Solid software
for HP Servers
Robelle Headlines   Oct 2004

Highlights from our recent on-line customer news. The links
and full articles are available at

Whats Up DOCumentation

Cupertino Acknowledges HP 3000

Glenn Cole writes: Two years ago, a hotel and condos were built in front of the Cupertino City Center at the busy Stevens Creek and De Anza Blvd intersection. Earlier this year, a plaza was constructed with sculpture, benches (with free wireless Internet access), fountains, and a few historical markers. One of the markers is labelled Technology. It reads:

Since the 1960s, Cupertino has been at the leading edge of technology. In the same pioneering spirit of the founders of Cupertino, the companies and people of Cupertino have been responsible for many of the advances in computers. Pictured below is Hewlett-Packard's first general-purpose computer, the HP3000, created in 1972; Apple Headquarters at One Infinite Loop; and the first Apple computer created in 1976.

Homesteading and MPE Tips

MPE Quickstart for Unix Users

Based on the technical support calls that we are receiving, it appears that many HP 3000 systems are being put in the care of staff with only Unix and Windows. So we have decided to write a series of introductions to MPE for these lucky souls.

First thing you need to know is that MPE has Unix-like features integrated into it (via Posix), but most applications and software tools were written with the non-Posix features.

Basic MPE consists of a single shell (the command interpreter) and a file system that has only 3 levels (user, group, account) but has many file attributes including record size/type, max file size, extents and passwords (called lockwords). The 3rd party product MPEX is an alternate shell, as is (the Posix shell).

Click the link above for a cross reference from unix commands to MPE commands.

MPE for UNIX Users, Part 2: HP 3000 Login and Logoff.

So you are an experienced Unix/Windows SysAdmin who has been given the responsibility of looking after your firm's network of HP 3000s. And you have never seen the MPE operating system before. One of the first things that you might do is log onto one of the systems, using the login instructions and passwords left you by the previous administrator. Click the link above for A complete description of what happens during login.

OpenMPE Slides

We have posted Birket Foster's slides from the OpenMPE meeting at HPWorld last month (they are in Microsoft Word format). Important to read them and contact the board if you have any interest in receiving patches to MPE after end-of-hp-support. OpenMPE needs purchase order committments by Nov 30th.

Update: here is the proposed budget in PDF format, and here are the original slides in horizontal PDF format, in case you want to check anything in our MS Word version.

Client Systems Is Still Keen on the 3000

Dan Cossey of Client Systems writes:

"Client Systems, HPs long standing exclusive e3000 Distributor for over 10 years and its subsidiary Phoenix 3000 (HPs contractually authorized After Market Partner) is still here and have been very active in supplying HP Channel Partners, their customers and other critically important 3rd party partners with needed e3000 solutions. And yes, even since the discontinuance back in October 2003. We all know that many of our customers are not ready to migrate for some time to come. So whether you are in need of a 9x8, 9x9, 99X, a-class server, n-class server, a license upgrade, hardware upgrade or support, we are still here service the market and hopefully will be servicing you too. ... If you want more information, need a quote or even want to make a purchase, contact one of the following for immediate assistance."

Mike Murphy - 303.873.6502 -
Gary Marcove - 303.873.6504 -
Dan Cossey - 303.873.6503 -

Qedit Tips


Undo Those Mistakes


Users often tell us that they know there are lots of Qedit features that they have never tried. While the best way to learn may be to "Just Do It", this can be dangerous unless you also have a way to "Just Undo it". That's where the appropriately-named Undo command comes in.


You can easily test the results of any command when you know that you can reverse the changes. Try the following:


 /justify format 10/20 {fill in spaces make tidy paragraphs}
 /divide (10,30,40) 1/5 {split lines a columns 10, 30 and 40}
 /lsort all keys 10/20 {sort file on columns 10 thru 20}
 /change 1 "foo" "bar" {prefix "foo" if lines contain "bar"}

You can Undo any text-altering commands up to the last Text or Open command, except Delete All. You can cancel Delete All before the next command line is executed by using Control-Y.


Suprtool Tips

All About Dates

Suprtool has so many date functions that it is difficult to know where to start in presenting them. Click the link above to read our two-part article for The 3000 Newswire about date functions in Suprtool.

A Suprtool Dialogue

Between a Robelle customer and two of our Suprtool support team at Allegro: Barry Lake and Barry Durand, ending with the statement "This is close to the best support I have received from any IT organization".

HP-UX and Migration Planning

How can I improve overall HP-UX system performance?

From the comp.sys.hp.hpux FAQ with updated links from Robelle

There are, of course, many answers to this question. Many people have noticed that HP's conservative choices in some configuration areas affect performance, especially as compared to Solaris. A couple examples:

o 'fs_async' kernel parameter
HP-UX by default makes all file systems I/O synchronous. Sun[R], by contrast, defaults to asynchronous I/O and depends on the syncer. Changing this parameter's value from 0 to 1 can significantly increase write speeds, BUT at the risk of losing data in a system crash. You can change this parameter using SAM.

o 'async' NFS option
Similar to local writes, NFS writes to a filesystem exported from an HP-UX system are synchronous by default. Add the async option to your /etc/exports if you want to change that, but be sure to carefully read the exports(4) manpage first.

An abundance of performance tuning tips are provided by HP in the following tuning guides:

o JFS Tuning and Performance (Journalized File System) August 2004.

o HP-UX Kernel Tuning and Performance Guide v3.1, 03/15/00.

Sun Attacks HP-UX Future

And offers a program to lure HP-UX users away.


Links/ Resources/ Industry News

Firefox: Fight Worms and Spyware

The easiest way to eliminate spyware, adware and worms on your PC is to switch from the Internet Explorer browser to the new Firefox browser from Mozilla (the open-source descendant of Netscape). Firefox Version 1 Preview Edition is reliable, does not have security holes like IE, and has almost zero learning curve; it imports your IE favorites, history, cookies, and plug-ins, including my Google toolbar. Even supports themes and skins. I have not run into any web pages that it cannot handle, except for our Windows Terminal Services (perhaps we just need to install the plug-in). Here is a typical review and here is a web site for Firefox help.

Interex in the News

The Register reports that "HP's largest user group has decided to withhold key information from reporters and analysts in an effort not to upset the company with the damaging data." They go on to report in detail on the portions of the user survey that Interex revealed during an HPWorld session.

Sybase Offers Free Linux Version

Limited to use of one CPU, 5GB of data storage and 2GB of RAM. Zero software licensing costs. Zero maintenance costs.