FOREWORD to the 1st edition of Eugene Volokh's book
                (the collected works of VESOFT, 1984)
                        by Alfredo Rego, ADAGER
   (Library of Congress call number: QA76.8.H173 V65 1989, 4th ed.)

Compatibility  is  the  key  issue  in  any  relationship.   Two  good
entities,  if  they  are  incompatible, can cancel  each other out and
become  nothing.   Two  average entities, if  they are compatible, can
grow  together  to  greatness.   Two entities that  are great to begin
with,  if  compatible,  can  grow  together to  unsuspected heights of

The  issue  of  compatibility  applies  equally well  to chemicals, to
software  modules, to computer peripherals, and, of course, to people.
I  have  certainly  suffered  my  share  of violent  explosions in the
Chemistry  lab,  in operating systems, in  hardware, and of course, in
human interactions.  All due to incompatibility.  And I have, luckily,
also enjoyed harmonious gourmet meals, intelligent software, effective
computers and marvelous friendships. All due to compatibility.

Why are we compatible with some people and incompatible with others? I
do  not  know.   Ideally, we should  avoid incompatible relationships.
Unfortunately,  the universe seems to have  other plans for us. Except
in rare cases.

For  me, one of these rare cases involves the Volokh family.  Whenever
I  have met with any Volokh (Vladimir and Anne, the parents, or Eugene
and  Sasha,  the  sons)  I  have also managed  to, somehow or another,
become a better human being.

In  the  specific  case of the Hewlett-Packard  software world, I have
certainly  enjoyed many pleasant discussions with Vladimir and Eugene.
We  are  users  of  each other's software,  and, through our sometimes
frustrating  experiences, we have contributed  to the evolution of our
products.   We  agree  on  many things and,  naturally, we disagree on
some.   But,  as  Fred  White  says,  we disagree  agreeably.  General
compatibility  even in the presence of a specific incompatibility here
and there!

I  am  glad to see some of Eugene's  ideas collected in this volume. I
hope you will enjoy them as much as I enjoy them.  And I hope you will
take  them  and  create new and better things  as a result. After all,
that is the whole idea of compatibility!

                            A BOOK REVIEW
                by Robert M. Green, ROBELLE Consulting
               Published by The HP CHRONICLE, May 1984.

"The  Collected  Works  of  VESOFT: Thoughts and  Discourses on HP3000
Software",  by Eugene Volokh, is a collection of presentations made by
Volokh  during a period from 1981 to 1984.  Included are such classics
as  "The  Truth  About  Disc Files" and my  favorite, the wildly funny
"Adventures of Wilfred Harrison, Intrepid Programmer."

The  book  addresses  an  amazing  range  of  areas,  including narrow
technical  problems, broad management concerns, esoteric theory with a
light-hearted   approach,  and  practical  tips  that  you  can  apply
tomorrow.  In 1982, I was pleased to publish one of these papers, "The
Loader Error Messages According to VESOFT," in my own little blue book
-  the  SMUG II Proceedings.  It  was subsequently reprinted by others
and may even make it into the next version of the MPE HELP subsystem.

The following are typical of the book's contents (the commentaries are
my own):

*  "Determining disc space used by  files given file parameters" (Just
what I need to fix that bug in the Keep Command)

*  "There is a way to highlight the security violation messages on the
console"  (That is a good idea for  our system - printing logon errors

*  "A  different  approach  uses an undocumented  feature of the FOPEN
intrinsic"  (Could  I  use  that  feature  to  hide  a  password  more

*  "Never :RELEASE a program file that  exists in a group which has PM
capability!" (Oh my gosh, I do that all the time...)

*  "Every vendor must have spent  many a sleepless night worrying that
if  his product was so wonderful and sold so well, wouldn't it just be
a  matter  of  time  before HP stepped in and  tried to sell a similar
product?" (Isn't that the truth)

*  "The  VINIT  Command  cannot be used in a  :STREAM, so we do a :RUN
PVINIT.PUB.SYS.  (I forgot that Eugene was  the one I heard that trick

computer-friendly commands are amazing.)


 VESOFT, Inc., a Los Angeles-based software house, was founded in 1980
by   Vladimir  and  Eugene  Volokh.   Since  then,  over  6000  HP3000
installations  have become users of one or more of the company's major
products,  MPEX/3000, SECURITY/3000,  VEAUDIT/3000. Eugene's expertise
and  knowledge has marked him as one of the leading specialists in the
field of the HP3000 software.

Vladimir  Volokh  is  a  computer  scientist  and author  of books and
articles on pure and applied mathematics.

                             Book Review
                          by Vernon W. Dunn
         Published by The SUPERGROUP Magazine, Sep-Oct 1984.

  "The  Collected  Works of VESOFT: Thoughts  and Discourses on HP3000
Software"  by  Eugene  Volokh  is  a  collection of  speeches, papers,
presentations  and user group meeting  proceedings (some of which were
previously  published  in  SUPERGROUP  Magazine)  and a  collection of
"Winning  at  MPE"  columns previously published  in Interact Magazine
(November 1983 to April 1984).  All chapters 1983 to April 1984).  All
chapters deal with topics of interest regarding HP3000 software.

  Ten  chapters deal with topics covered  in papers and speeches given
to  user  group  meetings or published by  them.  Two chapters promote
VESOFT  products.  And the last six  chapters are the "Winning at MPE"

  Since  the  book  is  collection of articles, it  is not design as a
textbook, but rather as a reference manual.  As a reference manual, it
is a worthwhile introduction to the topics it covers.

  The  book  covers  a  wide  range  of  subjects  from  the  humorous
"Adventures  of  Wilfred  Harrison,  Intrepid  Programmer to  the very
technical  "The  Truth  About  Disc  Files."   "Adventures  of Wilfred
Harrison"  is  the  fictional  account  of  a programmer  who needs to
recompile  70 programs, but can get no help from his "magical" systems
manager.   In his despair, he goes to the local bar where he finds out
about  VESOFT's MPEX program, which makes  him a super-hero in his own

  The  book  is  not all fun and games.   "The Truth About Disc Files"
describes  file  space  allocation,  tells  how  to  save  disc space,
discusses  locking techniques, and decodes  file system error messages
including  workaround suggestions.  Included are 37 of the most common
error  messages,  what they really mean, what  causes them, and how to
avoid  them.   This is of great value  in understanding those HP error
messages  that  only  a  cryptographer  could  decipher  as  they  are
explained in the System Intrinsics Manual.  In this article the author
proves  that technical material can be made more readable by lacing it
with just right amount of humor.

  "Burn  Before  Reading  -  HP3000  Security  and You"  discusses the
critical  yet  frustrating  area  of keeping sensitive  data safe from
prying  eyes that would use it to  gain an unfair advantage or distort
it to give the owner false data.  While the author readily admits that
the  user  is  the weak link in many  security systems, he does give a
number  of common sense hints that, if followed, will greatly increase
the  degree  of  protection  afforded  by  any  security  system.  The
guidelines  for  tightening  security are discussed  in general in the
article  and then specifically in the appendix.  The conclusion Volokh
draws  is  that no system can give  complete safety, but much computer
crime  that succeeds does so because security is neglected until it is
too late.

  Other  chapters  address  such  topics as  "MPE Programming", "Smart
SYSDUMP",  the  author's  opinion  about  "THe  Future  of Third-Party
Vendors  in the HP3000 Market", how to  get rid of the fears and avoid
the  problems often encountered in  using Privileged Mode programming,
and more.

  The  "Winning  at MPE" chapters include  several helpful pointers in
programming,  debugging,  and  using  MPE  software.   These  tips and
suggestions  were  written  in  response  to  questions  addressed  to
INTERACT Magazine.

  All  in all, "The Collected Works of VESOFT: Thoughts and Discourses
on  HP3000  Software"  is  a reference manual worth  much more than it

         FOREWORD to the 4th edition of Eugene Volokh's book
                (the collected works of VESOFT, 1989)
                       by Robert Green, ROBELLE
                    (Surrey, BC, V3R 7K1  CANADA)

In  the  HP3000 world, Eugene Volokh is one  of the few people who are
instantly  recognized by all.  He is so  well known that you need only
use  his  first name: "Have you heard  the news?  Eugene has written a
new  paper  on  MPE XL disc files...  Be  sure to come to the meeting,
because  Eugene is going to speak...   I called Eugene and he suggests

My  first encounter with the Volokh family was a memorable one. During
one of my 1980 training seminars, Eugene extracted from me the bulk of
what  I  knew  about the externals and  internals of the MPE operating
system.   To  celebrate surviving this ordeal,  the Volokhs invited me
home  for  a  traditional  Russian feast.  This  consisted of numerous
delicious  courses  of  food consumed over an  entire evening in their
back yard.  (Anne Volokh, Eugene's mother, was in the midst of writing
her now-famous cookbook at the time.)

Between  each  course  Vladimir  and I tossed down  a shot of flavored
vodka  from  the freezer.  And, somewhere  between the borscht and the
pirozhki,  I  expounded  my  theory on how to  succeed in the software
business   without  capital  or  connections.   "Just  find  a  small,
practical, ignored niche, write a good piece of software, then hit the
road  to promote it at users'  groups.  Write papers that contain tips
on   using  the  computer  and  you  will  gain  user  attention,  and
credibility  for  your  software."   Well,  I  didn't say  it quite so
concisely after so much vodka.

Eugene  must  have  been  taking  notes.  Soon I  was running into him
regularly  at  meetings,  as he presented his  latest papers on the HP
3000.   I can still remember the stir  he caused with "The Truth About
Disc  Files"  and  "Burn  Before Reading."   Eugene regularly uncovers
useful  (and  alarming)  secrets  of  the  HP3000,  and  does it in an
eminently readable way.

Although  I  regret  that  this  Fourth  Edition had to  drop a few of
Eugene's  older  papers, I can strongly  recommend the new: "The Truth
(Almost)  About  MPE  XL  Disc Files" and  "MPE XL Programming." Thank
goodness  VESOFT  did  not  choose  to include  Eugene's monster paper
comparing  the  SPL,  Pascal, and C  programming languages; that would
have meant dropping the rest of the book!

The  story  of  VESOFT  is  an  exciting  and  inspiring  one: Russian
immigrants   start  over  in  Los  Angeles,  father  and  son  playing
"entrepreneur"  as  comfortably  as others play  catch with a baseball
(Eugene  does the R&D and Vladimir  does the marketing).  They develop
MPEX  and SECURITY from simple, novel tools into essential complements
of HP's operating system, and build from nothing a successful software
firm  with  30  employees  and  with products installed  on 6000 sites
world-wide.   If this were a story and not fact, critics would call it
"far-fetched  and hopelessly unrealistic."   What makes it believable?

Go to Adager's index of technical papers