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What's Up, DOCumentation? 2001 # 4

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August 2001


  • Bob Green, President
  • Dave Lo, Editor

To: Users of Robelle Software

Re: News of the HP e3000 and Robelle, 2001 #4

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 in June 2001.

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

SRN Acquired by Sungard Bi-Tech

Wayne E. Holt ( of Software Research Northwest, a Suprtool VAR in the educational software business, announced that "the acquisition of SRN by SunGard Bi-Tech was accomplished as of 12:01 AM, Pacific Time Zone, July 1st, 2001." Robelle, of course, continues to support Suprtool and Qedit at SRN customer sites.

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HP Tips

Robelle Tech: IMAGE Internals

The latest Robelle Tech column in the July 2001 issue of the 3000 NewsWire is now available on the web:

IMAGE is the database of the HP e3000 system, and some knowledge of how it works is useful for anyone doing IT work on the system. “Master Datasets” are one of the storage types of IMAGE and their job is to store records when there is one record expected per unique key field (also the search field). For example, one customer record per customer number. IMAGE uses a mathematical formula called a hashing algorithm to transfer the key value into a record number within the master dataset. This “hash location” is the first place where IMAGE tries to store the record. Figure 1 shows a hashing algorithm with a collision occuring in the same block

... click the link above to see Figure 1 and read the rest of the column.

HP: Config and Ordering Guides for N and A-Class Servers

HP has added an Ordering Guide and a Configuration Guide to their web site, with a great deal of information on the new servers. This should be a help in planning your upgrades, but does not replace the formal configuration and quotation process through you HP rep or reseller.

More on UNIX Temp Files

Dave Lo's article on UNIX temp files in the 2001-03 issue newsletter generated quite a bit of feedback on the Robelle-L discussion list, including the answer to "what is the difference between /var/tmp and /tmp"

New Book: MPE/iX System Administration Handbook

Written by Jon Diercks and published by Prentice Hall, this book covers a wide range of topics you need to know to run a 3000 installation: installation, commands, scripts,backup, recovery, spoolers, security, networking, diagnotistics, performance, and more. Jon has posted some of the useful scripts from the book on his web site.

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Qedit for Windows Tips

QWIN: Version 5.0.10 Released

Robelle is pleased to announce the release of Qedit for Windows version 5.0.10. Here's a quick look at some of the new features: There are many more improvements. You can download this latest version from:

QWIN: Get Access to a File's Path

When dealing with POSIX files (or any files on UNIX), you often encounter long file name paths which it would be quite difficult to type accurately by hand. For example,


or much longer and more obscure "paths" to files!

You can open these files in Qedit for Windows by navigating through the directory window with your mouse, but often you need to enter the full file name into a host-command. A typical example is a CD command to the directory containing the file.

Qedit for Windows has a simple option to make the pathname of any open file easily accessible. Just Right-Click in the text window and select Copy pathname to clipboard. Now you can paste the pathname of your file into a script you are building, or the QWIN host-command window, or even a terminal emulator window.

QWIN Copy path name example

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MS Windows Tips

pcl2pdf: Product Converts LaserJet Files to Acrobat PDF

The pcl2pdf utility converts LaserJet PCL-format files into compact PDF files for Adobe Acrobat. There are versions for Windows, UNIX and the HP e3000. The e3000 price is not given on their web site, but the UNIX server price is U$1295. Enquirers from the United States and Canada should contact Martin Gorfinkel of LARC Computing (, Tel +1 650 941 9310. Enquirers from the United Kingdom, Europe and other countries should contact Jason Kent ( of Open Seas UK Ltd, Tel +44 (0)1865 744 656 Fax +44 (0)1865 742 167

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

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Suprtool Tips

Suprtool Pre-Release 4.4.12

We have released the latest version of Suprtool as a beta pre-release. This version has the most requested Suprtool enhancement ever. Read about it by clicking the link above. To request a copy, email

3000 NewsWire: Suprtool Update From A Table

The July issue of the 3000 NewsWire has an article about Suprtool's latest enhancement: updating fields from a table of values.

For some time, users have been aggressively asking us how to update a field in a dataset, or even a file, with a value from another file, based on a key. A classic example: Your boss comes to you with a list of new prices for certain parts and asks you to update the Part-Master dataset. Big News: You can now do this easily in Suprtool. Starting with pre-release 4.4.10, just load the new prices into a Table, index by the product number (prodno), then Extract the price field from each record and replace it with a $lookup on the table.

Suprtool: Working with Single-Byte Integers

There may be times when you need to doing some computation on 1-byte integers. Although Suprtool allows you to define a 1-byte integer, it gives you a warning message about how unuseful it is.

define tiny,1,1,integer
Warning: Length of 1 is of limited use for the data type INTEGER

You will find that you cannot do the usual arithmetic operations on these 1-byte integers. The solution is to extra them as 2-byte integers by padding them with a leading binary zero, then do another pass through the output file to work with the resulting 2-byte integer. For example, this is what you would do if you need to add two 1-byte integers together:

  input yourfile
  define tiny1,1,1
  define tiny2,2,1
  ext ^0,tiny1, ^0,tiny2
  out tmp

  input tmp
  define num1,1,2,integer
  define num2,3,2,integer
  define sum,1,2,integer
  ext sum = num1 + num2
  out result

We didn't make "tmp" a self-describing Link file because we needed to redefine the 4 byte fields as two 2-byte integer fields in the second pass, so passing on the structure from the first pass was of limited value. It was clearer and easier to just Define the num1 and num2 fields from scratch.

Suprlink: Which is the input file?

Robelle's Mike Shumko has written an article for the 3000 News Wire this month, clearing up a common confusion with Suprlink (this is the program which comes with Suprtool and allows you to link files together by a common key field). Suprlink has an Input file and a Link file. When you have two files that you want to link together, which should be the Input and which should be the Link?

Suprtool: Verifying Cross Totals

Financial transactions are often processed in batches. Between jobs aborting, program bugs, and less-than-careful data fixes by MIS staff, these batches can get out-of-balance. Using the Total command can quickly verify that all transactions net to zero.

Do the debits equal the credits?

    >get      d-transactions
    >output   $null
    >total    trans-amt

    Totals (SUN, JAN 29, 1995,  2:56 PM):
    TRANS-AMT                           81451+
    IN=6, OUT=6. CPU-Sec=1. Wall-Sec=1.
By default the results of the Total command are displayed on the screen ($STDLIST), but can be appended to the output file. To do, this you need to turn Set Squeeze Off and add a new Total command as follows:
   total $file filename,append
This tip is taken from the Robelle tutorial Ensuring Data Integrity With Suprtool (PDF Format).

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3kworld: job postings

The 3kworld web site has a section where employers and agencies can post jobs requiring 3000 experience.

Job Posting List for Ecometry People

Anthony Ballo ( alerts us that there is also a job posting list for Ecometry people located at -- anyone can post a position to the list by emailing

Interex: HP3000 Online

Interex is the users group for HP servers, both UNIX and MPE. The link above is to the HP3000 central online web page at Interex. It links to other 3000-related material on their site.

Fascinating Interview with Stan Sieler

The 3000 News Wire has interviewed Stan Sieler, the amazing programmer from Allegro who is always contributing to 3000-L and the 3000 community. Highly recommended. new web site design

The 3kworld web site has been redesigned, simplified, and generally improved.

Suprtool: Manuals in PDF and HTML

We have converted our production Suprtool manuals into PDF format and an excellent HTML Help format. The PDF format is ideal for printing and the HTML Help format is ideal for browsing and searching. You can download these files from our web site now: We are in the process of updating these new doc files for the Suprtool 4.4.1 pre-release and converting the Host-Based Qedit files into this format. Hopefully this will be more convenient for our customers.

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Host-Based Qedit Tips

Host-Based Qedit: Copying the Same Block Many Times (Visual Mode)

One common editing function in Visual mode is to copy the same text to several different places. Users often mark the text they want to copy, add it at one place and then go back and mark the original block again. This is not necessary because cut-and-paste operations save the lines they process in a temporary file called "Hold0". To find out how to copy from the Hold0 file again, click the link above.

Host-based Qedit: New Features

Qedit version 5.1 has been released into production with several valuable new features:

Searching for Multiple Strings: to match lines with more than one string in the same line, do list "bob" or "sam"

Changing Cobol Tags: to edit the tag area of a COBOL line (columns 73-80), do changet "bob-june"sam-july"

Specifying a Default Increment: to override Qedit's calculated line number increment when Texting a large file, do a Set Increment command and then do text bigfile,setincr

Posix command shortcut: to execute a command line through the POSIX shell, precede it with an exclamation (!).

Full-screen mode: now resets the terminal width when returning to line editing, recognizes and supports the QCTERM emulator from AICS.

Since we have switched to rolling-updates and multiple releases per year, customers with paid support will receive your Qedit update on their anniversary date (or sooner). For more information on this release, read the change document.

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Internet Tips

Robelle Tech: From IMAGE to HTML!

Robelle's Ken Robertson has written a technical article for the HP 3000 News Wire explaining how he converted the tech support records in our IMAGE database into a Knowledge Base Web Site so that customers could research them. In order to make this technical cookbook fit within the News Wire format, we had to edit it deeply. For the full paper with complete scripts and more explanatory details, visit

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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

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