SuperZap

<tool, IBM>

An IBM utility program used to quickly patch locations on disk storage. This was often used to fix operating system or application program executable code in preference to editing the source code and recompiling. It could also be used to fix a broken VTOC for example.

The SuperZAP program was a quick hack written by one IBM Engineer, possibly from IBM UK, in the late 1960s to directly fix executable files. He needed to fix a bug but it would have taken hours to rebuild the vast OS/360 executables.

Initially SuperZap's existence was officially denied by IBM Systems Development Division (SDD), presumably because of the damage it could cause. However, it was smuggled out to be used by Field Engineers and soon the IBM development labs were releasing all Programming Temporary Fixes (PTFs) to OS/360 as SuperZap commands.

OS/360 included a version called IMASPZAP or AMASPZAP which persisted through MVS, MVS/SP, MVS/XA, OS/390 and probably in z/OS, the distant descendent of OS/360.

[2004-02-05 Private e-mail from Chris Gage, IBM employee and SuperZap user, 1970-].

[2015-01-03 Comments from Ray Saunders, IBM employee 1963-68].

Last updated: 2015-03-18

Nearby terms:

Supervisory Control and Data AcquisitionSuperZapSupplementary Ideographic Plane

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