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HP labs report work on 3000 updates

HP's MPE/iX engineer Jeff Vance posted a report late Wednesday night to update the 3000 community on System Improvement Ballot (SIB) upgrade projects. Yes, the 3000 engineers in HP are still working on delivering enhancements, even though the vendor will walk away from the market in less than 13 months. This is known as giving the 3000 business at HP the ending that it deserves.

Vance said his message was a quarterly update on SIB. We checked our reports to find one about 90 days earlier which covered what HP wanted to put inside the final PowerPatch for MPE/iX 6.5. (HP is still patching 6.5, as you will see below. But this fall saw the final 6.5 PowerPatch, its collection of patches in a single release tape or file.)

This time around, the news is about the march of Network Printing patches, FTP security, support for very big disks on 3000s and new CI functions. Oh, and there's a new BIND version for 3000 DNS support, and a FW-SCSI reporting tool.

You can read the full text of Vance's message posted to the OpenMPE mailing list at:

We found it interesting to compare what was proposed for lab work in March, what was ready for an update in August, and what is ready now. There's been some measurable progress, as HP reels in the sensible lines of enhancement that it cast earlier this year.

In March, Vance said HP was evaluating these projects:

1) Return the number of bytes remaining in the CI’s variable table;
2) Support a method to RESTORE files only from a specific volume set, perhaps an ONVS= parm like STORE and REPORT use;
3) Add security to FTP so that it doesn’t require Read access for the NETRC file; and
4) Support the ‘site chmod’ command in FTP.

HP also said in the spring it was figuring out if it wanted to back-port, to the 6.5 and 7.0 MPE/iX releases, these prior SIB items:

1) Network printing to non-HP printers
2) FTP server security enhancements (ftpuser, ftpaccess)
3) CI Functions (volinfo, spoolinfo, devinfo)
4) User Functions

The latest report shows that the backporting is completed for 7.0 and 6.5 network printing. 7.5 went into general release a few months back. Patches MPEMXU1B (for 7.0) and MPEMXU1C (6.5)  are in beta-test status today. Vance added a note on getting this work tested — your job, as customers:

Most of these SIB patches are available on 6.5, 7.0 and 7.5, yet we still have insufficient beta testers to release the patches as General Release (GR).  Many of you voted for these items so please consider being part of our beta test (BT) program.

As promised, FTP security is now available for 6.5 through 7.5 MPE/iX releases. But it's all in beta-test status. Documentation is on the HP Jazz Web site for the FTP security:

Support for disks of above 300 GB is ready for beta-testing on 7.5, and will be ready for beta not later than January for 6.5 and 7.0. MPE/iX won't be able to see any disk sectors beyond 512 GB, but commands like REPORT will now work with values greater than 24 GB. Very important if you want to attach modern, larger disks to HP 3000s in the future.

The devinfo, spoolinfo and volinfo CI functions "are close to beta-test," Vance said. These functions allow "system managers to more easily administer their system without resorting to writing more complex and privileged programs."

Bixby, who had to move away from the 3000 lab this fall after a legendary six-year run porting so much open source software to MPE/iX, has ported a new version of the BIND routines which control the 3000's Domain Name System capabilities.

Finally, HP put that SCSI tool on its Jazz downloads page,