Three years ago today HP stopped taking orders for the HP 3000. The day was marked around the world with a wake, celebrated in pubs, bars and backyards, as customers and engineers who grew up around the server gave it a fond farewell.
But 36 months later, just how far has the 3000 moved? It's nowhere near HP's corporate price list, a move that has made the hardware cheap, even fully licensed. This summer a Series 987, complete with valid license for the MPE software on it, sold for 0.1 percent of its price new. Matt Perdue grabbed the steal of the year with a check under $300, a long way away from the $230,000 of the system new in the 90s. Thanks to the Spring, Texas school district auction starting at a $5 opening bid, that 3000 enjoyed the greatest discount of any. "They just didn't know what they had there," more than one 3000 manager said about the deal that sprang from Spring.
Support from HP is still available, many months away from beig discontinued by the vendor. Meanwhile a wider array of third party support companies ply their trade, waiting for the HP customer to go independent of their system vendor. The Wall Street Journal, ABC News and others might be surprised to see systems still for sale, companies continuing to rely on MPE and an afterlife in full flow, three years after the wake.