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What's Up, DOCumentation? 2003 # 5

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May 2003

From: Bob Green, President

To: Users of Robelle Software

Re: News of the HP e3000 and Robelle

Our newsletter publication has been monthly for over a year now. Publication has been on-line, with an email notification to each customer. Each issue is jam-packed with articles, but if you get as much email as I do, you may have missed this valuable service. Back issues can be reviewed at

The Robelle newsletter really needs to be read on-line, since the headline of every story is actually a web link to the full story or more information. In the interest of keeping the newsletter short and readable, the details are often to be found in the web links. The on-line newsletter is at

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 3000 Emulator Possibility

There are three firms that have shown an interest in creating an HP 3000 emulator that would allow MPE to run on Intel hardware, thus allowing HP 3000 shops to protect their investment in business software. One is Allegro Consultants, a firm with MPE and PA-RISC expertise. Another is Strobe Data, who makes emulators for the Data General NOVA systems. And the third, SRI of Switzerland, makes DEC VAX emulators. SRI has begun preliminary R&D on a prototype HP 3000 emulator. More information in July, according to their web site.

Results of System Improvement Ballot

Here are the top 3 requested changes for MPE:

1. Remove CPU throttling code on existing affected A-/N-class systems post 10/31/2003.

2. Put ALL HP 3000 documentation on the Internet. Note that the CE hardware manuals are not currently available on the Internet.

3. Produce a "parking" PowerPatch for 6.5, 7.0 and 7.5 including all General Release patches by 10/31/2003. And make it available via the Internet. Produce a “parking” release of MPE in the 2005-2006 timeframe.

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HP Tips


"How to extend the life of your HP 3000 with modern, non-HP peripherals" - don't lose the link to this article. In it, John Burke explains the details of connecting current and future SCSI disk and tape drives to your existing HP 3000 system, with links to the sites that provide necessary connectors and convertors. An essential reference if you plan to keep your 3000! A great service to the community John. Thanks.

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Qedit Tips

New in Qedit Version 5.4

Most commands now support a string range to identify which lines to work on. A string range is made up of a start string (the first string of the block), a slash and a stop string (the last string of the block). For example,

  List "Start-Procedure" /  "End-Procedure"
finds the first occurrence of Start-Procedure, finds the next occurrence of End-Procedure from that point and displays all the lines between the 2 points including the start and end lines themselves. A string range can be further limited by specifying a line number range as in
  List "Start-Procedure" / "End-Procedure" 10/50
Other highlights in Version 5.4 of Qedit for MPE and Qedit for HP-UX:

How to Fill Columns With Text

François Desrochers has written a technical tip on how to fill a rectangular column area with text in Qedit for Windows: In Host-Based Qedit, to put New text in columns 1 through 10 on all lines, you would do:

     /Change 1/10 "New text" All
Even though the Qedit for Windows Replace command can work on columns, you can't use it as it only replaces existing string occurrences found within these columns. Click the link above to learn the solution.

Use Qedit to Remove Trailing Blanks

A Qedit user called with an interesting problem. He had a large MPE data file that was used as input to a program. The input records had many trailing blanks, so he thought he could save a lot of disc space by converting the file to variable-length records instead of fixed-length records. His first attempt at converting the file was not successful. He had used FCOPY to convert the file from fixed- to variable-length, but the file didn't take any less space. It seems that FCOPY did not strip the trailing blanks. Click the link above for all the details of the solution.

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Suprtool Tips

New in Suprtool

Suprtool now has the ability to accept free-form "numbers" as display data types (via the new $Number function). This means that numbers in the form:

can now be accepted and converted to any other numeric data type. Click the link above for full details.

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HP-UX and Migration Planning

An Introduction to Eloquence

The Eloquence database is very much like the TurboIMAGE database. Although it does not run on the HP 3000 (MPE), it does run on the HP 9000 (HP-UX). Many sites are happy with their existing HP 3000 applications and would like to replicate them on a platform with a longer future. For them Eloquence can be part of the solution. If this sounds interesting, read our non-technical introduction to Eloquence, which should answer many of your questions.

COBOL Performance Comparisons

Duane Percox of QSS has some interesting COBOL benchmark timings on their web site (the lower the number the faster the program.). Currently they are comparing HP COBOL on various HP 3000 platforms against NetCOBOL and Kompany COBOL on LINUX with an Intel platform, and MicroFocus COBOL on HP-UX. There are computation, file, and db tests.

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Links/Resources/Industry News

net_digest: April 2003

John Burke has posted his April net_digest column onto his web site. Based on 3000-L discussions, it answers questions such as "how to logon to MPE from LINUX?", "what does a filecode of -491 mean?" and much more.

Hidden Value: April 2003

John Burke has posted his 3000 Newswire column for April onto his web site. Very interesting topics: figuring out HP error messages using Google, finding the path for network cards, configuring multi-function IO cards, Virtual Hosts in Apache, and much more.

Updated: Step by Step

Michel Kohon has updated his classic paper about the "Step by Step" method and allowed us to post it on our web site (link above). Also, he has sent his expansion of it into the Product Development Process (MS Word document). Michel is now CIO of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in San Francisco. He lives in Berkeley, California. Contact: mkohon at

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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

The previous issue of Robelle's What's Up DOCumentation newletter is still available. Among the interesting stories were:

* Robelle manuals available from
* Support Call of the Week: C Compile error
* Qedit tip: inserting same block many times
* Suprtool tip: splitting byte fields
* Suprtool coding style, tips from Neil Armstrong
* Eloquence B.07.00 Official Release
* Quick and Dirty Solutions with CI Programming

Browse the news by clicking the link above or download the PDF issue.

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