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What's Up, DOCumentation? 2001 # 3

Robelle logo

June 2001


From: Bob Green, President

To: Users of Robelle Software

Re: News of the HP e3000 and Robelle, 2001 #3

If you haven't been visiting the Robelle web site, www.robelle.com, at least once a week, here is what you have been missing. Included are many of the stories posted to the web since the last What's Up DOC newsletter in March 2001.

If you are reading a PDF or text version of this newsletter, remember that the headline of every story is actually a web link to the full story or more information. If you want to follow a link to get more information, go to the web home of the current newsletter:

http://www.robelle.com/library/newsletter/latest.html

Table of Contents:


News and Upcoming Events

HPWorld Conference: MPE/iX Sessions

Robelle will be at HPWorld August 20-24, 2001 in Chicago. Representing Qedit and Suprtool will be Nicky Gunther, Bob Green, Tammy Roscoe and Hans Hendriks. July 28 is the deadline for early bird registration discounts.

The list of MPE presentations is interesting this year (see the HP World web site for papers by Alfredo Rego "23 Years of Gypsy Programming", Stan Sieler "Test and Tune Your Disk Drives", Mark Bixby "Perl Programming on MPE/iX", Rich Trap "Cool UNIX Utilities on MPE", ...). Robelle's Bob Green is presenting two of them: Building Better Software: User-Centric Techniques That Endure and Image Internals and Performance: a two-hour tutorial.

HPWorld: Submit Management Roundtable Issues

At HPWorld there will be seven HP management roundtables, including IMAGE/SQL and HP e3000 Management. You can submit issues for the panel at the Interex web site. Just click on "Review Issues" and then "Submit a new issue". The only issue submitted so far is by Ken Sletten about the need for a full-speed A-Class.

NewsWire: Interview with Bob Green

Ron Seybold, editor of the 3000 Newswire has published an interview with Robelle's President, Bob Green, on the 3kworld web site.

Praise For Hans in Tech Support

Read the wonderful things that Gordon Gavin (Gordon.Gavin@cygnuspub.com) at Cygnus Business Media had to say about Hans Hendriks in Robelle's Technical Support.

Add the Robelle Channel To Your Site

Our home page is changed every day with new stories, technical tips, and pointers to interesting web pages, all focused on the HP e3000 and Robelle's Qedit and Suprtool products.

These news stories are now "syndicated" using RSS-XML and can easily appear on other web sites, as headlines with links to the full stories. The headlines in the box to the right are generated dynamically from the current stories on our home page.

Add the Robelle Daily e3000 Tips to your web site with a single line of Javascript (read the instructions) and they will automatically be updated whenever the Robelle home page changes!

For examples of how the Robelle headlines looks on people's web pages, visit

Ecometry Users Group web site

Kubler Consulting

Bob Green's home page

Interex: Results of System Improvement Survey

The results are in: the number one requested enhancement to the e3000 is "Make TurboIMAGE thread aware and thread safe." Threads are light-weight son processes and a thread-aware TurboIMAGE could pass an open database when it creates a new thread. The objective here is allow TurboIMAGE to "play well" with web and client-server apps. Second most important improvement was "Global Writeable CI Variables". Visit the link above for all the details.

NewsWire: AMISYS 3000 sold to a holding company

From the 3000 NewsWire, news that McKesson HBOC has sold their AMISYS healthcare division.

New: Robelle's Tech Support Archive

We have enhanced our web site with an archive of technical support calls that can be searched and displayed. This allows you to check whether an issue has already been reported to Robelle and what the status of it is. The new Robelle Knowledge Base search page is at www.robelle.com/AT-kbs.html; it contains both bug reports and enhancements, open and closed, searchable by keyword.

Use the number of the KB entry if you know it. Each entry in the Knowledge Base is assigned a unique number, such as 16488 for KB16488. If you know the number, you can go directly to the entry.

Not all KB entries are visible on the web site. Any entry that contains customer sensitive information is not posted to the web site. The internal Robelle Knowledge Base is used for many mundane transactions such as sending updates to customers who need a fix or enhancement; these are not posted to the web site.

How to Find My Submissions? You can't search by your name or your company name, since those are removed from the web KB entries for privacy. You will need to search by any words or phrases that appeared within your submission, or by the KB ref # if you know it.

How Frequently Is This Updated? The web version of the Knowledge Base is currently updated once per day at night. If you append a comment to an entry, it will first go to technical support, who will add it to the database. New entries are not automatically made public; it takes an explicit action by the technical staff.

Many thanks to Ken Robertson who wrote the 3000 software to convert the data from our IMAGE database into HTML, to Dave Lo who created the web Perl scripts, and to Paul Gobes and the rest of the staff for editing our archives to bring you these support calls.

New: Robelle's Education Corner

We have added a special section to our web site for educational institutions, with information about IRIS, QSS, and more. If you have any tips or links to share on this page, send them to me at bgreen@robelle.com

Samco Certified as HP e3000 Solution Reseller

Samco
Samco Automation BV, Robelle's distributor in the Netherlands and headed by long-time 3000 expert Marius Schild (marius@samco.nl), has been certified as an HP e3000 Solutions Reseller.

Robelle Tech: the More RAM the Better

Robelle has started writing a column for the 3000 NewsWire magazine, called: Robelle Tech. Each month it will feature a technical article about an hp e3000 topic and another article about getting the most out of Robelle's e3000 products, Qedit and Suprtool. The Robele Tech stories are now posted on the NewsWire website as well. Click the link above to read Paul Gobes' article about RAM memory in your e3000, the RAMUSAGE program, and how to get more RAM at a reasonable price.

eXegeSys Conference

MM/3000 and PM/3000 users, plan now to attend the eXegeSys eRP Users Conference 2001, Oct. 1-4, Downtown Salt Lake City. Register today by visiting www.exegesys.com/erp2001/welcome.htm

invent3k: csy public access development system

CSY is providing public access for developers to an HP e3000 989-400 with 4GB of RAM and running MPE/iX 6.5pp2. Access to the system will be via the Internet using such standard network protocols as telnet, VT, FTP, HTTP, and SMB. Users will be responsible for backing up their own data over the Internet via FTP, HTTP, or SMB. You may use your account to "port new Internet open-source software to the e3000, develop new open-source MPE software and share it with the world, develop new closed-source MPE software and keep it for yourself, test your existing MPE software on the newer releases of MPE, or test-drive HP software products." There is more information in this News Wire story posted on 3kworld.

Craig Solomon: Report on Performance Seminar

Craig Solomon of the IT Consulting Consortium has filed a 3000 News Wire story from the 5th annual Florug Performance Seminar with lots of interesting details, including an interview with Robelle's Neil Armstrong and this tidbit:

I was surprised to see two companies which only recently entered the world of the e3000. I hope this shows the e3000 is still a viable direction for new and growing companies. I chatted with Karmin McKay, Channel Development Manager, and Scott O’Neill, Director of Marketing for Software Innovations (www.softinn.com). Software Innovations is a Norway-based company developing and supplying business software solutions. “The HP e3000 has been neglected,” said McKay. “We feel the HP e3000 is a solid system. We decided to port our products to the e3000 last fall.” Software Innovations is so committed to the e3000 that they have formed partnerships with both Hewlett-Packard and North American distributor Client Systems.

1980: Robelle's First WUD Newsletter

Although the Robelle web archive only goes back to 1988, the "What's Up DOCumentation" newsletter (aka WUD) has been published continuously since October 6, 1980. Bob Green returned from attending the International HP Conference in Montreux, Switzerland and discovered that he had notes on quite a few interesting HP 3000 developments that were not known in North America. Bob edited two pages of his notes, printed them on the line printer (UPPER-CASE only!) and mailed them to the Robelle customers. Response was instantaneous and enthusiastic: give us more news and tips about the 3000 world.

Here is one of the items from that first newsletter in 1980:

HP REVEALED SOME DETAILS OF MPE IV (TO BE RELEASED NEXT YEAR): OVERLAPPED SEEKS, MULTIPLE DISC CONTROLLERS AND CHANNELS, PERFORMANCE MONITORING TOOLS, ENHANCED DEBUG, SIGNIFICANT PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT THROUGH BETTER DISC I/O AND THE ABILITY TO SPREAD VIRTUAL MEMORY, INTERPROCESS COMMUNICATION, ETC.


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HP Tips

HP-UX For MPE Users

Neil
You can download Neil Armstrong's paper from our web site and get a cram course in HP's UNIX, designed for people who have an MPE background. For example, here is Neil's description of variables:

We are used to the concept of system variables on MPE. On HP-UX we have a similar concept called environment variables. As the name implies, these variables describe your environment. Some typical MPE variables are HPPATH, HPACCOUNT, and HPGROUP.

Some very common environment variables on HP-UX are the PATH (same as HPPATH), TERM, and MANPATH variables. TERM, which describes your type of terminal, is checked by programs that use the Curses library, such as the vi editor. MANPATH is similar to PATH, but aids the "man" utility in searching for documentation pages.

These variables must be "export"-ed for any child process to reference them. Otherwise they are private to the current process. Environment variables can be inherited by a child process from its parent. The parent process, however, cannot reference variables created or changed by the child process once the parent process becomes active again. This is quite different from MPE and means that a child process cannot pass back results in a variable; the typical alternative is a file.

On MPE we reference a variable by preceding the name of the variable with an exclamation point. On HP-UX you precede the name of the variable with a dollar sign ($).

To read the rest of Neil's paper, download the PDF file. Remember, you will need a copy of Adobe Acrobat Viewer.

For another paper on the same topic, visit Shawn Gordon's web site.

3kworld: Connecting DTCs to A and N-Class

The new servers cannot directly link to a DTC because they lack the proper connector. But they can through a transceiver. Read how in this MS Word document on the 3kWorld web site.

The Euro Symbol on the HP e3000

With the introduction of the Euro and the withdrawal of national banknotes in February 2002, it's important that you know how to manage the Euro symbol on the HP e3000. To find out how to configure your input devices, such as the Reflection terminal emulator, and your printers, read the article linked above. This article was sent to us, courtesy Marius Schild (marius@samco.nl) of Samco Automation, one of our excellent distributors, who got it from Ingrid Lamandassa of HP-Netherlands.

HP: comparison of servers

HP has created a comparision page for the new A and N class servers plus the previous generations (9x8, 9x7, 9x9KS, 99x), with technical specification differences and a chart showing cost of support versus power for each server. Also available as a PDF file. Link credit: John Dunlop, who also provides this page of HP e3000 Models and Tiers, by John Dunlop. A nice summary table, compact and clear. Dave

Unix: Where Are My Temporary Files

When migrating from MPE to HP-UX, one common question is "where are my temporary files?". Unix doesn't have the "temp" and "perm" domains like MPE. Instead, Unix uses a random filename in the /var/tmp directory to function as a temporary file.

To see how to generate a random filename from the Unix shell and then feed it into Suprtool, read full version of this story.

dave.lo@robelle.com

3kworld: 100Base-T Cheat Sheet for A and N-Class

Chris Gauthier reports several calls as of late concerning configuration of the “free” 100Base-T card in the A and N-Class. Most confusion he has seen has been in remembering that the 100Base-T interface is NOT the default one for MPE 7.0 and it must be set up as an alternate interface to the MPE default “ThinLan”. For full instructions, click the link above.


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Qedit

Qedit for Windows Tips

Testimonial: Qedit For Windows

Patrick Edwards, Manager, Information Systems for Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, has some nice things to say about Qedit for Windows:

"Our programmers really like Qedit for Windows and feel it is a real time saver. We purchased Qedit for Windows two months ago and so far, my favorite features include:

Copy and paste with the click of a mouse. I don't have to remember any line-edit commands.

I hardly ever use DSCOPY anymore, since QEDIT for Windows allows me to copy a file from one account and save into another, even across machines.

With Qedit for Windows, I can easily transfer a file from my PC to the mainframe, or vice-versa. This also means I can email jobs, standard lists, etc, very easily.

QEDIT for Windows remembers the last 20 files I've opened. I can open one up again quite easily. (QEDIT on the mainframe only remembers the last file I've opened.)"

Qwin: Record Numbers Vs. Line Numbers

Bob Green
Qedit for Windows is a PC editor and, as such, it presents your host files as if they were PC files, wherever possible. This allows you to use the same editing style on all files. However, sometimes the host file has attributes that are not used on the PC and you may need access to them.

For example, the current location in a document is shown in the lower right corner of your Qedit window as a relative record number. That is, the first line is always 1, the second 2, then 3, 4, 5... . If you insert a line, the relative record number of all lines below that point is incremented by one automatically.

If the host is an MPE/iX server, then each line also has an embedded line number which is physically part of the line. The numbers allow for fractional parts, such as 50.1, to insert a line between lines 50 and 51. Qedit maintains these line numbers for you automatically when you insert text, renumbering small ranges of lines to make room when necessary. For most purposes you can forget that they exist.

However, if you are working from a host compiler listing for Pascal, Fortran, COBOL, or Splash, you may want to jump to a specific line number to make a source code change. In that case you use the Goto Line function (either Control-J or Mark|Goto from the menu):

Goto dialog

Notice that you have two choices: Line Number or Record Number. To work from a host file listing, select Line Number and insert the number in the box (50.31). Qedit will find that embedded line number in you file and jump to it.

Note: the color background of the COBOL source highlights the text, comment and unusable portions of the lines. Qedit supports a different color scheme for each connection, making it easy to see which host you are editing. This is the Desert Morning color scheme, selected from the Options|Connections dialog box.

For more Qedit for Windows tips, visit the permanent bookmark of this article.

bob.green@robelle.com

Robelle Tech: Qedit Boxes of Text

Robelle has started writing a column for the 3000 NewsWire magazine, called: Robelle Tech. Each month it will feature a technical article about an hp e3000 topic and another article about getting the most out of Robelle's e3000 products, Qedit and Suprtool. The second part of our first monthly column in the 3000 Newswire is about rectangular editing in Qedit for Windows. Click the link above for the full story from Bob Green!


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MS Windows Tips

Quick Access to Web Address

If you wish to go to web site, use the Run dialog box of the Start menu and enter the URL (i.e., web address). For example, to go to Robelle's web site , press Start, then click on Run, and type www.robelle.com - there is no need to enter http://. This works most of the time, unless your web address is only xxxxx.com. In that case, Windows thinks you want to execute the xxxxx program.

SpaceMonger: New Way To Visualize Windows Disk Space

SpaceMonger
Click the link above for a cool little windows program:

SpaceMonger is a free tool for keeping track of the disk space on your computer. Instead of viewing your disk as unhelpful little icons or pie charts, you see a single picture that shows you at a glance how much space every file and folder are using.

Select any area with a folder title, then zoom in by double-clicking. SpaceMongerer highlights large files and allows deletions. Win2k users should see the readme file for sparse files, hard links, junction points and mount points.

paul.gobes@robelle.com

For more Windows tips, visit the permanent location of these articles.


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Suprtool

Suprtool Tips

Suprtool: Cut 4 Hours to 16 Minutes

Robert Allen Green of Long Reach Inc. has only been using Suprtool for a short time, but he has certainly been making his IT department look good. Click the link above to read how Robert cut the time of their Sales Shipment report from four hours to 16 minutes using Suprtool, and made the report much more flexible as well.

What Can Suprtool Do That Query Can't Do?

Query is a data base inquiry facility supplied with the IMAGE database on the HP e3000. It works only with IMAGE data. Query has two primary purposes: it is a report writer, and it is a data manipulation tool. Mike Shumko

Suprtool works with many different data sources, not only IMAGE. Suprtool has one primary purpose: to extract data into files. Suprtool's Dbedit utililty can be used for data entry and manipulation. While Suprtool is not as sophisticated a report writer as Query, it is widely used for ad-hoc reporting since it is so flexible and quick.

Below is a small portion of a comparison of features in Query versus Suprtool, created by Mike Shumko (see picture right) and Paul Gobes of Robelle. For over a hundred more features, visit the permanent location of this comparison chart.

Query=Q Suprtool=S

Q S Ability to list data to screen or printer
Q S Normal IMAGE access speed

S Multi-record No-Buf high speed access
Q S Ability to link data from multiple datasets

S Ability to read non-IMAGE files

S Ability to create non-IMAGE files

S Ability to prepare data for other applications, platforms

S Ability to redefine data items

S String Handling: Uppercase/Lower/Trim/Concatenation

S Listredo stack saveable as a Use file
Q S Ability to limit search to a set number (numrecs)

S Datehandling routines : relative dates ($today(+3), $date(*/*-3/*)

S Datehandling routines : conversion to standard ccyymmdd format

S Datehandling routines : conversion to astromomical 'Julian Date' day number

S Datehandling routines : supports 28 different date types

S Datehandling routines : supports Powerhouse, ASK, Oracle, SRN, EDS datetypes

S Datehandling routines : arithmetic date manipulation

S Ability to designate date format type
Q S Key retreival by B-trees and Third Party Indexing

S Ability to define Image subfields

S Ability to define fields either by absolute or relative position

S Ability to define new fields of various data formats for extraction

S Ability to create an archive file while deleting dataset records

paul.gobes@robelle.com and mike.shumko@robelle.com

Art Bahrs: Jumping On Problems with Suprtool

Longtime Robelle customer Art Bahrs (abahrs@denkor.com) has been using Suprtool since 1989 and qualifies as a Suprtool expert in his own right. Art was initiated to Suprtool at Oregon Health Services Foundation where he worked for six years and even presented a paper on Suprtool's data manipulation capabilities at the annual SRN conference in 1996. Since then he has used Suprtool at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon, Boyd's Coffee, and now at Denkor Dental Management Corp. He even helped his wife, Sandra, a custom report analyst, learn how to use Suprtool.

Robelle's Nicky Gunther (nicky.gunther@robelle.com) noticed that Art was one of the frequent posters to the Robelle-L mailing list, responding to a great variety of Suprtool topics and questions. Art shared some of his Suprtool experiences with Nicky in a profile that you can read at the permanent bookmark.

Validating Field Relationships

The Suprtool If command supports arithmetic operations between fields, even fields of different numeric data types. This is useful in checking some of the 'business rules' that most applications have. These rules are usually included in the data entry programs but sometimes 'stuff happens' and the data gets messed up. Here is a simple task that uses this new feature to isolate records which are breaking the rule of "Invoice amount = price times quantity".
 >base sales.db,5,passwd
 >get  d-invoices
 >if   price * quantity  <> amount
 >list standard device LP &
 >  title "Price * Qty not = Amount"
 >xeq
Use this tip for month-end jobs that prints exception reports.

Tip taken from the Robelle tutorial Ensuring Data Integrity With Suprtool (PDF Format).

Paul Gobes

hp3000-L: ESC and Other Trash in IMAGE

From an Email thread on the hp3000-L mailing list:

From: Thisted, Kristian Kristian.Thisted@skanska.se

This has probably been up before but I still have a problem which many of you have encounterd before. We are about to migrate to another DB and some fields contains characters like TAB and ESC. They are of course not accepted by the receiver.

How can I clean my Image fields? Suprtool?

To read Paul Gobes reply, visit the permanent bookmark for this tip.

paul.gobes@robelle.com

If Command Performance

Although the core of Suprtool has been highly optimized, there are still some things that you can do to make your selections execute faster. Suprtool's If command uses a technique called short circuit evaluation. Simply put, if a record does not qualify based on the first criteria, then Suprtool does not bother checking the second criteria. Let's say you have the following Suprtool task:

base mydb
get order-details
table mytable,order-no,file,orders
if $lookup(mytable,order-no) and &
   order-status = "OP"
output qualords,link
xeq

Suprtool will do the lookup in the table to see if it has a qualifying order-no; if it does then it will go onto the next criteria and check the order-status. If the order-no does not exist in the table, then Suprtool will not bother checking the order-status; the If command will "short-circuit" and Suprtool will move on to the next record.

We can optimize this If command as follows:

if order-status = "OP" and &
   $lookup(mytable,order-no)
This way Suprtool only has to do the table lookup for the orders with a status of "OP". Put the functions that have a $ in front of them at the end of your If command, with the exception of $read which is a command line feature only.

For a fuller discussion of the If command and more Suprtool tips, visit the permanent bookmark for this story by Neil Armstrong.

Changing Data Types

[Hans]
One area that generates a steady stream of support calls is when users need to change the storage format of numeric data fields. For example, lets say somebody sends you an ASCII file of data, and you need to add it to one of your Image datasets. Problem is, some of the numeric fields are stored in the dataset in numeric formats, like integer or packed. How can you convert the storage format of those fields into the format Image expects them to be?

There are two basic things you need to know to accomplish this:

1) You can define ASCII numbers as DISPLAY and

2) You can create new fields with the DEFINE command.

Combining these two insights allows Suprtool to change the field storage attribute of a field from Ascii number to binary numeric. To find out how, visit the permanent bookmark for this article.

Hans.Hendriks@robelle.com

Adding Record Numbers to SD Files

Jim Walker, consultant, asked this question about Suprtool: "I need the record number as part of my data file...I also need an SD file or a file that is identical to the dataset (i.e., in =) so I can do some more work with the file...however, I am lazy and do not want to re-define all the fields in the dataset when I read the file back in after using the NUM,DATA option. When processing through the dataset, do I have access to the record number field? If so, how can I access it...extract it...and still use the ,LINK option on my output statement?"

To read Hans Hendriks' reply, visit the permanent bookmark for this tip.

Sub-Totaling with Suprtool

Did you know that you can sub-total data with Suprtool, as well as determining how many records made up that total? For example, we can total the number of products sold by product and also total the dollars for each product. The Duplicate command has a Count Option, whereby you can produce a new field in the output record with the number of occurrences of each key value. The Total Option allows up to 15 fields to be sub-totaled for each duplicate key. For example:
   >base store.demo,5,reader
   >get d-sales              {open a dataset}
   >sort product-no          {define a sort key}
   >duplicate none keys &
      count total sales-qty sales-total
   >out salessum,link        {Output to a link file}
   >xeq
These commands produce a file with a summary by product-no (because that is what we sorted by). The file will contain a count of the number of records for that product-no, and totals for the sales-qty and sales-total. The count field is called ST-COUNT and the totals have field names of ST-TOTAL-1 and ST-TOTAL-2, which are at the end of each record. And because it is a self-describing file you can easily pass it on to Suprlink or STExport or Suprtool for further processing. That's all there is to it.

Record Count to Go with Total

With Suprtool, it is easy to include a grand total of a field in a simple report. List Standard Device XXX prints a simple report on device XXX, and Total $File $List prints the total of a field on the same List device. What if you also want to include a count of the number of records totalled? To find out how, read Dave Lo's article linked above.

Removing Redundant Data

Ken Robertson
In many reports, data is unnecessarily repeated in a column. Suprtool can remove duplicate data from a report, which turns a daunting report into a friendlier version. For example:
 ACCT CONTACT-NAME          ADDRESS-TYPE
 206J Fred Flintstone       MAIN
 206J Fred Flintstone       INVOICE
 206J Fred Flintstone       TAPE
 206K Freakazoid!           MAIN
 206K Freakazoid!           INVOICE

We have three ADDRESS-TYPE records for Fred Flintstone and two for Freakazoid. It would improve the report readability tremendously if we could eliminate the redundant printing of Fred Flintstone and Freakazoid.

Robelle's Ken Robertson has a solution to this need. Read his full explanation at the permanent bookmark for this item.


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Links/Resources

John Dunlop: www.hp3000links.com

John Dunlop (jdunlop@totalise.co.uk) maintains this nice set of links, very comprehensive: "all your HP e3000 resources on the net". I found a list of HP terminal escape sequences at AICS and Managing HP e3000s for the Complete Novice by George Stachnik (in 24 parts!). There are many more...

The Bit Convertor

The HP e3000 numbers bits from left to right as 0 to 15 (16 bits) or 0 to 31 (32 bits). Horner Consulting has a "bit converter" web page for converting bit values into octal PARM= values for the Run command, and vice versa. Also useful for decoding and encoding Foptions and Aoptions for file opens: Bit Converter Page

Cobol Tips

Shawn Gordon has a series of articles on COBOL for the HP e3000 on his web site. The articles are only indexed by file name, not article title, but they should still be useful for COBOL programmers. In January 1998, Shawn started writing for the 3000 NewsWire and there are many more of his COBOL articles posted at 3kworld under the Newswire. In March 2001, Shawn published his last COBOL column.

How Stan Got Started

On this short web page, Stan Sieler, legendary system programmer at Allegro, explains how he got started as a programmer. Stan originally thought he might become a Forest Ranger. You will notice that he started in Algol on a Burroughs B6500.

Essay: Revenge of the Bricks

Ali Saadat, President of Quantum Software Corp, gave us permission to reprint this thought-provoking essay from the CAMUS Newsletter. The subject is the value of existing business applications and it reminds me of "The Emperor's New Clothes". Please read it and see if it doesn't give you a better appreciation of the value of your existing IT investment. Ali's firm Quantum produces innovative products for the CA-MANMAN and HP e3000 market, such as XactMan, a web-enabled e-commerce solution that provides real-time access to HP-hosted data.

Terry Floyd: Manufacturing in the New Millenium (PowerPoint)

Terry Floyd of tSGi (the Support Group inc, which provides support services for MANMAN sites) gave an interesting paper at the recent CAMUS 2001 conference (manufacturing software). The link above is to the PowerPoint file. If you have ever wondered about the differences between EDI and XML and whether XML is "the answer", this paper is for you. He even has concrete examples of EDI transactions in XML format.

Shawn Gordon: Understanding C for the COBOL Programmer

Shawn Gordon wrote articles on COBOL for the e3000 for many years, but he is open to new ideas like C programming:

Over the last few years I have read many fine (and not so fine) books, articles and columns on the C language. I have even read several that compared it to languages like PASCAL and SPL. What I have never seen, and have been waiting for, is one that showed how a COBOL programmer, such as myself, might find it easier to jump onto the C bandwagon. Finally I decided I was going to have to write it myself.

Adager: Annotated e3000 Links

Many sites have lists of e3000 web links, but the Adager list is unique. It contains a well-written paragraph about each link, giving you background information, history, and guidance. Click the link above - recommended.

Tim Ericson: HP e3000 UDCs and Command Files

Here is a web site with (almost) everything you ever wanted to know about User-Defined Commands and Command Files on the HP e3000, with a database of sample commands and links to much more relevant information on the web, including the Command File page of Robelle's Ken Robertson. The site was created by Tim Ericson and we found it courtesy Adager.

Ecometry AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) Page

This page was put together so that Ecometry users can get in touch with other Ecometry users via instant messaging. To chat with a user, just click on their AIM name on the page. If you want to get added to the list, email Ryan Wheeler (rwheeler@desantiscollection.com) with your name, email address, company name and URL, what your company does, and your AIM nickname. Hosted on Ecometry.org by Anthony Ballo (anthony@ecometry.org).


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qedit

Host-Based Qedit Tips

Editing Many Files At Once

When Qedit was originally written, its ability to edit one file at a time and make it lightning fast to switch between files was more than adequate. That is how we came up with the space-saving, instant open Qedit workfile that allows you to do Open XXX, edit, Open YYY, edit, then Open * to switch between the files in a second. But when we wrote Qedit for Windows, we needed multiple files in edit windows at the same time. So we added a similar feature to host-based Qedit.

Read all about it at the permanent bookmark for this story.

New: Searching for Multiple Strings

Host-based Qedit for MPE and HP-UX version 5.0.10 (a pre-release) is now available for testing and provides searching for multiple strings on the same line. (Note: this feature is not available in Qedit for Windows yet.) In the previous 5.0 Qedit, it is easy to list all the lines that contain a single string, such as "Suprtool":
  /List "suprtool" (Upshift)
If you wanted to select lines that contained different strings, you had to repeat the same commands using each string one by one. With the latest Qedit pre-release, a command can now have up to 10 strings. So, instead of doing:
  /List "Suprtool"
  /List "Qedit"
  /List "Robelle"
you can now do:
  /List "Suprtool" or "Qedit" or "Robelle"
Strings are separated by an OR keyword. Each string can have its own set of search options such as column range, caseless search, regular expression:
  /List "Suprtool" (upshift) or "Qedit" (10/20)
The complete list is saved as the previous list. This means it is used when the previous list construct, typically an empty string, is used in subsequent commands.

Changing Cobol Tags

Also, the Change command now has a new Tag option. This new feature makes it easier to manipulate Cobol tags in CobolX-type files. A regular Change command operates on the text area located in columns 7 to 72. The Tag option forces the requested changes to be applied in the tag area only i.e. columns 73 to 80. The text area (columns 7 to 72) remains unchanged.

If you are interested in these features, please contact us (email support@robelle.com) and we will be glad to provide the new 5.0.10 version of host Qedit. Of course, we are also interested in any comment you might have about these features or about Qedit in general.
Francois Desrochers

Host-Based Qedit in the POSIX namespace

When you want to access a POSIX file, MPE and most applications require that you prefix the file name with a slash (/) or dot-slash (./). This is easy to forget and can become annoying if you need to use it frequently.

To get around this problem, you can use Set HFS On in Qedit. Once enabled, Qedit automatically inserts a dot-slash prefix in front of file names, if they don't already have a prefix.

For more tips on using host-based Qedit with POSIX, read the entire article by François Desrochers.


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Internet Tips

useit.com: Avoid PDF for On-Screen Reading

From Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox newsletter: Forcing users to browse PDF files decreases usability by around 300% compared with HTML pages. You should only use PDF for documents that users are likely to print. In those cases, following six basic guidelines will help you minimize usability problems.

Click the link above for the rest of this informative article by one of the top usability experts.

Internet: Try the Google Toolbar

I've been using Google as my internet search engine for about a year now, so last month I downloaded their Toolbar and I really like it.

It not only makes it easier to do an internet search, but it also has a highlight icon that makes it easy to find the keywords you are looking for. This feature works on any webpage, not just the ones you are searching. It's much easier to use than the standard Ctrl-F method.

Their web site is google.com and the toolbar is at toolbar.google.com - once you install the toolbar, you can see it at any time in Internet Explorer 5 by doing View | Toolbars and enabling Google! For more Internet Tips, visit the permanent location of this story.

paul.gobes@robelle.com

HtDig/iX: web search engine on MPE

Thanks to Lars Appel, the HP e3000 has a standard web search engine. Lars ported the open-source Htdig to MPE using the Posix features and the GCC compiler and makes it available to anyone for download. Of course, this is unsupported freeware and used at your own risk. Click the link above for the MPE/iX version.

According to the official htdig.org home page, this search engine supports searching HTML and TXT files, robot exclusion (i.e., you can tell it not to search certain files or directories), boolean and fuzzy logic, configurable results format, indexing of password-protected directories, and external converters to index DOC and PDF files. HtDig is widely used in the UNIX world.

For more 3000 internet resources, visit the permanent bookmark for this tip.

FTP With An MPE/iX Flavor

Earlier we reported on how to configure and install FTP on your HP e3000. FTP is without a doubt the universal method for transporting files from computer to computer. There are other methods, such as Reflection File transfer for PC to 3000, which is popular in the 3000 world, but almost non-existent in the HP 9000 arena. There is Kermit; however, this is more prevalent in the 9000 world and frankly I've never really gotten it to work very successfully. Besides, our development environment includes MPE, HP-UX, and Windows and FTP come for free on all boxes and can be used in batch.

FTP on the MPE platform is very similar to FTP on HP-UX, Linux or Windows but with some interesting MPE'isms.

exitonerror - great for batch
setting MPE file attributes
executing host commands
file names default to MPE name space

For full details on these features and examples, visit the permanent bookmark for this story.

Neil.Armstrong@robelle.com, Suprtool Developer

wget: access web pages on your e3000

From the 3000-L mailing list, an interchange about the very useful wget utility on the 3000:

Mark Bixby (mark@bixby.org) writes:

GNU wget is a command-line utility for downloading HTTP or FTP files and saving them as local e3000 bytestream files. It is capable of mirroring, recursive retrievals, and other way cool things. By running wget first and saving a web page locally, any program on your e3000 can access web pages.

For much more on wget, visit the permanent bookmark of this story.

WebiX: Java Web Interface for MPE and More

Dave Thatcher of Advanced Network Systens, Inc (ANSI) has a new product WebiX. It is a Web/Application server to easily deploy and extend HP e3000 applications to the Web using Java. And WebiX will run on any platform that supports Java, so you can use the same framework for all your servers. For more information, visit the permanent bookmark for this story.


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