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June 20, 2005

Keeping your update skills sharp

A seasoned HP 3000 developer reported success at updating his Series 918 HP 3000 over the weekend. That's a system still in service at hundreds of HP 3000 sites, if not thousands; the 918 was the most affordable HP 3000 ever, at least at HP's new system prices. Keven Miller's 918 needed new Processor Dependent Code to run MAPPER, the utility program the 3000 uses to give you information about your disk drives, memory, processors and co-processors. MAPPER also allows you to modify any information that you need to change.

Miller posted notes on his success in getting his 918 updated, but before we share that user report, let's take a minute to see why it matters. Back in 2003 when HP stopped selling 3000s, our net.digest editor John Burke took note of the shifting landscape and asked, "Can [HP 3000] firmware be updated without resorting to a technician? This could increasingly become a problem as we move into the out years after end-of-sales and people pick up used machines from various sources."

Miller's success echoed John's, an event he wrote up in our October, 2003 edition of net.digest. You can read that report in the archives of the NewsWire's Web site, as well as on John's first-rate resource, www.burke-consulting.com. Now to Miller's more recent PDC report:

Miller, who's been part of the development team for the eXegeSys ERP application during his career, shared these notes with the 3000 newsgroup in an FYI report:

Attempting to run ODE/MAPPER from a 6.0 SLT fails, telling me to update to PDC 1.3. So I followed the instructions for the PF_CWBR0013 firmware patch.

1. I downloaded firmware patch PF_CWBR0013
2. I did a binary FTP to another MPE box as ./pdc13
3. It's a shell script (reading the first of it)

/KEVENM/PUB/sh pdc13
x - CWBR0013.text
x - CWBR0013.frm [compressed]
CWBR0013.frm? Y
mv: Cannot reset uid or gid on file "CWBR0013.frm": Invalid argument
ERROR: wc results of CWBR0013.frm are 5107 31365 659456 should be 5107 21403 659456
/KEVENM/PUB/ll CW*
-rw-r--r--   1 MGR.KEVENM        KEVENM    659456 Jun 18 09:33 CWBR0013.frm
-rw-r--r--   1 MGR.KEVENM        KEVENM      5812 Jun 18 09:33 CWBR0013.text
/KEVENM/PUB/sum CWBR0013.frm
12814   1288    CWBR0013.frm
/KEVENM/PUB/callci showdev tape
LDEV     AVAIL         OWNERSHIP         VOLID         DEN   ASSOCIATION

    8     AVAIL
    9     AVAIL
    7     AVAIL    (W)                    (Nolabel)     1600
    4     AVAIL
/KEVENM/PUB/dd if=CWBR0013.frm of=/dev/tape bs=2k
322+0 records in
322+0 records out
/KEVENM/PUB/

4. I booted the box from tape as instructed, interactive with IPL
5. I enter ODE
6. I enter UPDATE
7. I enter RUN
   Continue(Y/N)?  enter Y
8. About 30 seconds later, the run is done.

ODE/MAPPER now runs!

Miller's experience, and John's before his, represent the level of admin skill an HP 3000 owner is going to have to call upon once HP's support leaves the field. If you're uncomfortable with this kind of admin, but need to keep your 3000s in service, there's a good lineup of 3000 service providers who can help you, all in the third-party market.

10:23 AM in Homesteading | Permalink

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