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Recent News and Tips

New CEO at HP

Mark Hurd, HP's new CEO, held his first press conference, as reported in The Register. Also see links to other articles at the bottom of this article.


Shell Scripts - More MPE for Unix Users

Both MPE and Unix have scripts, but there are a number of differences. This new article by Bob Green discusses MPE Scripts Versus Unix Scripts, Structure of a Command File (aka CI script), Parameters, Options, Handling Errors, User Defined Commands (UDC), and Links to More Information. This is part 5 of our series, "MPE for Unix Users":

Part 1: Command Cross-Reference

Part 2: Login and Logoff

Part 3: Files

Part 4: File Content

Part 5: Scripts


HP 3000 Scripts

Tim Ericsonís collection of UDCís and Command files has recently been resurrected and re-published in the public domain on www.3k.com (click link above).


Plug: 3000 Newswire

You can learn a lot from Ron Seybold's "3000 Newswire". In the 108th edition of their Online Extra, we learned that:

For a small sample of the Newswire, read this "Newswire Flash Paper".


Ecometry News

"Ecometry will be sunsetting all MPE versions prior to 611V on August 31, 2005. ... If you are unable to upgrade by the August 31st deadline, Ecometry will still provide you with software support, however, due to code modifications in versions U and V we will not be able to provide you with code fixes until you upgrade to 611V or higher."


HP License Transfer FAQ

From HP's web site: "We realize our customers take license compliance seriously and want to be assured that the products they are using are compliant with HP terms. The License Transfer Process offers our customers the ability to remain complaint and continue to use HP software and systems with confidence. All systems being transferred into the United States will also be required to include the $400 transfer processing fee, plus applicable sales taxes (based on the buyerís location), for each system being transferred. HP will accept checks, money orders, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. All checks/money orders should be made payable to Hewlett-Packard."

Other topics covered in the link above:

  • HP software license transfer request form
  • HP software license terms (Exhibit E36S/AS-Is)
  • HP Software License Transfer Process
  • HP Software License Transfer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)


Resource 3000 Newsletter

The Resource 3000 consortium has published their first newsletter. Articles include: "Time Is NOT Running Out On Your HP e3000!" and "The HP Never Hangs ... Or Does It?" There is also a teaser about using hot-swappable disk drive arrays on the HP 3000 (full article is here).


How to Beautify My Text

Qedit has two very nice features for word processing: the Justify command to flow text into even paragraphs, and the Spell command (MPE only) to check the spelling of words in your text.

These two features can come in handy when you are writing program documentation and quick memos or emails.

Here is an example of the Justify command:

   /list 10/15
      10     You should wriet down the information below and
      11     see the manual's trouble shooting
      12     section for information on resolving this problem.
      13     If the suggestions in the manual do not help, call
      14     the suport line for further asistance.
Use the Justify command to reformat it into paragraphs that are up to 53 columns wide, squaring off both margins and putting two spaces after periods:
   /justify both margin 53 two on 10/15
      10     You should wriet down the information below  and  see
      11     the manual's trouble shooting section for information
      12     on resolving  this  problem.   If the suggestions  in
      13     the manual do not help,  call  the  suport  line  for
      14     further asistance.
Now let's check the spelling of our Pulitzer prize-winning text:
   /spell 10/15
      10     You should wriet down the information below  and  see
      13     the manual do not help,  call  the  suport  line  for
      14     further asistance.
   6 lines Spell-checked
   3 misspellings
The Spell command has highlighted the mistakes which we need to correct by hand. Problem: we don't know the correct spelling of "asistance". Solution: the Word command's sound-alike search (denoted by "!").
   /word "asistance!"
   word      : asistance
   soundex   : accosting
             : accusations
             : accustoms
             : acquisitions
             : assistance
             : assisting
             : associating
             : associations
             : augustness
   9 matches
If spell is not installed on your system you will see an error message when you try to use it. Click the link above for installation instructions.


click to order manuals

How to Order Printed Manuals

Of course, the product downloads for Qedit and Suprtool include the user manuals and help files in digital format.

But did you know that you can also order printed manuals? You can have your own personal manual to hold, mark up and dog ear!

Robelle allows you to order the most recent manuals on-line. These professionally bound manuals will be printed immediately upon your request and billed to your credit card (via a service called OnDemandManuals.com). The price is $25 US.


What About Secure FTP?

The new buzzword on the Internet is "secure FTP". This can mean several things, as explained in this introduction:

"FTP was originally defined in the early 1970s to transfer files to and from various ARPANET nodes. However, there are a few problems with ye ol' standard FTP that we all grew up with in the early days of the Internet. First of all, it doesn't use strong authentication. It is based on password logins which can be guessed, or discovered by cybercriminals using a sniffer. Even if the password is not guessed or sniffed, with standard FTP none of the files being transferred to and from their destinations are encrypted. FTP sends files in clear plain-text exposing them to the plethora of bad guys out there who have nothing better to do than violate the privacy of others, pilfer confidential information such as credit card information, and attempt to obtain classified information that could compromise national security."

When considering FTP, there are 3 areas that can be secured: login (user authentication), the command channel (where you transmit the PUT and GET commands, etc.) and the data channel (where you transfer the files).

For example, here is a free client for secure ftp that uses SSL (it requires Java 2 version 1.3 on your machine):

HP-UX has secure FTP login via the optional "Secure Internet Services", but I could not find clear documentation about secure command and data channels.

MPE/iX does not have secure FTP. Perhaps someone could configure a wrapper, such as the GLUB Secure FTP Wrapper (again requires Java 2, v 1.3):

Java 2 version 1.3 is available for MPE; download it here:


March Newsletter Posted

We have posted our second newsletter for the year, and it will go out to customers via email and snail-mail shortly. Please feel free to send comments to me at


Specifying a Line Range, without using Line Numbers

One of the little-known features of Qedit commands is their ability to use strings as a rangelist. Use them in any command that accepts a rangelist, and then that command will be applied only to lines containing that string. Strings can be delimited by quotes, or by any of the following special characters: | ~ _ ! # > & :. You can further qualify strings if you use window options on the string being searched.

Some examples:

Deleting all lines with the string "superfluous".

   /delete "superfluous" 
Deleting all lines without the string "superfluous".
   /delete "superfluous" (nomatch) 
Change "bug" to "undocumented feature", but only on those lines that have the string "unexplained".
     /change "bug"undocumented feature" "unexplained" 
Delete all blank lines.
     /delete "~" (pattern)    {blank lines}
Find the next occurrence of the string ".font" that starts in the first column.
     /find ".font" (1/5) 
List all occurrences of "Frank", but not in words such as "Frankenstein".
     /list "Frank" (smart)   {ignores "Frankenstein"} 
By default, Qedit searches for matches to a string. Specifying (NOMATCH) reverses this logic. Likewise, string searches can be restricted to particular columns (10/40), or to a caseless search (UPSHIFT).

If the string represents a pattern, this should be specified with valid pattern characters:

  • @   anything, including nothing
  • #   single numeric digit
  • ?   single alphanumeric digit
  • ~   zero or more spaces


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