Web Services Council

Enterprise Applications
User Guide

Introduction to the HP3000


The HP3000s are business computers designed to handle information processing needs. These computers are located in the basement of the Business building and are linked via an Ethernet fiber-optic backbone to numerous PC's and terminals in offices throughout campus. Anyone who uses an HP3000 communicates with the computer using a special program known as MPE/iX (Multi-Programming Executive with Posix). MPE/iX supervises all computer activity including client interaction with the system.

MPE/iX is capable of performing many tasks simultaneously but the physical structure of the HP3000 limits the maximum number of clients that can be connected to the computer. (These connections are called 'ports'.) This limit is much less than the number of PC's and terminals required at ISU to have access to the HP3000 and other mainframe type computers, so equipment has been purchased to allow for more PC's and terminals to have access than available ports. For those with PC's connected to the campus network a 'Virtual Terminal' connection is provided.

HPUX is similar to MPE/iX but is ran on the HP9000 Unix platform.

Under normal circumstances, computer access would be established by linking one terminal or one PC to one port; that port could not then be used by any other terminal or PC. Studies have shown, however, that three times as many terminals or PC's could be supported if some method of sharing ports could be devised. The network provides such a method. The network is like a telephone switching station; lines coming from departments and offices are routed to one of several available ports. This ensures that inactive ports are made available to those who need them and also allows one terminal or PC to access several computers.


When using the HP3000 or HP9000, first connect to the network.

When a connection to an HP3000 is established an 'MPE/iX:' prompt will be seen indicating that the system is ready to be logged on to using the standard HELLO command.

When a connection to an HP9000 is established an 'Login:' prompt will be seen indicating that the system is ready to be logged on to using the standard login name.

Before granting access to computer maintained information (known as data files) and other computer programs which permit the lookup and changing of this information, MPE/iX and HPUX require the passing of a security check. Both systems maintain an account or directory structure which allows for the creation of individual groups or directories accessible only if the correct password(s) is known. The use of specific data files and computer programs can be restricted to those who have gained access to one of these groups. Once in a group, this account or directory structure also ensures that illegal use of information belonging to other groups will not be allowed; thus helping to maintain the integrity of information that belongs to a specific office or department. Therefore, in order to use the computer, a group must be created for each person of group (if one doesn't already exist) giving access to all the information and programs needed. For MPE/iX passwords for that group must be established. MPE/iX can be told which group an individual belongs to through a process known as 'logging on'.

HELLO is the key word which informs MPE/iX that someone wants to log on. Following HELLO, MPE/iX expects to find a space, a network account name (assigned to each individual account holder by the Computer Center), a comma, a department code (assigned to each department by the Computer Center), a period, and an account code (assigned by the Computer Center). For example:


If the HELLOcommand is entered correctly, MPE/iX will generally respond by asking for two passwords (the passwords will not show on the screen when typed). The first password is the department password and the second is a unique password for the person. If the passwords are valid, a menu should display showing which programs may be run. To run an item from this menu, simply type its number and press return. When you exit any program the menu will return. Look at the bottom of the screen to see other options.

PLEASE DO NOT give your personal password to anyone and do not give the deparment password to anyone who should not have access in your department to data files and programs. To enhance security your personal password will expire about every 3-4 months and the system will require that you change your password. If you have any difficulty with your password and logon please contact the Computing and Communications help Desk at x4585.

Finally, if a terminal or PC is going to be left unattended for an extended period of time please log off and disconnect from the system. To log off an HP3000 simply exit the main logon menu. It is important to log off whenever a terminal or PC is not in use so that the port or resource can be made available to others.