A Comparison, by Paul Edwards
[Ed. note: OpenMPE board member and 3000 education resource Paul Edwards has been promising us he would write this article for several years. We present it here in two parts, today and tomorrow. He explains, "Recent events have finally put this comparison into sharper focus. There are so many parallels between each community that I felt I had to write about the comparisons so that others in the HP3000 world could possibly use this information for their own future."]
I have been a member of the HP3000 community since 1976 and an Interex member since 1982. A few years ago, I decided there had to be other hobby interests for me than just computers and at the same time I had quadruple by-pass heart surgery. These events caused me to evaluate my future life direction. I have always been a hands-on person and have enjoyed working with tools in building and repair projects.
So, I acquired a 1971 Chevrolet El Camino truck to initially enable me to haul home improvement materials. It was like the one I bought in 1969 after my return from our Navy squadron’s cruise to Vietnam. Then, after attending a few car and truck shows, I got hooked on the classic car and truck hobby. I started to finish the restoration of my truck that was mostly completed by the previous owners. I quickly found that any restoration project is never really finished, but is a constant work in progress with continuing cash outflow.
The classic cars and trucks are like the ones we drove in high school and college during the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s. They consist of hot rods, convertibles, customs, sedans, wagons, trucks, and sports cars of that era. The “muscle” cars are very popular now and command a high price in a properly restored condition.
I have worked on most HP 3000 systems from the Series II to the N-Class and MPE II through MPE/iX 7.5. I currently have an HP 3000/928LX in my home office.
The exchange of information about the HP 3000 hardware and the MPE operating system was the primary goal of the HP 3000 local user groups that formed in the mid-1970’s. It was a critical need because everyone was learning a new computing platform.
We have that same exchange of expertise in the classic car and truck community with people having electrical, structural, engine, bodywork, painting, trim, and interior restoration experience.
With the HP 3000 hardware and software support from HP ending after next year, that same expertise exchange that started many years ago is still very important now. Many of the HP 3000 users will be homesteading on their systems for years to come, and will still need outside support from each other. I discussed the critical homesteading planning requirements in a couple of articles that are on my Web site, www.peassoc.com.
There are national conferences for the classic car and truck community that have vendor displays, car and truck displays with vehicle judging, as well as social activities, technical presentations and volunteer participation similar to what was at the Interex conferences.
There are various conferences put on by many different organizations in a variety of locations all through the year as compared to an annual Interex conference. The number of attendees is quite large at most national shows and they consist of both exhibitors and spectators.
The local HP 3000 user group meetings were usually monthly and sometimes there were annual regional meetings. We had HP and industry speakers to provide technical information. Most of these user groups in North America have now ceased to exist.
Local classic car and truck gatherings are usually monthly club business meetings. Sometimes there are tech sessions at the meetings and club tours to interesting locations.
There are monthly car and truck cruise nights to show off your vehicles during the spring to fall time frame. The cruise nights are like the ones we used to have on Saturday nights at the local drive-in burger and malt joints. ‘50s and ‘60s music is normally provided for the participants and spectators enjoyment.
More tomorrow: Social interaction, used equipment resources and technology comparisons
Paul Edwards is an HP 3000 training resource, a consultant on HP 3000 and HP 9000 projects, and a member of the OpenMPE board of directors. He's been an HP 3000 user since 1976. You can contact him though his Web site at www.peassoc.com.