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Recent News and Tips

Robelle Tech: the MPE Filecodes

The April issue of the 3000 NewsWire contains our regular Robelle Tech column. For this month it was a discussion of file codes in MPE.


ANDsg: Decades of HP 3000 Experience

AND Solutions Group (ANDsg) in Roseville California specializes in transitioning clients off the HP 3000 to a platform and software selection of their choice. The three principals have extensive experience with the 3000 in very senior IT positions with large 3000 sites:

Steve Northam: Steve spent 24 years with Hewlett Packard and Agilent Technologies. During this time he held senior management positions as Division Controller, World Wide Program Manager, IT Manager and Enterprise Architect. During this time Steve had both direct management and budgetary responsibility for these activities, and he directly managed end-to-end IT departments including project managers, development staffs, support staffs and e-commerce development organizations. Steve has also been active in the academic area by teaching, developing curriculum and publishing in the information technology subject area. He currently is a member of the university’s Academic Counsel that directs the development of education programs in Information Technology.

George B. Scott: George was a senior corporate manager for over 20 years, 17 of which were as the senior IT manager. During these twenty years, George reported to either the President or Executive Vice President, who were members of the Board of Directors. George held these positions for large chemical companies and an Aerospace firm. During this time, George directed large development projects, supervised operations, and performed as the IT Department head. From 1989 to 2001 as president of his own Corporation, GBSI, George provided services as a consultant and project manager throughout the United States to corporations such as Hewlett-Packard, Agilent, FedEx, Dial and State Farm. George has an extensive background using HP hardware including the HP3000 platform, HP-UX and HP-RTE.

James P. Atkins: Jim gained extensive experience in 16 years with Hewlett Packard and Agilent Technologies. Jim performed in numerous senior IT capacities working with a variety of corporate leaders. Jim was a senior IT manager for a large worldwide CRM development organization with personnel throughout Europe and the US. Jim gained extensive program management experience leading efforts that integrated a domestic operation with a foreign partner to establish a worldwide presence as well as leading efforts to provide web based ordering solutions. Jim managed numerous development projects implementing financial solutions to support worldwide operations in 30-plus countries.

Steve, George and Jim have a team of up to 15 IT people that they draw upon to tackle assignments. For more information, click the link above.


Python: Another New Programming Language for MPE

Python is a fast, extensible, object-oriented scripting language created by Guido Van Rossum and named after the ’70’s British comedy troupe and television show “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”.

Python and Perl are very similar in capabilities —what can be done in one, can also be done in the other – it’s just that their approaches to those capabilities differ. Perl leans towards terse syntax, and many small “add-in” modules, while Python (if not verbose) leans more towards self-describing syntax and fewer, larger, “add-in” modules.

Article by Curtis Larson in the 3000 NewsWire.


Jeff Vance: New MPE Internals Papers

Jeff Vance has posted two new papers on HP Jazz web site:

UPS Utility Manual - UPSUTIL for MPE/iX, description of the UPS Monitor Utility, covering aspects of configuring a CI script to be executed after a power failure. MS Word .doc file.

LDEV-1 Disk Space Report - the implementation of support disk space beyond the first 4GB on LDEV 1. MS Word .doc file.



Host-Based Qedit 5.3 Now Available

Version 5.3 of Host-based Qedit for HP-UX and MPE (not Qedit for Windows) has been released into production. This version has numerous enhancements over 5.2. Some of these enhancements are:

Qedit supports 4 new languages: HTML, XML, Qedit Scripting Language (QSL) and Java.

The server creates environment variables providing information that can be used to implement tighter security.

You can use an Exit command to interrupt Qedit for Windows connections prematuraly.

Use the Set Text Exclusive option to prevent unwanted concurrent file access.

ChangeTag command works on the Cobol tag area only.

Qedit recognizes AICS's QCTERM terminal emulator.

A rangelist can now have up to 10 search strings.

For other enhancements and details, please read the Qedit 5.3 production page.


Consultants: Sai Baba Pokala

We are building a 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: R System Inc.
Specialty:HP-3000 . Powerhouse (Quiz, QTP, Qdesign, QDD), Cobol, Suprtool, SQL, Image, MPE/iX, Sybase, Banking, Shipping and Manufacturing applications, HP3K Migration to other platforms.
Description:Sr. Software engineer with extensive experience on HP3K for varied business, manufacturing, shipping application. Seeking a position in information technology as Analyst Programmer, Support Engineer with professional growth.
Contact:Sai Baba Pokala
Location:Colorado Springs/CO/USA
Phone:719-522-8172 / 719-260-8641 / 719-211-005
Web site:http://www.rsystems.com
Have been working on Suprtool since 1997.
Have been working on Qedit since 2000
References: On request
Notes: Over 12 years of IT experience involving Analasys, Design, Development, Implementation, Support, Data Migration


WRQ: Customer Transition Plans

The 3000 NewsWire reports that WRQ, the makers of Reflection terminal emulator for the 3000, have surveyed their many customers on their transition plans. Click link above to read the results.


HP's Transition Series Webcasts

George Stachnik announces the schedule for a series of six webcasts. These webcasts discuss the transition from the HP 3000 to other HP platforms. You have missed the first one and the second webcast is today:

1/23 - Transition Considerations: First Steps
4/23 - Planning the Project
5/21 - Language Issues
6/25 - User Interface Issues
7/23 - Database Issues
8/27 - Putting it All Together


Double Spacing

Host-based Qedit
Here is the low down on double spacing in Suprtool and Host-Based Qedit:

Host-Based Qedit

When you use the List command on a file, you can use the $DBL option:

   /listq $dbl myfile lp
If you want to double-space your file (i.e., insert a blank line between all existing lines), use the Divide All command. The default is divide each line after the last nonblank character.

Qedit for Windows does not have a function for double spacing, although with the Qedit Scripting Language you could write a script to copy your file into a new workspace, insert a blank line after each existing line, and then print the file.

If you want your output for List Standard to be double-spaced, one sneaky but effective way to do this is to append a string of blanks to the extracted fields.

Insert enough blanks to force each record to wrap around to a second line:

   >extract field1,field2,field3,field4
   >extract "                       "

Another approach would be to extract a CR/LF (^13,^10) at the end of record, although this would probably only work on PC style printers, not line printers.


Spinning the Survey Numbers

The 3000 NewsWire reports on different interpretations of the transition survey results and discussions at the Solutions Symposium.


Transition Survey Results Posted

Results from the Second HP e3000 Transition Survey are now posted. This e3000 Survey was designed to better understand user response to the phased termination of the e3000 product line. It was conducted online from February 25th to March 15th, this second survey received 582 respondents. Here is a sample result:

Regarding your primary HP e3000 applications, please select the box that best describes your organization’s current thinking. (Choose one from the list)

Replace it with a new application package on a different platform 34%
Continue running it even when the HP e3000 is no longer supported by HP 23%
Migrate it "as is" to another platform 19%
Re-write it on a different platform 16%
Retire the application on or before December, 2006 7%


Robelle: April Newsletter On-Line

We have distributed the April issue of our What's Up Documentation? newsletter to our customers and posted it on our web site. Some of the interesting items in this issue include:

* HP CSY Suggests Eloquence Database for Migrating

* Other Reports from the HP 3000 Solutions Symposium

* We Need Testers for Syntax Coloring in Qedit for Windows

* New Suprtool/UX Released with Eloquence Support

* MPE to UNIX Command Cross Reference

And much more. Click the link above to read the April newsletter on-line, or print the PDF version for a hardcopy.


Solutions Symposium Papers On-line

HP's Jazz server has some of the training materials from the recently concluded Solutions Symposium 2002:

Perl Programming on MPE/iX - by Mark Bixby. This is a slightly revised version of the Perl talk given at HPWorld 2001.

Programming and POSIX - by Mark Bixby. This is a slightly revised version of the POSIX talk given at Solutions Symposium 2001.

Getting Started with Sendmail on MPE/iX 7.5 - by Mark Bixby. What you need to know for getting started quickly with Sendmail bundled in the coming 7.5 FOS.

Sendmail 7.5 Support Training Chalktalk - by Mark Bixby. This bonus talk delivered internally to the HPRC and WTEC covers Sendmail in much greater detail. The Symposium Sendmail talk was an extremely condensed version of this one.

HP WebWise MPE/iX Secure Web Server Tutorial - by Mark Bixby. This is a revised version of the WebWise talk given at HPWorld 2000.


Gilles Schipper

Profile/Interview: Gilles Schipper

As customers start working on plans and solutions for alternative support for their HP 3000's it is important to note those people who have been in the business of providing independent 3rd-party support for HP 3000's for many years.

Neil Armstrong, Robelle's Suprtool Architect, realized recently that he knows well the individual with the longest experience of providing MPE support in competition with HP. That person is Gilles Schipper.

Neil writes: I had the pleasure of working with Gilles, during my days in Toronto. I learned a great deal from Gilles, and not just technical things and system management, but also how to deal with customers and provide excellent customer service.

My favourite Gilles story is one from the early days. Gilles was recently out on his own having left HP and a customer called him in frustration, dealing with some performance problems.

After having recently bought some more memory, HP had come and installed the memory, but the promised performance gain had not happened. They asked Gilles to take a look. Gilles quickly found that the memory was installed, but the system had not been re-configured with the new memory size. It is this attention to detail that Gilles taught me to take when approaching a problem and in dealing with customer concerns and problems in everyday business and has helped me to this very day.

I recently interviewed Gilles to bring myself up-to-date on what services he offers, and how November 14 has impacted him: read the entire interview.


MANMAN Application Sold

Computer Associates has sold MANMAN (aka interBiz) to SSA Global Technologies.


Interex: HP 3000 EOL Transition Issues

Interex has created a web page for the issues related to HP's November 14th announcement of the HP 3000 sunset, including technical issues, user support issues, performance issues, concerning the future, and historical significance of MPE.


Suprtool Training Class: April 18-19

Kubler Consulting, Inc., an authorized SUPRTOOL Training partner to Robelle Solutions Technologies Inc., is offering a two-day SUPRTOOL Training course in Hagerstown, Maryland. This course is being offered by popular demand at an east coast site and is being hosted by the TECHGROUP UNIVERSITY. The dates are April 18th and 19th, 2002. Cost of the training is $1,200.00. If you have an interest in the training please send email to jeff@kublerconsulting.com or call 541-745-7457. Additional information on travel arrangements and registration can be found at www.techgroupmd.com or at www.kublerconsulting.com

One student had this to say, "Jeff Kubler's SUPRTOOL class was very helpful to me. Everyday I do data extracts for CLAIMS PAYABLE. I use LINK, EXPORT for importing into an EXCEL spreadsheet, $DAYS function for computing differences between given dates and plain data extracts with sorts for use in my COBOL programming. Thanks Jeff!" Jeff Wardle , UPMC Health Plan


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 appeared on the web in January and Microsoft said that the official drivers would be released "soon". Now 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.


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.


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.


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.


CSY lays out their New Migration Programs and Services

3kworld.com 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.


First Report from the Symposium

Ken Robertson (Ken.Robertson@adtech.com), formerly of Robelle but now with AD Technologies, reports on the first day of the 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!

~ ken ~


Suprtool for HP UX

Robelle Tech: Suprtool Plus Eloquence

In the most recent issue of our Robelle Tech column for the 3000 NewsWire we disclosed progress toward integrating Suprtool on HP-UX with HP's IMAGE-like Eloquence database. But since the article linked above was in a print magazine, it is out of date already. Since then we have released the production software, Suprtool version 4.6, with Eloquence support (Suprtool 4.6 highlights.)


Qedit for Windows

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 sales@robelle.com Toll free: 1-888-robelle

qedit for windows


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 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.