Recent News and Tips
The Planiverse, a book review.
Bruce Toback of OPT Products Technology Inc.
reports that A.K. Dewdney's The Planiverse has been reprinted
by Copernicus Books. Originally written in 1984, The Planiverse is an account of computer
contact with a 2-dimensional universe, a college term project in 2D
simulation gone awry. Dewdney, who wrote Scientific American's
"Computer Recreations" column for a while, weaves a delightful story
around the mathematics and science of a two-dimensional Universe.
Although this sounds superficially similar to Edwin Abbot's Flatland,
the latter is intended more as political commentary, while Dewdney's book
is more science and fun (with a little allegory and metaphysical
speculation thrown in). The science ranges from astronomy to zoology, and
is illustrated with the author's own somewhat whimsical drawings.
Unfortunately, this "millenium edition" contains a pre-preface which
assures readers that what follows is a work of fiction. Dewdney's account
is so completely matter-of-fact -- he is, after all, a college professor
writing about students working on a class project -- that it's much more
fun to pretend to read it as a documentary.
This is one book I've never
been willing to lend out. I recommend it most highly.
- Bruce Toback
Read Your Email on the Road.
If you use a standard POP server for your email, you only need a browser
to read and reply to your email. When you are travelling, you can read your mail
on someone else's computer or at an Internet Cafe. Currently, the best service to do this is
it is free.
Test Suprtool Jobs Through QWIN
How do you test revisions to large jobstreams that perform many
Suprtool tasks? You could run the entire job with the revision, but
that isn't very polite during the day time if other people are using the
Robyn Rennie now uses the Host command facility of Qedit for
Windows to easily execute and check small segments of the jobs.
The key is that you can highlight some lines in a host file and execute
them on the host with a right-click function. Read her
Robelle Expert Saved By Hotelier
While Robelle President Bob Green was
in Italy. he kept in touch via his laptop and a bag of phone and power converters, plus an international
ATT account However, in
several hotels his modem refused to recognize the switchboard dial tone, forcing him into an Internet Cafe.
Finally, after complaining at the Il Moresco hotel on the island of
Ischia in the Gulf of Napoli, the Hotel Director, Allessando Leonessa,
showed Bob the error of
Do you have Windows? Just click the modem option to bring up a terminal
window before dialing, then type atx3 and Enter.
This tells the modem to dial anyway, even if there is no dial tone. I had
the same problem when I connected the hotel's computer to the Internet.
And of course that solved the problem!
Robelle has created a new special part of our web site just for
SG users. Read about Suprtool and Qedit, find links to
useful resources, and more: Visit our Smith-Gardner page.
Monitor Your e3000
With the scripting language in Qedit for Windows, you can now monitor your host
servers from a PC and take action. Click the link above to read our latest newsletter where
we show how we do a :SHOWJOB at
regular intervals and email it to the system manager.
Software Quality Tip
Consider Cisco, whose phenomenal growth was partly made possible by a revolutionary new self-service support system that used the Internet. Did they design and deploy their entire on-line customer service system at once? No! They rolled out self-service "agents" one at a time, starting with the one that customers wanted the most.
One of the rules for implementation in e-business is to start small and move quickly refining the application as you go. Over 60% of mega projects fail according to industry stats, so the odds don't favor that approach. Also, most user's don't know what they want because they have never seen it. Giving them something to try gets them thinking about what they really need. Constant updating and refinement is the key to success these days. Arthur S. Mackin, Cisco Systems.
From Building Better Software:
User-centric Techniques That Endure, a Robelle paper.
Read the entire paper.
Qedit 5.0 now available
This release has new functionality and improved performance that
continues to enhance productivity for both Qedit and Qedit for Windows
users. For example, you can now restart your Qedit session exactly where you
left off the night before, because
the Redo stack can now be saved across editing sessions.
Click the link above to read the announcement of the version 5.0.
New Robelle Director
We are proud to announce the addition of Dave Thomas of Bedarra Corp. to
the Robelle Board of Directors:
Dave is the founder and past CEO and president of Object Technology International Inc. OTI is a unique software company. When many companies focused on centralized development, OTI adopted what is now called the virtual company model. The company located its labs where it could hire the best people and join them with its customers. OTI has labs in Ottawa and Victoria, Canada; Minneapolis, Phoenix, and Raleigh, USA; London, UK; Sydney, Australia; Zurich, Switzerland; and Nantes, France.
OTI is now a wholly owned affiliate of IBM. OTI has been described by OTI as one of IBMís "most precious and effective business units". OTIís Just In Time Software process has delivered numerous product lines on time and budget.
Dave Thomas has been the principal visionary and architect for IBM VisualAge Java/Smalltalk tools and virtual machines as
well as IBM's over all object/component strategy.
He has an unusually wide spectrum of experience in the computer industry, which spans engineering, business, and computer science. Unlike many that only conceive new ideas in the lab, Dave has repeatedly transferred them into successful products and services.
"...Qedit for Windows is an extremely powerful but easy-to-learn tool for
anyone who routinely edits host-based files on MPE/iX or HP-UX systems..."
Archived News and Tips...
HP 3000 Book
HP 3000 Evolution:
Bob Green of Robelle, from articles written by Robelle,
by The 3000 Newswire, and by other
experts in the HP 3000 field.
This 300-page book contains the latest information on three important
HP 3000 Tune Up
Migrating a 3000 application.
An essential reference for every desk!
Order your copy on-line for US$25.