The OpenVMS "Ask The Wizard" (ATW) area
is an informal forum where you can ask questions about OpenVMS and HP Layered
Products and Software. "Ask The Wizard" contains nearly 10,000 questions and
answers on a wide range of OpenVMS topics, including IP printing topics,
procedures for resetting the host name or host address, and other OpenVMS and
layered product discussions.
Although questions arrive
continuously at ATW, the answers are posted in batches, with a general goal of
posting once a month. Longer intervals
between postings are certainly possible.
If you require the
absolute certainty of an answer, a quick answer, or a response by telephone,
contact the Customer Support Center directly; use the more formal problem
escalation channels that your question deserves. ATW is intended as an informal resource and
not as a replacement for the expertise of the Customer Support Center.
The ATW area is available at:
You will know that you are on the right page if you
see the photo of the Wizard (the Wooly Mammoth) busily answering questions.
On the main ATW page, you will find a list of links to
topics like "OpenVMS information", "Evolving business value" and "Test Drive
OpenVMS" on the left-hand Navigation bar.
Directly beneath the "Overview" in the middle of the page is a link to
the OpenVMS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document. Under the FAQ link is an area to ask
questions and search the previous answers.
Beneath this area is a long list of previously-asked questions and
answers. These resources taken together
will answer most common questions.
As of this writing, there are four keystone topics
listed at ATW:
- (1020) general IP printing, and HP printer blank pages
- (1661) memory management, application synchronization,
and common coding errors
- (6776) resolving the access violation (ACCVIO) error
- (7552) general application debugging
These questions arise regularly, so they are
highlighted on the ATW page.
On the ATW page, you will
typically find several months worth of questions and answers, and links to
archives of older questions and answers.
Each of the questions and answers has a searchable title and an
associated unique identifying topic number in parenthesis. There is a third number visible with each question, the posting
You will also find three
search functions -- one that uses an HP search engine, one that uses a local HP
OpenVMS "The Wizard" search
function, and a third that performs a topic-number-specific search which finds
a topic by its topic number, with or without parenthesis. You can use any or all of these searches, or
you can choose to search the ATW site with Google or another external search
At the bottom of the page, you
will find a zip file containing all of the questions and answers, with current
updates. Older questions are
occasionally updated, so the entire zip archive is rebuilt each time a batch of
questions and answers is posted.
Within answers to some
questions you will see references to existing discussions. For example, printing-related questions often
cite topic (1020). You can locate topic
(1020) by finding it in the roughly-monthly batches of questions, by the topic
number search engine mentioned earlier, or by noticing the format of the URLs
used for topics. For instance:
refers to topic 1020.
The OpenVMS Wizard is well
aware of hyperlinks and href tags and such, and would certainly welcome the
addition of this support at the website.
That written, the Wizard also has code to write and features to develop
for OpenVMS releases.
If you wish to ask the Wizard
a question, there is a link in the middle of the ATW page for this
purpose. As a prolog to asking the
question, you will see an explanation of the ATW area, as well as a list of
general rules for asking your question.
As an example of a question
that occasionally arises, assume that you want to find the log specification of
a batch job, from within the batch job.
You can use either of the two keyword search engines to look for queue
or log, or you can search for titles containing queue-related discussions. In this latter case, one such match you might
find is topic (9130), $GETQUI LOG_SPECIFICATION?, which provides you with the
$ IF log_specification.EQS."".AND.-
This code generates the batch log specification for the currently-executing batch job.
In a topic such as (9130), you
will find pointers to other existing discussions of the F$GETQUI DCL lexical
function, the SYS$GETQUI system service, and related features, including
topics: (813), (1240), (2159), (3951), (4546), (4568), (4903), (5188), (5471),
(5567), (5651), (5793), (5982), (6315), (6877), and (9130).
The OpenVMS Wizard looks
forward to your questions, and hopes that you find OpenVMS and "Ask The Wizard"
valuable, and that this article helps you more effectively use ATW.