Tru64 lights remain a-glimmer in HP’s forest

It’s been a long time, in computer years, since a Tru64 site could get meaningful response from Hewlett-Packard. The classic support disappeared at the start of 2013, relegated to Mature Product Support. MPS is a step, the last one, before Hewlett-Packard shuts out the lights on a lab. MPE/iX customers passed through this phase from 2009-2011. Beyond that point, customers could prowl HP’s websites for legacy OS help.

There’s a surprising amount of documentation help in the niche of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise support for Tru64. The OS is Unix, another of HP’s flavors of the operating environment with vendor customizations. This is really Compaq’s rebranding of Digital’s Unix, launched off the pad of the OSF specifications. Those specs began more than 30 years ago.

Imagine that relevant technical docs could survive three decades of computer time. The gleaming light remains, though, set up in webpages that haven’t died. And yes, some even persist on the Hewlett-Packard website. That’s a site spun away from a full HP website into HP Enterprise. As a result of that spin, many of the old web addresses have stopped responding. The info is still out there, recaptured and held at

It takes hunting, of course, and many companies which still rely on Tru64 have developed their own communities of know-how. One interesting element of a light’s utility is whether it’s still tied to revenues. There are still pages of AlphaServer documentation behind Hewlett Packard Enterprise paywalls. The server, of course, has been emulated by now with virtualization software. That emulation eliminates the need to hover over problems like “Console date is different from that reported by Tru64 Unix.”

HPE has a solution online for that snag. “The time should only be set by the operating system. Ignore the SRM date and time setting that is displayed from the console (>>>DATE).” Tru64 also has QuickSpecs on the HPE website for 5.1.B-5, almost the very latest release of the OS. The most interesting part of that document is that HP has re-stamped it with a 2019 date. Someone is out there watching over this technical resource. Some of those gems don’t require “validation,” the term HPE uses to describe getting over the paywall by being current with an HPE support contract.

In the MPE/iX community, independent support pros have scraped aside such nuggets and use them to solve problems. The value is still there, decades later, for companies using Tru64 and MPE/iX. Those companies have to be diligent to keep up with the website address changes. We’re here to help, and we’re happy to record the changes.

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