Document your homesteading
The Software Library opens for lending

To-do list for documentation

HP 3000 veterans preach on the merits of documentation. The practice is especially important for any enterprise system like yours, one which has information slipping away from the vendor every month, through retirements, revision of Web resources, and a declining support capability.

When a vendor support call to HP can be greeted with "what kind of printer is your 3000 anyway?" it's time to ensure you know as much about your server as you can. You might be teaching it to a support engineer. Only a System Manager's Notebook can keep a site going forward safely as a homesteader.

One of the most experienced 3000 experts on the planet, Paul Edwards, offers a free homesteading white paper on the Web which includes a contents list of his Manager's Notebook for 3000 sites. His Web-based paper is available for download, which is more than you can say for HP's availability of some of its 3000 peripheral documentation.

Edwards' advice includes a long list of what to document, as well as keeping up with the Gold Book, that logbook HP sent customers along with the HP 3000 hardware. Gold Book entries always were the customer's responsibility, a place to take notes on what a Customer Engineer did during a site service visit as well as record the site-specifics of a configuration. Russ Smith, a 3000 system manager for a California credit union, detailed the Gold Book's tabs as a list of what you should be documenting, as well as what went inside each section for him.

The tabs in the Gold Book binder and what we suggested be kept in each were:

    • Available Services
        - copy of HP user license (one of the many pieces of paper that was always floating around in the boxes when we unpacked and setup the 3000).
        - sheet containing name, telephone number and brief description of procedure for logging calls for hardware, OS, and each installed software program or utility (not covered by OS support).

•  Hardware Historical Records
        - hardware maintenance for the 3000’s cabinets, processor, processor board, mother board, power supplies, UPS, and modems.

    •  Software Historical Records
        - software maintenance for the operating system, patches, and third party software installations and upgrades.

    •  System IO Configuration
        - printouts of ODE/MAPPER run, SYSGEN/IO/LP, SYSGEN/IO/LD, DSTAT ALL and SHOWDEV after any change to the system configuration.
        - printout of SUMMARY CONFIG from NMMGR.

    •  Preventative Maintenace
        - schedule of PMs for the system and peripherals
        - instructions for maintenance of each piece of hardware on the system, as covered in the accompanying documentation when purchased.

    •  Computer
        - system inventory of hardware (using “System Equipment List” form), where the description and serial numbers are the items not found elsewhere.
        - copy of packing slips for all the hardware that was unpacked during installations.

    •  Terminals and Personal Computers
        - custom spreadsheets used to document terminal configuration and groupings.  This was specific to the Summit credit union software running for credit unions.  For each terminal/PC (virtual and serial), we tracked device numbers for where receipts and reports printed, DTC numbers, branch (location) names, user names, etc.

   •  Printers
        - hardware maintenance records of system line printers.

   •  Tape Drives
        - hardware maintenance records of system tape drives.

   •  Disk Drives
        - hardware maintenance records of system hard drives.

   •  Plotters
        - never used plotters, so we used this section to hold a printout of SYSGEN/MI and SYSGEN/LO setups.

   •  Installation Records
        - copies patchset loading instructions for the current release of the OS, and software loading and enabling instructions for the version currently in use.  This data was rotated out to another binder when appropriate.

•  Customer Support Service Agreement
        - copy of our hardware contract.