Robelle At HP World 2002

Bob Green of Robelle gave a tutorial on "Transforming TurboIMAGE Data", Tuesday from 5-6pm in Room 408B. Download the paper.

And come by booth number 1101 to visit with Robelle.

News from the Show!

Direct from the show floor and the sessions:

Acucorp Cobol stopped by our booth to let us know that their HP3000 Cobol compiler version 5.22 and higher now reads Qedit format files. You can get more information about their products from

At the Management Roundtable on Thursday morning, Interex tried to bar the press from attending! Security was called when Ron Seybold of the NewsWire tried to enter, but the audience spoke up for him and he was allowed to stay. One of speakers announced that support for MPE systems could be extended beyond 2006 for selected North American customers.

Dave Wilde of HP announced that HP has a new Investment Protection Program where users of A and N class MPE systems can get 50% trade-in against a future HP-UX upgrade. In regard to the future of MPE, Dave said that HP intends to pursue license transfers and license creation to enable creation of MPE emulators.

SIGIMAGE meeting was well attended and SIGIMAGE will continue to exist. Tien-You Chen gave an overview of new features in the latest version of TurboIMAGE, including the second round of scalability enhancements, known as the Extended HighWater Mark enhancement. One other important note is if you are going to use the Large File database feature on MPE/iX 7.5 you will need to get the patch TIXMXA4. Stay tuned for more details.

Carly just gave the opening keynote speech and did not mention the HP 3000 even once.

"Getting Started with Eloquence", a 2 hour session this morning, led by Michael Marxmeier from Germany and Tien-You Chen from HP Cupertino. Highlights: Tien-You has been the Database Architect at CSY for years and is sorry to see TurboIMAGE retired, but he is "happy to tell you we have found a perfect replacement." Marxmeier, who created Eloquence in 1989 and whose firm still supports and enhances it, announced a "letter of understanding with HP to transfer all the rights to Eloquence to Marxmeier Software". Since they already do all the support and R&D, nothing will change, except dropping "HP" from the product name. This is great news for users, since it means that a small, focused, nimble software company will take over all aspects of Eloquence. See below for more details on this presentation. Bob Green says: "I was so impressed with Eloquence, that I decided to be a reseller. Check out and email me when you are ready for a demo."

Orly Larson, famous MPE booster, has retired from HP after 30 years, but he is at the show greeting old friends.

Photos from HPWorld

Here is our team: Tammy Roscoe, Bob Green, Mary Ann Green and Neil Armstrong, in our booth. And then our choice for the most fun booth: Strategic Memory with car racing.

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Quantum was giving away a new Mini Cooper and Forsythe had a life-sized Chess game.

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The OpenMPE session

Guest Report by Gavin Scott, Allegro
At the two-hour OpenMPE session, HP's Mike Paivinen and Kriss Rant provided details about the decisions HP has recently made that affect the topics of concern to the OpenMPE and MPE "homesteading" community.

Paivinen provided a detailed list of things that HP intends to do (though he was quick to point out that all of this is subject to change and nothing is guaranteed), and also some of the things that (at least at this point) HP has decided *not* to pursue.

The "intend to do" list included such things as actions to enable customer "self-support" after the 2006 end-of-support date, increasing the MPE hardware and software "flexibility" to allow HP 3000 systems to operate in the future using future peripherals, and enabling the development of MPE "platform emulator" programs that could allow the MPE/iX operating system itself to be run on non-3000 platforms.

In the "self support" category, HP intends to take steps to make sure that the current Internet resources for MPE support such as the ITRC databases, patches, and on-line documentation sites (including HP's Jazz server) will continue even past 2006, either in HP's hands or possibly in those of 3rd parties. Much of the current ITRC content that requires a support contract for access will eventually be moved to the "free" area of the ITRC, allowing anyone to access it once HP stops offering support contracts.

HP also indicated that they would either release or remove the diagnostic passwords required to use the system hardware diagnostic programs. Ken Nutsford inquired about getting the passwords removed for 9x7 systems that have already gone off of support, and HP indicated they would investigate this. Installation for add-on hardware will be available from HP on a T&M basis at least through 2006, and HP are investigating how to address issues such as replacement of a CPU board beyond 2006 when an HP CE might still be required to set the system hardware configuration (HPSUSAN etc.) correctly.

HP indicated that while new HPe3000 systems would not be sold after October of 2003, they would continue to sell add-on products (additional CPUs, memory, disks, etc.) for some period (perhaps 6-12 months depending on availability), and user-license upgrades and add-on software licenses would be available at least through 2006.

In the area of hardware and software flexibility, Paivinen said that HP would try to ensure that MPE could mount and use future ultra-large disk devices, though that utilization would probably be limited to around 300GB per drive (as LDEV 1 used to be limited to 4GB). This would allow MPE to use, say, 1TB disk drives if they are the smallest size available in a few years. The 300GB limit is a result of MPE limitations that would be difficult to increase without significant risk and expense.

In his talk earlier in the day, Dave Wilde indicated that HP would allow both the transfer of existing MPE/iX licenses to a non-HPe3000 system and the creation of new licenses for MPE/iX to run on such systems, thus paving the way for the creation of what Paivinen described as a "platform emulator", a program that would run on a non-HP 3000 system and emulate the PA-RISC and HP 3000 architecture allowing the MPE/iX operating system to run in this environment that would simulate the hardware of a real HPe3000.

HP wants people to understand that they have no intention of developing an HPe3000 platform emulator themselves, but two 3rd-party companies (Allegro and SRI) have expressed an interest in possibly developing such an emulator if HP would address the licensing issues.

Several details still have not been worked out (specifically the licensing costs and the distribution mechanism for newly licensed MPE/iX copies), so more work remains to be done in this area before it's likely that we'll see an announcement by one or more of the companies who might produce an HP 3000 platform emulator. HP indicated that they would be working on resolving these remaining issues in the near future.

The list of things that HP currently do *not* intend to do included:

"Getting Started With Eloquence"

Migrating From TurboIMAGE to Eloquence

One of the most interesting duo talks at HPWorld show this year was by Tien-You Chen and Michael Marxmeier Tien-You has been the Database Architect at CSY for years and is sorry to see TurboIMAGE retired, but he is "happy to tell you we have found a perfect replacement."

Michael Marxmeier, of Marxmeier Software AG and the author of Eloquence, explained that Eloquence was first released in 1989 as a solution to move the HP 250/260 to HP-UX and was intended to be a 2-3 year solution. It now has 2500+ installations worldwide and is used by about 60+ vars/isvs in a wide range of applications.

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Neil Armstrong, Michael Marxmeier and Bob Green

Eloquence can be deployed as a single user laptop, up to 250+ concurrent users with 10+ GB database size. Eloquence supports up to 32 Terabytes on Windows and currently supports up to 500Gb on Linux and HP-UX which will be increased in the future.

Eloquence will have the client side interface available on MPE. Michael portrayed this as useful for testing: you can test your existing MPE programs on the new Eloquence HP-UX database without moving the programs to HP-UX. But he admitted that it could also be used to allow Suprtool to read an IMAGE database and Put directly into an Eloquence database on another server.

You can try out Eloquence as a two-user version with a database of up to 50 Mb for free.

Marxmeier Software AG also has plans to port Eloquence to IA 64 in 2003.

After Michael Marxmeier spoke, Tien-You Chen Image Lab Manager, gave an intrinsic by intrinsic breakdown and comparison of Image and Eloquence. Only DBcontrol intrinsics are not supported and dbbegin and dbend are only partially supported. We only know of one schema control statement that is not support; it is called "oddpallowed", which allows you to have odd sized packed fields, but frankly we had forgotten that this option even existed. All other db calls are available with some additional dbinfo modes.

It was interesting to have Tien-You Chen give this portion of the talk since he was an independent source to review how compatible Eloquence and IMAGE are. It is important to note that although all the db calls are compatible from an application perspective, Eloquence is certainly a different type of database under the hood.

Eloquence is a multi-threaded architecture database that just so happens to allow you to use IMAGE intrinsics in the same manner as you do on the HP 3000. Eloquence uses volume data files and consists of data volume files and transaction volume files. You only need to create the primary data volume file and the transaction volume file. A maximum of 255 volume files is supported in a server environment. After the initial creation of these volume files very little maintenance needs to occur, other than bringing up and down the server.

All in all, Eloquence is looking to be an excellent target for your corporate data from your HP 3000 IMAGE databases. After converting Suprtool to work with Eloquence, Bob Green says: "I was so impressed with Eloquence, that I decided to be a reseller. Check out and email me when you are ready for a demo."

HP World 2002 Conference and Expo

This year's HP World 2002 Conference & Expo will be held in Los Angeles from Sept 23-27th, 2002. The trade show is open Wednesday through Friday. To find Robelle in Booth 1101, just enter the show and turn left!

Representing Robelle will be Tammy Roscoe, Neil Armstrong and Bob Green, all pictured below at previous HPWorld conferences:

tammy roscoe

Tammy Roscoe

neil armstrong

Neil Armstrong

bob green

Bob Green


We are enthusiastic to bring you up to date on Robelle, answer questions about the future of the hp 3000, and about Suprtool, Suprlink, extending the life of your 3000s, HP Eloquence, Qedit, and migrating data to HP-UX.

For a list of all the MPE-related events during the conference, read Schedule in PDF format on the HP Jazz server.

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"Transforming TurboIMAGE Data"

Robelle President Bob Green is presenting a new paper on "Transforming TurboIMAGE Data" with practical tips/details on moving your data to Oracle, Eloquence, SQL Server, PostgreSQL and more! (Tuesday, 5-6pm, Room 408B.) You can get a sneak preview by reading the paper (PDF format).

Last year, Bob presented a tutorial on TurboIMAGE performance that had a very large turnout (tutorial in PDF format) and he also presented a paper on Building Better Software.

Here is Bob enjoying the minimalist Adager booth.

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Tied for last year's "Most Fun Booth" were Roc Software with their rock climbing and Nobix with their money booth.

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See You in Los Angeles

Pictures from previous HP World conferences:

HP World 2001 in Chicago

HP World 2000 in Philadelphia

More HPWorlds!

hpworld 2002