Solid software
for HP Servers
Robelle Headlines   September 2005

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

What’s Up DOCumentation

HPWorld Cancelled

Interex has gone into bankruptcy, cancelled the HPWorld conference in San Francisco and stopped operating. From their web site: "Unfortunately our publications, newsletters, services and conference (HPWorld 2005) will be terminated immediately.

HP 3000 Blog from the Newswire

Ron Seybold, publisher of The 3000 Newswire has started a Newswire blog and already has some great stories posted. A blog is a web site that is frequently updated with new stories/tips/links. New items are added at the top and old ones fall off the bottom (going into an archive). Here are the headlines today on Ron's 3000 blog:

Deep Enough to Hold a Mansion
A Patchwork Future on the Rise
Give print improvements a try
What's the bail to escape patch jail?
Jumbo improvements over time
Direct payoff, direct layoffs
Commerce off 3000s: Off the page
Keeping your update skills sharp
Less tangled SOX for 3000s

Ron has comments enabled, so you can add your own ideas to his stories. The URL is and to syndicate it for a news aggregator such as bloglines, use this link.

An Active HP 3000 Universe

Recently, I have noticed a positive level of activity in the MPE universe. People with an interest in the platform have been working on it and acting to keep it supported and practical. To read my full report, click the link above. A few examples are:

Resource 3000: newsletter and services
3000 Newswire Blog: daily stories
3000-L Mailing Lists: users helping other users
Ecometry Mailing list: lots of HP 3000 action
Software Vendors: helping users, updates, new products, ...
Hewlett-Packard: new patches, CI and network printing enhancements, ...

How to Order Printed Manuals

Of course, the product downloads for Qedit and Suprtool include the user manuals and help files in digital format.

But did you know that you can also order printed manuals? You can have your own personal manual to hold, mark up and dog ear!

Robelle allows you to order the most recent manuals on-line. These professionally bound manuals will be printed immediately upon your request and billed to your credit card (via a service called The price is $25 US.

SUPRTOOL/QEDIT/HP-UX Training in October

Kubler Consulting, Inc., an authorized SUPRTOOL Training partner with Robelle Solutions Technologies Inc., is offering a three-day SUPRTOOL-QEDIT Training course in Tampa, Florida. This course is being offered by popular demand at an eastcoast site and is being hosted by the SUNCOAST CREDIT UNION. The dates are October 17th - 19th. If you have an interest in the training please send email to or call 541-745-7457. Further information including the topics covered, detailed location and training references, etc. are available upon request. Additional information on travel arrangements can be found at

One student had this to say, "Suprtool is the fastest data extraction tool I have ever used with many capabilities added through the use of STExport, DBEDIT, and SUPRLINK. The training I received as a report developer allowed me to make a connection to the appropriate database where data could be combined, formatted and massaged in accordance with user specifications." Doug Cowart , GTE Federal Credit Union

Staying, Migrating and Surviving

Patch Analysis Script

Beechglen has an interesting Patch Analysis Script on their web site (link above). It compares your current system's patches to the latest available and provides you with a list of recommended patches to apply. Included with this list will be the text descriptions of each patch so you may review what each one will fix. I can't tell if they are keeping this up to date for all the latest patches, but it wouldn't surprise me.

SM For Everyone!

Vladimir Volokh of VESOFT fame called us recently, and passed on an interesting story. He was doing MPE system and security consulting at a user site. One of his regular steps is to run VESOFT's Veaudit tool on the system. From this he learned that every user in the production account had System Manager (SM) capabiity!

Giving a regular user SM capability is a really bad thing. It means that the users can purge the entire system, look at any data on the system, insert nasty code into the system, etc. And this site had recently passed their Sarbanes-Oxley audit.

Vladimir removed SM capability from the users and sat back to see what would happen. The first problem to occur was a job stream failure. The reason it failed was because the user did not have Read access to the STUSE group, which contained the Suprtool "Use" scripts. So, Suprtool aborted. Click the link above to read the rest of this interesting story.

 Reminder: Top Ten Questions

Have a question for Robelle? The answer is probably on our "top 10" page!

The Interex Contributed Library

The 3000 Newswire Blog continues to produce excellent daily articles on the 3000 world. For example:

"... a brief report on the location of programs contributed to the Interex Contributed Software Library (CSL). Links to the CSL went dark when Interex cut off its Web access on July 18, but the programs are safe in the hands of Chuck Shimada, a longtime Interex volunteer and de-facto curator of this collection of HP 3000 utilities."

"Shimada reported that he won't be releasing the entire CSL library for quite some time. Legal rulings over the years have established the group of programs in its entirety as a copyrighted Interex asset, he said. ...

"But anyone can get individual CSL programs from Chuck, if you send him an e-mail (at his personal address) and ask for an individual program. Knowing what to ask for becomes a matter of research if you don't have the full CSL index of programs. The NewsWire's new search feature can help, as can the rest of the 3000 community."

Suprtool Tips

Clean Command for Masking Data!

A customer called with a problem. They were trying to mask sensitive data in a report. They did not want to mask all of the data in a field, just parts of it so that it was unreadable.

What the customer was doing was just doing Defines and replacing every 5th character with an "*" so that the data would look like:

Barr* Pau* Dur*nd

However, that was quite tedious for 6X30 fields.  So, Barry Durand suggested that the customer use the Clean command to change certain characters to "*". So replacing all of the vowels would make the data look like:


B*rry P**l D*r*nd


This is definitely not what the Clean command and the $clean function were designed for but it is a good use.

Note: here are the commands:


>set cleanchar "*"
>clean "a","e","i","o","u"


New Product

Introducing SUPRAMXW – Suprtool with AMXW for HP-UX

SUPRTOOL for AMXW, also known as SUPRAMXW, is now available for download from Robelle's web site.


SUPRAMXW is not just an amalgam of super-acronyms-it's the newest migration solution available for SUPRTOOL customers. Developed between Speedware and Robelle, SUPRAMXW resolves migration obstacles for HP e3000 companies that have SUPRTOOL.


The challenges


Hundreds of sites have already migrated their Suprtool tasks from MPE to HP-UX, but there are hundreds more that need help.


Suprtool for HP-UX has the same commands as Suprtool for MPE, but an MPE job stream is more than just Suprtool commands - it is also MPE :File commands and :Build commands and :IF-Endif JCL logic. In fact, to migrate an MPE task to HP-UX may require you to find an HP-UX equivalent for any of hundreds of MPE commands and functions.


For customers who have made extensive use of MPE features, or who are short of qualified staff resources and/or time, this conversion can be a major challenge.


The solution


Robelle concluded that the solution was to link SUPRTOOL for HP-UX with Speedware AMXW, renowned MPE-enabling migration software for non-MPE platforms. SUPRAMXW, is a unique hybrid MPE/HP-UX version of the SUPRTOOL software. Speedware and Robelle agreed to work collaboratively to solve this migration challenge for HP e3000 customers.


The strength of SUPRAMXW/AMXW is that much of the SUPRTOOL code or intrinsics found in application environments can remain untouched and continue to rely on MPE concepts and access MPE files on Unix/Windows. Less code to change translates into less risk, quicker start-up time, increased productivity and significant cost savings!


Two technologies combined


From a migration point of view, a SUPRTOOL customer requires two components installed: AMXW for HP-UX and SUPRTOOL for AMXW. AMXW will easily migrate 3GL applications and SUPRAMXW can be used as the new SUPRTOOL on HP-UX that will support the existing SUPRTOOL code.


MPE-enabling on non-MPE platforms


The real power of AMXW comes from its outstanding ability to keep MPE functionality on non-MPE platforms while maintaining a high-performance. Since most of the application code, MPE commands and MPE file types does not need to be modified to be usable on other platforms, this reduces the time and cost of migrations.


SUPRTOOL on HP-UX supports MPE concepts


SUPRAMXW is a hybrid product, which runs on HP-UX and calls "MPE" intrinsics, the "MPE" being a reference to the intrinsics provided by AMXW. Essentially, it is a special version of the SUPRTOOL for HP-UX product linked with AMXW libraries.


With SUPRAMXW, "MPE"-isms are re-integrated back into portions of Suprtool for HP-UX allowing concepts such as record size, foptions, aoptions, device class and the like, so that Suprtool would be able to read, write and understand all of the MPE attributes of MPE files. This is possible because SUPRTOOL for HP-UX now has calls to MPE intrinsics like FOPEN, FREAD, FWRITE, FGETINFO and FCLOSE courtesy of AMXW.


JCL migration: Sustain your MPE and SUPRTOOL code


MPE scripts containing a mixture of SUPRTOOL commands and MPE commands such as JCL batch jobs, command files, etc. can remain untouched on HP-UX. In addition, SUPRTOOL can now support any of the MPE commands supported by AMXW. This is possible because SUPRAMXW simply calls AMXW's HPCICOMMAND intrinsic in the case where the command is not a Suprtool command and/or it is preceded by a colon.


Suprtool for AMXW, also knows when it is being run from inside AMXW's MPE shell (nlsh) for various internal reasons and startup command processing. As such, MPE concepts like file equations, session variables can remain in the code and continue to be used in a SUPRTOOL environment.


For the SUPRTOOL Techies


Popular data-reading commands like "Input" and "Table" continue to access MPE-type files by opening via FOPEN, getting specific information using FGETINFO and finally FREAD to read the data.


Similarly, data-writing commands like "Output" and "List, at the lowest level Suprtool again uses the typical standard MPE/AMXW intrinsics to write to MPE-type files.  Reading and writing of MPE-type files is accomplished using AMXW's MPE intrinsics and by making sure that AMXW's MPE-properties file (.NL file) is kept up to date using AMXW's FWRITELABEL/FREADLABEL intrinsics.


Efficiency maintained:    SUPRTOOL is known for its efficiency to process data at remarkable speed. With AMXW, SUPRTOOL continues to provide a high-efficiency in data access since native Unix functions continue to be used for data access.


Key features:

  • Embedded MPE commands within SUPRTOOL remain; MPE-type files can be shared between 3GLs and SUPRTOOL; JCL and command files can be quickly migrated using AMXW; SUPRTOOL intrinsics remain untouched.

Key benefits: Less risk, effort and cost

  • Since the JCL, command file, MPE or SUPRTOOL code or intrinsics don't have to change, risk and implementation time is minimal which translates into cost savings.

Technical Details

Suprtool for AMXW is a hybrid product, which runs on HP-UX and calls "MPE" intrinsics. The "MPE" being a reference to the intrinsics provided by AMXW.

Suprtool for MPE, reads Image databases, files and Allbase database files on the HP 3000 and has done so for over 25 years.

Suprtool for HP-UX, reads Allbase, Oracle and Eloquence and all manner of flat files on HP-UX. The Eloquence interface operates at both the "Image" intrinsic level and also a lower overhead higher speed mode via Eloquence internal API's. This mode is invoked by the setting set fastread on.

Click here for more technical details on SUPRAMXW.


HP History and Oddities

HP 2000 Running on Emulator!

Mike Gemeny (MGemeny at pgcpsdot org) dropped me this note about the original HP 2000 Time-shared Basic operating system, which preceded the HP 3000:

HP2000 Access Date Code 1812 up and running after all this time.

I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know that we have recovered the original HP2000 operating systems for versions E, F, and Access and have a simulator running which simulates the original hardware. We are able to boot and run these original HP2000 operating systems and are in the process of recovering the contributed libraries.

We have a Yahoo group for the HP2000 if you have an interest.

(Click link above for Yahoo group).

HP Garage Restored

“The garage was the reason Bill Hewlett decided to rent the Addison Avenue property in 1938. He needed a spot that he and his friend, David Packard, could transform into a lab and workshop. The Professorville home was "A-number-1," Hewlett assured Packard in a letter. He paid $45 rent to hold it. The young engineers divided the garage into two sections: the left side for design and the right for manufacturing. The table saw sat outside.'