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Sticking Around

By Steve Hammond

Inside VESOFT covers tips and techniques you can use with VESOFT’s products, especially MPEX.

Is it a bull market or a bear market? Is the glass half-empty or half-full? Is it Ying or Yang?

In the midst of uncertainty about the future of the HP e3000, there is one bastion of certainty: VEsoft and its products for the e3000.

VEsoft president Vladimir Volokh and his son, vice-president Eugene, are unanimous in their position. “VEsoft will support our customers as long as they support us!” said Vladimir in a recent interview. “Absolutely, we’ll be around,” added Eugene. “We’ve got users and we’re going to support them as long as we have them.”

As vendors in the e3000 world re-examine their futures, VEsoft is not missing a beat. Vladimir remains busy full-time, traveling to do consulting work for VEsoft customers. The morning of our interview he was at the airport waiting to catch a flight to a West Coast city to help another happy customer. “Our customers still want to do the best with their e3000s, getting the most out of them. And we will continue to support them getting the most productivity out of their e3000s.”

Like just about everyone in the MPE community other than HP executives, neither Vladimir nor Eugene can understand this step by HP. “I’m puzzled by this decision,” commented Eugene. “There is a market niche for the e3000.”

Vladimir noted, “This decision is one of the many mistakes HP upper management has made lately. At HP, it seems like one hand is fighting with the other hand and there appear to many hands in the fight. Instead of saying the ecosystem has changed, they should create the ecosystem and support the customers who are part of the existing ecosystem.”

“The decision is a lose-lose situation. HP is going to lose its e3000 customer base because those customers will not necessarily convert to HP-UX.” The Volokhs echoed the attitude expressed by so many MPE users recently — if HP abandoned MPE, what’s to ensure they won’t give up on HP-UX too?

The two men who developed MPEX back in 1980, and have been among the masters of the e3000 world ever since, feel that HP has benefited from the work of the many third-party software vendors for the e3000 platform. “HP needs strong third party vendors,” Vladimir said, “to sell their machines — and [because of this decision] they are losing that base also.”

The prospect of a “White Knight” taking over the support, development and eventually the marketing of MPE is still a possibility. “My hope is that another entity takes over the development,” Eugene said. But Vladimir was circumspect. “If a consortium is created to created to back MPE,” he said, “it will need a big name behind it. And those in the consortium should be prepared to lose money.”

HOOK to stay

For those who are going to be staying on with the e3000 for the near future, it is good to know that people like the Volokhs are in the game for the long run — and the products and the people from VEsoft will be there to make jobs easier, and to help when some help is needed.

Vesoft does that by keeping their hooks in users with little things like HOOK. One of the beauties of MPEX is that you can run it from inside any number of other programs running on your system. I love the ability to run MPEX from inside my “hooked” QEdit, especially when I forget to do something that I needed to do before I opened QEdit. Inside a hooked program it’s just a matter of typing “%” and the MPEX command. And voila — the command is done.

How do you HOOK a program? There are a couple of answers to this. Editor and Query are hooked at the time of any MPEX installation. To hook a program on your own, you either use the MPEX command %HOOK yourprog.group.acct (it must be fully qualified) or run STREAMX, streaming the job MPEXHOOK.JOB.VESOFT, which will prompt you for the program names (again fully qualified). You need to be logged on with SM capability or in the VESOFT account to do this. You also need to add the VEsoft procedures to the system SL; this is done by streaming VEPROCU.PUB.VESOFT.

Then it’s just a matter of changing your UDCs to run the program from the VESOFT account. RUN program.PUB.VESOFT;LIB=P for compatibility mode programs or RUN program.PUB.VESOFT;XL =”MPEXHKNL.PUB.VESOFT” for native mode programs.

I should note that Robelle allows you to run external programs from QEdit by using their ‘SET EXTPROG’ function. By putting “SET EXTPROG MAIN.PUB.VESOFT” in your QEDITMGR file, you can invoke MPEX from within QEDIT without running the HOOK process in MPEX. Great minds think alike — making our jobs easier. 

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