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What's Up, DOCumentation? 2002 # 2

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February 2002


Bob Green, President

To: Users of Robelle Software

Re: News of the HP e3000 and Robelle, 2002 #2

If you haven't been visiting the Robelle web site,, at least once a week, here is what you have been missing. Included are many of the stories posted to the web since the last What's Up DOC newsletter in June 2001.

If you are reading a PDF or text version of this newsletter, remember that the headline of every story is actually a web link to the full story or more information. If you want to follow a link to get more information, go to the web home of the current newsletter:

Table of Contents:

Update Your Account
Add/Change CPUs
Contact Robelle

Ask Support
Technical Information
What's New?

Free Trials. Click for:
Qedit for Windows
Host-based Qedit

Ecometry Solutions
Healthcare Solutions
Education Users
Consultants Corner

Qedit for Windows
Qedit for e3000
Suprtool for e3000
Suprtool Training

About Robelle
About the HP e3000
About HP-UX

News and Upcoming Events

OpenMPE Corporation Has a Board

It is the intent of the OpenMPE group "to carefully and calmly evaluate the viability of the MPE/iX Operating System moving to an alternative entity that would allow for its support and enhancements to continue beyond the scheduled December 31, 2006 end of support date from Hewlett-Packard." The popular vote to select an initial Board of Directors for the OpenMPE Corporation has been completed. The Board members are (in no particular order)

Ted Ashton (Southern Adventist University)
Ken Sletten (SIG Image/SQL Chairman)
Jon Backus (Tech Group)
Christian Lheureux (APPIC)
John Marrah (COO and President of Ecometry)
Chris Miller (VP of Genesis Total Solutions)
Birket Foster (President of MB Foster and SIG SoftVend Chairman)
Mark Klein (DIS International)

The position of HP representative has been filled by Jeff Vance (read an interview with Jeff in the 3000 NewsWire).

Ecometry Schedules Suprtool Training

Ecometry has announced the following Suprtool training sessions dates:

Jan 31 - Feb 1, 2002
Apr 11-12, 2002
Jul 18-19, 2002
Oct 10-11, 2002

Also, Syngistix is buying Ecometry: "Syngistix, Inc. and Ecometry Corporation (Nasdaq:ECOM) announced today that Syngistix has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ecometry, a provider of integrated software solutions for multi-channel commerce, for $2.90 per share in cash. Syngistix, a supplier of supply chain management software, specializes in developing low-risk migration paths to NT/SQL and UNIX/Oracle platforms for users of enterprise applications that run on legacy hardware and software." For more information, click this link to their press release.

MARUG Meeting

Diane Amos ( writes: The new "boothless" format was a big success last year. We will use the same format for our upcoming conference - April 18th - 19th, in Williamsburg, Virginia. For details and registration, you may go to our website at "".

Look forward to seeing you there!

VEsoft Reaction to HP "Sunset" of the 3000

By Steve Hammond ( in his "Inside Vesoft" column for 3000 NewsWire: 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.”

Click the link above for the full story.

NewsWire: Amisys Seeks for Transition Plan

An article from the 3000 NewsWire. Solutions Symposium

More Details On Solutions Symposium

The 3rd Annual HP e3000 Solutions Symposium offers 3 1/2 days of in-depth, hands-on training, designed and delivered by the HP e3000 industry’s most knowledgeable professionals. This top-notch, hands-on technical training that will enable your organization to maintain a superior HP e3000 based technology infrastructure

Register by March 14, 2002 to receive the Early-Bird Discount!

If the HP e3000 server is one of the staples of your career, this is the one event you can’t afford to miss. This event, focused exclusively on HP e3000 technology, has four tracks with over 60 sessions in migration, application development, moving applications to the Web, system management, new MPE/iX 7.0 features, programming, performance management, network management, security, e-commerce implementations, interoperability and more.

Find the solutions to these challenges and more:

How do I continue to get the best return on investment from my HP e3000 system?
What technology enhancements do I need to make to maintain a strong HP e3000 environment while, at the same time, beginning to invest resources in a migration strategy?
What tools are available for an HP e3000 system migration? How long will it take? What will it cost?

Check out this year’s Conference Highlights.

To register or find out more information, visit

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HP Community Tips

Shawn Gordon: Beginners Guide to LINUX

In the 3000 NewsWire,Shawn Gordon explains his transition from the HP 3000 to LINUX:

In August of 1999, after 16 years of HP 3000 development, I founded a software company in the Linux market called For me this was like joining a new band or getting remarried and having to get to know all new friends and relatives. In our HP 3000 space we mostly know the players and we are comfortable where we are. Jumping over to Linux required that I learn a lot about things I never cared about before — like the GPL, GNU, Linux, RMS, ESR, and other things that I will explain in a bit. One of the bits that has been floating around a lot on the various 3000 discussion lists is Linux.

Click the link above for the full article and learn about "distributions", installation of packages, and web sites where you can become LINUX-literate.

Consultants Corner: Steven Jackson

We are building a list of consulting resources for our customers - people who know Suprtool and Suprtool-based applications. We will feature them on our home page as we discover them, and catalog them on Consultants Corner page as well. Today we are featuring Steven Jackson:

Company Name: SLS Systems
Description:Full consulting, project management, development, and support services
Contact:Steven Jackson
Location:Plympton, Massachusetts
10 Years experience with Suprtool. Have provided SuprTool training to several of my Ecometry clients.
Have been using Qedit/Qedit for Windows for 8 years. I always recommend these to my clients.
References: Hickory Farms, Maumee, OH
Hallmark Cards, Kansas City, MO
Ultimate Office, Farmingdale, NJ
Sid Savage Auto Dealer Supply, Taylor, MI
US Mint, Washington, DC
Current Inc., Colorado Springs, CO
Notes: Services include:
- Project management for Ecometry implementations
- Business systems analysis
- Technical training: SuprTool, TurboImage, COBOL, Quiz
- Custom development/enhancements
- Systems integration - development of interfaces between Ecometry and other systems/environments
- Day-to-day technical support and troubleshooting
- End user training

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Qedit for Windows Tips

Qedit for Windows with Citrix

Technical good news from Frank Golupski (

We have a new server we've set up here that is called a "Citrix server". This thing manages thin client PC's on our network and remote access PC's through the internet. I'd questioned the tech staff about a month ago, asking if anybody knew if Qedit for Windows would work through a Citrix server. Nobody knew if it would or not.

Well, it does. And quite well, I might add. No special requirements, it installed and ran under a Citrix client just fine. They might want to take note, should any other customers enquire.

Testimonial: Qedit for Windows

"Qedit for Windows just saved our bacon a few days ago. We had to look at large files (largest one was 440,000 lines long) and edit them. With the HP 3000 connected to our PCs, we were able to modify and save back and forth with no problems. I found that the "file saving" process was pretty quick (15 seconds) between HP and the PC. Even when I used the phone line to do work, it was fairly quick."

Nicholas Y. Foo
CIS Project Manager

Another Testimonial!

A testimonial from Barry Durand at Allegro Consultants:

I started using Qedit for Windows because I had to learn how to use it to support it. However, I have found that I am using it more and more because I want to, not because I have to.

The main advantage of Qwin is that it is a single editor which can be used for multiple platforms. Qwin can be used for MPE, local PC files (including those mounted on another machine via Samba) and for HP-UX (no more vi!). It is simple to learn and very powerful. It also offers all of the advantages of windows-based software such as the ability to copy and paste from one file to another even if they are on different machines and different OS's. No, you can't just do a SAVE AS to a different machine but that is a *minor* drawback.

I have found that I like QW so much that I will soon be installing it on my home PC for just editing my local files! This email does not do justice to the how useful Qwin is. I strongly recommend that everyone who uses an editor on multiple machines at least take a look at Qedit for Windows.

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Suprtool Tips

NewsWire: Suprtool/UX--An Old Friend

The January issue of the 3000 NewsWire contains an column by Bob Green about our Suprtool product on HP-UX.

We are prepared to support Suprtool on MPE/iX as long as customers demand it, and we hope that is a long time. But we also have Suprtool on HP-UX and have had it for many years. We are even doing research right now to improve it to make migrating applications more convenient (news of that research in the weeks to come).

Suprtool from Robelle is already widely used to help integrate HP 3000 systems with HP-UX systems by sharing data. For example, one Robelle customer uses Suprtool/iX and Suprtool/UX to distribute their data from the 3000 to a nationwide network of HP-UX boxes, and then bring new data back to the 3000 for integration. If you decide to migrate some apps to HP-UX, Suprtool/UX will be there for you.

Click the link above to read the entire column.

STExport For Moving Data

STExport is one of the many components of the Suprtool product. Using STExport, you can export data from IMAGE SQL, Oracle or Allbase databases that reside on your HP 3000 or 9000 to just about any other platform, all without having to write a custom program. First you select the data and write it to a self-describing file, then you format the data from the self-describing file into almost any format you want, from fixed-length fields to HTML tables. You can control field delimiters, quotation marks, numeric and date formats among other things.

The example below shows how to extract data from an Allbase database on your HP 3000 and load it into an Oracle database on your HP 9000.

    > {extract the data into a self-describing file}
    >open   allbase employee.db humres
    >select * from humres.employees
    >sort   department_no
    >output emp,link

    >export  {invoke STExport}
    $input emp
    $output empfmt
To see the rest of the process (importing the data into Oracle), click the link above for the entire technical tip.

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HP-UX Resources

About HP-UX At Robelle

We have had a lot of questions about HP-UX since HP's announcement of the "sunset" of MPE. Click the link above for answers to many questions, information on HP-UX solutions with Qedit for Windows and Suprtool/UX, plus links to many useful HP-UX web pages (some even written for MPE users!).

NewsWire: HP-UX Admin for MPE Users

From the 3000 NewsWire, "changes to expect in moving to HP-UX" from comments by Chris Wong:

"I think the biggest difference for most MPE administrators is just the concepts of admin work. For example, there aren't roles in UNIX like there are in MPE. (Example, you have manager.sys, operator.sys, etc..). In UNIX you have all (root) or something else. In MPE you are used to having your operators be operators so that they can do backups, etc.. In UNIX there isn't a special class for this type of user, yet perhaps the operator needs root privileges to complete tasks. The administrator is left with the task of figuring out how to give the operator the permissions they need to do their job without giving permissions that could end up destroying the system."

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Robelle Tech: Perl on the HP 3000

The Robelle Tech column from the most recent issue of the 3000 NewsWire magazine, contains an introduction to the programming language Perl and information on Ken Hirsch's Perl interface to Suprtool. Click the link above to read it and broaden your horizons.

Horner Consulting: Logsendr Tool

Horner Consulting has updated their web site with more free stuff to make your systems, and applications programming easier. More MPEX, Netbase, Ecometry, and How to scripts. They even have links to sites that offer other free applications.

And you might also look into their Logsendr program:

'Your system console can now talk to SYSLOG, which is a program that sends messages to where ever you need them. HP3000 system console messages can only be displayed on the console, located near your HP3000 system. Until now, there has never been software solution to the age old question. "How can I read my HP console messages with out having to be at the system console?" LOGSENDR is your solution to that question. LOGSENDR reads your HP3000's console log files and sends them to SYSLOG. How can this help you, you ask. This is how.'

'For Ecometry users, console messages can be sent to a specific logon. This way there is no need to allow someone access to, what could be dangerous system commands.'

'For Nightwatch, from Hillary Software, users, console messages can be sent to a server that is running Nightwatch. Nightwatch can then process the messages and send alerts, accordingly.'

'For multi-system users, console messages can be sent to the corporate IT center. This way you can monitor your off-site systems in the same way as your on-site systems. For users who audit their systems, console messages can be sent to files for later examination.'

'LOGREADR translates your HP3000 console messages for SYSLOG. SYSLOG sends the messages to where you want them to go. You can have LOGSENDR for the non-budgetbreaking price of $500.00. By the way, did we forget to tell you that this is an unlimited site license.'

Current State of the ScreenJet Emulator

ScreenJet Limited announced a raft of new features for its ScreenJet terminal emulator. The product remains available for free in a basic release for single user or personal use, and now costs between $400 and $2,000 per year for a fully supported and licensed version. Release 2.10 is being sold and supported by its developers, and users of prior versions can register at to have their support transferred from, the former distributors and supporters of the software. Getting the new features of 2.10 involves paying for support, however. From the 3000 NewsWire.

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Host-Based Qedit Tips

Host-Based Qedit: Automatic Editing

When you enter a command on the Homeline of the full-screen editing screen, Qedit temporarily switches back to line-mode and prompts for additional commands. If you open another workfile at that point, Qedit assumes you want to edit the file immediately and switches to full-screen mode again. That is the default behavior.

The new Set Visual Editonopen option (Qedit version 5.2) can be used to change this behavior. If Editonopen is enabled (default), Qedit automatically goes back to full-screen mode on an Open command at the "Next command [Visual]" prompt. If Editonopen is disabled, Qedit keeps prompting for commands.

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Internet Tips

Update to Robelle Headlines

Robelle publishes 3000-related news items on this home page every working day of the year. We also syndicate those news stories so that anyone with a web page can put the Robelle headlines on their page!

We accomplish this using three web services, but one of them has stopped talking to another. So we have changed the Javascript to cut out the middle service. Click the link above for more details, but the new script to invoke the Robelle news is:


Note: the Script tag SRC= value should be entered as one long line, not folded as shown above.

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Newsletter Distribution

Robelle Solutions Technology Inc. provides the What's Up, DOCumentation? newsletter as a service to our customers. The newsletter is available on the web: in HTML format for browsing and PDF format for printing. Visit

Comments about this issue, as well as ideas for future issues, including news, tips, and suggestions for articles, can be sent to

Previous Issue: January Newsletter

Some of the highlights from the previous issue were:

* HP Tips: Foptions and Aoptions

Do you have trouble remembering all the bit definitions for Foptions and Aoptions when opening a file on MPE/iX? You can find them on- line at but it takes quite a while. Robelle also has them on-line in our Encyclopedia for HP Users.

* Suprtool Tips: Suprtool, CGI and the Web

You've got a Web server running on an HP-UX or MPE/iX machine. Your users are clamoring to get their data and reports from their Intranet. With a little bit of Perl and Suprtool, you can have your data accessible on the web, dynamically!

* Suprtool Tips: Generate Random Passwords

This clever application note shows two methods for generating passwords with Suprtool. The advantage of using a program to generate new passwords is that no personal bias can slip into the password, making it easier for an intruder to guess.

* Host-Based Qedit Tips: Inside Vesoft: Combining MPEX and Qedit

"I like to think of MPEX as an old friend. An even older friend is Robelle’s Qedit. These two old friends can work together to make your tasks complete faster and easier — and isn’t that what friends are for? They qualify for the 'Plays Well with Others' award."

* Qedit for Windows Tips: MatchCharacter: a QWIN Script

The MatchCharacter script searches for matching left and right characters like parentheses, square brackets or curly braces. It uses the current selection to determine what to search for. If found, the script selects the text between the two characters.

* Resources: Robelle Tech -- Unix Quickstart for MPE Users

This column is intended to relate the MPE commands and concepts that you are familiar with to similar commands and concepts on HP-UX. It is intended to assist the MPE user, programmer, and operator to navigate and use commands on the HP-UX operating system.

These are just some of the informative articles in the previous newsletter.

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