Even a computer more than 15 years old can appear new. When this happens — like when a company's lone IT manager first takes on a 3000, still running critical apps — then MPE/iX and the PA-RISC hardware seem like unfamiliar territory.
But this server of more than three decades has a mature community of experts online, cruising the newsgroup for the HP 3000. In messages on comp.sys.hp.mpe, a team of veterans led a newbie through the fundamentals of 3000 use.
"What a blast the past couple weeks have been," said Paul Raulerson. "I have fallen in love with this little HP 3000. I've been coming home from work and playing with it, learning and having a grand old time. Even running RPG programs on it. Great fun! I've been having an argument with it about talking on the network, and just got it completely up and operating."
Paul had questions a-plenty about his 9x7 system — a generation of HP 3000, by the way, which is still running some companies around the world.
Tapes are a fascinating subject — how might one read the directory off a tape? I have a few tapes that were sent with the machine, and absolutely no clue of how to find out what is on them.
Also, the manual talks about labeling tapes, but I think it means actually physical labels! Do I need to to somehow initialize a tape with a standard, ANSI, or no label format?
And speaking of which, can I back up the entire system to a tape? Do I need to do that with an ISL utility?
Alternatively, can I attach some external DASD and back up the system volume to one of those?
Craig Lalley answered,
TAPEDIR displays the contents of CM STORE tapes. TAPEDIR is a subset of the TINDEX Tool, which handles NM and CM STORE tapes, TAR tapes, SLT/SYSGEN tapes, memory dump tapes, and others (LZW, std, plain text information).
This nice little utility is brought to from our good friends at Allegro. (Well known name in our little industry/)
You can download TAPEDIR from www.allegro.com/software/hp3000/stuff/TAPEDIR.std
But if you want to have fun, look at all the other “cool” stuff.
Gary Robillard added,
If the tapes turn out to actually be MPE/V format tapes, the VALIDATE program can list the files on an MPE V/E store format tape.
If you have the validate utility it would be in the PUBXL group in the TELESUP account. To get information about the program, run the program with the HELP entrypoint (the command would be RUN VALIDATE.PUBXL.TELESUP,HELP).
There is also a utility in the ROBELLE account named TAPEDIR.QLIB.ROBELLE (to get info about it RUN TAPEDIR.QLIB.ROBELLE,HELP)
Finally, OpenMPE director Tracy Johnson explained,
Sometimes third party backups will appear as MPE/V format. Backpack (a.k.a. Roadrunner) tapes may do this. Rather than belabor whether it is an MPE/V tape, it may be easier just to see if it is a third party backup tape. Just go ahead and do a RESTORE of two possible files:
If either one of these files appear on the RESTORE, then it is a tape made by a third party backup utility. Both Backpack and Roadrunner are programs (made by two incarnations of the same company) that will perform tape restore operations on these tapes only.