IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - (Page 40)

STOP RUN Heads and TALES Coin collecting and history fascinate mainframe strategist W hat started with a paperboy's pocket change has evolved into a historic coin collection for Paul DiMarzio. The IBM mainframe strategist's collection contains several thousand pieces-more than 300 of which were minted by the Roman Empire in the third and fourth centuries in Londinium, modern-day London. "Like many kids growing up in the '60s and '70s, I started collecting from my pocket change," DiMarzio recalls. "I had a paper route, so I always had a lot of change to sort through, and you could still find the occasional goodie. "After some time off, I picked up the hobby again in 1999 when I thought it might be a good idea to hold a little gold to profit from the Y2K craziness," he continues. "Holding coins once more reignited the passion, and I got back into it-first building a nice U.S. set, but then moving into ancients." What is it about numismatics- the study and collection of currency-that attracted DiMarzio? "There are two sides to the coin-no pun intended," he says. "For one, building a collection satisfies the need to work toward a goal. But more importantly, currency provides a tangible connection to the past." DiMarzio's interest in Londinium-minted coins started by chance-though again it 40 // JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 had its roots in his youth. "I've always been fond of old England, through stories from my childhood such as King Arthur and Robin Hood. Having had the opportunity to travel there a few times, I assembled a nice collection with some pieces dating back to George III." Then, DiMarzio came across a reference to silver pennies, which were commonly used in England more than a millennium ago. His research found that the silver penny was a direct descendant of the Roman denarius from the era when much of Britannia was part of the empire. Small bronze coins, called folles, were also minted in Londinium. "The attraction of owning something minted by the Romans in London during the third and fourth centuries was too powerful-and I was hooked," he says. DiMarzio's favorite pieces come with a history lesson. In 297, Constantius, the Caesar of the western provinces of the empire, successfully invaded Britannia, defeating a usurper named At top, mainframe strategist Paul DiMarzio stands by the statue of Constantine the Great outside the York Minster cathedral in York, England. The location is widely believed to be where Constantine was first declared emperor by the troops upon his father Constantius' death. Above is a front and back view of a LON, minted after Constantius re-established his rule over Britannia in 297. Allectus. Upon reestablishing rule of the empire, Constantius used Allectus' mint to strike the first official coinage in the names of Rome's four tetrarchic rulers. "It's a highly prized issue due to its historical significance and the fact that it's the only coinage to use the mintmark 'LON,' " he adds. "I have two of the four in the set!" The open-ended aspect of ancient coin collecting fuels his passion for numismatics, DiMarzio explains. "There are new finds, and new scholarship is produced all the time. It's a collection that can't ever be completed for certain, so the fun never ends!" IMAGES COURTESY OF (TOP) PAUL DIMARZIO (BOTTOM) SPINK & SON Mike Westholder is a former managing editor of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe edition.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014

Table of Contents
Editor's Desk: The father of innovation
IBM Perspective: Mainframe innovation continues
Trends: RDz family of tools helps organizations address new paradigms and business expectations
IT Today: Flash Express integrates secure, high-performance storage within System z
Case Study: Weather or Not: Met Office makes a cost-conscious and test-driven decision to consolidate Linux instances on the mainframe
Cover Story: The System z influence: How mainframe innovations have helped shape and reshape the IT world
Feature: Always moving forward: IBM's System z platform has many more tricks up its sleeve
Tech Corner: JES2 SAPI POST optimization can yield results
How To: How to successfully implement zBX hybrid computing
Solutions: Attunity Replicate 2.1, InSync Plugin, Storage Director 4.1
Stop Run: Coin collecting and history fascinate mainframe strategist
Reference Point - Global Events, Education, Resources for Mainframe
2014 Mainframe Solutions Edition Product Index

IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014