Subject RE: [ib-support] Borland strikes back with IB6.5???
Author Wilson, Fred
Ok, I'm not trying to get into a yeah, yeah, like I said, I only "work" for
B&H, I'm not B&H. I'm all for FB, it's a great thing, and I really hope that
B&H goes with it.
Anyway, regarding IB5.6. It works fine for us,no real problems. Ann, and
some of the other Mers "old timers" can probably remember some of the many
questions I had posted several years ago at the beginning. Anyway, very,
very briefly, we have, basically "real time", very, very high speed
applications. We make (both hardware and write the software) for large mail
handling machines. These machines take printed material, usually fan folded
stacks or rolls, and cut the individual pages, accumulates the pages (in the
case of multipage accounts), adds the inserts (read -> junk mail that
arrives with your, say phone bill), folds the accounts, stuffs them in the
envelope, seals the envelope, sprays the addressing (some sites), sprays the
postage keyline, and can spray messages. This, as I mentioned is a very high
speed operation, with the machines running at 18,000 accounts per hour
(depending on page count). That's 5 accounts (completed envelopes) per
second. Our software, not only runs the machines themselves (embedded
machine control), but there is also the man/machine interface that controls
the machine control ;)
Anyway all the instructions for any individual mailpiece is stored in the
database. As the paper feeds through the front end of the machine, a bar
code is read, and part of the information is the account number and the
stream name. This information is used to retrieve the instructions, on how
to process this account (such as how many pages to cut, what inserts to
drop, how to fold it, addressing information, any insert verification that
needs to hapen, etc), from the database. The information from the database
varies in size from ca 700 bytes to over 1000 bytes. It's not all from one
table, but from several, accessed via joins. When the mailpiece is assembled
and has arrived at the end of the machine, on the outsort or bin, status
information is written back to the database, which is roughly 500 bytes in
length, and it's inserted into a table and a couple other tables are
updated. This is if everything is fine. If something happens, like a paper
jam, insert didn't feed, duplicate account, etc., then additional database
access happen. So on any one machine, running smoothly, there are 10
database "accesses", per *SECOND*.. (5 accounts per second, two "accesses"
per account). Now, in addition to this, there are "user" applications
runnning on other computers, that do things like generate reports, set up
jobs, adding the mailpiece instruction data to the database (we spec over 1
million accounts per day), and removing the mailpiece instruction data from
the database.
We currently run IB5.6 on NT4.0SP6. The computers are, currently Intel 700
hz, 512 megs of ram, a 5 disk RAID 5 array for the database (Wide SCSI) and
a single disk for the OS. We spec up to 18 real time machines per server
PLUS the user applications. You do the math as to the speed on a site
running a lot of machines, and yes we have some huge sites. A lot of these
run almost 24x7x365.
So, IB5.6 has been working well for us, in few high speed, rather large
database, sites.

Fred Wilson
SE, Bell & Howell
fred.wilson@... <mailto:fred.wilson@...>

-----Original Message-----
From: lester@... [mailto:lester@...]
Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2001 10:30 AM
Subject: Re: [ib-support] Borland strikes back with IB6.5???

> We currently are shipping IB5.6 and paying the license fees. That's all
> of the product cost and has been for the years that we've been using IB.

Then you are lucky, or pehaps you can restrict yourselves to
the bits that work <g>

> We, and I'm only speaking for what the company says, have more than enough
> work to do, supporting our products and producing new products, so as much
> as some of us may like to work on FB, it won't happen.

We wasted 12 MONTHS trying to get IB5.6 stable, IB6 fixed
some of the problems, but it was not until Firebird fixed
the remaining faults that we could stop firefighting, and
let the systems just run. If you want a stop and start
system IB5.6 & IB6 are OK, but running 24/7 - forget it. We
still have niggles to clear, but now we don't have to Backup
and Restore every other network hickup.

p.s. We have some IB5.6 licences if anybodys interested.

Lester Caine
L.S.Caine Electronic Services

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