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Recent News and Tips

2003 Canadian Public Holidays

Here is a list of 2003 holidays that the Robelle office will be closed:

Wed. Jan 1, 2003 New Years Day
Fri. Apr 18, 2003 Good Friday
Mon. May 19, 2003 Victoria Day
Tue. Jul 1, 2003 Canada Day
Mon. Aug 4, 2003 B.C. Day
Mon. Sep 1, 2003 Labour Day
Mon. Oct 13, 2003 Thanksgiving Day
Tue. Nov 11, 2003 Remembrance Day
Thu. Dec 25, 2003 Christmas Day
Fri Dec 26, 2003 Boxing Day (not "official stat", but our office will be closed that day)


PC Backup Without Tapes

Have you had as much problems with PC tape drives as we have? The backups weren't working half the time for 3 months and no one noticed! For the last 6 months, we have used a new, simpler system for backing up our PC data in our Anguilla research lab: disk to disk copy. We use a product called Second Copy (click link above) which copies your critical directories to another PC on the LAN, including new files as you create them and old files as you modify them. The backup copies of the files are easy to find and use because they are in a regular Windows folder, with all your subfolders and files looking just like they do on your home PC. With the price of disk drives and PCs being so low, we find it very cost effective to backup disk to disk.


Download Any Manual You Need!

All Robelle product manuals are available on-line, from our web site, in both PDF and HTML-Help format. This includes Qedit for HP-UX (and MPE), Suprtool for HP-UX (and MPE), plus Qedit for Windows. Take all you need as our holiday gift to you.


Merry Christmas from Robelle

Enjoy Your Holidays


HP 3000 in Europe, Middle East and Africa

This HP web page contains HP 3000 information for Europe, the Middle East and Africa: news and events, promotions, case studies, channel partners, sales and marketing material, etc.



Learn About IMAGE Internals

This article by Bob Green explores some of the internal data structures of the TurboIMAGE database and shows how knowledge of them can help you improve the database performance. This is part of our series of IMAGE tips, which also include Are adjacent detail entries likely to have the same key value? and Can you increase your capacity too much?


HP 3000 User Survey

Interex has posted the results of their Fall survey of 340 HP 3000 sites. Some interesting results:

25% of sites plan to homestead instead of migrate. Most common reason why: "it works, no need to replace". The most important thing that HP can do for them is allow one or more 3rd parties to provide MPE software support

About half of those planning to migrate are likely to select HP-UX servers.

56% of those who do not include HP in their migration plans say they don't trust HP.


New HP Newsletter

The old "e3000 Advisor" has been replaced by "Customer First Times", a quarterly newsletter that covers all of the HP server business (HP-UX, MPE, OpenVMS, Tru64 UNIX). MPE topics covered are the recent "Transition Road Show", the "Investment Protection Program", "Easy web access for HP transition resources", "Transition training", and the migration of HP's NA Logistics group from MPE to HP-UX. Note: the link sent out by CSY via email did not work for me, but I found another link from the main server web page that does work.

There will be a new webcast on January 21, 2003 at 8:30am Pacific Time. Topics include budgeting, planning and application selection, recorded from the road show stop in Cupertino. To register for this session, go to www.hp.com/go/e3000reg


HP Flow Control

The HP 3000, as a proprietary system, has some features that are not exactly the same as on other systems. One of them is flow control. To learn about MPE flow control, read this article from our HP Encyclopedia.


Automated Testing: Why and How

Here is a classic paper by Eugene Volokh, of VESoft, with lots of good practical tips on building automated testing into your software from the start.


Solutions Symposium

March 26 - 29, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania (East)

April 23 - 26, San Jose, California (West)

Interex is offering four days of sessions on migrating or continuing operation of an HP 3000, repeated on the East and West coasts. Robelle is not planning to attend - follow our web site for the latest information on running a great 3000 shop, or migrating to another platform.


Eloquence import/export format

This web page on the Eloquence web site describes a common file format is used by Eloquence's dbexport and dbimport utility programs. All data (fields) are saved as a text. This makes it possible to use a text editor (such as Qedit) or common UNIX tools like grep toevaluate or operate on the data.



Suprtool Deals With Non-Standard Dates

How do you do greater-lesser comparisions on dates where the Month comes before the Year? You use Suprtool's $Stddate function! $Stddate converts dates from any of the formats that Suprtool recognizes to a common standard format, ccyymmdd. With this conversion, it becomes possible to compare two dates that are not in the same format. And because $stddate puts century and year first, you can reliably do greater-than and less-than comparisons. For much more on this useful function, click the headline above.


Addelete: Delete Internet Ads

We use a simple piece of Windows software from www.addelete.com which blocks most ads from appearing in your browser. The free version does a good job, but the $15 "Lite" version also blocks pop-up windows and the $30 "Full" version can do cookie filtering and much more. A very few web sites do not display correctly with the ads blocked - in this case you right click on the AdDelete icon and disable AdDelete for a few minutes.


December Newsletter Posted

The December 2002 issue of Robelle's What's Up DOCumentation newletter is now available. Some of the highlights from this issue:

* Why Europeans may need to keep their HP 3000s for at least 7 years.

* Are adjacent IMAGE detail entries likely to have the same key value?

* Qedit Visual for HP-UX Brought Back from Retirement

* Suprtool 4.6.02 power beta release

* Suprtool/iX: How to quickly find where the bad data is?

* Marxmeier takes full control of Eloquence

* Firmware Patch for original A-class MPE servers

Browse the HTML issues at the link above or download the PDF issue. Hope you enjoy this issue.


ScreenJet/AcuCobol Migration

ScreenJet has prepared a COBOL/VPLUS to AcuCOBOL migration demonstration. The demo includes a small working HP3000 COBOL and VPLUS program, complete with all the sources and objects needed to run and/or compile it on your own HP3000. Also included are evaluation copies of the ScreenJet VPLUS migration software, instructions on how to convert and migrate the application into Acucorp's AcuBench, and how to compile and run the application on a windows platform. They also have a cool "movie" that demonstrations the entire migration.


Take a Quiz

How can you tell if a software group has gone off the track? Listen for tell-tale phrases that warn of trouble, remarks such as "that's not my job" and "it's against our policy." Click the link above and see how many of the excuses you have heard?


OpenMPE Membership Drive

OpenMPE is offering a "zero cost" membership as part of its effort to identify the initial "rank-and-file" of the community that desires to continue using and/or supporting the MPE environment beyond the end of 2006, the HP retirement year for MPE. in which Hewlett-Packard will end its support to the operating system. As of HPWorld, OpenMPE has largely completed its original "Gang of Six" objectives and is now working on details of license transfers and creation of a virtual MPE lab outside HP. Click the link to register.


IMAGE: Are adjacent detail entries likely to have the same key value?

When we retrieve the entries for a customer from a sales detail dataset, we do a DBFIND by the customer number, then a DBGET mode 5 to read each detail entry for that customer. Our natural tendency is to think that since these detail entries are logically "grouped" they are probably physically grouped as well. If they are, then retrieving them should be very quick. However, if they are likely to be physically far apart on the disk hardware, then performance will be much less.


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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.