As we reported on several days during April, a Series 987 HP 3000 — a $100,000 system when new in the early '90s — got auctioned off last month with a starting bid of $5. The winner of the auction paid more than 40 times that, including tax. But the bottom line for Matt Perdue, OpenMPE board member and HP 3000 consultant and developer, was $255.74 plus the cost to pick it up.
Purdue is based in San Antonio, and the server was in an auction warehouse in Houston, so the shipping wasn't outrageous for the 110-pound server.
In our May printed issue (hitting the streets next week; e-mail me if you want to get onto our postal mailing list and get a free copy) we interviewed Purdue, prompted by his pursuit of that deal that's a steal. What will he do with a system that can nothing more recent than MPE/iX 6.5, a box that HP says can support more than 1,000 users?
Purdue's treating it as a production system for a client who's homesteading — and moving up to their own in-house computer from an ASP computing model (Remember Application Service Providers? Purdue is one of those, too.) He says in our interview:
I’ll be using it for testing various disk drive configurations and application timing tests for a client at first, then actually putting it into production for that same client.
It has a tremendous value as a production box, even running MPE/iX 6.5, as they’ll be able to move from my HP 3000 A500, when development is completed, to a machine of their own — and still have roughly the same processing power at an extreme fraction of the cost; indeed, an absolute bargain!