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September 2005

Boosting Your e3000 Productivity

An Active HP 3000 Universe

By Bob Green, Robelle

Recently, I have noticed a positive level of activity in the MPE universe. People with an interest in the platform have been working on it and acting to keep it supported and practical. Here are some examples:

Resource 3000: www.resource3000.com

This is a consortium of firms that have put together an ambitious one-stop location for the 3000, including both hardware and software support. Their web site contains many technical papers and downloads. Plus they are producing a newsletter with useful tips. For example, the May issue is online at: www.resource3000.com/news/pdf/R3Knews_V1N2_May05.pdf

This issue has articles about which version of MPE is right for you, configuring remote console on 9x7 servers, problems with fragmentation on big disks, and how to install and fully enable a new network printer without having to reboot your 3000.

For example, here is an extract from the article on remote consoles:

“Controlling your server with a remote modem on 9x7 servers requires special considerations and an understanding of the underlying principles of the access port. This article has been highly condensed and the full article covers detailed troubleshooting along with in-depth explanations. ... “

The full article is on the Web at: www.resource3000.com/papers/remoteconsole.html

3000 Newswire Blog: 3000newswire.com/blog
A “blog” is a web site that is frequently updated with new stories and links. The newest stories are always at the top of the page, with the old ones scrolling off the bottom, into an archive. There are blogs about every conceivable topic from raising Great Danes to Clog Dancing.

Ron Seybold has started a blog for the 3000 Newswire. And so far it is excellent. He has interesting stories almost every day. Here are a few of my favorites:

“Contributions still safe, but index in stealth mode” (on the MPE library)
“The lights are off, the bankruptcy filed” (with a picture of the empty Interex office)
“Get better networked in beta” (about networked printing enhancement)

And Ron already has one guest posting by Gilles Schipper on DAT and DDS tapes.

Ron has enabled comments on his blog, which allows readers to add their own information and opinions to his writing. Over time, this feature has the potential to create a new forum for MPE users to solve their problems.

Ron's 3000 blog supports syndication: you can use a news reader to see a summary of the newest stories, and click through to read them. This means you don't have to go to his site to check if there is anything new; the newsreader lets you know.

The reader that I use is www.bloglines.com - on the 3000newswire.blogs.com site, you right click on the “Subscribe to this blog's feed” link in the right column and save the link to the clipboard, then past it into the Add Feed function in Bloglines.

3000-L Mailing List: raven.utc.edu/archives/hp3000-l.html

The mailing list for HP 3000 users is still going strong, hosted on the Raven server at University of Tennessee in Chattanooga. It is nice to see 3000 enthusiasts helping other 3000 users. From the fourth week in August, there were questions (and answers) on the FEQ Foption, extending logon udc security to FTP access, Vesoft security, Maestro problems, “Composite of Operands Too Big” in COBOL II, the last ever 6.5 patch tape, and my favorite on ordering MPE OS tapes:

Subject: I need to order 7.5 OS tapes for an HP3000
What 800 number do I call... Below was already done....
So today we have found a new country call center while dialing HP dial a joke (800-633-3600)
Costa Rica, I spoke to AMY to order a set of 7.5 tapes for my HP 3000. I give her my support contract number and she tells me that she will be transferring me to the correct 800 number. (800-752-0900)...
Now I am speaking to BHUSAN from India. He explains to me that he has to send me to the proper Queue. While I am waiting for a new person I am listening to lovely music. The call started at 10:12AM EST and is now 10:30AM EST.
I have already heard I am in the Queue and now have been placed with a person from Colorado named Pete who is asking me what I want to order and now he wants to create a caseID.
While I am waiting for Pete to setup a case ID 3211940235. It is now 10:45 and Pete has assured me he will call me when he figures out where he needs to call to find out where I need to go to get my 7.5 OS tapes.....
Now I may be STUPID, but can there be a separate number for HP to order OS tapes for the HP 3000?

Software Vendors

Vladimir Volokh of Vesoft continues to travel the world, consulting at HP sites, large and small, well known and very obscure.

Robelle has come out with Suprtool version 4.9, continuing a tradition of yearly updates for MPE that started in 1978.

Adager has certified their product with the LFDS patch (Large File Data Set).
Speedware is busy installing a product called AMXW that emulates MPE commands and intrinsics on other platforms. Even when we do have to give up the 3000, we can still enjoy the feel of MPE.

David Byrns of Summit Systems has even created a new product for the HP 3000, an IMAGE logfile analyzer that helps system managers with SOX audit compliance.

Ecometry List: groups.google.com/group/ecometry?lnk=oa&hl=en

The Ecometry users have a mailing list that is still very active with MPE-related questions. For example:

“I wonder if any Suprtool gurus can help me with this one. I want to update a field to the date in another field (in the same record) minus 6 days. Here's what I have so far but I'm getting an error because I can’t figure out how to tell it to subtract:

IF LAST-ACT-DATE=$DATE(2008/08/18)

Error: Item "LAST-SHIP-DATE-6" does not exist

The answer to this user’s problem came from Neil Armstrong:

This is doable, but takes more than one pass.


>IN DATES {I have a file with dates}
A = 20050823 {date is for today}

etc etc...

>in dates
>def b,1,4,double
>item b,date,julian
>ext b=$days(a) - 6 {convert to julian days minus six days}
>out file,link
IN=15, OUT=15. CPU-Sec=1. Wall-Sec=1.

>in file
>def c,1,4,double
>ext c=$stddate(b) {convert to yymmdd}
C = 20050817

Last but not least, Hewlett-Packard is still doing good work on the HP 3000. For example, I recently received an email from HP with the Large File Data Set (LFDS) patch so that we can test it with Suprtool

The Jazz Web site continues to add new tools and info. For example, the NewsWire reported that HP as added a new tool “to report on the firmware levels in the 3000's Fast/Wide SCSI and MFIO multifunction cards.“

Other enhancements to MPE include better granularity on FTP access control, a new set of Command Interpreter features, a Large Disk patch, enhancements to network printing, and more.

For a platform that many have declared dead, the HP 3000 looks very alive.

Licensed under the Creative Commons License.