|wickensonline.co.uk Retrochallenge 2009 Winter Warmup Entry Programming-4|
Well, we're pretty much done. I got the RCU program working a couple of days
ago, and I've just been putting the final touches to it, including the character
terminal interface and help text.
To use the command line interface, you run the program like this:
$ RCU/ADDRESS=192.168.1.199/SWITCH=TOGGLE/INTERFACE=CLI ANCIL
the /ADDRESS qualifier specifies the IP address or hostname (if defined) for the
Mirrorbow controller unit. The /SWITCH qualifier can either switch the named
device on, off or toggle its' current state. The /INTERFACE qualifier specifies
CLI in this case. SMG is also implemented for the character terminal based
version (see below). The parameter ANCIL is the name of the device to switch.
These are currently hardcoded into the C program, but it wouldn't take much to
get this information out into a configuration file.
The program consists of the following source files:
RCU.C - the main program
CMDLINE.C - command line processing
SMG.C - code for the character-cell interface
TCPIP$MIRRORBOW.C - TCP/IP interface
There are header files for each of these defining structures and functions.
The build script is very straightforward:
$ cc/debug/noopt rcu
$ cc/debug/noopt cmdline
$ cc/debug/noopt tcpip$mirrorbow
$ cc/debug/noopt smg
$ link rcu,cmdline,smg,tcpip$mirrorbow
An install script takes care of defining the command for the local environment
and building and installing a HELP library:
$ set command rcu
$ library/help/create rcu rcu
$ cwd = f$environment("DEFAULT")
$ define hlp$library 'cwd'rcu
The help library provides a summary of the command and the valid command
parameters and qualifiers:
Invokes the RCU utility. RCU stands for Remote Control Unit. The
utility is used to control a Mirrorbow Ethernet-based I/O Interface
attached to a Power Distribution Unit. The two combined allow the
remote control of mains operated devices.
Additional information available:
/ADDRESS=hostname /PORT=port-number /SWITCH=option
@RCU RCU Subtopic?
The character-cell interface uses the OpenVMS SMG library. I have to admit that
I was able to re-use the code of an existing example that creates an SMG menu
within a window to mimic the display on the mirrorbow LCD and allow the user to
select an option to toggle. You can see the display below:
The cursor keys can be used to highlight one of the available machines. The
menu is created using the settings read from the Mirrorbow interface. When the
ENTER key is pressed on one of the options a TOGGLE command is generated which
toggles the power on the currently selected machine, the LCD display on the
Mirrorbow is updated and the new port status is read from the mirrorbow and
updated as a new menu in the character-terminal display. At this point the
A useful extension would be to have the program loop round so that multiple
devices could be controlled but this would require either an additional 'EXIT'
menu item or some way of exiting the program via a key press (ESC would be the
I've already used the program several times! I needed to copy some DVDs this
morning, so I used the command line interface to turn on the Linux box. I could
then telnet in via the VAX and copy a couple of DVDs (as it happens I was being
lazy and used the k3b graphical program rather than the cdrecord command line
tools. I've experienced problems with running linux applications remotely to the
VAX, so resorted to running a VNC server on the linux box and using a VAX
compiled VNC viewer. The display is pretty yucky but it is good enough to get
the job done).
The source code for the RCU program is available in a gzipped tar file and a
So that's pretty much a wrap! I'm going to do a final post with some thoughts
about the whole process and some ideas for the next challenge!