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What's Up, DOCumentation? 2003 # 8

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August 2003

From: Bob Green, President

To: Users of Robelle Software

Re: News of the HP 3000 and Robelle

Our newsletter is published monthly and on-line, with an email notification to customers. 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

Big News!!

New book: HP 3000 Evolution

The latest publication from Robelle is HP 3000 Evolution, edited by Bob Green of Robelle, from articles written by Robelle, by The 3000 Newswire, and by experts in the HP 3000 field: Chris Edler, Paul Edwards, Marius Schild, Neil Armstrong, John Burke, Alan Wyman and Alan Heter, Stan Sieler and Gavin Scott, Ken Robertson, Eugene Volokh, Alfredo Rego, Fred White, Steve Hammond, Wayne Boyer, Alan Yeo, Gunnar Fredlund, Michael Marxmeier, Terry O'Brien, Aaron Holmes, Dave Lo, and Glenn Cole.

This 300-page book contains the latest information on three important topics:
HP 3000 Tune Up
Migrating a 3000 application.

An essential reference for every desk! Order your copy on-line for US$25.

News and Upcoming Events

See You At HP World: Bob Green's Paper

"Transforming TurboIMAGE Data for Eloquence, Oracle, and More" is Bob Green's paper for HPWorld Atlanta in August. It is an update of the popular paper he presented last year. This PDF file presents practical tips on how to transform TurboIMAGE data so that it can be used on other databases: HP Eloquence, Oracle, SQL Server, mySQL, and PostgreSQL. Plus techniques for cleaning data and dealing with multi-line notes.

Robelle at HPWorld

Representing Robelle at HPWorld in Atlanta, August 11-15, will be Tammy Roscoe, Francois Desrochers, and Bob Green (who will be presenting a paper on database migration). Look for us in booth 114. As you enter the show floor, turn left and walk to the left wall. We look forward to seeing old friends again, and making new ones.

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Homesteading and MPE Tips

Homesteading and Hardware!

If you are keeping some HP 3000s past 2006, and many sites are, you could be thinking about independent hardware support and how to buy upgrades and spare parts. Read our article on this subject!

Hidden Value for July

John Burke has posted his July column from The 3000 Newswire. There are lots of questions about tape drives: 3490 , DDS2, DD3, DLT, but my favorite item was

Q: How can I purge a file with a negative (PRIV) filecode?
A: Denis St-Amand replied:

The August column is also on-line, with more on tape drives!

HP Paper: Networking Trouble Shooting Tools

This is a comprehensive presentation of many tools and procedures to troubleshoot MPE/iX networking problems. Presented by Eric Barkley at the Solutions Symposium and written by James Hofmeister. They also provide several tools that are mentioned in the talk, including two programs and three script files.

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Qedit Tips

Qedit Column Move Command File

One HP3000-l subscriber needed to move columns around using Qedit. Qedit does not yet have a built-in command to do it. However, it is possible to design a command file to do it. Paul Christidis took on the challenge and came up with the command file below. Good job Paul and thank you on behalf of Robelle and all Qedit users. Click the link above to see the command file.

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Suprtool Tips

We're Human

After releasing Suprtool 4.7 and upon reflection, we were quite pleased with the new enhancements in this version. One of my favourite enhancements is the $number function.

Unfortunately, due to a small coding error on my part, Suprtool will incorrectly report the following error:

Error: Space found in between numerics. Cannot convert.

Click the link above for information about fixing this problem on MPE with a patch to Suprtool 4.7. For Suprtool for HP-UX you can download a new version (Suprtool 4.7.02) which fixes this $number problem and a problem with dbupdate/Eloquence.

If you downloaded Suprtool for MPE before Wednesday, July 16, you will need to apply this patch if you want to use the new $number function. If you have Suprtool 4.7 or 4.7.01, you will need to download Suprtool 4.7.02 if you want to use the new $number function, and have dbupdate be able to update critical items -- Neil

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HP-UX and Migration Planning

HP "Customer Times" for 3000 Users

This new issue is mostly about the Integrity HP-UX servers with the new Itanium 2 chips. It says that the new systems can run HP 9000 (HP-PA) binaries in compatibility mode.

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Links/Resources/Industry News

Jeff Vance on CI Programming

If you are unfamiliar with the Command Interpreter on MPE, Jeff Vance's paper on "CI programming for MPE/iX 7.5" is a great introduction. This is a revised version of the CI Programming talk presented by Jeff several times in recent years. The speaker notes are an important part of this slideset. Click the link above to browse or download the PowerPoint file. This tutorial covers all CI programming from the ground up and is very thorough. The topics covered are UDCs and scripts, parameters, variables, entry points, expressions and functions, i/o redirection and file I/O, error handling, script cleanup techniques, debugging and good practices, and lots of examples.

"net.digest" for July

John Burke has posted his net.digest column from The 3000 Newswire for July, as well as the column for August.

A July highlight: In early June, Jeff Vance reported HPs response to the 2003 SIB top 10,

We have a positive response for 40% of the top 10 items: we plan on continuing our PowerPatch process through end-of-support, we will keep our documentation on the HP net or allow a 3rd party(ies) to host it, we will ensure that large disk drives and FTP'ing large files work on MPE/iX, and we plan on implementing CI functions.
Some August highlights:
The number two-ranked item on this year's System Improvement Ballot (SIB) was about making MPE/iX documentation available over the Internet so that things do not get "lost" over time. One thread this month showed why this is so important.

Someone had a question about Remote Procedure Call (RPC), a component of the Open Systems Foundation Distributed Computing Environment (OSF/DCE). Mike Hornsby noted that OSF/DCE was introduced in the MPE/iX 5.5 Communicator but that the links to documentation for OS versions prior to MPE/iX 6.0 have been removed from Some of the documents are still there however, at least for the time being. Mike was able to find the MPE/iX 5.5 Communicator by using the search function.

A feature of is a page with direct links to the older documentation still on, but hidden (follow the "Miscellaneous" link on the navigation bar). For example, all of the MPE/iX 5.5 documentation is available at and the MPE/iX 5.0 and previous Communicators are still available at

Consultants Corner: eX3000

This consulting firm in Quebec has experience with HP 3000 and Qedit!

The Three Bears of IMAGE

In a classic paper title "The Three Bears of IMAGE", Fred White of Adager explains three features that can be disastrous if mis-used: Integer Keys, Sorted Paths, and too many paths.

Consultants: Larsen and Toubro Infotech

Here is a consultant that provides offshore HP 3000 software maintenance and migration in India.

The 24-Hour Time Bomb

From the ancient history of the 3000, some feedback from a reader.

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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: July Newsletter

The July 2003 issue of Robelle's What's Up DOCumentation newletter is still available. Among the interesting stories:

* Robelle at HP World
* Image Paths are for People
* MPE/iX System Problem Analysis
* Qedit Tips/Looking for Beta Testers
* HP-UX and Migration Planning

Browse the HTML issue by clicking the link above or download the PDF version.

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