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Homesteaders get their meeting at Tech Forum

The HP Technology Forum has gained its first bona-fide homesteading session among its HP 3000 content. OpenMPE will have an update session on Tuesday, September 19 starting at 5 PM, according to OpenMPE board member Chuck Ciesinski.

This will be an information session rather than technical instruction about using the HP 3000. OpenMPE is getting what host user group Encompass calls one of its "Campground" meetings, a cousin to the Birds of a Feather or Special Interest Groups in the old Interex model. At least four of the nine OpenMPE board members will be on hand in Houston to recap what's been accomplished through the OpenMPE advocacy and lay out the goals for the group in the near term.

HP virtually put a hold on OpenMPE's goals timetable last December; the vendor's announcement of licensing MPE/iX source came saddled with a two-year delay on that release, since HP stretched its 3000 support business out at least two extra years. But at least two more years will give OpenMPE some time to develop a strategy that might attract membership commitments from homesteading customers — a message the group will now be able to promote at HP's Technology Forum.

The addition of an OpenMPE session signals effort on the part of OpenMPE to reach out to Encompass, too. The enterprise user group, still standing after the Interex collapse of 2005, is welcoming any relationship that might bring more HP 3000 owners into Encompass ranks.

Group president Kristi Browder said last fall that the 3000 customers would have to face the inevitable fact of migration, a challenge the user group can assist with. Some customers will draw up their own definitions of how inevitable their migration is — and perhaps look to Encompass to offer 3000 homesteading support as a new benefit. After all, the group has a dedicated band of Digital customers using VAX systems, VMS and even PDP-11s — all well past the vendor's "end-of-life" dates.