Sharing HP Instant Information via Samba/iX
Use Samba/iX to install and share CD-ROM HP 3000 documentation across your network
HP Instant Information is based on the documentation written in FrameMaker+SGML, which is then published and stored on Instant Information. This uses SGML instead of HPs proprietary HP Tag format. The viewing tool is Dynatext by Inso, which calls it Professional Publishing System.
Using HP Instant Information, you can look at a books table of contents or index and, with a mouse click, jump to a specific topic. You can search multiple manuals and documents quickly for matching keywords. Users no longer have to rely on paper manuals, although some still prefer paper in their hands!
With the new browser, you can view both document text and the table of contents in the same window. You will find an improved collection structure, now based on specific products (such as NS3000/iX) rather than on hardware platforms, the base used by HP LaserROM bookshelves.
Another significant improvement is the advanced printing functionality of HP Instant Information. From one or more chapters to an entire book can be printed with page numbers. Also, proportional fonts, graphics, and tables can be printed with Postscript quality.
The first releases of HP Instant Information for MPE/iX include the most critical MPE/iX products. Books for which no revisions are planned will not be converted to HP Instant Information, but can be accessed on the last version of the November 1997 HP LaserROM.
You can subscribe to HP Instant Information through your support contact or by purchasing a stand-alone subscription. Customers who currently receive documentation updates on HP LaserROM for MPE/iX will receive HPs new Instant Information automatically.
following CDs are available (thats the two I have, under my
LaserROM contract): MPE/iX 5.5 C.55.07, March 1999, Part No 50726
10368; and MPE/iX 6.0, October 1998, Part No 50726-10351. I got the
5.5 CD only because of my good contacts in HP, not automatically!
A short word about Samba/iX if some of you do not know about it: Samba for Unix and Samba/iX define file and printer sharing for PC networks on hosts using the Microsoft SMB (Server Message Block) protocol. It basically provides disk space to the clients. Another benefit is the ability to share files, printers, or other resources. The SMB protocol is used by Microsoft LAN Manager and compatible products like Advanced Server for Unix or Resource Sharing for MPE/iX.
Once you have
Samba/iX running on your 3000s, its a good idea to use this
service to share the HP 3000 documentation across your net.
To achieve this, follow this step-by-step procedure:
(1) Get the CDs. This was difficult because I didnt get the 5.5 Documentation automatically. Its possible to install 5.5 and 6.0 in parallel, and also HP-UX.
(2) Define a
Samba/iX share on your HP3000 running Samba/iX. Edit the
/SAMBA/PUB/lib/smb.conf file this way:
(3) Insert the CD on your PC, map the N/W drive HPInstant_update on the Sambaed HP 3000 via Windows Explorer, and submit the needed MANAGER.SYS password. You need not reconnect. This is only the one time installation share, and the sometimes update share.
(4) Invoke Windows Explorer (if not already open) and go to the PCs CD directory collects.
(5) Copy all the B#@ directories from the CDs \collects\ directory onto the HPInstant_update share. Do the same for the second documentation CD if you have both, and probably the same for the HP-UX CDs if you want to have them all on the same box. We decided to have MPE Instant on an HP 3000 box, and HP-UX Instant on a HP 9000 box.
(6) You may copy the CDs \PCINSTAL\ directory to the shared N/W drive as well to share the PC Installation tools of DynaText as well. This is my recommendation.
(7) Now map the Network Drive \HPInstant, and click on for reconnection after next reboot on PC. Note the drive letter.
(8) Install the PC Application for DynaText (via CD or via shared directory \PCINSTAL if copied as well). Just execute the SETUP.EXE program there. Ignore the error at the end (no collections can be found) by installing from share. Dont open DynaText now!
(9) Edit the INSTINFO.INI file on your PC in DynaTexts Program Directory BIN as shown in Figure 1 below.
(10) Invoke DynaText. If you see all the books, youve done a perfect job!
(11) Inform all potential users of how to install DynaText on their PCs to gain access to the HP Documentation. This is the advantage of having the directory PCINSTAL as well on your Samba/iX share. Each user must perform steps (7) to (10) above.
To support the DynaText PC installation, I prepared four little files for our environment, installed in the root of the HPInstant share: README.TXT, INSTINFO.ALL.INI, INSTINFO.MPE.INI, and INSTINFO.UX.INI. README.TXT can be instructions for the installation of HP Instant Information at your site.The INSTINFO.ALL.INI file looks like Figure 2. (F: is the drive letter of a HP3000 Samba/iX share, K: the one of a HP-UX Samba share. It contains all MPE and HP-UX collection names. The INSTINFO.MPE.INI and INSTINFO.UX.INI files consists of the lines which are related to these Operating Systems only.)
advice to the PC software installer is: First install DynaText on
your PC, ignore the error at the end, and finally copy, edit, and
rename the INSTINFO.xxxx.INI file of your choice!
The performance of Instant Information documentation accessed through Samba depends on your Sambaed HP 3000 and the network. One current disadvantage is that HP seems to rename the collections with every update. So whenever you get an new Instant Information CD, you should purge the existing collection directories if the names will be different, and install the new ones.
Finally, you must also update the INSTINFO.INI files pointing to the new COLLECTION names. I helped myself and my colleagues when I put the files INSTINFO.MPE.INI, INSTINFO.UX.INI and INSTINFO.ALL.INI on the HPInstant Share as well, so that the actual version always can be copied to the local PC at any time. Only the drive letter needs to be adapted on users PC. But I agree, this is a mess!
Using Samba to share Instant Information will enable all of your operators, system administrators and managers, application support staff and probably your end-users to gain easy access to the latest HP 3000 documentation. Its especially useful if youre not connected to the Web, or you do not like to get documentation out of the Web. For example, non-US sites often have additional costs for every Web access.
If you have
questions, dont hesitate to contact me at my e-mail address