March, 1997

A Windows File Manager for your HP 3000s, and much more


OmniSolutions, Inc.
3940 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
Suite 717
Studio City, CA 91604
Tel: 800.935.0101
Fax: 888.811.8707

A client-server administration utility for HP 3000 system managers, account managers and database administrators. It can also display TurboIMAGE structure and graphically portray disk space distribution and database capacities. A license to use GUI3000 is $230 for one user, $320 for 2-50 users and $400 for an unlimited user license. There is a 50 percent discount on a right-to-copy license. Maintenance is on a yearly basis at 15 percent of purchase price and includes telephone support and all upgrades. An evaluation copy of the full product, with timed expiration, is available for downloading.

Review by John Burke

GUI3000 is a client-server administration utility for HP 3000 system managers, account managers and database administrators. Its GUI front end gives you a single point of control for managing the accounts, groups and files on one or more networked HP 3000 systems. It can also display TurboIMAGE database structure and graphically portray disk space distribution and database capacities.

GUI3000 is a Windows "File Manager" or "Explorer"-like utility. It uses Berkeley Sockets, supports multiple users and multiple hosts. It requires MPE/iX 4.0 with ThinLAN/iX or any version of MPE/iX 5.0 or later. On the client side, GUI3000 will run on Windows 3.x, Windows 95 and Windows NT. Although it is currently a 16-bit product, a 32-bit version with full Posix HFS support is under development and should be ready sometime this spring. On the HP 3000 side, a single job runs and creates a new process for every connecting client. No sessions are used at all.


GUI3000 has three general functional areas: File Explorer, Database Explorer and Utilities.The File Explorer section of GUI3000 has the look and feel of Windows 95 Explorer and Windows 3.x File Manager. A left hand window shows accounts and groups and a right hand window shows files. The file display can be sorted by name, size, etc. and filters can be established to qualify files for display. Click on an account to see properties including capabilities and access matrix.

From the properties screen, you can click on New Account, enter a new account screen and duplicate the account. Whatever works for accounts, also works for groups. You can also drag one group to another to either rename or copy the whole group. Click on the graph icon to get a graph showing disk space by account.

Click on a file to copy, rename, delete, or view its attributes. The Database Explorer section of GUI3000 prompts for a database name then shows all the sets in the database with detailed information about each dataset. Click on the graph icon and get a graphical display of number of entries versus capacity for each dataset. Click on a dataset to see a detailed list of all the items in that set along with a graphical display of the number of entries versus capacity. Click on a data item and get a list of every dataset where that item is used.

The Utilities section can be used to execute most MPE/iX commands on the HP 3000 and return the results to your PC. It maintains a history of commands in a drop down list, any of which can be executed simply by double clicking on the command. Specific features include the capability to:

  • Drag and drop file move and copy
  • File display filter by dates, file code, creator, size, etc
  • View files in name order, size order
  • View account, group, user and file properties
  • Duplicate account structures
  • View ASCII files
  • Move groups of files
  • Graph and print disk space occupied by groups and accounts
  • Create, modify and purge accounts, groups and users
  • Issue standard MPE/iX commands from within a window, saving a command history, any command of which is just a double click away
  • Display IMAGE database sets and items
  • Graph and print IMAGE capacities and entries
  • Use MPE/iX access security (connect with MPE user.account)
  • Logon automatically (pre-configure users to connect with a specific user.account and encrypted passwords).
  • GUI3000 comes with an excellent HELP facility.

Installation and evaluation

An evaluation copy is available for downloading at It contains the full product, limited to three users with an expiration date of March 31, 1997. The download file is almost 3Mb, so you will need a reasonably fast Internet connection or a lot of patience. It comes as one ZIP file, which you download into some temporary directory. After expansion, you have the usual setup.exe Windows setup program to install GUI3000 on your PC. There are also five files that have to be uploaded to each host HP 3000 along with a little bit of configuring on each host. It is all pretty straight forward, and anything that is not obvious is covered by the installation notes. The version used for this Test Drive was labelled 1.0.11.

The server job is controlled by a utility program that is itself controlled by a command file. The principal commands recognized are:START, which starts up the server job;STOP, which closes down the server and terminate the job; SHOW, which shows users attached to the server; COUNT, which counts the number of active processes; and KILL, which kills a client process attached to the server.

I really appreciated the utility program, because GUI3000's author has taken the time to create a controlling mechanism for the server. There is nothing I hate more than a server job that can only be shut down by doing an ABORTJOB.

GUI3000 worked as advertised. In fact, it was surprisingly stable considering it is a brand new product. There were some problems, but no real show stoppers. And problems were rapidly corrected with the fixes easily applied after downloading from Vicker's web site. This is a well-designed and thought out product.

Security GUI3000 is a client-server application and therefore does not create a session or logon when you connect to the server. However, to provide security, the default behavior prompts for user and account names and passwords each time you connect to a server. GUI3000 uses this information to determine what you can do on the host. The latest version of GUI3000 provides for connection without "logging on." Individual PC users can be set up in advance with default profiles that include encrypted passwords. This makes for a faster connection and is particularly useful when managing multiple servers.

Conclusion Even though GUI3000 is reasonably priced, you might be tempted to ask "why bother?" since Samba is available as freeware. Samba, after all, gives you a GUI "Explorer"-like view of your HP 3000's file space, as well as that of other platforms.

Setting aside the issue of support, the greatest strength of Samba is also its greatest weakness when compared with GUI3000. Samba is generic to support multiple platforms, while GUI3000 was designed specifically to support the HP 3000 and therefore knows all about MPE/iX user, group, account and file structure. And TurboIMAGE is something Samba will likely never understand. GUI3000 also provides a desirable graphical display of disk space distribution and TurboIMAGE dataset population versus capacity.

You should definitely take a look at GUI3000 if you manage one or more HP 3000s or if you are responsible as database administrator for any TurboIMAGE databases. GUI3000 makes an excellent addition to any system manager's toolbox. I am particularly excited about the soon-to-be-released support for the Posix HFS name space. The price is extremely reasonable considering the functionality.

Copyright The 3000 NewsWire. All rights reserved.