HP-UX Gets Hot Blasts from 3000's Past
HP to migrate portal for its system support

Inventory subsystem programs, or buy 'em?

HP 3000 homesteaders have been cut off from buying HP's MPE/iX software or licenses for more than six months by now. But these programs -- tools written especially for the nuances of the 3000 -- might still be available to the community.

When OpenMPE emerges from its lawsuit challenge the group wants to resell the HP subsystem programs through an authorized deal with Client Systems. In the proposed arrangement, CS sells this software to OpenMPE, which marks it up 10 percent from half-off the price the HP was collecting. The deal would be one of the few ways the community might get a tangible way to support OpenMPE and receive something more than thanks for a contribution.

What's available among HP's subsystem products? HP kept updating things like the System Programming Tool (SPT) right up through its exit announcement of 2001. It patched the products in PowerPatches through 2006. SPT is a collection as well as analysis product, software that HP says "follows a collection-and-analysis approach to program tuning. During collection, sampling and tracing techniques are used to gather data. Analysis provides online reports used for evaluating the data."

SPT is among 16 products HP sold for development programmers on the 3000. The list includes the Architected Interface (AIF) tools required to hook into the operating system on the Privileged level. But some managers might already have some of this software on a SUBSYS tape for their 3000s, or on disk. Knowing where to look and what files contain the inventory is the first step in discovering what you might not need to purchase.

These subsystem programs may turn out to be important to companies who are building a sustaining plan for homesteading 3000s. A few of them have independent alternatives, such as Orbit's Backup+ instead of HP TurboStore. 3000 manager Mark Landin asked "How can I tell exactly which subsystem products are on my MPE/iX 7.5 SUBSYS tape?"

Jack Connor of Abtech and OpenMPE replied, "do a VSTORE and then look up the product numbers. There also may be a file called PRODLIST.PUB.SYS, but if memory serves me, that only has add ons."

3K Ranger's Keven Miller says, "The first file on the tape should be either PRODLIST.MIDBLD.SUPPORT or T#####.PROD.SOFTREP (or [email protected]@, T#####[email protected]@) It has a list of products in the SUBSYS."

Miller also offers his list of products available from the 6.0 version of MPE/iX subsystems:

Transact/iX
RPG/iX
TurboStore II
COBOLII/iX
FORTRAN 77/iX
HP Pascal
HP C/iX
Symbolic DEBUG XL
System Dictionary/XL
Business BASIC
AIF/OS
NS3000/XL Network Services
SPT/C
SPT/A
HP GlancePlus/iX

The names of these products indicate their age; those with an XL behind them go back into the 1990s. GlancePlus is a performance program well outstripped by Lund Performance Solutions products. To be sure, a 3000 homesteader would be unlikely to buy much of this software to begin a project. But maintaining a system -- a key part of a sustaining plan -- might require one of these programs.

And if you can't find these on a SUBSYS tape you own, and need them, that's when the Client Systems/OpenMPE outlet could be useful. If OpenMPE doesn't survive, of course, Client Systems can sell these on its own; the former 3000 distributor for North America bought a resale license for all of the HP software, except IMAGE and MPE itself.

HP's 3000 friends who still work at the vendor offer this advice on how to track down the subsystem software that might reside on a server. Cathlene McRae says:

Mount the MPE PROD/SUBSYS tape on a tape drive

Log on to the HP 3000 system as MANAGER.SYS

:FILE SUBSYS;DEV=TAPE
:RESTORE *SUBSYS;PRODLIST.MITBLD.SUPPORT,T#####.PROD.SOFTREP;CREATE;SHOW

One file will be restored and one will not be restored. Print the file that restored to your screen.

:PRINT PRODLIST.MITBLD.SUPPORT

or

:PRINT T45637.PROD.SOFTREP

Any MPE/iX 7.5 subsys tape should be able to be read by a 6.5 system. Not sure, however, that you can restore anything from it, since there may be conflicts.

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