Third Party Watch
Shawn M. Gordon
President of S.M. Gordon & Associates

Well with all the doomsayers and new taxes coming it’s good to see a company thriving. As a matter of fact, O’Pin system’s (makers of REVEAL, a spoolfile viewing utility) are doing so well that they are looking for good technical people in the midwest area that are interested in a new career. So if you are out of work or looking for a new job and have some strong technical background you should give them a call.

I have a follow up piece of news to my announcement last month on a cheaper HP 9000 7xx workstation. It seems that Samsung has finally started coming out with their 7xx clones that they licensed from HP. Actually Samsung makes the entire 715 line, some of them get an HP label and some get a Samsung label. The Samsung clone cost’s about 20% less than the HP equivalent, so price ranges from about 5k to 19k depending on options. Along the same line, HP is coming out with a newer, faster, better and cheaper workstation in early ’94 I hear. It’s really great to see HP become a recognized industry leader.

I have another follow up piece of information this month. A while back I talked about an addendum to COBOL 85 XL and that there was a 50 or so page document available from HP that described how to use it. I got this information directly from a guy at the HP RS, but as many of you found out no one else seemed to know about it. Well here is the final word from the parts department that I talked with today. The original addendum is no longer available, it has been rolled into the regular COBOL 85 manual which is part number 31500-9001. So if you are on MPE/iX 3.1 or later and use COBOL I would suggest getting the latest manual, there are some nifty new things in there.

Did everyone hear that the NeXT computer is no longer being made? Apparently they are only going to concentrate on their operating system NeXTStep. I even heard a rumor that HP was evaluating it along with Windows NT as something that might get ported to the HP. I would absolutely die to have NeXTStep on the HP 3000, but I doubt that would ever happen.

I have noticed an interesting trend with some software vendors lately. As many of you know I do a lot of software reviews and I am always looking for new products and new companies to check out. So anyway I have talked to at least 6 different vendors this year that promised to send me out a demo for me to review, no demo’s ever showed up and most of my call’s went un-returned, the one’s that were returned just promised to send the demo again, which never showed up. This speaks volume’s about the vendors confidence in their product, or lack of it. I don’t like giving company names, but if you are looking at software, try to give me a call and I will let you know if the company is one of the one’s I have had problems with. I would hate to see anybody get stuck with an expensive software package due to a slick salesman when it isn’t going to do what you need it to.

—————- NEWS FROM SCRUG —————

Well I just got back from SCRUG and I noticed some interesting trends and got some good information. The first thing I noticed is that almost all the backup vendors are furiously working on UNIX versions, from what I understand those UNIX folks are in desperate need of a decent backup system. Also on the road to UNIX was Lund Performance with their SOS product. Robelle was even talking about QEDIT for UNIX. I am not sure how close it was to completion, but I am sure it is MUCH better than using VI or EMACS. Not to be outdone, SRN is porting SPLash to UNIX, I hear it will be called SPLix or SPLux (SPLash for cash and SPLux for bucks). What I found interesting is that they have decided to make it an SPL to C convertor instead of SPL to Assembler. This makes it possible for them to take advantage of the optimizer as well as giving everyone a solid SPL to C convertor. I understand that the ones that were floating around before weren’t very usable.

I got to see the new IMAGE/SQL working with a PC package called PowerBuilders as well. This was pretty darn neat seeing a PC Windows application grabbing data off the 3000 and showing it. I understand that with all the neat stuff that Mr. Sartain and crew are putting into IMAGE/SQL you should be able to be a cheap PC Windows package and put yourself together a Client/Server application in no time. All I can say is I really really really want to see it when it becomes available.

LeeTech was showing an updated version of DB/Advisor and it was very hip. They are now doing all sorts of system and operations management stuff within the program, even basic scheduling. All I can say is you have to see it working to really appreciate it, great stuff.

Speedware has a new version of EasyReporter that looked great, I am going to try to review it soon if I can. They also have a new version of Speedware coming out soon that will do the old Windows Client/Server thing. I am anxious to get a look at that and see how it compares with what Cognos is doing. I tried to get a look at Uniface, but every time I went by the booth no one was there and then I got side tracked. I want to get a look at this stuff soon though.

DISC was showing their new Omnidex for Client/Server. This is partially a product and partially a consulting service. It looked really nice, but I wonder how applicable it is going to be once the TPI is fully implemented within IMAGE/SQL. I guess time will tell, hopefully someone will keep me informed so I can let you all know.

I want to say a big thank you to everyone that went out of their way to say hi to me and thank me for the column. I take back everything I said about user’s not giving me any feedback on this column, all the friendly words at the show more than made up for it. I did get teased a lot at the lunch’s that I was going to start quoting everybody (Steve C.). I did get to hear Steve and Stan from Allegro hassle a guy from HP (sorry I forgot the name) about getting source code for MPE/iX so they could write more utilities for everyone. These guys are insane (in a nice and positive way), it was amazing what they were talking about doing.

I apologize to any vendor that I missed that was doing something new, but I invite you to give me a call or send me some literature so I can make sure to stay on top of your developments. No clever endings this month.