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Holiday week chills response to HP extension

Since the news surfaced just three days before the holiday weekend about HP's extension of 3000 support, users, partners and customers have not sounded off about the change in their calendars and plans. But some have sent us short reports we can share in this quiet week for technology pros.

Remember, this week was supposed to be the last late-December you could enjoy as a 3000 owner if your company relied on HP's support. Now that will be December of 2007. Herman Schweiker said the HP extension wouldn't have any impact on Air Frame Manufacturing and Supply. "We've already moved on to other support providers" describes the situation at the overseas technology exporter.

Jeff Kell, the curator of the essential 3000-L mailing list as well as the OpenMPE list server, as well as system manager of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's HP 3000s, said the university has already moved its third-party apps off its 3000s, but the custom-written applications remain in place. Kell said he's relieved for the extension, but not pleased HP will hold up its MPE/iX source code license another three years.

"I'm very relieved that support (SW and HW) will be available, even though we will likely transition to third party anyway," Kell reported. "It is a little reassuring that 'legal' hardware replacements and software fixes will be available. We aren't planning any new development and could live with the current software situation without enhancements. There is the matter of MPE keeping pace with new peripherals, but they seem to have coverage for the immediate future."

"I'm very annoyed that HP is stalling third party licensing of software/OS code. The two-year delay put the nail in the open source coffin; the OS will be incredibly stale by the time any outside access materializes."

About the applications future at the University, Kell said, "We are left with our in-house legacy student information system, some pieces of which are still circa 1977, when development began.  We don't have the staff or time for a significant redeployment or rewrite, and the software life cycle of the system is on it's last breath anyway. Replacement will be a "forklift."  Choice of a replacement has been stalled indefinately pending "system-wide" studies of various alternatives in an effort to make a "system-wide" migration (each campus currently has their own application systems).  Our choice will likely be mandated regardless of our wishes."

HP's announcement won't have an impact at Dynacraft, a maker of heavy-duty truck parts. A third party services the company's 3000. "Ironically, our system replacement project got funding less then 24 hours after HP’s announcement," said Craig J. Hoppler in the IT group. "Dynacraft is already receiving HP 3000 support from another vendor. The company is moving to an ERP package from SAP. We are a division of a larger corporation."