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March 2002

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

This month talk about the merger moved to the forefront as both sides tried to outdo each other in sinking to new lows. It is certainly an unscientific sampling, but, for what it is worth, posters to 3000-L are against the merger by about 10 to one. Of course, by the time you read this, the outcome will probably be known. I think I know which way it is going to go, but, the only sure thing is that regardless of the outcome, everyone involved will come out of this diminished.

The list is not immune to hoaxes as several people claimed that the symmetrical time and date representation 20:02 20/02 2002 was only the second time this has ever happened and would never happen again. It took all of 8 minutes for someone to point out that 21:12 21/12 2112 shared the same symmetrical property. This thread then morphed into a thread about palindromes in general with Wirt Atmar trumping everyone by presenting in whole a palindrome that is more than 500 words long. And in French. Mon Dieu.

As always, I would like to hear from readers of net.digest and Hidden Value. Even negative comments are welcome. If you think I’m full of it or goofed, or a horse’s behind, let me know. If you spot something on 3000-L and would like someone to elaborate on what was discussed, let me know. Are you seeing a pattern here? You can reach me at john@burke-consulting.com.

Finally getting rid of your HP-IB printer? What to do about LP.

MPE requires the existence of a device defined as “LP” in order to enable job streaming. Typically, if you had an HP-IB printer, this was defined as “LP”. Suppose you’ve finally gotten rid of your HP-IB printer so you can move to MPE/iX 6.5 or later. What do you do about defining an “LP”?

There are two schools of thought on this: one says create a SCSI pseudo printer, and the other says create a network printer which can either be pseudo or real.

First, Gilles Schipper on creating a SCSI pseudo printer:

“First, identify a path that represents, say, a scsi or fwscsi adapter. Let’s assume it is path 56/52 (for a 9x8 machine). Now, identify an unused device number within that path - say device no. 2. In sysgen, add a PSEUDO device at that address, as in AP 56/52.2 ID=PSEUDO

Now either add or modify LDEV 6 as follows: MD 6 PATH=56/52.2.0

At this point you need to do one more thing, and that is to modify the device so that its PMGR setting reflects the fact that it is attached to a SCSI adapter instead of an HP-IB adapter. So, you need to do as follows:


At this point you can HOld and KEep your configuration, reboot with a START NORECOVERY, and life should be good.”

[Editor’s note: I like to use the ID HP2567B, which is a SCSI printer, because it will automatically set most values for you.]

Lars Appel is a fan of using a network printer as LP:

“I have also had good success with configuring one LP device in SYSGEN as HPTCPJD to satisfy the requirement that at least one device in SYSGEN must be of class LP. If it does not a really exist, I used OPENQ LP and DOWN 6 in my SYSSTART file.”

Denis St-Amand suggested another way to deal with a non-existing network printer:

“Personally, I prefer having that pseudo printer not spooled (using AD n MODE=NONE in sysgen) and then do just an OPENQ LP in SYSSTART.”

A little IMAGE lesson

“We have two identical IMAGE databases, one with data and one empty. Data is extracted from a detail, unsorted dataset with only one path to a master dataset to a flat data file. The data in this file is then put serially back into the new empty database. When the new database is then accessed the records are not actually in the same order as on the original database. What’s going on here?”

I’ve noticed that IMAGE internals are often not well understood by people relatively new to the platform. Of course, maybe it is just the existence of the Internet and HP3000-L. Anyway, Doug Werth provided a little tutorial:

“The problem is occurring on the extract side of this procedure. The records are being read serially from a dataset that utilized the free space chain. Recently added records will be somewhere on the delete space chain, taking the place of records that have been deleted, rather than at the high-water mark. Hence, the records are out of chronological order as they are unloaded.

“A way to get the two datasets in the same order would be to run a detail dataset re-org using the database utility of your choosing against the dataset in the source database prior to serially unloading it. This would repack the entries, preserve the chronological order of the chains, and remove the delete space chain. Then, when you populate the second database the records should be in the same order for both serial and chained access.

“Unloading the dataset by a chained read would keep each individual chain in chronological order but would be painfully slow compared to a serial read. The detail repack method would have the added benefit of ongoing performance improvements for chained access.”

One more time with feeling

It all started (again) with the following plea: “Does anyone out have dot matrix printers hooked up to their 3000s as network printers? If so, I really need some help.”

Since the poster meant the MPE network spooler, then a necessary requirement is the printer MUST understand basic PCL. Or, be so brain dead that it takes the PCL generated by the network spooler (there is NO way to suppress this — it is hard-coded into the spooler) and discards it completely.

The npconfig directive “snmp_enabled=false” will allow you to use non-HPJetDirect NICs; but if you want to use the garden-variety dot matrix printer as a network printer, you will need one of several third-party tools. Probably not what he wanted to read.

From the original poster: “Wasn’t there a post in the archives about how to patch OUTSPTJ.PUB.SYS to not send out the PJL code and information; then to specify the alternate OUTSPTJ program in the NPCONFIG entry for the printer?”

Duane Percox wrote something to 3000-L and I did a two part series in the NewsWire about this. The “documented” alternate OUTSPTJ directive for npconfig DOES NOT WORK. Duane wrote about how you could sort of fake out the system to use two different OUTSPTJ spoolers, but as a practical matter you could not use this trick on a production system with a mix of PCL and non-PCL printers.

John Burke is the editor of the NewsWire’s HiddenValue and net.digest columns and has more than 20 years’ experience managing HP 3000s.

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