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Recent News and Tips


Suprtool: Validating Field Relationships

The Suprtool If command supports arithmetic operations between fields, even fields of different numeric data types. This is useful in checking some of the 'business rules' that most applications have. These rules are usually included in the data entry programs but sometimes 'stuff happens' and the data gets messed up. Here is a simple task that uses this new feature to isolate records which are breaking the rule of "Invoice amount = price times quantity".
 >base sales.db,5,passwd
 >get  d-invoices
 >if   price * quantity  <> amount
 >list standard device LP &
 >  title "Price * Qty not = Amount" 
Use this tip for month-end jobs that prints exception reports.

Tip taken from the Robelle tutorial Ensuring Data Integrity With Suprtool (PDF Format).


3kworld: 100Base-T Cheat Sheet for A and N-Class

Chris Gauthier reports several calls as of late concerning configuration of the “free” 100Base-T card in the A and N-Class. Most confusion he has seen has been in remembering that the 100Base-T interface is NOT the default one for MPE 7.0 and it must be set up as an alternate interface to the MPE default “ThinLan”. For full instructions, click the link above.


HP: PCL Printer Codes

The HP web site contains an on-line reference for their PCL codes used by the LaserJet and other printers. Another non-HP reference is on this UCSF page. Thanks to www.hp3000links.com for the link.


Debug/iX: A Key Debugging Tool

This link is to a Robelle paper on Debug/iX, a powerful tool that also has some very simple uses. Yesterday, for example, I needed to know why an unexpected warning message was being printed in Qedit. So I set a breakpoint in the print_warn procedure and when the breakpoint occured, I did a trace to see where it was called from. A quick look at the source code and I knew what the problem was. Besides this paper, here are 3 other useful links:

Macros to go with this paper that show the parameters of hpfopen, etc.

System Debug Reference Manual for 6.5, online

Introduction to Debug/iX by Stan Sieler of Allegro




hp3000-L: ESC and Other Trash in IMAGE

From an Email thread on the hp3000-L mailing list:

Sent: Monday, April 30, 2001
To: HP3000-L List
Subject: Re: Esc and other trash in IMAGE
From: Thisted, Kristian"  

Good day to you all!

This has probably been up before but I still have a problem which many of you have encounterd before. We are about to migrate to another DB and some fields contains characters like TAB and ESC. They are of course not accepted by the receiver.

How can I clean my Image fields? Suprtool?

(Of course there are several ways to clean efter the export.)


Reply from Paul Gobes at Robelle:

Suprtool would be an excellent choice:

To find and clean up TABs in Suprtool:

  >base    mydb,1,
  >get     mydataset
  >define  a,myfield,1,byte
  >if      a = ^9       {caret 9 = decimal 9 = tab}
  >extract a = " "
Above I've used the caret "^" to find 'Character constants'. Usually the corruption occurs in the first byte of the field, so I defined as a single byte. Then Suprtool can update the subfield 'a' with a space.

You could also change the selection command to "if a < ^32" to get all the 'unprintables' below spaces.



Consultants: Paul Edwards and Associates

Paul Edwards is one of Robelle's authorized Suprtool training instructors, but he also does a wide range of e3000-related consulting.

Company Name: Paul Edwards & Associates
Speciality:HP e3000 Consulting, Development, and Management
Description:Paul Edwards & Associates is a full service consulting firm specializing in Hewlett-Packard 3000 computer systems. The company is a recognized leader in providing professional data processing services and solutions in many industries throughout the U.S. since 1980.
Contact:Paul Edwards
Location:Carrollton Texas
Web site:www.peassoc.com
Robelle-Authorized Suprtool instructor.
Qedit for Windows is used in application development projects.
References:Hewlett-Packard, Client Systems, and many others available on request.
Notes: Customer satisfaction, delivering the highest quality service and support, completing projects on time, and being cost competative, is our trademark. Paul Edwards is a certified HP 3000 Technical Consultant.



Suprtool: Cut 4 Hours to 16 Minutes

Robert Allen Green of Long Reach Inc. has only been using Suprtool for a short time, but he has certainly been making his IT department look good. Click the link above to read how Robert cut the time of their Sales Shipment report from four hours to 16 minutes using Suprtool, and made the report much more flexible as well.


Robelle Tech: Qedit Boxes of Text

The second part of our new monthly column in the 3000 Newswire is about rectangular editing in Qedit for Windows. Click the link above for the full story from Bob Green!


Robelle Tech: the More RAM the Better

Robelle has started writing a column for the 3000 NewsWire magazine, called: Robelle Tech. Each month it will feature a technical article about an hp e3000 topic and another article about getting the most out of Robelle's e3000 products, Qedit and Suprtool. Street date for the May issue with our first column was May 17 and the stories are now posted on the NewsWire website as well. Click the link above to read Paul Gobes' article about RAM memory in your e3000, the RAMUSAGE program, and how to get more RAM at a reasonable price.



Art Bahrs: Jumping On Problems with Suprtool

Longtime Robelle customer Art Bahrs (abahrs@denkor.com) has been using Suprtool since 1989 and qualifies as a Suprtool expert in his own right. Art was initiated to Suprtool at Oregon Health Services Foundation where he worked for six years and even presented a paper on Suprtool's data manipulation capabilities at the annual SRN conference in 1996. Since then he has used Suprtool at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon, Boyd's Coffee, and now at Denkor Dental Management Corp. He even helped his wife, Sandra, a custom report analyst, learn how to use Suprtool.

Robelle's Nicky Gunther (nicky.gunther@robelle.com) noticed that Art was one of the frequent posters to the Robelle-L mailing list, responding to a great variety of Suprtool topics and questions. Art shared some of his Suprtool experiences with Nicky in a profile that you can read at the permanent bookmark.



Host-Based Qedit: Word Processing Tips

Host-based Qedit may not have the fancy UI of Qedit for Windows, but it does have two very nice features for word processing: the Justify command to flow text into even paragraphs, and the Spell command to check the spelling of words in your text. For more details, visit the permanent bookmark for this story.


Mark Klein: the GNU Tools on the 3000, Including C++

Mark Klein of DIS International deserves a round of applause for his work porting the GNU compilers and tools to the HP e3000 platform. Visit Mark's GNU page for links to the GNU documentation. The actual ported GNU tools are available for download from HP's Jazz server.


Web: Publish Your Own Rolling News Site

You may have noticed that the Robelle home page has been constantly updated with new stories since last November. One of the things that makes this possible is an impressive web service called Blogger which manages, edits and publishes rolling news stories and links, otherwise known as "weblogs" (the most famous weblog is probably Slashdot.org which publishes items of interest to techies and allows them to comment on the stories).

The Blogger service that we use keeps all of your stories in a database on its server. When you decide to publish, Blogger merges the most recent stories with an HTML template that you provide and FTPs the resulting web page to your web site. Very cool. Based in San Francisco. The fact that Blogger is free means you can even use it to publish news for your department at work, your church, your soccer team, whatever you are involved in that has on-line colleagues. And if the Blogger service is ever down, I update the home page manually and post a copy to Blogger when it comes back up. [Permanent bookmark]


Suprtool: Removing Redundant Data

In many reports, data is unnecessarily repeated in a column. Suprtool can remove duplicate data from a report, which turns a daunting report into a friendlier version. For example:
 206J Fred Flintstone       MAIN
 206J Fred Flintstone       INVOICE
 206J Fred Flintstone       TAPE
 206K Freakazoid!           MAIN
 206K Freakazoid!           INVOICE

We have three ADDRESS-TYPE records for Fred Flintstone and two for Freakazoid. It would improve the report readability tremendously if we could eliminate the redundant printing of Fred Flintstone and Freakazoid.

Robelle's Ken Robertson has a solution to this need. Read his full explanation at the permanent bookmark for this item.


HPWorld: Jeff Kubler Giving Suprtool Session

Jeff Kubler of Kubler Consulting is presenting a session on Suprtool at this year's HPWorld conference in Chicago, "Super Suprtool Solutions":

Suprtool is one of the most prevalant database extraction tools in the MPE world. Virtually every application, from legacy applications to the new e-commerce applications, will have some use for Suprtool. A clear understanding of its use and capabilities is a key concept in any developer's technical bag of tricks. In addition, there are a number of great solutions to some of the trickiest problems with database or file extraction, and updating that will be covered in the presentation of the paper should help any developer increase productivity.

Click the link above to read more, including Jeff's bio.


Suprtool: Tables Instead of Quiz Links

To select the intersection of two datasets, standard reporting programs rely on linking the two datasets together. For example, to report sales generated by California customers, your Quiz code would access the customer dataset only for purposes of qualifying which sales records should be selected. For each customer account that it selects, Quiz retrieves the sales detail records via keyed reads This common reporting need can be done more efficiently by using Suprtool's Table command. Click the link above to read the full explanation.


HPWorld: Submit Management Roundtable Issues

At HPWorld there will be seven HP management roundtables, including IMAGE/SQL and HP e3000 Management. You can submit issues for the panel at the Interex web site. Just click on "Review Issues" and then "Submit a new issue". The only issue submitted so far is by Ken Sletten about the need for a full-speed A-Class.


NewsWire: Duane Percox Interview

The 3000 Newswire has a good interview with Duane Percox of Quintessential School Systems , HP e3000 application suppliers to the K-12 education market. Lots of insights: The reason we still like the 3000 is that it has a breadth of performance that’s binary compatible — such that I can put a 3000 in for a small school agency, and I can put a big 3000 in for a humongous school agency, and I don’t have to worry about performance issues related to the small vs. high end. The only issue is price.


HPWorld Conference: MPE/iX Sessions

Robelle will be at HPWorld August 20-24, 2001 in Chicago. Representing Qedit and Suprtool will be Nicky Gunther, Bob Green, Tammy Roscoe and Hans Hendriks. Some deadlines are fast approaching: June 8 for submitting final papers and July 28 for early bird registration discounts.

The list of MPE presentations is interesting this year (see the HP World web site for papers by Alfredo Rego "23 Years of Gypsy Programming", Stan Sieler "Test and Tune Your Disk Drives", Mark Bixby "Perl Programming on MPE/iX", Rich Trap "Cool UNIX Utilities on MPE", ...). Robelle's Bob Green is presenting two of them: Building Better Software: User-Centric Techniques That Endure and Image Internals and Performance: a two-hour tutorial.


Qedit for Windows: Testimonial

"We've been using Qedit for Windows to edit MPE COBOL source code on our HP-3000, as well as accessing UNIX files on our HP-9000. It's been a huge time-saver on the 9000, because we no longer have to telnet into the box and vi the file - we just edit it right here on our PC's. We have an employee directory on our web site, which is driven from a flat CSV file. There are constant updates to the directory, and the time savings will pay for Qedit in the very short term."

Dave Phillips
Programmer/Web Developer
Gavilan College


ACE: Scott Hirsh and Keith Olson

Automated Computer Environment LLC provides management and technical services necessary for the automation of system and data center operations. They specialize in the integration of a variety of tools into management frameworks such as OpenView and TME for medium to large size companies. Scott Hirsh is well-known as former chairman of SIGSYSMAN and Keith Olson moderates the Maestro discussion list.


New: Robelle's Tech Support Archive

We have enhanced our web site with an archive of technical support calls that can be searched and displayed. This allows you to check whether an issue has already been reported to Robelle and what the status of it is. The new Robelle Knowledge Base search page is at www.robelle.com/AT-kbs.html; it contains both bug reports and enhancements, open and closed, searchable by keyword.

Use the number of the KB entry if you know it. Each entry in the Knowledge Base is assigned a unique number, such as 16488 for KB16488. If you know the number, you can go directly to the entry.

Not all KB entries are visible on the web site. Any entry that contains customer sensitive information is not posted to the web site. The internal Robelle Knowledge Base is used for many mundane transactions such as sending updates to customers who need a fix or enhancement; these are not posted to the web site.

How to Find My Submissions? You can't search by your name or your company name, since those are removed from the web KB entries for privacy. You will need to search by any words or phrases that appeared within your submission, or by the KB ref # if you know it.

How Frequently Is This Updated? The web version of the Knowledge Base is currently updated once per day at night. If you append a comment to an entry, it will first go to technical support, who will add it to the database. New entries are not automatically made public; it takes an explicit action by the technical staff.

Many thanks to Ken Robertson who wrote the 3000 software to convert the data from our IMAGE database into HTML, to Dave Lo who created the web Perl scripts, and to Paul Gobes and the rest of the staff for editing our archives to bring you these support calls.

Bob Green bgreen@robelle.com


Ecometry AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) Page

This page was put together so that Ecometry users can get in touch with other Ecometry users via instant messaging. To chat with a user, just click on their AIM name on the page. If you want to get added to the list, email Ryan Wheeler (rwheeler@desantiscollection.com) with your name, email address, company name and URL, what your company does, and your AIM nickname. Hosted on Ecometry.org by Anthony Ballo (anthony@ecometry.org).


Examples of the Robelle Channel

The news stories on the Robelle home page can now easily appear on other web sites, as headlines with links to the full stories. For examples of how this looks on people's web pages, visit

Ecometry Users Group web site

Kubler Consulting

Bob Green's home page

To add the Robelle daily e3000 tips to your site, read the instructions and learn the single line of Javascript that makes it happen.


The Euro Symbol on the HP e3000

With the introduction of the Euro and the withdrawal of national banknotes in February 2002, it's important that you know how to manage the Euro symbol on the HP e3000. To find out how to configure your input devices, such as the Reflection terminal emulator, and your printers, read the article linked above. This article was sent to us, courtesy Marius Schild (marius@samco.nl) of Samco Automation, one of our excellent distributors, who got it from Ingrid Lamandassa of HP-Netherlands.



Suprtool: Record Count to Go with Total

With Suprtool, it is easy to include a grand total of a field in a simple report. List Standard Device XXX prints a simple report on device XXX, and Total $File $List prints the total of a field on the same List device. What if you also want to include a count of the number of records totalled? To find out how, read Dave Lo's article linked above.


Archived News and Tips...

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HP 3000 Book

HP 3000 Evolution:

Edited by 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 topics:
HP 3000 Tune Up
Migrating a 3000 application.

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