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Hidden Value details commands and procedures in MPE (and some in Vesoft’s MPEX) that can improve your productivity with HP 3000 systems. Get a free NewsWire HP 3000 Always Online cap — submit your MPE tip directly to us here at the NewsWire. Send your tips to, or fax them to 512.331.3807.

Edited by John Burke

Can I hook a DTC to a 10/100 card in a 928 or 929 box?

Steve Cole replies:
The DTC can only work off of a 10Mb network. If the 10/100 card is operating on a 10Mb network, it should work. If you are running a 100Mb network then you will need some type of interface such as a bridge that allows you to connect 10Mb devices into your 100Mb network.

How can I change the system logon prompt from the default?

Andreas Schmidt replies:
You can change the logon prompt and/or the CI prompt using SYSGEN as follows: Invoke :SYSGEN as an SM user, and within this program

sy logonprompt=’whatever you want’
sy ciprompt=’whatever you want’

With a START NORECOVERY the new prompt is active.

I had a problem today with the SETCATALOG;SYSTEM;APPEND command under MPE/iX 6.0. I changed the file containing the system-wide logon UDCs, kept it under another name, and did the following:


I then logged off and back on, and the system-wide logon UDC was not invoked! Under 5.5 this procedure worked. What’s up?

Paul Scott replies:
My suspicion would be that one of the other four UDC files contains an OPTION LOGON.
There can be only one LOGON UDC per level (system, account, user).If one of the other UDC files does contain an option logon UDC, then the one you just appended would be ignored since it is appended to the end of the UDC list.
[The original questioner replied that this was indeed the problem. When installing 6.0, he also installed Java. Part of the Java install process sets JAVAUDC.PUB.JAVA at the system level. This UDC has a logon UDC, which after the append/delete process described above became the active system-wide logon UDC.]

I have a question about Global RINs. If I create one (:GETRIN), the manual says it exists until deleted (:FREERIN). Does that mean it’ll survive reboots?

Gavin Scott replies:
They will even survive INSTALLs! (Assuming you INSTALL from an SLT tape created after you did the :GETRIN.)The idea is that after doing the :GETRIN, you would go hardcode the RIN number in your application somewhere, so you really don’t want the numbers to change or go away.

Jeff Woods added a cautionary note:
Even though the intent of GRINs is to be permanent until freed, I suggest you don’t literally hardcode them into your applications. Instead, look them up from some table of “constants” at runtime. That way if something forces you to get another RIN number for some reason you can easily change the reference to it everywhere.

I’m new to using the HP e3000. I’m trying to understand what the “DISC LIMIT” field of LISTGROUP means. I see one group with a disc limit of 0 sectors, another with a disc limit of 10 sectors and many that say disc limit of “UNLIMITED” sectors. Also, what is the equation relating sectors to bytes to megabytes?

Andreas Schmidt, Barry Lake, Wirt Atmar, Stan Sieler and John Burke all contribute to the answer:
1 Sector = 256 bytes; 1 Megabyte = 4,096 sectors = 1,048,576 bytes.

The “DISC LIMIT” field (which is set by the “FILES=” parameter of NEWGROUP and ALTGROUP) tells you the maximum number of sectors that can be used by all the files in the group. [Note that the “DISC LIMIT” for a group must be less than or equal to the DISC LIMIT for the account it is part of.] So a “DISC LIMIT” of zero means you can only create files in that group that use zero sectors of disc space.
A “DISC LIMIT” of 10 sectors means the sum total of disc space used by all the files in the group can not exceed 10 sectors (or 2,560 bytes). The maximum value for “FILES=” is 2,147,483,647 sectors. In the LISTGROUP and LISTACCT commands, this shows as “UNLIMITED”. The default value is “UNLIMITED” when using NEWACCT and NEWGROUP.

I want to set up a job that will WAIT until no other job by the same name is running. Is there a way to do this?

Ted Ashton, Michael Berkowitz, James Reynold and Jeff Vance all contribute to the answer:

:PAUSE job=”!hpjobname,!hpuser.!hpaccount”

This works and is probably the best approach. The PAUSE skips the job/session that issued the command. Thus it will “wake up” when it is the only job logged on like it.

The same task can also be accomplished via the following loop:

while JOBCNT(“!hpjobname,!hpuser.!hpaccount”) > 1 do
pause 30

The JOBCNT CI function requires 6.0 PP1.

I’m trying to write a generic set of callable routines that will work across all or most languages (like the TurboIMAGE routines or intrinsics). Is there a place that documents a procedure so that I will not need an RL/XL for each language? I assume that there are some rules-of-thumb such as, “Always pass strings as a reference to an array of char.”

HP’s Erik Vistica replies:
The Language Team in Roseville published a paper some time ago on that subject called “Avoiding Pitfalls in Multi-Language Programming”. You can find it at:

How can I programmatically determine the IMAGE version on any given machine?

Stan Sieler replies:
The intrinsic hp32215 returns the overall IMAGE version and doesn’t require having a database open.

How can I calculate percent full for a flat file so I can use the calculation in a command file or job stream?

Donna Garverick provides the most complete answer:
If fname is the name of the file, then


yields percent full.

What are the default accounts that are created on MPE/iX 5.5 and MPE/iX 6.5?

Gary Jackson replies:
The System Software Maintenance Manual for each release contains a list of the HP accounts. For example, it is on page 154 in the release for 6.5.

We have a development machine that freezes up on start up with the following error:

DCC ERROR -61-6, configuration data record was invalid. NM path: DTS.DTC.SELECT.DTC16.TIMER.

How can I bring up a machine so it will ignore the DTC?

Doug Werth and Paul Courry reply:
Try the SINGLE-USER option of the START command.

ISL> start norecovery SINGLE-USER

This will bring the system up, bypassing the DCC startup, allowing you to fix your NMCONFIG file. Otherwise, if you have a good CSLT handy you can do an UPDATE CONFIG to put a valid NMCONFIG file back on the system.

Is there a limit to the number of files that a process can have open at any one time?

Randy Breitfelder replies:
Yes, 1,024. Check out limits/os_limits.html for other operating system limits.

Is there a way to get the telnet client to connect to another port, such as port 25, rather than the standard telnet port?

Keven Miller and Doug Werth reply: ‘hostname 25’

Or run telnet and use the port number on the ‘open’ command.
telnet>open hostname 25

I am using listfile ,6 > *mymsg to create a list of files to process. This works great, except when there aren’t any files in the target directory that match my selection. Then I get two records in my msg file listing the command and the fact that there aren’t any files found. This is a pain to test for. Is there a way to do this so the result of no match is an empty file? This would make scripting much easier.

Leonard Berkowitz, John Burke, Tim Ericson and Tad Bochen all contribute:
There are two suggested approaches. The first involves setting the variable HPMSGFENCE to either 1 or 2, depending upon whether you want to eliminate errors as well as warnings. In either case, listfile fileset,6 > *mymsg will yield an empty file if no files match the fileset pattern.
The other approach tests for no match and diverts to an alternate path.

:LISTFILE fileset,6 > *mymsg
: do whatever to mymsg
: do something if no files exist

What is the maximum amount of memory that can be used in a 987/150?

Bill Lancaster replies:
The maximum amount of memory “supported by HP” is 768Mb. The maximum usable third-party memory is 1.5Gb. I’ve installed that much on 9x7 systems many times.

Tad Bochen passes along this tip:
I have just accidentally discovered a feature of the implied run command. It appears that any string in the implied run parameter list which is enclosed in braces { .... } is taken as a comment. This is neat, except that it only seems to work on the implied run command and not with normal MPE commands, command files or UDCs.

I have an account (ACCT1) on the MPEXL_SYSTEM_VOLUME set and wish to create a new group (arch1) on the ARCHIVE set.
The commands I entered were:

mgr.acct1: newgroup arch1;homevs=ARCHIVE
mgr.pin2k: newgroup arch1;onvs=ARCHIVE
Non-existent account. (CIERR 909)

What am I doing wrong?

Andreas Schmidt and Greg Stigers reply:
You need to create the account on the ARCHIVE volume set first, as in

newacct acct1;onvs=ARCHIVE

For some reason I am unable to do a CNTL-B at the console of my 918 to reset the system. CNTL-A works fine. I have to power cycle the box to do a reset. What is wrong?

Mark Klein, Tom Brandt and John Hornberger reply:
On the back of the 9x7s and 9x8s, on the board labeled “CPU”, there is a small switch which can be toggled between “service” and “normal”. If it’s not in the “service” position, ctrl-b will not work.
On 9x9s there is a key switch which must be in the “service” position for ctrl-b to work.
[Editor’s note: On the 9x9s, just to make life interesting I guess, the switch position marked “standby” actually means “off.”]

I know there is a SCSI-to-Fibre-to-SCSI solution for connecting an HP e3000 to an XP256. We have an XP256 with only fiber connections. Will it work in a HP e3000 SCSI-to-Fibre-to-XP256 connection?

Chris Bartram replies:
On the XP256 you have to go back to SCSI. On the XP512 it’s native fibre, so once you convert SCSI to Fibre (from the 3000) you don’t need to convert back to SCSI to connect to the 512.

The original questioner shares the official HP response:
HP uses the A5814A SCSI-FC Router in two I/O connection solutions. The first solution is SCSI-FC-SCSI distancing solution. It takes two A5814As puts them back-to-back, so that they provide a SCSI to SCSI connection with Fibre Channel being used in between for distance. The distance solution connects any HP e3000 with F/W I/O cards to any FW SCSI disk or tape peripheral.

The second solution connects the HP e3000 to Fibre Channel disk or disk arrays directly and only one A5814A is required. The XP512, which is FC only, is the only disk array that is certified with the router in a SCSI to FC mode. The XP256 was not certified in this mode of operation

So to answer your question, no, the A5814A SCSI-FC router does not support the XP256 with Fibre Channel directors. It does support the XP512 as an FC connected device. The XP256 is only supported with two A5814As as in the distance solution mode of operation

[Editor’s note: The obvious question to ask is whether “not certified in this mode of operation” means it won’t work or just means it is not officially supported?]

How do I clear the attention light on a 996/400?

Joe Taylor replies:
You need to read the Display Log.
From the system console do:


You will see:

Earliest Errors
Latest Errors
SPU Tombstone

One or more of the above will be highlighted. Enter (a/e/l/t/cr): response with what is highlighted above. Enter (a/l/b): enter option base on how much information you want to see. Repeat until all highlighted categories are gone. CO to return to system prompt

I am currently installing a new IMAGE database. It will be updated daily by a batch process. We are using MPEX 5.5/PP7. I am considering using auto expansion, but do not know much about it. 1) Is auto capacity increase only available for DETAILS, or also for MASTERS? 2) Any drawbacks on using this feature (performance etc.)? 3) How is it enabled?

HP’s Kumar replies:
Initially, dynamic expansion was available only for details. It was called DDX. However, currently IMAGE supports dynamic expansion of master sets as well. We call it MDX. This feature can be enabled during schema definition, by specifying initial capacity, maximum capacity and increment. This feature can be enabled individually for any sets in the database.
See @Generic__BookView/2672 and b1019/5ab/@Generic__BookView/2922 for details.
For existing databases, I believe, this feature can be enabled through tools like Adager and DBGENERAL. Regarding performance, it really depends on how the expansion is configured: too many expansions in small increments or few expansions in big increments.

Adager’s Alfredo Rego adds:
See for the specific IMAGE version requirements. In particular, for MDX you need MPE/iX 5.5 or newer as well as IMAGE C.07.18 or newer. You mention that you are running MPE/iX 5.5/PP7 (so you should be okay here) but you don’t mention which version of IMAGE you are running. To find out, run Query and issue the “version” command. Alternatively, run Adager and it will give you your IMAGE version.


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