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May 12, 2014

3000 world loses dauntless Dunlop carrier

Hp3000linksDunlop Tires are a brand from England known for their breakthrough as tires which bore their weight on air. The pneumatic tire was crafted by John Dunlop to prevent headaches for bicycle riders. All tires to that point -- the British call them tyres -- used solid rubber instead of inflated designs. The 3000 and MPE community had its own Dunlop for decades: John Dunlop, founder of the headache-busting HP3000links.com website. Dunlop is an HP 3000 pro of more than 30 years standing, and more than 20 of it he spent posting to and reading the wisdom on the 3000-L mailing list. Last week, Dunlop reported he's moving out of the world of the 3000, since his server at work has been decommissioned.

Yesterday I turned off the HP3000 918 for the final time. It became surplus to requirements, finally.

It had been humming away quite happily for the last several years without much in the way of maintenance, and it did what it does best, being one of the best and most reliable online transaction processors ever built. For durability and reliability, it was without peer.

A rather sad event seeing as I have been working on HP3000's for the last 30-plus years, although very little in the last year or so.

Dunlop has only retired his HP 3000 career, and retains his life as an IT pro. But for more than a good decade of his 30-plus years in the community, he carried vital links to 3000 information and technique from his labor-of-love website. HP3000links.com pumped up the skill level of MPE owners and managers. Dunlop dedicated his career to the 3000 in other ways as well.

In the middle of the prior decade, Dunlop served as the webmaster for the OpenMPE advocacy group. This was a time when that group was proposing paid membership. That website would have been essential to providing service to paid members. In the middle of the last decade, openmpe.com still had one of the most extensive lists of 3000 owners. Even without the paid membership, Dunlop was posting meeting minutes on the site during a period when there was close scrutiny of OpenMPE developments.

His own site was a lively circus-page of links to technical papers as well as a gateway to many 3000 websites of the past decade. "In spite of all the discussion about dwindling HP 3000 resources, the links I have pulled together and maintained are still available," Dunlop said in 2006, "and demonstrate that there is still a lot out there for the HP 3000 user." Dunlop acted as an editor while he maintained the site for more than a decade. 

Four years ago he wondered why HP wanted to hang on to control of the 3000's configuration software after the vendor left the MPE market.

"There is software out there which will change HPSUSAN numbers," he said. "Surely HP would not be interested in chasing up anyone who used this software now, seeing as they have lost all interest in the HP3000?" Told that HP had just restated its forever-more control of SS_UPDATE -- the only 3000 support it will do on the record -- Dunlop replied, "I can't see why HP wants to retain control of this still, unless it's to try and milk a few more dollars out of the HP 3000 community."

The loss of a community member who knew the 3000 from the 1970s can feel like a death in the family, even though that person remains very much alive. The demise of HP3000links.com is very real, of course. Original material that it referenced is still alive on the web, in many cases. We did a survey of its vendor list during 2012, simply amazed at that time that it could have been so comprehensive.

Dunlop was signing off of 3000-L with his report. For years he's shared his wisdom while managing systems at Polimeri Europa UK Ltd. The company manufactures, among other things, synthetic rubber.

For many years, I have been mostly a lurker on this list but have benefitted greatly from the massed HP3000 knowledge so amptly demonstrated by the other members of this list.  To all the contributors, much thanks for all your help over the years.

So, sadly, this will be my final post to the list as I will no longer be seeking help in HP3000-land. To all, best of luck. Cheerio! 

One of his most notable contributions we could find in the 18-plus years of Newswire archives appeared in a 1999 article describing Posix startups under MPE/iX. The namespace for MPE which behaves most like Unix didn't always work properly on older systems:

Some sites are completely missing all of the HFS files (this is usually caused by an “incorrect” reload). From the MPE CI, try :LISTFILE /bin/. If no files are found, you will need to restore them from the FOS tape.

1. Restore the following from the tape:

restore *t;@.hp36431.support,i0036431.usl.sys;create;show

2. :STREAM I0036431.USL.SYS

3. After I0036431 finishes,

:STREAM SUPACCT.PUB.SYS

All of the HP-supplied HFS files will be restored, and the directory structure and permissions set to the defaults.

Note: if you just want to restore all HFS files on a backup tape, try “:RESTORE /-@.@.@;SHOW;KEEP;OLDDATE;CREATE”.

07:58 PM in Homesteading, Web Resources | Permalink

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