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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

Edited by John Burke

How can I purge ‘K’ files globally on MPE ?

A whole bunch of people jumped all over this one:
Type :listf k#######.@.@,2 to see what files show up. If all is good then do a :PURGE K#######.@.@. If there are files in this list you do not want to purge, then do


to a file, and use that list and your favorite editor to create a command file to purge all the files.

Medicaid in its infinite wisdom has only allowed us to submit claims to them on magnetic reel. We just received notice that as of 07/01/03 they will only accept 3490 tapes. Can I hook up a 3490 to my HP e3000?

Michael Berkowitz replies:
You may be able to put a 3480/3490 drive on your HP 3000. HP has supported the 3480 tape drive on the 900 series machines (but not the A- and N-Class) through 6.5. It may also work on 7.0 and 7.5. A 3490 is supposed to be a 3480 with data compression. The drives are made by StorageTek and are obsolete, though I suspect you can get one if you want.

How can I purge a file with a negative (PRIV) filecode?

Denis St-Amand replies:

I am looking for a way to access HP system variables (in this case HPJOBNAME) from a compatibility mode program (SPL). I could write a switch program to HPCIGETVAR, but is there any easier way?

Michael Berkowitz and Donna Garverick reply:
From a CM program, you can still use the COMMAND intrinsic. You may have to dump the contents of your variable into a file, but it will work.

How can I convert an input date from mmddyy date format to yymmdd format to use in an MPE stream? I want the user to input a date in mmddyy format and do a query find, which requires yymmdd.

Larry Barnes replies:
If you do not care about error checking or input flexibility then this should work,

:input mmddyy;prompt = “enter a date (mmddyy format)
:setvar yymmdd str(‘!mmddyy’,5,2) + str(‘!mmddyy’,1,4)

Can DDS-3 tapes (125m) be used on DDS-2 drives?

John Burke replies:
In a word, the answer is no. For DDS tape and drive compatibility, Christian Lheureux created an Excel spreadsheet with everything you need to know. You can see it at my Web site,

Are there any problems with DDS-3 tapes going through the new airport scanners? I routinely carry several tapes with me (as off-site backup and load to customers’ systems, etc.) and will soon be going through those scanners.

Denys Beauchemin replies:
Do not walk through the portals with the tapes and do not bring them close to the portals either. Sending them through the X-ray is fine. When I am talking about close proximity to the portals, I mean inside a foot or so.

Is there a command I can type in that would show me much total hard disk space I have available to me, and how much of that is being used? Also is it possible to break that up per account? For instance, can it tell me how much hard drive space I would gain by purging a particular account?

Tim Atwood, Craig Lalley, Connie Samuel and John Wolff reply:
Use :DISCFREE C for space used and available by drive and in total. :REPORT z.@ will let you know how much your accounts are using. You may want to run :FSCHECK and do a SYNCACCOUNTING first.

I have a DTC 72mx, which is connected to the network via the AUI port. I would like to change this to use what appears to be the RJ-45 connector. I tried just switching the cable and power cycling the DTC but the switch does not show a link light for the connection. Is there a jumper on the card? What more is there to do?

Bob J. replies:
Look closely at the RJ-45. You are probably connecting to the (serial) diagnostic port which is NOT a network connection. The network connections are AUI and BNC.
How much supported memory will a Series 928LX will take? Are there just four slots for memory on this box?

Joseph Dolliver and Tim Atwood reply:
That is correct, it has four slots. Total maximum 512 Mb. The largest memory kits you can get are A3131A at 128Mb. (2x64 Mb memory chips per kit / slot module). 128Mb times 4 modules = 512MB.

Our installation of BackPack is aborting in a backup (DDS-2) due to tape errors. Our hardware guy is on the way to replace our two DDS-2s, but he seems to recall that BackPack is overly sensitive to recoverable IO tape drive errors. Is there something about a ‘high’ ‘medium’ or ‘low’ setting for the BackPack Jobstream?

John Burke replies:
It is not just Backpack. I had the same issue with Orbit, and I expect the same would apply to HP’s Store. The issue is software compression. The higher the compression level we used with Orbit, the more “sensitive” the drives/software became. If you do not use software compression it is likely your drives will “last” longer. But you probably need to use software compression so you have a Catch 22.

Bottom line is the DDS-2 drives are notoriously flaky. Then there is the media and the important role it plays in backup reliability. This is totally unscientific since it is based upon personal observations at one site; however, I found that if I replaced media (DDS-2) after at most 20 uses and cleaned the drives daily this seemed to extend the “life/usability” of my DDS-2 drives significantly. Obviously, your mileage may vary.

Is there a way, using the original BASIC/3000 (not the Business Basic), of avoiding KSAMUTIL.PUB.SYS and Building (and later purging) a KSAM file?

Denys Beauchemin and Wirt Atmar reply:
This is easy. You can create a simple SPL routine that will call FOPEN with the proper parameters, using the parameters given to it by BASIC/3000. It is very simple to do, once you understand that BASIC passes all its parameter by reference, not value and that the first parameter is the number of parameters being passed.

Also, the character parameter has a special construct where the first byte is the length of the string. [Ed. Note: Wirt Atmar contributed SPL code that builds and purges both CM and NM KSAM files, based on the type of machine that the code is being run on.]

Our company is looking at a canned package to replace our home-grown production software. One of the questions the vendor needs answered is how many transactions we process in an hour, day, etc. I’m not really sure how to go about doing that. Is there a product that can provide the information?

John Clogg replies:
The problem with any such tool is that the vendor probably wants logical transactions. All you can measure with any of the tools is the number of database transactions, which is probably some multiple of the number of logical transactions. Probably your best measure would be to use a report writer to extract whatever kind of record corresponds with a logical transaction, and select the ones for a specific date. Once you know the transaction count for a day, you can estimate hourly rates, etc. You should probably ask you users whether they have transaction counts available.

I recall that cstm has the ability to show the configuration of your current memory installation (what the makeup of your memory is in terms of the boards used). What is the command to get this information?

John Clogg replies:
First, enter the MAP command to see a map of the hardware on your system. Each item on the resulting list has a line number. Note the line number for “memory” and use it in the “select device” command, then enter the “info” command. For example, if the memory is device 64:

cstm>select device 64

If you enter the map command now, you will see the status of the memory will be “Information starting” or “information running”. When the status changes to “Information Successful,” you can display the result with the “il” (information log) command. Note: You can avoid the necessity of repeatedly looking at MAP to determine whether the info function has completed by entering “wait” at the prompt following the “info” command. You will not receive another prompt until the info process has completed.

Craig Lalley adds,
Another answer, without using cstm is to run SYSINFO.PRVXL.TELESUP and at the prompt type MEMMAP. [Ed. Note: Jeff Kell warns though you should avoid the SYSINFO solution if using Mirror/iX, since it will break the mirror.]

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