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February 2010

Newest year evokes freshest tender mercies

NewsWire Editorial

    After reporting migration plans for eight years, we are preparing to migrate my mom Ginny. She lived in Las Vegas for the last two decades, but at 84 her health demands closer connection with our family. Next month she makes a transition to Toledo, the town where she grew up and now returns to regain health -- and reclaim constant contact with loved ones.

    It's going to require extra spending and careful revision of her life's details to return mom to her home town. My brother and sister and I have talked about it for years, perhaps using the same kind of language your community used to address migration off your HP 3000s. “It will need to happen eventually. But it's still working for now,” we'd say about her independent lifestyle. She was happy to rule the roost of her life. Mom hit age 80 with enough spark to dance all the way through the Beatles' They Say It's Your Birthday, onstage at an Irish pub where we arranged a birthday bash.

    But four years later, her gait is ruled by a walker and her laundry is no longer a manageable chore. The retreat in her ability has been swift over the past six months, sudden as a seized-up drive or a user group going bust over a weekend. When people straddle their ninth decade of life, every morning feels like a gift. Though the end of life summons deep grief from us, it doesn't spark as much surprise.

    That same kind of acceptance and understanding swept over your community eight years ago. The months after HP's plan for the death of its 3000 business brought out hindsight about the vigor of the vendor's resolve to sell the computer. In human terms, a system just on the verge of its fourth decade of life looked like an octogenarian to some. To others, the economic support from HP and investment from independent developers “was working for now.”

   But now is the final February your community concerns itself with HP's 3000 affairs. Like the 71-year-old company that it is, the decline of the Hewlett-Packard that cultivated its own miracles and wonder grew more evident with each quarter. The operating environment that has been the bedrock for 3000 success, MPE and IMAGE, will gain a second life in 41 weeks. MPE/iX is making a transition back to its birthplace for some quiet and happy years among its creators.

Continue reading "Newest year evokes freshest tender mercies" »

Drive to free MPE wraps with read-only code

After eight years of work, the 3000 community will be receiving the long-sought MPE/iX source code in 2010. Yesterday users of the computer learned from Hewlett-Packard which organizations are receiving a license to read — but not modify — source for the operating system and database that drives the HP 3000. Adager, Pivital Solutions, Allegro Consultants, Beechglen Development, Neil Harvey & Associates, Ordat, OpenMPE and Terix were named by the vendor as license holders for source.

HP isn't releasing all of the parts of MPE/iX. Some of the operating system's functions cannot be included, since independent companies licensed elements to HP like the Mentat streaming faculty or the MKS Posix shell. All of the programming that drives every HP 3000 environment, written in languages such as Modcal, SPL and other esoteric dialects, cannot be modified or extended by any of the seven source licensees.

The licenses open up the internal workings of MPE/iX and TurboIMAGE, even if they fall short of the drive launched in 2002 by OpenMPE for open source version of MPE/iX. The license for read-only access is the best that HP will offer. The application and approval process took 15 months from HP's 2008 announcement that it would review applicants. Within a few weeks the code will arrive on a DVD, considering the size of the transfer, at offices across the US, Europe, and South Africa. The next step will be to verify what HP is sending and understand the potential of those parts, a task that presents the first challenge for a licensee to make the source useful.

Documentation on the source remains an element that no party has discussed in public. During 2007, OpenMPE worked with HP to help test the ability to build MPE/iX releases, but those efforts were preliminary. HP cut off the collaboration short of OpenMPE’s goals, which were to see if an independent entity could manage to cut a fresh release of MPE/iX without HP assistance.

But even if Hewlett-Packard curtailed that experiment with independents, HP has reached into the pool of licensees in the past for help in creating and maintaining elements of MPE.

Continue reading "Drive to free MPE wraps with read-only code" »

HP announces source code licensees

The usual suspects — leaders among the HP 3000 development and support communities — made up the list of MPE/iX source code licensees announced today. One developer of 3000 database utilities, suppliers of healthcare and ERP applications, four independent resources for HP 3000 and MPE/iX support, and the OpenMPE advocacy group filled the list of companies who will receive read-only access to most parts of the 3000's operating system source.

Adager and Ordat -- the latter a European supplier of IMAGE wrapper technology and ERP systems, the former the market leader in IMAGE tools -- were among the software development companies, along with healthcare application supplier Neil Harvey & Associates. Pivital Solutions, Allegro Consultants, Beechglen Development and Terix will employ the source code in support of their HP 3000 customers who use non-HP service. And OpenMPE Inc., the advocacy group which plans to build patches for sale to the support companies, is also receiving a license for the source to MPE/iX and TurboIMAGE/XL.

The licenses will deliver code that cannot be used in the marketplace until January, 1, 2011, the first day that HP will no longer offer HP 3000 support services. HP described the read-only licenses as a means for "delivery of system-level technical support." It also termed the holders of these licenses "HP e3000 End-of-Life Licensees," a curious description that made one last attempt to define the end of 2010 as the end of the 3000 -- when all that's happening is HP is leaving the marketplace.

The HP announcement also included a note on the companies which can distribute the HP 3000 documentation as of the start of next year. Speedware and Client Systems will be able to let the community download manuals and HP Communicator issues hosted today at the site.

Continue reading "HP announces source code licensees" »

Redundant resources recover reels of data

TapeDriveOpen Many HP 3000 customers have been using their systems so long that their data archives include reels of tape. Plenty of these sites have mothballed their open-reel tape devices, such as the HP 7980, long ago. This artifact of lengthy 3000 service poses a problem: what if the answer to a query lies on storage media you can't read onsite anymore?

Moving data forward onto newer media is a constant task for enterprise IT operations and business critical computing. Even the DAT tapes of the prior decade are looking aged by 2010, and DAT didn't ever have the data reliability that reel tapes exhibited from the 70s onwards. The 3000 community counts on multiple resources to make that data migrate onto newer media.

Ted Johnson at Wake Forest University noticed more than 10 years worth of important data in his shop and started looking for a service supplier to migrate it. "We have over a decade of W-2 information sitting on this media that we have no method of reading," he said. "We'd like to get the information onto a CD or DVD." All 15 tapes' worth of data would fit on a single CD or DVD, Johnson figured.

The single best place to look for this kind of service is at, a Web page operated by Keven Miller, who consults for 3000 sites from his 3k Ranger company. It's $25 a reel to convert to raw ASCII for moving to a newer medium. But Miller, who once worked on the development team for HP's MM II ERP software, also includes links to other 3000 service companies who migrate data away from reels.

Continue reading "Redundant resources recover reels of data" »

HP promises Tukwila Integrity boxes by May

In a Connect Webcast many of you may have missed, an HP marketing manager for HP-UX predicted the vendor will have Integrity servers powered by the new Tukwila chips available by May.

MJ Vazquez, the HP-UX and OpenVMS Marketing Manager, told user group members that the processor scheduled to roll out of Intel fab foundries this spring will launch a new line of Integrity systems before summer.

"HP will ship products based on that chip within three months of the Intel announcement," Vazquez said in a January HP-UX briefing. Intel announced it completed Tukwila in the first week of February, so a 90-day window would yield the newest HP systems before the end of May.

Integrity systems have taken the lead in HP's Unix server sales to HP 3000 migration customers. The Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges project is being built around Integrity servers, rather than the PA-RISC-powered rp line that's so common in the migrated sites to date.

Continue reading "HP promises Tukwila Integrity boxes by May" »

Fresh sparks sought for OpenMPE's flame

There was a time when OpenMPE's logo was fraught with flames. That was back in the fiery days of blue-sky hope for bold action to help HP 3000 homesteaders, the years of 2002-2005 when the group was meeting once every two weeks and more, while talks were active between HP and the group's advocates.

Back in those yesterdays, this stubborn band of volunteers knew about your tomorrows. HP thought the community's migration would be so swift that 2007 would be the year we all looked back on our 3000s. Not even HP could manage to keep up with that schedule. OpenMPE knew there would be more afterlife than expected, because of the unexpected: government regulations, disappointing software, unforeseen audits, budget crunches, failed rewrites.

The list of things that OpenMPE has prepared HP to face goes on and on, like the list of the community members who've served on the group's board since 2002. Now that the final year of HP activity is upon the 3000 market, OpenMPE mounts an election for its board once more, starting next week.

The most important week for the group's leadership is this week, however. You can apply to run in the 2010 election with an e-mail to director Tracy Johnson. Until Thursday night, applications are still open for candidates to fill five board seats. Jack Connor of Abtech and Keith Wadsworth of Orbit Software are in the running so far, along with two incumbents. These contributors of time are often the election winners.

Continue reading "Fresh sparks sought for OpenMPE's flame" »

3000 community, let's go to press

February 2010 print Just an hour ago, my partner Abby delivered the 138th issue of The 3000 NewsWire from the printer. We hurry up the delivery of this newsletter carried through the postal service, trying to put the freshest stories in our readers' hands by sometime next week. We still believe in the concept of a printed newsmagazine, even as the world defines journalism with new delivery conduits like tablets and smartphones.

Simply for the asking, you can receive your own printed copy of this February issue, compete with a roundup of the open source license campaigns, details of the massive migration in Washington state of 28 HP 3000s, even the editorial and Wide World of Web columns. All these haven't been posted here on the blog, not yet. We still believe in delivering some news and analysis by print first.

We believe in it because Abby and I started our lives in the printed publication era, she in magazines and I in newspapers. The glossy and newsprint worlds ran on different clocks than today's post-and-read today timetable (this blog) or the immediate feeds of Twitter tweets or social network messages. Even in 1996, though, we'd send an Online Extra with fresh news out once a month by e-mail. Digital delivery has been a part of our process since the 1995 launch of the NewsWire.

Why bother with print anymore, you might ask? The experience of settling in with a printed magazine or newsletter is unlike anything you will ever see in an iPhone app, off a Zinio Web site, or even on an Apple iPad sometime this year or next. Print invites you to immerse yourself in a story, while it erases the digital distractions.

Continue reading "3000 community, let's go to press" »

Wanted, to hire: Interim 3000 IT manager

FRSA The Florida Roofing, Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors Association runs a Self Insurers Fund, one that's in urgent need today of an HP 3000 pro to manage the company's Series 937 and maintain its Cognos/Quiz apps. Michael Ricker, the CFO at the Orlando-based FRSA, called this morning and hoped to put a notice into our jobs section. The story is worth more than a listing, because it illustrates both hope for employment as well as a caution on preparing for another kind of disaster: the loss of a key employee.

At FRSA that's Ed Harms, who was diagnosed with and died of cancer so quickly that a scant six weeks had elapsed before he passed away. Like so many HP 3000 customers, FRSA employed one person who knew the details of its systems written in-house. Harms has been working on 900 Series 3000s there since the early 1990s. Back in 2008 we got an update from Harms on the ongoing migration at FRSA.

"Since the [HP 2001] announcement we have gone through three vendors to rewrite our software," he said. "We are doing it in-house and should be done next year."

But the State of Florida keeps changing insurance regulations, Ricker said, which has kept delaying the migration's completion. Ricker said his opening looks like six months of full-time work, some onsite — just enough to maintain, patch and repair 3000 apps until FRSA gets onto its Windows migration system, also being written in-house. You can reach Ricker at [email protected] to inquire about this interim opening. In the meantime, he's making his own skills do the work that his expert performed in a fraction of the time. His biggest need is ongoing contact with the FRSA staff.

"I need somebody inside the walls of this building," Ricker said, "because we have meetings and you'll need to talk to people." Talking to people, as it turns out, is a 3000 skill set that retains significant value.

Continue reading "Wanted, to hire: Interim 3000 IT manager" »

HP boosts 2010 Q1 earnings 25 percent

But Integrity unit's numbers decline vs. 2009

HP rolled out financial numbers for its 2010 first quarter today, happy overall news of an upward jolt for sales and profits. The Enterprise Storage and Servers (ESS) unit, home of the HP 3000 migration target systems, notched an 11 percent gain in sales. HP even raised its estimates for total 2010 sales and profits.

ESS Q1 Slide

 Unfortunately, the ESS increases arrived entirely from sales of HP's Industry Standard servers, those powered by the Intel Xeon-Nehalem chips and largely running Windows and Linux. The Business Critical Server group clocked another declining quarter with a 22 percent sales drop off 2009's Q1. Even though the ESS blade systems rose by 24 percent, the BCS figures, which include sales of HP's Integrity servers running HP-UX, can't even claim a drop because of the economy's free-fall. The 22 percent drop is compared to sales of November through January of 2009, a dark period for HP systems revenues.

Overall for HP, the news was improved on most other product line fronts. Imaging and Printing saw a slight sales increase, while Personal Systems rose a healthy 20 percent, lifted by a 26 percent increase in PC shipments. Services weathered a virtually flat quarter, as the EDS balloon finally stopped rising off 2009 levels. Software had a flat quarter as well, but HP's lending operations increased revenues by 13 percent.

ESS reported total revenue of $4.4 billion, about 14 percent of HP's total sales for the quarter. Storage revenue declined 3 percent with the midrange EVA product line down 5 percent. HP's juggernaut of cost cuts ensured the ESS operating profit of $552 million, or 12.6 percent of revenue, up from $406 million, or 10.3 percent of revenue, in the 2009 Q1.

Continue reading "HP boosts 2010 Q1 earnings 25 percent" »

Itanium revs up HP-UX sites awaiting refresh

ItaniumInside The HP Integrity systems might have waited an extra year to get to Tukwila, but the freshest Itanium processor is stirring up customer interest and demand. An expert from an HP reseller's tech staff told us that news of the speed boosts has got some large-scale HP-UX customers eager for these latest rx-family units to ship. It couldn't happen too soon for this server line that is the preferred target for 3000 sites migrating to Unix.

HP hasn't said much in specific about Tukwila-based Integrity servers, other than its overview about how the newer line will have faster processing, more advanced virtualization and believe it or not, more stability. There was a time when the headline on Tukwila was its power advantages, the unique value you'd see as a reason to choose HP-UX. HP has been talking about this generation for more than two years.

The latest talk tries to put the feeds and speeds numbers in business perspective. Lorraine Bartlett, VP of Marketing and Strategy for HP's Business Critical Systems business unit, promoted the new servers with this language in an HP blog:

There will be lots of Ghz and Mbytes numbers that we as vendors love to talk about, but when we talk with customers they don't share the vendor love of clock rates and latency, and want to talk about the business results the systems enable.  How the system can accelerate application deployment, deliver any application anywhere, deliver predictable service continuity and quality — these features, these business performance features are really the design center of our next generation systems.

Another benefit from HP's Integrity-Tukwila offering: a concept called Converged Infrastructure. It will seem familiar to any HP customer who studied HP's Adaptive Enterprise from five years ago, one where you could dynamically allocate processor power among varied environments.

If you need more reasons to embrace the newest processors, Intel has a Tukwila Webcast replay you can watch, and perhaps show to your tech-oriented management. The whole message package about what Intel calls the Itanium 9300 is online at the top of HP's main Integrity page.

Continue reading "Itanium revs up HP-UX sites awaiting refresh" »

Post-HP vision needs blind faith, deep breath

OpenMPE is recruiting for directors on its board, a campaign that includes a secret ballot and a secret budget. The former is a tradition of elections, but the latter is HP's will imposed upon a cadre of volunteers.

This is the season when OpenMPE elects directors for its advocacy group, a rotating assembly of users, vendors and 3000 experts who've been working since 2002. But this election is different than any before now. Within a few weeks of getting members on its board, OpenMPE will learn if it has acquired a license for MPE/iX source code.

It's the cost of the license that's a secret, an element HP insists upon as one of the license terms. The secrecy itself is one of the few license terms that anyone knows about, because Hewlett-Packard is shrouding nearly all of the source arrangement in a Confidential Disclosure Agreement. Tell anybody how much you're ready to pay for the license, and you can save your money. HP won't grant you one.

The CDA is familiar turf for OpenMPE, which negotiated and met with HP's 3000 managers for seven years under a Cone of Silence to work out details of post-HP 3000 ownership. The homesteading community, both interim and indefinite, owes a lot to a group of directors that needs new blood. What the community doesn't need is unreasonable requests to make the source license transparent.

This isn't a school board meeting. Nobody's sending tax money to the OpenMPE treasurer. Any license that OpenMPE may get is a private transaction between HP and independent support organizations. One of those organizations gives you a way to participate outside of a support commitment and sometimes can talk about what it does -- especially when it's trying to raise money to purchase one of those licenses.

OpenMPE didn't ask for these terms. It's endured them, along with the unsavory carping and genuine misunderstanding over how HP set the rules and conditions to help anybody homestead.

Continue reading "Post-HP vision needs blind faith, deep breath" »

Micro Focus adds COBOL remote development

Migration-bound sites, or those who have recently arrived on the shores of Linux or Unix environment, make their transitions for many reasons. Improved toolsets and new development muscle through technology is one payoff, although this kind of upgrade usually follows a reduced-risk step of Lift and Shift. 

Micro Focus announced a new product that illustrates what is waiting for the COBOL user in other environments. The vendor unveiled Server Express Remote Developer Option (RDO), a new version of their Server Express development platform that enables companies to drastically reduce time and costs for companies building/maintaining COBOL applications on Linux and UNIX servers.

"Server Express RDO is the first COBOL development tool to enable developers to create and maintain applications on a remote server while sitting on a local machine," said Peter Anderton, Product Solutions Director of Application Development at Micro Focus. Anderton was on hand at last fall's e3000 Community Meet to update 3000 users on the new life given to ACUCOBOL.

Continue reading "Micro Focus adds COBOL remote development" »

Back up the directory, plus the data

Yesterday our Homesteading Editor Gilles Schipper gave sound advice on the use of buldacct and store while backing up -- to ensure that a restore puts files in the correct places on a 3000. He also advised we wait to hear what 3000 pro and Allegro Consultants support expert Donna Hofmeister has to say about doing an INSTALL, which Shipper concluded yesterday was a better option. 

Hofmeister ran 3000 IT operations for years at Long's Drug. She says, "As long as you are somehow and routinely backing up your system's directory, you're doing the right thing." She's got a document that details steps on how to do a weekly full backup, with buldjob files. She's shared that with us (a Word document).

The advice has been polished and improved by Hofmeister, former OpenMPE director Paul Edwards and Shipper. It started its life as an HP document. And so the third party independent community again improves on what HP has created and documented. That might provide solace for anyone who worries about the decline of HP's 3000 interests.

Directions on Using Store vs. Buldacct

Editor's. Note: 3000 experts have been asking what would our Homesteading Editor Gilles Schipper do while using the 3000's store directory option, rather than invoking the buldacct program to make clean backups. He weighs in with some sound advice.

By Gilles Schipper
Homesteading Editor 

The confusion surrounding the use of the ;directory store option versus the buldacct directory creation program is common. I believe it stems from the fact that in order to benefit from the store ;directory option, one has to utilize the option almost perfectly in both the store and the restore following a system INSTALL.

Consequently, it becomes much easier to fall back on the buldjob options to re-create the directory -- although that option is inferior.

In order to be able to effectively utilize the directory option, the first thing that must be done properly is to ensure that the appropriate ;onvs= option is also used in the case where user volumesets are utilized. Otherwise, the non-system volumeset directories do not get restored after the INSTALL since they are not on the tape.

But even if the store part is done correctly, the other opportunity to go wrong presents itself during the reload process.

Continue reading "Directions on Using Store vs. Buldacct" »

Itanium gets fresh future with Tukwila

Not to be outdone after IBM's POWER7 rollout, Intel released the next generation of Itanium on the same day, unveiling the Tukwila 4-core generation of the processor. Tukwila is destined for HP Integrity servers, the only systems which run the HP-UX alternative to the HP 3000.

The Itanium 9300 has twice as many cores as the predecessor powering today's Integrity line. Intel is claiming an 800 percent interconnect bandwidth and up to 500 percent improvement on memory bandwidth. What the chip will lack in application and market reach it can make up in speed.

The chip has been delayed by more than a year due to Intel's design changes to the processor. That's permitted IBM to rollout out two POWER releases, which run IBM's Unix as well as other environments, while Intel finished the Tukwila work.

More important to the HP-UX prospect? The announcement of Intel's commitment to at least two more generations of Itanium. Of course, the chipmaker will also roll out an eight-core chip this year built upon the Xeon and x86 lineage. That's Nahalem EX, which will be out in less than 90 days.

Continue reading "Itanium gets fresh future with Tukwila" »

Blades may shore up Itanium futures

IBM has announced a new generation of its POWER processors, news that has sparked a breathless report from Clabby Analytics about the future of the competing Itanium chips which power HP's Integrity processors. Although HP has been enjoying a lift in its HP-UX customer base at the expense of Sun's market share, Joe Clabby's report suggests that Itanium could see even fewer iterations from Intel and HP.

Currently, HP’s operating environments are all tied to Itanium architecture. If Itanium becomes a low-volume, specialty processor, then HP’s operating environments (more specifically, HP-UX, NonStop, and OpenVMS) ultimately become low volume specialty solutions.

What will spur this low-volume status? Clabby, whose mantra has been to tout POWER and IBM since a change of heart over Itanium, thinks Intel's Xeon models will push Itanium deeper into a niche. Consider this while investing in Itanium-based Unix servers: Blades could be the refuge for the only architecture that HP-UX can call home.

Continue reading "Blades may shore up Itanium futures" »

Carlyfornication revises HP's history in race

 Carly2010 For somebody holding a medieval history degree, Carly Fiorina has made a life out of rewriting reality. Mrs. Fiorina is a sharp part of the HP 3000's history, poking the air out of a storied balloon that had three decades of service to its credit. This week marks the five-year anniversary of her ouster from HP. She's celebrating by throwing a demon sheep into the Internet and tossing aside truths about her legacy at Hewlett-Packard.

Who else could spark anybody into creating the Web site overnight? There's so much to say and report on the Carly for California US Senate race -- and how it reflects HP's fiscal policy of today -- that written words alone won't tell it all. There's a 9-minute podcast we've put online, with thanks to this exiled CEO-turned-politician's poor judgment in message and approach. At no extra charge we're including some history about her HP reign without the added revisions. But as she says herself in less than three minutes of HP revisionism, "This isn't about talking. It's about getting something done."

That approach will sound familiar to any 3000 customers who remember the HP corporate decision to end its profitable HP 3000 business. In 2001, while the stock languished and her beloved merger with Compaq loomed, Carly's leadership simply ignored any talk from customers and got the one thing done that changed your lives. No matter what former general manager Winston Prather says about having the ultimate decision about cutting off HP's 3000 life, he wasn't even a VP at the time. Getting something done required Carly's trusted circle to approve the move, the one that put everyone into Transition.

DemonSheep Carly has been through a transition herself, as the above photo shows. She beat cancer last year, and now she is beating the drum about how wrong everyone is about an institution she wants to join. It sounds so much like her mantra while dismantling the HP Way. This isn't working anymore, she'd say, and whenever anyone talked back, she didn't listen. Don't mistake this report for a US Senate political statement -- except to note that politicians behave like Carly did for more than five years while grasping HP's reins. The five that followed her forced resignation have shown the fault didn't lie in the stars, but in this brute herself.

Continue reading "Carlyfornication revises HP's history in race" »

On Safari for the Elusive CSL Utilities

For more than two years, the 3000 community has hunted for the contributed software it donated to Interex. The user group went belly-up in a puff of smoke during 2005, taking with it decades of history, training materials and the Contributed Software Library. The CSL started as Swap Tapes, collections of reel-to-reel and DAT tapes that Interex members brought to conferences. Contributed programs were on the tapes and everybody who brought a Swap Tape got one back with everybody's programs. Think of it as a open source program for the 1970s.

Three decades later, the practice of sharing includes some still-useful software. Or it would be useful if anybody could download it and load it up. The project is getting closer to appearing in the sights of the 3000 users. At least a few things about ownership of the programs are clear. They belong to everybody, with the exception of a few programs. These are genuinely free resources, and they might be freed up this year, at long last.

The best prospect for getting the CSL programs -- things like DISKSPC, which condenses/lost disk-space, or RDOWNTIME, which records and reports information about 'hard' down-time -- may be OpenMPE's server in waiting. Another community resource, 3k Associates, has also volunteered to host these open source tools. As a first step before the CSL is released, you can review a catalog of what's available today to see if any of it interests you. This catalog is hosted at another OpenMPE board member's 3000.

Continue reading "On Safari for the Elusive CSL Utilities" »

MBF-Reporter serves up Integrity, Eloquence

MB Foster has released its MBF-Reporter tool in a version optimized for HP's Integrity Unix servers and the Eloquence database. MBF-Reporter is a report writing solution the company has tuned for high performance transactional environments. The new director of MB Foster's marketing and sales, 3000 veteran David Greer, said that more than a million answers a day are generated by MBF-Reporter.

The Integrity-Eloquence version of Reporter is being launched in a high-transaction, high-profile environment, where the products will transition more than 50,000 reports at more than 30 physical locations. "MBF-Reporter expands its performance capabilities for these customers," said Birket Foster, MB Foster's CEO. "MBF-Reporter will be rolled out throughout the organization during the migration to open systems, to provide seamless access to all reports."

Although Foster's team couldn't comment on the exact name of that organization, the profile matches up with the extensive State Board of Community and Technical Colleges migration in Washington state. The SBCTC posted a PowerPoint review of its migration plans that points to MB Foster's software as the essential first tool in a migration of tens of thousands of reports and millions of lines of code.

Continue reading "MBF-Reporter serves up Integrity, Eloquence" »

3000 tips for autoload, net stats and more

I have a Certance DAT72 autoloader, configured on my HP3000 and have no problems reading from and writing to the unit. How can I configure it so I can  issue a command to load the next tape in the 6-slot magazine?

Denys Beauchemin replies,

To use an autoloader on the HP 3000 as an autoloader, you must set the device to be out of random mode and then enable autoeject with DEVCTRL. Certance was a spin off from Seagate in 2003 and was acquired by Quantum in 2004. Here’s the Web page on the Quantum site for the manual on this device. I would try the settings for HP-UX first, then Windows next.

I thought stopping and starting the network automatically reset the network statistics, similar to
linkcontrol @;status=reset
However, when I look, the statistics don't change. Why is that?

Continue reading "3000 tips for autoload, net stats and more" »

Samba breaches vs. features: UX vs. MPE

HP released a new security patch last week to block a back door in the HP-UX Samba software, one of many that surface for HP's Unix environment. The vulnerability in versions A.02.03.04 and vA.02.04 running on HP-UX B.11.11, B.11.23, or B.11.31 could let a remote user gain unauthorized access to an Integrity or PA-RISC Unix server.

HP has a software update available for download to block the breach. Meanwhile, the HP 3000 user who's employing Samba for file and printer sharing isn't affected by this vulnerability. The most recent Samba/iX is 3.0.22, one of the final projects released by the HP labs. Samba has been installed with any MPE/iX release newer than 6.0, and patches for Samba/iX to lift it up the 3.0.2 version are available for free download from the HP IT Response Center Web site. There's even a SWAT Samba administration tool that runs with Samba/iX. If you're unfamiliar with how SWAT makes Samba an even better tool, has a SWAT primer online.

Samba has helped the HP 3000 join the standard networks of many heterogenous shops in the decade-plus it's been available. But the MPE/iX version is behind the current HP-UX release. This is a tradeoff for companies using Samba -- run it on the Unix servers and apply security patches, or use the HP 3000s and enjoy the security-by-design, but with fewer features and no bug fixes.

Continue reading "Samba breaches vs. features: UX vs. MPE" »