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Hidden Value details commands and procedures in MPE that can improve your productivity with HP 3000 systems. Send your tips to, or fax them to 512.331.3807.

Edited by John Burke

When upgrading an old system from 5.0 to 6.5 are there any mandatory versions in between that one must upgrade to before getting to 6.5?

Tom Hula replies:
According to the System Software Maintenance Manual, you would have to upgrade from 5.0 to 5.5 or 6.0 first. Then you can upgrade to 6.5. There is no way to get directly to 6.5 from 5.0.

We set up three Intel Netport print servers to three different printers using the “snmp_enabled=false” directive in NPCONFIG.PUB.SYS. The HP LaserJet works great. The other two printers are Okidata ML series printers. One prints junk on top of each form and the other one just prints junk. If we use an External JetDirect card with the Okidatas, will this work?

John Burke replies:
HP’s MPE/iX network printer spooler is hard-coded to send out several PCL commands (escape sequences) in the normal sequence of “printing” a spool file. There is no way to suppress this. Virtually all laser printers, whether made by HP or not, understand PCL. This is because of HP’s dominant position in the laser printer market. On the other hand, virtually no non-HP character mode impact printer understands PCL. In particular, none of the Okidata ML printers can process PCL; hence the junk. Sometimes the junk can be pretty spectacular if the printer interprets some part of the PCL escape sequence as a command in its own language — imagine the possibilities.

The only way you can successfully print to your Okidata printers over the network from the HP e3000 is with one of several third-party products. HP has steadfastly refused to enhance its network print spooler, deferring to the third-party vendors.

I’m having problems using Reflection 7.0 to upload files to an e3000 (6.5pp2) across the Internet. I have tried both telnet and VT without success. The transfer just seems to hang.

Joe Silagi replies:
The problem is likely a firewall interfering with Fast File Transfer. Reflection’s Fast File Transfer (FFT) uses a separate TCP connection. On the pc the port FFT uses is 30767. On the host side the port number varies but is in the range 30000-40000. Firewalls will need to be configured to allow access to these ports. If the FFT negotiation fails (default behavior) Reflection will use the session port for the file transfer. In the File Transfer Setup you can configure Reflection to negotiate (default), always or never use FFT. You may need to disable FFT.

I need to verify within a STREAM that a file does not exist. If it does exist then abort, else finish the job. I am trying to make sure a file is not overwritten.

John Burke replies:
You want the finfo CI evaluator function. Just type HELP FINFO at a CI prompt for all the gory details; for example,

if not finfo(“fname”,”exists”) then

Today I got a new PC with Windows 2000. My password-protected Samba Shares do not work any longer. The other, unprotected, shares work like a charm. Any hint to solve this problem?

Michael Gueterman replies:
Make sure you have applied the Win NT 4.0 registry patch (which works just fine on Windows 2000). Also, if you are using a file, you may need to make some alterations to it. I’ve included that information, which was provided by Greg Stigers, in with some other Win2000 notes in a document entitled “Windows 2000 and Samba/iX Issues” available at the Document Library section of the Web site.

What about HP’s “scrollable pick list” enhancement to VPlus — has this enhancement been done or not?

Mark Undrill, Nick Demos, Lars Appel and Michael Berkowitz reply:
It has not been done. After starting it, HP decided not to do it and rely on third parties.

What is the upper limit of LDEV numbers?

Stan Sieler and Christian Lheureux reply:
Depends upon the version of MPE/iX:
1.1 .. 3.1 MAX_LDEV = 999;
4.0 .. 4.5 MAX_LDEV = 2330;
5.0 .. 7.0 MAX_LDEV = 4679

Stan Sieler adds:
I wouldn’t be surprised to find that some code doesn’t like disk drive LDEVs larger than 999.

Is there a way to empty Apache log files?

Mark Bixby replies:
Apache has a rotatelogs utility that will automatically create a new logfile after some fixed time interval. You can get it at

MPE :PURGE should complain about log files being in use. But if you do a Posix rm, the log file will be purged, but what happens next is probably not what you expect. The log file doesn’t really get purged until the last accessor has closed it, and so the network server will continue to write entries into the now “hidden” log file, consuming additional disk space. Once you terminate the network server that is writing to the log file, the file will finally be removed from disk. So it’s cleaner to clean up your log files when the relevant network server isn’t running.

Many Posix network servers however will allow you to do something like this while the server is still running (Apache works this way):

mv logfile logfile.old (rename the active logfile)
kill -HUP nnn (send the HUP signal to pid nnn to cause a server restart)
Optionally, process the now closed logfile.old
rm logfile.old (purge when done)

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