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What's Up, DOCumentation? 2002 # 5

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May 2002


Bob Green, President

To: Users of Robelle Software

Re: News of the HP e3000 and Robelle, 2002 #5

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

Jeff Vance: New MPE Internals Papers

Jeff Vance has posted two new papers on HP Jazz web site:

UPS Utility Manual - UPSUTIL for MPE/iX, description of the UPS Monitor Utility, covering aspects of configuring a CI script to be executed after a power failure. MS Word .doc file.

LDEV-1 Disk Space Report - the implementation of support disk space beyond the first 4GB on LDEV 1. MS Word .doc file.

MANMAN Application Sold

Computer Associates has sold MANMAN (aka interBiz) to SSA Global Technologies.

Spinning the Survey Numbers

The 3000 NewsWire reports on different interpretations of the transition survey results and discussions at the Solutions Symposium.

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HP Tips

Robelle Tech: the MPE Filecodes

The April issue of the 3000 NewsWire contains our regular Robelle Tech column. For this month it was a discussion of file codes in MPE.

Inside VESoft: Automating Oversight

Steve Hammonds writes this excellent column for the 3000 NewsWire:

So when I assumed responsibility for a system that did nightly processing and involved heavy updating of several databases, I had to figure out a way to avoid those pesky calls at hours that had single digits. This was in the Mesozoic Era when disc was still expensive, so we could not just set the capacities as high as we wanted and ignore it. We had to ‘manage’ it. I hate trying to remember to do something every day, so I needed to figure out something that would happen on its own and let me know if there’s a problem.

Enter MPEX and the DBSETFULLNESS file attribute.

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Qedit for Windows Tips

Qedit for Windows- syntax coloring
Distinguish syntax elements at a glance

Easy to find syntax errors

Highlight comments, quoted text and keywords

Works on MPE files, HP-UX files, Local files

More Information.

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MS Windows Tips

Running MS Office on LINUX?

From The Register web site:

There's been a lot of talk in the tech press lately about whether CodeWeavers' Crossover Office for Linux will draw Windows users. The theory here is that a fair number of home users and a vast lot of businesses naturally despise Windows, but can't give it up because they adore MS Office. Home computer users may have learned it in school and be habituated to it, and they may take their work home now and then. If the uni or the office uses MSO, they'll obviously need it on their PCs.

For businesses, the savings from an open-source OS have got to be tantalizing; but the learning curve on a new office suite is also a productivity curve -- and that, obviously, costs money.

The Economist: A Lemon Law for Software?

Interesting opinion piece about software defects: If Microsoft made cars instead of computer programs, product-liability suits might by now have driven it out of business.

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

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Suprtool Tips

Double Spacing in Suprtool

If you want your output for List Standard to be double-spaced, one sneaky but effective way to do this is to append a string of blanks to the extracted fields.

Insert enough blanks to force each record to wrap around to a second line:

   >extract field1,field2,field3,field4
   >extract "                       "

Another approach would be to extract a CR/LF (^13,^10) at the end of record, although this would probably only work on PC style printers, not line printers.

See below for "double spacing in Qedit."

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HP-UX and Migration Planning

Robelle: Planning Your HP 3000 Future

We have created a new web page, Planning Your HP 3000 Future, for resources, links and ideas on dealing with the End-of-Life announcement of the 3000. We will continue to add information and web links to this page as we gather them. Gilles Schipper

Profile/Interview: Gilles Schipper

As customers start working on plans and solutions for alternative support for their HP 3000's it is important to note those people who have been in the business of providing independent 3rd-party support for HP 3000's for many years.

Neil Armstrong, Robelle's Suprtool Architect, realized recently that he knows well the individual with the longest experience of providing MPE support in competition with HP. That person is Gilles Schipper.

Neil writes: I had the pleasure of working with Gilles, during my days in Toronto. I learned a great deal from Gilles, and not just technical things and system management, but also how to deal with customers and provide excellent customer service.

My favourite Gilles story is one from the early days. Gilles was recently out on his own having left HP and a customer called him in frustration, dealing with some performance problems.

After having recently bought some more memory, HP had come and installed the memory, but the promised performance gain had not happened. They asked Gilles to take a look. Gilles quickly found that the memory was installed, but the system had not been re-configured with the new memory size. It is this attention to detail that Gilles taught me to take when approaching a problem and in dealing with customer concerns and problems in everyday business and has helped me to this very day.

I recently interviewed Gilles to bring myself up-to-date on what services he offers, and how November 14 has impacted him: read the entire interview.

HP's Transition Series Webcasts

George Stachnik announces the schedule for a series of six webcasts. These webcasts discuss the transition from the HP 3000 to other HP platforms. You have missed the first one and the second webcast is today:

1/23 - Transition Considerations: First Steps
4/23 - Planning the Project
5/21 - Language Issues
6/25 - User Interface Issues
7/23 - Database Issues
8/27 - Putting it All Together

Transition Survey Results Posted

Results from the Second HP e3000 Transition Survey are now posted. This e3000 Survey was designed to better understand user response to the phased termination of the e3000 product line. It was conducted online from February 25th to March 15th, this second survey received 582 respondents. Here is a sample result:

Regarding your primary HP e3000 applications, please select the box that best describes your organization’s current thinking. (Choose one from the list)

Replace it with a new application package on a different platform 34%
Continue running it even when the HP e3000 is no longer supported by HP 23%
Migrate it "as is" to another platform 19%
Re-write it on a different platform 16%
Retire the application on or before December, 2006 7%

WRQ: Customer Transition Plans

The 3000 NewsWire reports that WRQ, the makers of Reflection terminal emulator for the 3000, have surveyed their many customers on their transition plans. Click link above to read the results.

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Solutions Symposium: Dozens of Papers

Papers from the April Solutions Symposium, in PDF format: UNIX vs MPE Administration, Super Suprtool Solutions, Patch Management, HP Eloquence, Ecometry Database Optimization and Performance Tuning, and many more.

Solutions Symposium Papers On-line

HP's Jazz server has some of the training materials from the recently concluded Solutions Symposium 2002:

Perl Programming on MPE/iX - by Mark Bixby. This is a slightly revised version of the Perl talk given at HPWorld 2001.

Programming and POSIX - by Mark Bixby. This is a slightly revised version of the POSIX talk given at Solutions Symposium 2001.

Getting Started with Sendmail on MPE/iX 7.5 - by Mark Bixby. What you need to know for getting started quickly with Sendmail bundled in the coming 7.5 FOS.

Sendmail 7.5 Support Training Chalktalk - by Mark Bixby. This bonus talk delivered internally to the HPRC and WTEC covers Sendmail in much greater detail. The Symposium Sendmail talk was an extremely condensed version of this one.

HP WebWise MPE/iX Secure Web Server Tutorial - by Mark Bixby. This is a revised version of the WebWise talk given at HPWorld 2000.

Consultants: Sai Baba Pokala

We are building a list of consulting resources for our customers - people who know Suprtool and Suprtool-based applications. We will feature them on our home page as we discover them, and catalog them on this page as well. If you are an experienced Suprtool consultant, or know of such a consultant, please send us the information using our Consultant Listing Form.

Company Name: R System Inc.
Specialty:HP-3000 . Powerhouse (Quiz, QTP, Qdesign, QDD), Cobol, Suprtool, SQL, Image, MPE/iX, Sybase, Banking, Shipping and Manufacturing applications, HP3K Migration to other platforms.
Description:Sr. Software engineer with extensive experience on HP3K for varied business, manufacturing, shipping application. Seeking a position in information technology as Analyst Programmer, Support Engineer with professional growth.
Contact:Sai Baba Pokala
Location:Colorado Springs/CO/USA
Phone:719-522-8172 / 719-260-8641 / 719-211-005
Web site:
Have been working on Suprtool since 1997.
Have been working on Qedit since 2000
References: On request
Notes: Over 12 years of IT experience involving Analasys, Design, Development, Implementation, Support, Data Migration

Interex: HP 3000 EOL Transition Issues

Interex has created a web page for the issues related to HP's November 14th announcement of the HP 3000 sunset, including technical issues, user support issues, performance issues, concerning the future, and historical significance of MPE.

ANDsg: Decades of HP 3000 Experience

AND Solutions Group (ANDsg) in Roseville California specializes in transitioning clients off the HP 3000 to a platform and software selection of their choice. The three principals have extensive experience with the 3000 in very senior IT positions with large 3000 sites:

Steve Northam: Steve spent 24 years with Hewlett Packard and Agilent Technologies. During this time he held senior management positions as Division Controller, World Wide Program Manager, IT Manager and Enterprise Architect. During this time Steve had both direct management and budgetary responsibility for these activities, and he directly managed end-to-end IT departments including project managers, development staffs, support staffs and e-commerce development organizations. Steve has also been active in the academic area by teaching, developing curriculum and publishing in the information technology subject area. He currently is a member of the university’s Academic Counsel that directs the development of education programs in Information Technology.

George B. Scott: George was a senior corporate manager for over 20 years, 17 of which were as the senior IT manager. During these twenty years, George reported to either the President or Executive Vice President, who were members of the Board of Directors. George held these positions for large chemical companies and an Aerospace firm. During this time, George directed large development projects, supervised operations, and performed as the IT Department head. From 1989 to 2001 as president of his own Corporation, GBSI, George provided services as a consultant and project manager throughout the United States to corporations such as Hewlett-Packard, Agilent, FedEx, and Dial. George has an extensive background using HP hardware including the HP3000 platform, HP-UX and HP-RTE.

James P. Atkins: Jim gained extensive experience in 16 years with Hewlett Packard and Agilent Technologies. Jim performed in numerous senior IT capacities working with a variety of corporate leaders. Jim was a senior IT manager for a large worldwide CRM development organization with personnel throughout Europe and the US. Jim gained extensive program management experience leading efforts that integrated a domestic operation with a foreign partner to establish a worldwide presence as well as leading efforts to provide web based ordering solutions. Jim managed numerous development projects implementing financial solutions to support worldwide operations in 30-plus countries.

Steve, George and Jim have a team of up to 15 IT people that they draw upon to tackle assignments. For more information, click the link above.

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Host-Based Qedit Tips

Double Spacing

Here is the low down on double spacing in Qedit:

Host-Based Qedit

When you use the List command on a file, you can use the $DBL option:

   /listq $dbl myfile lp
If you want to double-space your file (i.e., insert a blank line between all existing lines), use the Divide All command. The default is divide each line after the last nonblank character.

Qedit for Windows does not have a function for double spacing, although with the Qedit Scripting Language you could write a script to copy your file into a new workspace, insert a blank line after each existing line, and then print the file.

See above for "double spacing in Suprtool."

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Internet Tips

Python: Another New Programming Language for MPE

Python is a fast, extensible, object-oriented scripting language created by Guido Van Rossum and named after the ’70’s British comedy troupe and television show “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”.

Python and Perl are very similar in capabilities —what can be done in one, can also be done in the other – it’s just that their approaches to those capabilities differ. Perl leans towards terse syntax, and many small “add-in” modules, while Python (if not verbose) leans more towards self-describing syntax and fewer, larger, “add-in” modules.

Article by Curtis Larson in the 3000 NewsWire.

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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: April Newsletter

Some interesting items in the previous issue of the newsletter, in case you missed it:

* HP CSY Suggests Eloquence Database for Migrating

* Other Reports from the HP 3000 Solutions Symposium

* We Need Testers for Syntax Coloring in Qedit for Windows

* New Suprtool/UX Released with Eloquence Support

* MPE to UNIX Command Cross Reference

And much more. Click the link above to read the April newsletter on-line, or print the PDF version for a hardcopy.

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