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What's Up, DOCumentation? 2002 # 11

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November 2002


Bob Green, President

To: Users of Robelle Software

Re: News of the HP e3000 and Robelle

Our newsletter publication has been monthly for over a year now. Publication has been on-line, with an email notification to each customer. Each issue is jam-packed with articles, but if you get as much email as I do, you may have missed this valuable service. Back issues can be reviewed at

The Robelle newsletter really needs to be read on-line, since the headline of every story is actually a web link to the full story or more information. In the interest of keeping the newsletter short and readable, the details are often to be found in the web links. The on-line newsletter is at

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

Press Release: Announcing Eloquence 3000

Robelle President Bob Green announces creation of a new firm, Eloquence 3000 Inc., to sell and support the Eloquence database on HP-UX as a migration target for TurboIMAGE applications. Bob says, "Having converted our Suprtool/UX product to Eloquence, we learned a lot about Eloquence and we were impressed." Eloquence is a product of Marxmeier Software AG and the new firm is an authorized Eloquence reseller, focusing on the HP 3000 migration market.

HP 3000 users can obtain Eloquences trials, quotes, updates, advice and technical support from the Eloquence 3000 web site:

Click the link above for the text of the full press release.

How long will Robelle support the HP 3000?

As long as our customers are using the HP 3000.

Although we ported our products to HP-UX ten years ago, we are primarily known as HP 3000 experts. We continue to update our MPE products and add new features. For example, just recently we added a new "Clean data" function to Suprtool.

Although HP has announced the end of 2006 as the end of life for the HP 3000, we see no reason why customers cannot continue to run valuable MPE applications past that date, and we will continue to support them past that date.

When our customers do decide to migrate an application to HP-UX, we are ready: our products are running, tested, and supported on HP-UX too.

New HP Webcast on Print Management and Reporting

George Stachnik presented an extra migration webcast on Oct 30 (watch for a copy it to appear on HP's web site soon). Here is what George had to say about this webcast:

At hpworld, we received feedback from a number of customers that they needed more information about print management and reporting. Specifically:

* What are the differences between the MPE/iX spooler and the spoolers that come with hp-ux, linux and windows?
* How do you handle forms management on the target platforms?
* What about reports that the hp e3000 printed on the desktop? How should they be handled on the target platforms?

Based on your suggestions, we have scheduled a webcast to take place on Wednesday, October 30th, beginning at 8:30 am Pacific time. The complete series of e3000 transition webcasts are available online.

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HP Tips

IMAGE: can your capacity be too large?

You have probably heard that increasing the capacity of a TurboIMAGE master dataset will improve the performance. So wouldn't increasing the capacity a lot be really good for performance? Click the link above to solve the mystery!

Feedback on "History of the 3000"

Larry Mahoney writes:

Just read your excellent brief History of the HP 3000. We got the first HP 3000 in Washington State. A lot of the error searching was done in the R. W. Beck Computer Center in Seattle on Friday night by guys who came up from Cupertino.

I saved all the programs that made the 3000 crash and the guys would come and put the patches on from the previous weeks discovery. Then I would run my crash programs, all in Fortran and the system would crash. Hours later the guys would leave with some dump tapes.

We never knew about the "24 hour bug" as our computer was always being pushed to the limit and crashed several times a day. Then we got a night operator and did a backup and reload every night.

Because HP never improved the Fortran capability, as often promised, I was finally forced to order a Honeywell DPS 8. I left that firm in 89 and went fishing.

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Qedit for Windows Tips

Qedit for Windows Client, Version 5.3 Released

Qedit for Windows 5.3 has one of the most requested features: syntax coloring. The version is available as a general release. If you wish to start using it now, you can download it

Syntax Coloring

Syntax coloring let's you distinguish syntax elements at a glance, makes it easy to find syntax errors, and it works on MPE files, HP-UX files, and local files.

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Windows/PC Tips

New Policy on MS Windows Life Span

A new policy from Microsoft seems to have taken Win2k off death row, according to this article at The Register: The intent now is that the major Microsoft products will now have a "mainstream" supported life of five years, while for business versions it'll then be possible to buy two years "extended" support. Specifically this means Windows 2000 Pro gets a full five year lifespan, whereas until the beginning of this week it was due to go into the red zone on 31st March 2003. WinXP Pro will now get mainstream support until the end of 2006.

Many sites are still working out the implications of Microsoft's new Upgrade Licensing fees, where you pay for upgrades in advance by subscription. One side-effect of this licensing is that if the new Windows version is late, you get nothing, according to this story on Vnunet.

For more Windows tips, visit the permanent location of these articles.

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Suprtool Tips

Suprtool 4.6.02 Beta: Power Update

Neil Armstrong, the Suprtool architect, writes:

I am truly proud to announce the release of Suprtool 4.6.02, which is one of the most exciting pre-releases of Suprtool in a long time. This version has many features that we (Bob and I) feel are very useful and have been asked for, for a very long time.

Bob and I collaborated on the new Table features on HP-UX, Bob wrote the underlying file handling and I incorporated the new code into Suprtool for HP-UX so that Update from a table is available on HP-UX as well as expanded tables.

Not to mention support for HP Eloquence version 7!!!!

Please see the What's new pre-release page and watch for upcoming articles on our web site. Suprtool 4.6.02 is available for download now.

I will post more on this very soon, but some of the key new features are as follows:

* The Table command now supports filenames up to 80 characters.
* The Table command truncated filenames at the limit of 36 characters.
* The number of defines allowed in Suprtool has been increased to 768.
* Suprtool and STExport now support features to Clean your data.
* STExport now supports an Escape command which will escape out certain characters.
* Suprtool now supports a $Counter function which will increment an integer field for output record.
* Suprtool now supports a $Total function which will total a specified field.

The HP-UX version has the following bug fixes and features:

* Suprtool for HP-UX now supports environment variable substition.
* The Table command now supports filenames up to 80 characters.
* The Table command truncated filenames at the limit of 36 characters.
* The number of defines allowed in Suprtool has been increased to 768.
* Suprtool has been enhanced to support HP Eloquence 7.0 features.
* The Base and Put commands have been changed to support new syntax.
* Suprtool now supports the expanded database limits in HP Eloquence 7.0.
* Suprtool now support extract from a table and larger tables on HP-UX.
* Suprtool and STExport now support features to Clean your data.
* STExport now supports an Escape command which will escape out certain characters.
* Suprtool now supports a $Counter function which will increment an integer field for output record.
* Suprtool now supports a $Total function which will total a specified field.

Suprtool: Many-to-Many Links

Suprlink is a Suprtool companion program that allows linking a master file to 1 or more files (up to 7) based on a common key. Although Suprlink is extremely fast, it has some constraints. One of the most common questions we get about Suprlink is:

We have 2 files that we want to link together. Each unique key value in both files can have multiple records. Suprlink only finds the first record in the Link file. How can we get Suprlink to link all the other records?

Unfortunately, Suprlink is not designed to do this. However, with a little bit of ingenuity and knowledge, this can be done with a command file on MPE or a shell script on HP-UX. Click the link above for all the details.

Find Missing Records With Suprtool

Let's say you have your customer data in a file called customers, and customer addresses in a separate file called addresses. You may need to check which customers have no address record. There is a fast way to do this that uses Suprtool Tables. This method involves two passes, but because of Suprtool's efficient reads, it is generally much faster than regular programs. Click the link above to read about this method, which can also easily be applied to databases.

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HP-UX and Migration Planning

Cleaning Your Data

In this day and age of migrations we were looking at issues that customers have run into when importing data into new databases. What came from this investigation where ways to Clean up your data in any given byte type field.

We have added two methods to clean your data, you can use Suprtool to clean an individual byte type field, or STExport to clean all of the byte-type fields for a given file that you are exporting.

Click the link above for full details.

Moving TurboIMAGE Data to Eloquence

Technical article on the new web site by Bob Green. Shows how simple it is to move TurboIMAGE data from the HP 3000 to the Eloquence database on the HP 9000.

Get Ready for UNIX File Security

"Modes" are UNIX-speak for file security. Read this introduction from our HP Encyclopedia.

"Getting Started With Eloquence" Slides

At HPWorld, Michael Marxmeier and Tien-You Chen gave a two-hour session on migrating TurboIMAGE programs to Eloquence on HP-UX. Click the link above on the Eloquence 3000 web site to read the complete set of slides and notes, in PDF format.

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Adager: Do migrating secondaries give you migraines?

If you are going to keep your TurboIMAGE database running at maximum efficiency, you need to know about hashing and migrating secondaries. Here is a classic paper by Alfredo Rego.

Allegro: What to do when your 3000 is hung?

Allegro has an excellent web page spelling out what to do when your HP 3000 has hung, in order to help debug the problem later. They also have a "system abort" tip page.

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Host-Based Qedit Tips

Searching for lines that contain both of 2 strings

A user called to ask whether there's a way to do this in host-based Qedit: List lines that contain a string, within a rangelist of lines that contain another string. e.g. He wants to list lines that contain the string "var" as well as the string "boolean" He knows that he can use patternmatching, but then it'll list only lines with the strings in one sequence ("@var@boolean@").

Click the link to discover three solutions.

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Internet Tips

VESoft: Profile of Eugene Volokh

As you probably know, VESoft was founded by Vladimir Volokh (link to interview) and his son Eugene, who is also a Law Professor at UCLA (link to publications). The link above is to an interesting sketch of Eugene on the UPI web site. You can also follow Eugene's interests on his daily weblog.

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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: October Newsletter

The previous newsletter (October) contained news reports on the HP World conference and more:

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