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What's Up, DOCumentation? 2002 # 3

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March 2002


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,, 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.

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:

Table of Contents:

Update Your Account
Add/Change CPUs
Contact Robelle

Ask Support
Technical Information
What's New?

Free Trials. Click for:
Qedit for Windows
Host-based Qedit

Ecometry Solutions
Healthcare Solutions
Education Users
Consultants Corner

Qedit for Windows
Qedit for e3000
Suprtool for e3000
Suprtool Training

About Robelle
About the HP e3000
About HP-UX

News and Upcoming Events

HP Eloquence for Suprtool on HP-UX

Robelle has added support for HP Eloquence databases into the HP-UX version of Suprtool.

HP Eloquence is an IMAGE-like database that runs on HP-UX, LINUX and Windows NT/2K. It is owned by HP Germany and supported by a 3rd party, Markmeier. For more information, click the link above.

We are looking for a few select alpha testers, who are familiar with Suprtool on MPE and are looking at HP Eloquence on HP-UX.

We have the same Suprtool commands that you are familiar with on MPE now working on HP-UX, and we need people to try the software out, especially in testing the various data types available in HP Eloquence.

Please send an e-mail if you are interested, with some information as to whether you already have Eloquence installed, whether you have a database built, and what your plans are or even if you are just investigating.

Sincerely, Neil Armstrong (

NewsWire: Ecometry Sale

The 3000 NewsWire comments on Ecometry's agreement to sell itself:

Ecometry has found an outside buyer for its catalog and e-commerce software business: Syngistix, a Denver-based software company which used to be an HP 3000 software vendor named Distribution Resources Corp. (DRC). It’s been a very long time since there was any significant 3000 development at Syngistix, which gave the gate to much of its MPE expertise over the last several years.

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HP Tips

Interview: Mike Hornsby on 3000 Software Support

Mike Hornsby of Beechglen answers questions from the NewsWire about continuing software support for HP 3000s:

Our goal is to take care of the customer, as if we were them, knowing what we know. Our motto is 'anyone can call about anything anytime'. Our support is immediate, like having a ‘phone a friend’ who can answer the question or solve the problem more than 95 percent of the time on the first call.

An example was a customer who was frustrated at having to dial in every night to check in on a credit card upload job. We showed her how to use a freeware e-mail client from Telemon to e-mail her pager if the job failed. The special experience is that we take care of our customers as if they were family.

3000-Related Mailing Lists

Jon Backus has a web page that lists many interesting mailing lists, beyond HP3000-l, including lists about Speedware, Vplus, IMAGE, Fortran, and more. Scroll past the Robelle Daily News headlines to get to the mailing lists.

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Suprtool Tips

Export Multi-line Records with Suprtool and Perl

When exporting Image datasets to other sources, such as Access or SQL, one of the common transfer file formats used is the "comma separated values" or CSV format. This is generally a flat file with one record per line, quotes around fields and commas between fields. Suprtool can easily produce this type of file. However, there is field type that cannot be handled this way directly: the Notes fields. These fields span multiple records even though they are logically one field. They usually look like the following:
    cust-id  seq-num  comment

    12A      001      want web delivery but
    12A      002      limited by bandwidth,
    12A      003      so use FTP.
    88X      001      Send doc in "PDF" format.
    99Z      001      Make sure all changes
    99Z      002      are approved by John.
In the CSV transfer file, we want to merge the related records into a single record, and also convert any double quotes to single quotes (you need to do something about internal quotes if you want to use quotes around fields in the CSV file!). For example, for first three Note records are combined into a single record like this: "12A","want web delivery but limited by bandwidth, so use FTP."

Although Suprtool cannot produce this transformation directly, it can front-end the database extract portion, and let a straight-forward Perl script do the merging. To learn how, click the link above.

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UNIX Resources

HP-UX Admin: Managing Disk Space

From Robelle's HP Encyclopedia: HP-UX measures space in 1024-byte blocks in bdf, but 512-byte blocks in df. The df command is a standard UNIX report of free disc space. bdf is a nicer Berkeley form of df supplied with HP-UX; it shows free and used disc space on each file system (it does not include Swap Space and other overhead disc space). Click the link above for the sample bdf output and more info on disk space.

Gavin Scott: the Fun of Understanding UNIX

Gavin Scott of Allegro: Linux now has several “journaled” file systems similar to MPE’s Transaction Manager, known as XM. And we’re probably just about to the point where the Linux free database people (PostgreSQL, etc.) start talking to the file system people about doing explicit transactions between the database and file system. This is the point where you have the real equivalent of MPE and IMAGE’s database-to-XM integration — the engineering that is responsible for much of the data integrity we so often use to tout MPE’s superiority.

Cerius: HP-UX Training for MPE Users

A new training course from Cerius Technology Group, Inc. of Bellevue Washington: "HP-UX for MPE Users - System Administrator - Hands On". This course is designed for teaching the MPE/iX System Manager how to effectively manage a HP-UX system, covering: The login process. Basic commands and the editor. File system. Startup and shutdown. The many ways of managing users. Network and system configuration. The kernel. Disk management. Sessions and jobs. Print management. Security. Backup, recovery, and high availability. Install, updates, and patches. Emulating a role-based environment.

Price: $900 for 3 days. Can be taught at your site.

Gavin Scott: Virtual LINUX Under Windows

Gavin Scott of Allegro suggests VMWARE to run LINUX in a window under MS Windows: VMware is one of the coolest things I’ve ever been able to put on a PC, and I think everyone who is thinking about learning something about Linux should try doing it this way. We’ve always wanted to have a laptop HP 3000. How cool is it to have your own private copy of your entire production Linux system — with all software and development tools — running in a window on your laptop that you can take anywhere?

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Freeware: HP 3000 Software Inventory Utility

CSY has written a utility to check what scans your directories and produces an inventory report of what it finds. This should be useful for those system managers who are migrating, as well as those who are staying on MPE:

The Software Inventory Utility (SIU) is a tool(script) to aid system managers better understand what files exist on their system. SIU can scan all databases, files, groups, directories, and accounts, accumulating disk usage, file code data, tracking the largest file, group, account, etc. For Image databases jumbo sets are counted, partial key index files are handled, DBE files are reported. Allbase database are also counted.

Robelle Tech: Early History of the 3000

In the February issue of the 3000 NewsWire, Robelle's President Bob Green described some of the early days of the 3000 computer line:

With HP announcing its sunset for the HP 3000 in 2007, I thought some of you might be feeling nostalgic for some history. The original 16-bit HP 3000 (later called “the Classic”) was released in 1972 and re-engineered into a 32-bit RISC processor in the 1980s. ...

Consultants Corner: Info-Trans

We are compiling a directory of consultants with Suprtool experience. Krikor Gullekian of Info-Trans submitted this information:

Company Name: Info-Trans
Specialty:HP-3000 & 9000. Powerhouse, Cobol, Suprtool, SQL, Business Object, Image, Oracle, Amisys and manufacturing applications
Contact:Krikor Gullekian
Have used Suprtool since 1994, Cognos and HP-3000 since 1982, Oracle since 1996 and Business Object since 2000.
Have used QEDIT since 1986
References:Nortel Networks, numerous HMO's, Commander electrical (Westinghouse division)
Notes: Over 20 years of IT experience involving application developments, management, data migration and successful data warehousing projects.

Consultants Corner: CALI-SYS

Another consultant is Jan Geiger of CALI-SYS who does AMISYS and Suprtool consulting.

Company Name: CALI-SYS Consultants, LLC
Specialty:AMISYS Suprtool
Description:Configuration Migration - all and selected subsets, Data extracting with audit logic for all subsystems, Benefit and Pricing claim copy jobs for automated Config testing.
Contact:Jan Geiger
Location:Corona, Calif.
6 years. Have trained consultants, configuration staff and financial staff on Suprtool.
References: Numerous Managed Care and other Health Care companies. Call for References.
If you would like to list your consulting business, complete the form on our Consultants web page.

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Host-Based Qedit Tips

How to Search for Alternate Strings

Since version 5.1, Qedit has supported "Multiple Search Strings".

A rangelist can be specified on most commands to identify which lines to operate on. In Qedit 5.0.10 and higher, a rangelist can contain up to 10 strings. Strings are separated from each other by an OR keyword. Each string can have its own search set such as column range and options. For example,

   /List "abc" or "xyz"
     { search for abc or xyz }
  /C 1/2 "ME" "abc" (u 30/35) or "xyz" (50/60 s)
     { search for caseless "abc" in columns 30/35 or }
     {   smart "xyz" in columns 50/60       }

Each string is compared in turn against the text. As soon as a match is found, the line is selected. Thus, the most commonly found strings should be placed at the beginning of the list to increase speed.

The complete rangelist is saved and used when the "previous string" syntax (i.e., a null string) is entered. For example, /List "".

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Newsletter Distribution

Robelle Solutions Technology Inc. provides the What's Up, DOCumentation? newsletter as a service to our customers. The newsletter is available on the web: in HTML format for browsing and PDF format for printing. Visit

Comments about this issue, as well as ideas for future issues, including news, tips, and suggestions for articles, can be sent to

Previous Issue: February Newsletter

Some of the highlights from the February 2002 issue of our newletter include:

* OpenMPE Corporation Has a Board

It is the intent of the OpenMPE group "to carefully and calmly evaluate the viability of the MPE/iX Operating System moving to an alternative entity that would allow for its support and enhancements to continue beyond the scheduled December 31, 2006 end of support date from Hewlett-Packard."

* About HP-UX At Robelle

We have had a lot of questions about HP-UX since HP's announcement of the "sunset" of MPE. This article provides answers to many questions, information on HP-UX solutions with Qedit for Windows and Suprtool/UX, plus links to many useful HP-UX web pages (some even written for MPE users!).

* Suprtool/UX--An Old Friend

Robelle has had Suprtool on HP-UX for many years. Suprtool is already widely used to help integrate HP 3000 systems with HP-UX systems by sharing data. We are even doing research right now to improve it to make migrating applications more convenient (news of that research in the weeks to come).

* STExport For Moving Data

Using STExport, you can export data from IMAGE SQL, Oracle or Allbase databases that reside on your HP 3000 or 9000 to just about any other platform, all without having to write a custom program. You can control field delimiters, quotation marks, numeric and date formats among other things.

* Newswire: HP-UX Admin for MPE Users

"I think the biggest difference for most MPE administrators is just the concepts of admin work. For example, there aren't roles in UNIX like there are in MPE. The administrator is left with the task of figuring out how to give the operator the permissions they need to do their job without giving permissions that could end up destroying the system."

* Shawn Gordon: Beginners Guide to LINUX

Learn about "distributions", installation of packages, and web sites where you can become LINUX-literate.

* Robelle Tech: Perl on the HP 3000

The Robelle Tech column from the most recent issue of the 3000 NewsWire magazine, contains an introduction to the programming language Perl and information on Ken Hirsch's Perl interface to Suprtool.

These are just some of the informative articles in this issue. Read the complete issue to learn more!

Browse the HTML issue.

Download the PDF issue.

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