 9 decimal numbers are totalled, then edit your JCL data set name and select member name JOB08
Replace 1111 in member JOB08 with the single number, then sub on the primary command line

=3.4 and browse P2.OUTPUT member #08 for the number

Next: Challenge #09