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What's Up, DOCumentation? 2002 # 4

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April 2002


Bob Green, President

To: Users of Robelle Software

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

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

HP CSY Suggests Eloquence for Migrating

The 3kworld web site has a report on Dave Wilde's (HP CSY R&D manager) presentation at the Solutions Symposium. Most of it was about the features of the upcoming MPE/iX 7.5 release. However, he also endorsed using Eloquence to migrate applications from MPE to HP-UX.
As far as IMAGE/SQL alternatives go for customers who would benefit from keeping their “Image-calls” and do a “one-step at-a-time” approach, he said that he is committed to promoting HP Eloquence to fill that need. He said that it’s “likely the best approach,” and that “the product is very solid and very strong …”

Report from the Symposium

Ken Robertson (, formerly of Robelle but now with AD Technologies, reports on the first day of the Solutions Symposium:

The Symposium is going well... it's only been one day long so far. Our Trans/port product [migration of HP 3000 code to other platforms] is being well received, and some people, especially those who need to do spl to c++ are quite interested. AcuCorp is also very interested in our V/Plus to AcuCobol solution. I was surprised to find that my talk, scheduled at 6:00 PM, had the room filled to capacity with several people standing. About 80-100 people attended my talk.

HP's main thrust is migration. They are pretty non-specific about guidance, but they have scheduled "webinars" for the last Tuesday of each month addressing different topics. This series runs through July.

There are now three platinum partners with HP to facilitate migrations - Lund, MB Foster, and Speedware Corp. MB Foster proposes offering a "bumper to bumper" solution. Speedware is actively working on a Transact to Speedware conversion, for those folks who want to stick with a 4GL. I'm not sure how Lund fits in, as I missed their talk so that I could chat with Ron Seybold, a most interesting person to talk with!

HP announced support for fibrechannel 3000's, but didn't announce any new machines.

HP is pushing the HP Eloquence database, and it has been ratified by SIG Image. They do admit that there are improvements to be made, and that they are only targetting small to medium businesses.

There are several companies, including DISC, who are offering Image to SQL wrappers. I will be investigating these offerings soon. Duane Percox has done some timings for some wrappers that his firm QSS wrote, and discovered that for a fairly small database of 12,500 records, a program's run time went from 3 cpu seconds to 10. His approach sounded intelligent, leaving the master records in an Image DB with the details in a SQL database. If the program had been less intelligent, perhaps it would have taken even longer to execute.

. It is very clear that most attendees are at this conference to learn about migration.

Well, I'm off to more sessions. I'll keep you posted!

AMISYS Users Meet June 5-7

The 2002 Synertech/AMISYS Customer Conference will be June 5-7 at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort. They are expecting more than 200 attendees from small to large health plans from throughout the United States - customers representing Synertech, AMISYS 3000 and AMISYS C/S product lines.

AMISYS Plans Move to HP-UX

This report from the 3000 NewsWire describes announcements from AMISYS that they plan to migrate their application to HP-UX by June 2003.

CSY lays out their New Migration Programs and Services reports on the presentation by CSY Product Marketing Manager, Loretta Li-Sevilla, focusing on CSY's New (e3000) Migration Programs and Services. A number of new programs were announced: click the link to read about them.

NewsWire: Conversion Deadlines Extended

Ron Seybold reports from the Solutions Symposium:

The first deadline in the HP campaign to move customers off the 3000 slipped here in California, when attendees at the Interex e3000 Solutions Symposium learned they now have three extra years to purchase 3000-to-HP 9000 conversion kits for their N-Class and A-Class 3000s. The announcement was one of several designed to motivate more customer acceptance of HP-UX platforms. Separately, channel partners at the conference reported HP has told them it will not be hurrying customers to migrate.

Click the link for Ron's full report.

3kworld: COBOL Expo 2002

Jeanette Nutsford, SIG-COBOL leader, announces the upcoming COBOL Expo, June 21-23, 2002, in Chicago.

NewsWire: 3000 Sales Continue to Rise

[February] shipments in numbers were up 23 percent over the best February on record before now, evidence that the installed base is stocking up on the new A-Class and N-Class systems at a rate better than HP has seen in years. The monthly record was the fourth straight one posted by the North American distributor.

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HP Tips

Stan Sieler: Fix Your SL File

It is possible for your critical SL.PUB.SYS file to become corrupted: One (or more) MPE/iX 6.5 patches may cause a problem with your SL.PUB.SYS, which could cause a problem for some programs. In my case, MPEKXX0 was cited as one of the patches that can cause the problem. From the 3000-L, reported by 3000 NewsWire.

NewsWire: 3000 Experts Examine Emulator Project

From the 3000 NewsWire: Engineering talent with more than 14 years experience developing parts of the RISC-based HP 3000 operating system, utilities and applications is taking a closer look at emulation for the system this month — and waiting for HP to make a statement on supporting such a project.

Gavin Scott: Choosing a Path for the 3000

The 3000 NewsWire has an interview with Gavin Scott of Allegro about possible future options with the HP 3000, including the feasability of an emulator that would allow old applications to run on new hardware:

The second path would amount to a “life extension” for MPE, but probably not a great deal of growth. This road would involve options such as software to emulate the HP e3000 hardware on, say, a Windows or Linux system, allowing one to run the existing PA-RISC MPE/iX operating system and all its applications on cheap PC-class hardware, third-party support to replace the HP Response Center, and some minimal maintenance of the operating system itself (perhaps even without source code) to keep it running indefinitely with today’s functionality.

... From an MPE point of view, I believe it will be the second or middle path that turns out to be the most useful, if HP will permit it to happen. If HP will allow it, then various companies will make it possible for people who want, need or must keep running MPE applications in 2007 and beyond to do so indefinitely.

MPE: What Does MR Stand For?

From Robelle's HP Encyclopedia:

Unfortunately, MPE uses MR as shorthand for both Multiple-RIN capability and Multi-Record access, which are totally unrelated concepts.

Click the link above to learn the differences.

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Qedit for Windows Tips

We Need a Few Test Sites for Syntax Coloring

Qedit for Windows: New Syntax Coloring!

Try the beta test now…and have a say in how the production version turns out.

For details contact Tammy Roscoe at Toll free: 1-888-robelle

qedit for windows

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MS Windows Tips

Where are the Win2k USB Drivers?

One of the major deficiencies of Windows 2000 is that if I connect my USB Scanner or USB Flashcard Reader, I immediately see the Blue Screen of Death. According to The Register, leaked Win2000, Beta RC2, USB 2.0 drivers drivers appeared on the web in January 2002 and Microsoft said that the official drivers would be released "soon". Now in April 2002, the beta drivers have been pulled from the web, because Microsoft has filed a complaint that contends that these web sites are in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. USB News thinks the driver are being withheld to push Win2k users into converting to WinXP.

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

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Suprtool Tips

New Suprtool/UX Released With Eloquence

Robelle is proud to announce the release of version 4.6 of Suprtool/UX with full integration of the HP Eloquence IMAGE-like database.

How to Convert Numeric Types

Suprtool's EXTRACT command has been able to convert numeric data between different data types. The general syntax is: >extract field-name = expression

Click the link above for a detailed application note.

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HP-UX Resources

Reference: MPE to UNIX Command Cross Reference

MPE has one command interpreter, Ci.Pub.Sys, and a single set of commands. UNIX has many command interpreters, called shells , of which sh, csh and ksh are the most common. However, many UNIX commands are implemented as separate programs, so they are the same in every shell. Click the link for a useful cross reference from Robelle's HP Encyclopedia.

Robelle Tech: What Is HP Eloquence?

The most recent Robelle Tech column in the 3000 NewsWire describes a possible migration option for some HP 3000 sites: an IMAGE-like database that works on HP-UX and has been in development and use for many years.

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Classic Stan: Who is Running?

Click the link above for a classic MPE paper from Stan Sieler of Allegro: "MPE/iX Resource Utilization: Who Is Running?"

Do you know who is using your CPU on MPE/iX? If you do a :SHOWJOB command, MPE/iX will dutifully report what jobs and sessions are logged on, but it won't show the processes running within each job session. ... The purpose of this article is to share a few techniques for determining exactly what is running.

Consultants Corner: Jim Chance

We continue to build our 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: Practical Technology Solutions
Specialty:An independent/self-employed provider of premium and practical HPe3000 (MPE) business system solutions. Services specializing in HP3K MIGRATION TO OTHER PLATFORMS, COBOL, Sqlplus, Oracle, Qedit, Suprtool, Powerhouse (Quiz, Quick, QTP), Management, Operations, Database (Dbgenrl), and Analysis consultations. IT/HP-MPE purveyor since 1985.
Contact:Jim Chance
Have used Suprtool since 1987.
Have used Qedit since 1987.
References: Resume and references supplied upon request.
Notes: Long live the HP3000!!!

Consultants Corner: Mark Ranft and Pro 3K

Company Name: Pro 3K
Specialty:HP e3000 System Management Consulting
Description:Providing a full range of MPE/iX services. Pro 3K is devoted to the HP 3000.
Contact:Mark Ranft
Location:Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota
Pro 3K's has had experience with SUPRTOOL since the 1980's. Training classes provided.
Pro 3K's consultants have experience with QEDIT since 80's. Training classes provided.
References: HP DSPP and HP Cerifications. Other references available upon request.

OpenMPE: Alternatives for MPE Software Support

The OpenMPE web site contains a list of companies that provide MPE support as an alternative to HP.

OpenMPE: Alternatives for HP 3000 Hardware Support

The OpenMPE web site contains a listing of companies that provide hardware support for the 3000, alternatives to HP.

An MPEX Web Site

Omni Solutions has web pages on its site for the VESOFT products, including MPEX, and a form where you can order a trial copy. There is quite a bit of good information on this site.'

Denkart: ViaNova 3000

Denkart describes there migration tools as follows: Leave the platform but take your applications with you. Indeed, if you decide to leave the HP-3000 platform, there is no need to throw away your trusted applications. Robust, well-performing applications are an asset. With Ordina Denkarts ViaNova 3000, they stay an asset and remain solid performers. At the same time they may offer a whole series of new features and technologies through advanced re-engineering.

Finding the Hidden Value in MPE

One of the most useful columns in the 3000 NewsWire is "Hidden Value", a collection of technical questions with answers drawn from the MPE user community and edited by John Burke. For example, in the February 2002 issue, questions dealt with host names on MPE, memory controllers, configuring disk drives, remote DTCs, and more.

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Host-Based Qedit Tips

A Permanent Redo Stack for Qedit

One of the most frustrating little things about MPE is that when you log off after a day of heavy programming, your "redo stack" with all of its built up history of commands and file names, is lost.

It was the same in Qedit as well, which emulates MPE's Redo. Commands entered at the Qedit prompt are saved in something called the redo stack. You can recall commands from this stack by using the Redo, Do and Listredo commands. The redo stack was stored in a temporary file and discarded as soon as you left Qedit. This did not allow the stack to be preserved across Qedit invocations.

But then Alfredo Rego of Adager insisted that Qedit could be much better: it could save the redo commands in a permanent file almost as easily as a temporary file. So now the Set Redo command allows you to assign a permanent file as your redo stack. For example, to assign "myredo" as the persistent redo stack, enter:

   /set redo myredo

If the file does not exist, Qedit creates it. Otherwise, Qedit uses the existing file. All your subsequent commands are written to the persistent redo stack. If you want to use a persistent stack every time you run Qedit, you just insert the Set Redo command in one of our Qeditmgr configuration files.

P.S. Suprtool now has persistent Redo as well.

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Internet Tips

Internet: Coding Accented Characters

From Robelle's Encyclopedia,

Web pages allow you to specify European characters from the ISO Latin-1 Character Set (8859-1). This standard also served as the basis for the ANSI character set of MS Windows, but naturally Microsoft extended and improved their version so that it doesn't exactly follow ISO Latin-1. Warning: the wrong way to do European characters in a web page is to insert the Windows character that displays properly in your editor. This character is non-standard and will display as garbage on many browsers. The right way to do it is to encode the character was a tag. For example, à is coded as `

To learn more and for a useful link to all the character encodings, click the link above.

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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: March Newsletter

In case you missed it, some of the highlights from the previous issue of our newletter include:

* Ecometry Sold to Syngistix

* Export Multi-line Records with Suprtool and Perl

* HP-UX Admin: Managing Disk Space

* Freeware: HP 3000 Software Inventory Utility

* Robelle Tech: Early History of the 3000

* Consultants Corner: Info-Trans and CALI-SYS

* Host-Based Qedit: How to Search for Alternate Strings

These are just some of the informative articles in this issue. Read the complete issue to learn more!

Browse the HTML issue.

Download the PDF issue.

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