Stuart Baker Software offers high quality consulting services and products to users of IBM PCs and compatibles (DOS and Windows)
    as well as Interdata, Perkin-Elmer and Concurrent Computer Corporation 3200 series machines (OS/32).

OS/32 & Series 3200 SIG #2


OS/32 & Series 3200 SIG #2

by Stuart Baker
Stuart Baker Software
9370 Golondrina Drive
La Mesa, CA 91941-5654
(619) 466-8811

Wow! Hard to believe it's already July. It's doubly hard to believe when last night's weather forecaster reported another heavy snowstorm for Colorado. But, I am not writing this article to discuss the weather. This is the pre-conference issue, so let's all get going and make our reservations now! We want to make this the biggest turnout in years, and we have a lot of interesting presentations that you can use to justify your attendance. The following discussion presents a short description based upon the abstracts that I prepared for the conference. The complete texts of the abstracts are available on the Interchange BBS in the os32.general section as notes 82 and 83.

Topic: Atomic List -- Definitely Not Radioactive

In this session, Lee Brueni of CCUR will illustrate how the new Atomic List instructions address a problem faced by many real time programmers. Anyone who has used the Test and Set instruction is already familiar with the problem of maintaining data integrity when multiple programs or processors are making changes to the same memory locations. This new set of instructions functionally duplicates the current list instructions, with the added capability of performing a Test and Set with time-outs, all in one uninterruptible instruction.

Topic: 3200-850 Performance
A Simple Benchmark No Longer Works

In this session, Lee Brueni of CCUR will discuss how the complex architecture of today's computers, particularly tightly coupled multiprocessors, has made the old-fashioned benchmark obsolete. The performance obtained on a given application is very dependent upon how the application interacts with the total hardware environment. The measurement of performance is so complex that many users will need to run their actual applications on the processor of choice to see the real performance improvement.

Topic: SCSI Disks and Tape -- Good, Fast & Cheap

In this session, R. David Vednor of Macrolink Inc. will discuss the latest in disk and tape technology. If you are running old-technology peripherals (like MSM-300 disks), the cost of updating to new SCSI disks can be written off in about one year on electricity savings alone! This is a must-attend session to find out what new technology can do for you.

Topic: Implementing High Volume Transaction
Processing on Multiple MPS Systems

In this session, Gary Johnston of Plus System, Inc. will discuss how Plus is planning to integrate multiple 3280 class machines into a cooperative multiprocessor network that can handle their rapidly increasing transaction volume and demand for greater fault tolerance. The discussion will address the internal structure and functionality of Plus's ATM processing system, will show how multiple 3280 systems and DBLs are being integrated to increase available processing capacity, and will discuss how fault tolerance is being increased within a processing framework that is both easily expandable and cost effective.

Topic: Task Management Technology
An OS/32 Priority Adjustment

In this session Prentiss R. Mooney of PRSM Systems will discuss options to the current scheduling available in OS/32. In OS/32, tasks are scheduled and managed by a fairly simple system of fixed or dynamic priorities, coupled with special queues used for multiprocessing. In other large-scale operating systems, different models and techniques are used, such as job classes and total resource accounting. Many of these additional tools can be brought to the OS/32 task management scheme as add-ins, offering greater control over the task environment and/or higher system throughput.

Topic: Top Gun -- Only Real Time Systems Need Apply

In this session Doris Meserole of Applied Data Technology Inc. will give you a guided tour through the Top Gun Combat Training system. The real time requirements of the Top Gun system are so demanding that the Concurrent OS/32 platform was the best fit available. The Top Gun system must be able to track, process, and record air-to-air and air-to-ground combat maneuvering information from up to 36 high activity aircraft (like the F18), and up to 100 low activity aircraft, simultaneously. The Top Gun system must also handle a maximum of 30 real or simulated threats in addition to simulating weapons systems. This system safely trains pilots in a real flight, real multi-aircraft mission, simulated weapons environment. Simulated weapons means that when a pilot "fires" a missile, he sees the results -- but nobody dies.

Topic: PC Based Touch Screen Reliance
Opens New Horizons

In this session, Judith Robinson and David Smits of MJS Systems, Inc. will give an on line demonstration of how MJS has utilized Touch Screen Reliance in their turnkey Hospital Information System. For hospital personnel, MJS has realized a tremendous reduction in training time required since the introduction of Touch Screen support to their software. This reduction in training time alone pays for the additional hardware cost many times over.

The discussion will then address the ease of adding Touch Screen support to existing Reliance applications -- all it takes is adding one field to the Reliance screen. This new field is a standard Reliance non-display field, and it does not interfere with using the same program with standard 6312 type terminals.

Topic: DMS/32 -- The Legacy System Lives On

In this session Michael Chichelnik of Directory Advertising Consultants, Limited will show how the a "Legacy" 3200 System can be successfully used in today's environment in a reliable, cost effective and user-friendly way. He will present a general overview of their custom application and the use of a 3200 processor, in conjunction with Reliance, to provide reliable information all the time.

He will describe the evolution DAC's original in-house database system into a remotely accessed system used by a number of companies in both Canada and the United States. Access is over an X.25 network and supports terminals and remote printing. Michael will describe the changes made by Concurrent to the X.25 support to allow the printers to function with 8 bit binary data.

Finally, Michael will describe a future system design that involves distributed processing based upon direct access between PCs running on a Novell network and the Concurrent 3200 with DMS/32 as a database engine. This will allow remote users to access the power and reliability of the DMS/32 almost as if it were part of their PC network.

That about does it for this issue. I am looking forward to seeing you in Denver for Interchange 95. If you have any questions you can reach me by phone, Fax or the BBS. Please keep in touch.

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Article Copyright 1995 Stuart J. Baker

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