Net.digest summarizes helpful technical discussions on the HP 3000 Internet newsgroup and mailing list. Advice here is offered on a best-effort, Good Samaritan basis. Test these concepts for yourself before applying them to your HP 3000s.
Edited by John Burke
Then there was the
report about the Multnomah County, Oregon Heath Department looking
for a Klingon interpreter for patients who speak Klingon. And, of
course, the report that New Hampshires famous rock formation
The Old Man of the Mountain finally succumbed to the
erosion that created it. And, finally, there was the report about
Microsoft developing for the UK market a portable toilet with
Internet access called the iLoo. Was it really a hoax as
Microsoft later claimed?
Interex will be holding HP World 2003 at the Georgia World Conference
Center in Atlanta, Georgia. As co-chairman of SIGMPE, Id like
to invite everyone to join us at the last SIGMPE meeting before end
of sales for the HP 3000, and possibly, the last SIGMPE meeting ever.
I hope that is not the case, but it is up to those with a continuing
interest in MPE to keep the flame alive. Lets try to make this
the biggest SIGMPE meeting ever. One major topic of discussion will
be the 2003 (and probably final) SIB and HPs response. We are
expecting HPs formal response any day now, after which I hope
to engage a discussion on 3000-L. At this SIGMPE meeting HP will
report on its progress, and we will have an opportunity to lobby on
behalf of our favorites. At the 2003 HP e3000 Solutions Symposium
Mike Paivinen of HP strongly suggested that vCSY would continue to
work on specific enhancements even after October 31, 2003 if there is
obvious value to its customers.
I always like to hear
from readers of net.digest and Hidden Value. Even negative comments
are welcome. If you think Im full of it or goofed, or a
horses behind, let me know. If something from these columns
helped you, let me know. If youve got an idea for something you
think I missed, let me know. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This was the question: I have an IMAGE database in which the item declarations have been added willy-nilly, and now Id like to sort those declarations for easier readability without breaking my database and without doing a reload. Will this work? The manager then went on to describe how he wanted to generate a schema with Adager, sort the item list, create a new empty database with this schema and replace the original root file with the new one.
Leonard Berkowitz, Patrick Mullen and Wyell Grunwald noted that since he already had Adager, he could just use the ITEM SHUFFLE command to achieve the desired result. However, they warned that any application that uses item numbers instead of item names would have to be fixed; Omnidex being one example, along with Netbase and Bridgeware (which uses Netbase).
The discussion then veered
off to discuss whether replacing the root file like this would work.
Several people, myself included, chimed in that we had done similar
things successfully in the past. Why were we successful? Because all
the logical information about the database is contained in the root,
and there is nothing in the datasets except data, links and counter
Some people have
suggested that physical information, such as the number of entries in
a dataset (FORM SETS in QUERY), is contained in the root file making
the suggested swap invalid. This is false. When you do a FORM SETS in
QUERY, each dataset is opened to determine the number of entries. A
useful side effect of this is that if you open the database in QUERY
with write access and issue the FORM SETS command, each dataset has
its accessed and modified timestamps updated. (If the database is
only opened with read access then only the accessed timestamp is
The key nowadays,
though, is to get an HP engineer interested. One user reported that
his efforts to remotely create a KSAM/XL file using RFA over a DSLINE
were failing with FSERR 3, the required parameter was missing. After
people checked around a bit, it was discovered this worked for CM
KSAM files but not NM KSAM files (KSAM/XL).
The problem piqued the
interest of HPs Bill Cadier who reported, It looks like
this problem has been around a while. It took me some time to locate
the service request filed for this, which is 5003-175117. It has not
been fixed and I think the only reason for that is that nobody other
than the original reporting customer ever encountered this. A
few days later, Cadier reported, I was able to track down the
source of the difficulty. It was just a simple oversight in the code.
It was only checking for the CM KSAM file type in deciding whether to
process the KSAM parameters into the forms message parameter that
would be passed to RFAFOPEN. The patch that will fix this will
be MPEMXG5. Ive no ETA on it as it hasnt yet been
prioritized on the labs to-do list yet.
One HP e3000 user
with time on his hands was looking through SYSGEN and came upon the
following table (MISC -> SHOW):
He then noted that
the pool controls the number of JSMAIN processes and wondered whether
there was a situation where you would want to configure the minimum
to be 2 or more and whether this was at all analogous to creating a
pool of VT server processes.
In separate postings,
Steve Macsisak and Stan Sieler provide an explanation. Macsisak said,
The main advantage is so two people can log on at the same
time. If you only have one JSMAIN one will have to be created for you
before you can logon. If you have a small pool then you dont
have to wait for one to be created. But having a pool of more than a
few is not of much use since the OS will still keep that many in the
pool all the time. Its not like the VT servers where you use the
pre-built servers first and the OS will not create a new one until
all of the pool has been exhausted. So for VTs you should have a few
more than you will ever need which cuts down on process create
overhead. For JSMAINS four or five on a very busy system will
probably be enough to keep anybody from having to wait for one to be
As Steve said, it affects the performance during logons. It
only comes into play during two or more (nearly) simultaneous logon
attempts. Thus, if your average time between logons is several
minutes, you generally wont benefit by having more than 1 spare
JSMAIN. Note that you can configure the JSMAIN pool for SESSIONS
independently from JOBS. If you have a lot of short jobs (e.g.,
averaging five or more jobs starting per minute), you might want to
increase the JOBS JSMAIN pool. The same reasoning applies to
sessions. In short, most people do not need more than one or
HPs Jazz Web
page has a document originally prepared by HPs Scott McClellan,
but I believe updated by others, that documents operating system
limits. Anyone dealing with administering an MPE system should have
it bookmarked: jazz.external.hp.com/papers/limits/intro.html.
A new user writes,
I have to write a program (in Java or C++) to externally reset
a password for a user on the HP 3000. Can anyone guide me on
this? Lars Appel responded Why not simply let the user
change it with the PASSWORD command? Type HELP PASSWORD ALL at the
MPE prompt to see details. Several of us supposed
experts were embarrassed to admit we didnt know
about the PASSWORD command and asked Lars when it was added. He
responded that he was able to find it in his personal documentation
It turns out the
PASSWORD command was documented in the Communicator for MPE/XL 3.0,
which explains (though it does not excuse) why some of us missed it.
I know that in my case, I went from the Classic systems to MPE/XL 4.0
and probably never read the 3.0 Communicator. After Lars
posting, I went right to my handy ORBiT Software Pocket MPE/iX Guide
and read through the list of MPE commands to see if there was
anything else I was missing.
Of course it does not
help that the 3.0 Communicator is not available publicly online. In
fact, little prior to MPE/iX 5.5 is available online. One of the
items finishing in the top 10 on the latest 2003 Systems Improvement
Ballot was about making all HP documentation publicly available, even
James Hofmeister reported from Mark Bixbys Solutions Symposium talk Is Your Homestead Secure? (all about keeping your e3000 safe from hackers until 2006 or beyond), that Bixby referenced a future fix to FTP: A future version of FTPSRVR will likely add a new parameter to SETPARMS.ARPA.SYS to globally enable or disable site stream. Well, the future is now. The SR is 8606299646 and the enhancement is documented in FTPDOC.ARPA.SYS, which is included with the patch. All versions have limited distribution: look for patch FTPHD07 for MPE/iX 6.5; FTPHD08 for MPE/iX 7.0; FTPHD09 for MPE/iX 7.5.
John Burke is the editor of the NewsWires HiddenValue and net.digest columns and has more than 20 years experience managing HP 3000s.
Copyright The 3000 NewsWire. All rights reserved.