By Alan Yeo
Okay folks, this is a bit of a stalking horse piece. I’d like to solicit feedback to see if there is enough enthusiasm within the HP 3000 community to see if it’s practical to organise an exclusively HP 3000 event in 2006.
In my opinion, it is unlikely that any organisation planning an event in 2006 would have sufficient high-value content for anyone interested in homesteading on, or migrating from the HP 3000 to make it worthwhile attending. So if we think there is still value to be gained — and knowledge to be shared — within the 3000 community in physical rather than virtual manner, then maybe we had better think about organising it ourselves.
[Editor's Note: You can e-mail Yeo your answers — just a simple message like “Great Idea, I'd go” or “Not interested, Include me out” — by clicking on the link on his name above. Or posting a comment here, using the "Comments" link below.]
I'm not talking about creating a new HP 3000 User Group. What I'm thinking about is something like a weekend or two-day event that’s exclusively HP 3000, with two parallel tracks, one for Homesteading and one for Migration, but with lots of opportunity to network and share knowledge and experience. Funny, I guess I have just described the early User Group meetings I used to attend.
The objective would be to make this event as low-cost as is practical. Try and find a location that has good, and hopefully inexpensive air transport to it. Maybe for the location, a university campus or something similar. So no, I'm not thinking of a $150 a night hotel and $1,000 entrance fee of major events. Maybe something that could be organised for a couple of hundred dollars each, plus travel expenses.
We know that there are an awful lot of good presentations available on both Homesteading and Migration topics. In fact, for the last couple of years I suspect that more HP 3000-specific presentations were rejected for things like HP World than were accepted.
We also know from the last couple of years that there are still vendors within the 3000 marketplace that will happily chip in to get something organised jointly. The HP 3000 Lounge at HP World in 2004 managed to get sponsorship from such a group of vendors, and if the event had gone ahead this year there were even more offers of sponsorship. So I would be hopeful that if something worthwhile was being proposed, that some sponsorship could be raised.
We also know from the "World Wide Wake" in 2003 that given the opportunity, the community can self-organise.
But the whole thing really hangs on the 3000 communities enthusiasm for and desire to have and attend such an event – That means you! I'm sure that there are people who will either volunteer (or who will be volunteered <grin> ) to work out if it’s practical to organise such an event. But not even this will happen unless a sufficient number of people actually would attend.
So first of all, let's have some feedback from you — positive or negative. Just a simple message will do, like “Great Idea, I'd go” or “Not interested, Include me out.” If we get sufficient positive response, then we will organise something more sophisticated to find out specifically what people would like. And then see if there is sufficient real hard interest to make kick-starting something like this worthwhile. On the other hand, if the response is dismal — well, it’s up to you! 12 months and counting down...
Alan Yeo is founder and CEO of HP 3000 solutions supplier ScreenJet Ltd. He led the effort to organize the 2003 World Wide Wake at the end of HP's sales of the 3000, as well as the HP 3000 Community Networking Lounge at HP World in 2004.