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November 2006

HP responds to insider trading lawsuit

The Associated Press is reporting this morning that HP is being accused of insider trading. The claim was added to a lawsuit filed in Santa Clara County, California when the company was accused of spying on reporters, board members and others.

In an amendment to that lawsuit, investors allege that the company CEO Mark Hurd CEO Mark and seven other executives got rich unfairly by selling HP stock worth $41.3 million during the two weeks prior to the spying scandal becoming public in early September. Those two weeks saw more insider HP stock traded than at any other time in five years, according to the suit. Most of the sales involved cashing out stock options.

HP responded to the suit by saying that it had no merit. It's a typical early-stage response from any company that's been sued. The trouble in the lawsuit seems to be the financial motive behind the insider sales. HP's stock price is now higher than it was in mid-August, two weeks before HP admitted to violating privacy.

Continue reading "HP responds to insider trading lawsuit" »

Who, not how many, matters

Owners and managers of HP 3000 might be prone to measure the vitality of their world by numbers. What percentage of the customer base is still running the 3000 in a production environment, for example. Or how many people made the trip to the Gulf Coast this month to take in all the learning at the Greater Houston RUG's HP 3000 Conference.

Attendeesatghrug06 The latter was the first of its kind in three years, perhaps even six You have to go back to the Interex e3000 Solutions Symposium to find the last 3000-dominant conference. Yes, there might have been only 50 attendees at this year's conference. We hear early reports that the conference will be mounted next year, too, at the same University of Houston Clear Lake venue, on the weekend of Sept. 14. You can bet on the RUG's board having more expertise and energy behind marketing the next show.

Nobody can fault the RUG for its speaker lineup, though: Birket Foster, Alfredo Rego, Bill Hassell, Gilles Schipper, Paul Edwards, even Jeff Vance of HP, doing an impromptu and excellent review of an updated paper on the 3000's Command Interpreter.

There were more, like Charles Finley showing how the transformation of a COBOL app like a Time Entry program can be moved to another platform, it interface improved and its flexibility extended. Finley, whose Transformix company works closely with Sector 7, showed us a solution that had J2EE applets, servlets, Java Beans and the Jakarta Tomcat Web application Server.

Finley's solution relies on the interface of Java Swing client, although he also showed Web client for the application. The major revelation: Oracle's JDeveloper Swing Application and JSF Application elements, priced within reason and relevant to moving a 3000 app.

Presenters like these did not attract the massive numbers of conferences of the 1990s. But even with a marketing machine such as Interex had at its disposal, the Solutions Symposiums never drew more than 200 attendees. What mattered then still matters now: who is presenting.

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Houston meeting spreads OS training

Organizers of the recent Greater Houston HP 3000 conference want users to know: It's not just a 3000 conference. Found teaching Friday through Sunday: Bill Hassell, HP Unix guru extraordinaire.
''GUIs are for wimps," he told the collected audience of about 20 in one of his four sessions. He's a command-line man himself.

Alfredoghrug Which, if you consider it, makes Unix a comfy spot for the old-time 3000 veterans to land. After all, prowess with the command line was pretty much the bulk of the old 3000 experience. Even the new 3000 experience, aside from things like GUI/3000.

At the Houston show, Adager's Alfredo Rego gave an agnostic talk in the 40 minutes carved out for his keynote. He drew on an large inflated ball to show the audience where you could go one unit south, then one unit east, then one unit north, and end up at the same place. The North Pole, of course, but Alfredo's lesson — which he demonstrated with the help of a Mac which was also running Windows — "don't necessarily accept the obvious answer."

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What a certification is worth

A computer with a dodgy future shouldn't have this much customer interest in certification for its skills. But the HP 3000 is unlike a lot of systems abandoned by their makers. People still want to prove their 3000 skills are up-to-date. The difference? The HP community, still providing training and cert service long after HP's lost interest. When people will pay for this training isn't as interesting as the fact that it's offered at all.

Inside the folders passed out at this month's GHRUG HP 3000 conference (there were no bags, another cost-saving measure other conferences ought to observe), I saw a color flyer from Jon Diercks, who said that he was "sorry I couldn't be there to participate, but wanted to send my regards." Under Diercks' smiling face was an e-mail and Web link to garner contacts from your community. Like a lot of 3000 pros from the modern era, Diercks is able to take work from either a homesteading or migrating customer.

But he's important to the certification process of the 3000, the way professionals will try to demonstrate they're able enough to administer, program for or size up a 3000 for either homesteading or migration. Diercks wrote The HP MPE/iX System Administration Handbook a few years ago. You literally could use the book to study for a certification test. As a 3000 resource, the book remains the only title close to up to date with the operating system.

Why in the world would you want to pass a certification exam for a computer being abandoned by its vendor? The question sparked a lively debate not so long ago on the 3000 newsgroup. Good points were being made by both sides, even though a peristent gravedigger for the system said long ago all is lost for the 3000 customer.

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We're making history here

I keep hearing this in postings about the HP 3000's future:

"The growth or decline of a specific computer platform is directly akin to any other biological population."

By now, I'm wondering. What studies have been completed to confirm this theory? Come to think of it, what are the "akin" elements between computer platforms and biological populations?

See, I am a realist. Someday all the HP 3000s will be museum pieces. But there's the meantime to consider, a meantime many of you live and work in today, and for the forseeable future.

I got a call this morning from Vladimir Volokh, who'd read my November editorial about redemption. He invited me to point out that 2027 was the end of the HP 3000's 7-bit date-keeping technology; but he added that many of the customers he visits don't even know about 2027 as a CALENDAR intrinsic deadline. Too many of them don't even know HP extended its basic support to 2008. I encountered one of the latter customers myself at the HP 3000 conference in Houston two weeks ago.

That moment in Houston was an eye-opener for both me and the customer. How could you measure the conference value to a attendee who learns that his end date for his company's mission-critical platform is not the end of this year, but the end of 2008? Think of the way an IT budget could shift (like, now there's time to engage experts for planning, and maybe move our home-grown app to another platform.). Think about how the shift in IT plans might affect his company's profitability.

Continue reading "We're making history here" »

Top 10 Reasons to Give Thanks

Thanks flow freely here in the US today, on a day when most of us here celebrate the arrival of pies, sleep-inducing turkey dinners and a holiday for nearly everyone after 2PM. In much of the world, though, this is a working day; Thanksgiving in November is a strictly-American holiday.

We give thanks for being a part of your lives, in the aid of IT managers making their Transitions; working alongside the HP partners who help you stay productive on your 3000s or marshal migration forces; carrying the message from HP and its competition about alternatives, in the spirit of looking into everything.

(Okay, we know: Apple has not succeeded in making its Unix solutions attractive to the enterprise customer, up to now. As an alternative to a 3000 solution, Xserve has its best chance in the education sector. Yes, Virginia, there is a 3000 presence in education, both K-12 and higher ed.)

But thanks deserve a list today, so here's ours. Have a second helping tomorrow, with Top 10 Things to be Thankful for in 2006 and 2007.

Top 10 Reasons to Be Thankful for Your 3000 Experience, circa 2006:

10. Developed a stronger sense of faith in inertia, five years and counting into migration era
9. Earned migration expertise to use now as well as later, no matter which platform you choose
8. Entered the marketplace of the $5.00 enterprise-grade HP 3000 server
7. Found vendors who draw their 3000 business plans well beyond HP's 3000 lifespan
6. Discovered new use for comfort in using the command line
5. Evaluated a replacement to outperform PA-RISC CPUs, after 11 years of waiting for Intel-HP project to mature
4. Opened the door to a vast warehouse of applications on target platforms
3. Cut support costs by two thirds while making a Transition by using third parties
2. Watched your vendor offer and then polish a multiple-operating-system technology with virtualization
1. Felt smart about your investment in a server with the greatest value in market's history — and more satisfaction about being part of the market writing a historic tale of migration and transition.

Learning about your 3000's database

I'd guess that fewer than 1,000 IT professionals are reading the 3000 mailing list and newsgroup these days. But just like at the end of a sporting event, the people left in these stands are the most knowledgeable and ardent in the game. They know what it has taken 20 years and more to learn. Today, like many days in the 3000 community, these biggest fans pass along what they know for free.

Today's subject on "the L," as it's called by its longest residents, is IMAGE, the database that made your HP 3000 famous. (And the best in the business, at least once, when Datamation ran a contest to determine which database won among contenders like Oracle, Informix, Ingres, Sybase, DB2, and a raft of others. Datamation is published no more, and some of those databases not survived. either. IMAGE, in its newer generations of TurboIMAGE and then IMAGE/SQL, rolls on.)

An IT pro posting to the mailing list was misunderstanding how Adager, the IMAGE/SQL all-purpose tool, was keeping him from corrupting his database.  He asked, "When I try to change a dataset capacity in Adager, it tells me the minimum acceptable capacity is higher than I’m trying to set it at. Why?"

The answer gave the community a chance to teach IMAGE/SQL, instruction that's not only hard to purchase these days, but a great resource for a developer or somebody who maintains HP 3000 apps. A free resource, from the Web.

Continue reading "Learning about your 3000's database" »

Rest in Peace, Large File work

HP made a decision to help its HP 3000 customers recently, a choice that involved walking away from many man-months of HP 3000 engineering. Such HP 3000 engineering resource, at least from HP, is becoming more rare all the time. That rarity made HP's decision to help stamp out Large File Datasets, eliminating a concept that never worked quite as flawlessly as promised, as disappointing as it was necessary.

I recall the SIG-IMAGE meeting in 1999 where the database vendor community — those third parties who rely on IMAGE structures inside of the HP 3000 — asked for HP to stay the course. "Don't bother with Large Files in the IMAGE/SQL structure," they said; just build out the Jumbo Datasets so they can be as useful and reliable as the rest of the HP 3000.

However, HP took its counsel from large applications vendors back in those days. In modern times, the company knows it needs to be more aware of how it can help these third parties survive, carry the 3000 customer a little further. Introducing deep-seated database change at this point of the 3000's transition would be foolish. Besides the database tool providers such as Adager, Robelle and Bradmark, other companies and software providers would stall in their Unix-bound plans.

Adager's Alfredo Rego drew all these pieces and choices together in a message when HP announced it will be scrapping LFDS. "It is really sad to realize that the result of all of that effort by HP will never see the light of day," he said, "but the alternatives would have been much worse."

Continue reading "Rest in Peace, Large File work" »

Considering Unix as a destination

IT directors in the 3000 marketplace assign directions these days, their guidance systems working like Google Maps or Mapquest. The destination they plug into their search:

Safe and reliable business computer platform to replace our HP 3000; must meet the requirements of a mission-critical-grade asset.

But most of these IT directors are adding a more direct address in their search.

Find the best Unix

The application drives the decision, but environment must pass muster, too. They tell their staffs or analysts or migration partners doing the search to look harder at Unix. Do not include the many Windows destinations, even when they decide to replace instead of migrate their corporate applications. Don't linger in the land of Linux. The former locales still don't feel safe enough for many HP 3000 IT managers, while the latter doesn't sparkle with the corporate patina you've come to expect from being a Hewlett-Packard customer.

In our ongoing review of Unix destinations that 3000 sites are taking, we'll keep our scope broad as well as innovative. Our path includes one solution not obvious to many IT directors at 3000 shops: The road to Apple's offering. It's notable because of how much the solution has changed in the past 12 months.

Simply put, Apple now offers the lowest capital-cost corporate Unix platform. And unlike its offering of the last five years — the time the 3000 community has been in search of a new corporate destination — Apple now is dishing up Windows-capable desktops to communicate with Unix-driven servers. You can get an unlimited-user license, Xeon-CPU-based Xserve that starts at $2,999. The desktops that use Intel's Core Duo chips can cost as little as $499, plus keyboard and monitor.

HP 3000 shops who have made the move to Apple's solutions — well, they have been more rare than a quarter with no major Windows service pack. The largest supplier of wrestling uniforms in the US, Fergo Athletics, has run their company for years with Macs after HP flagged on its march to keep the 3000 up to date technically.

Continue reading "Considering Unix as a destination" »

Rocks tossed from the Blue

Since HP has now started to ship its speed-busting Montecito-based Integrity servers, IBM has fired up a loose cannon to hurl FUD rocks across the bow of the HMS Itanium. Big Blue, now trailing HP in overall revenues in the computer business, hired analyst Joe Clabby to explain why he's turned his coat against Itanium.

Clabby is careful to mention he was among the Itanium boosters as recently as last year. His admission and comments come in a 25-minute, Flash-based videocast which IBM has paid for, a screed in which he flogs a list of 10 reasons why migration to Itanium is a bad idea.

None of the items on Clabby's list are really news; it's just that now he's on the side of the skeptics about whether the migration is worth the effort, and whether Itanium is a destination worthy of the expense. Just have a look at his 10 reasons:

1. Forced migration
2. Changing market conditions
3. Roadmap slippage
4. The scale-up/cascade down dilemma
5. Lack of innovation
6. Ecosystem weaknesses
7. Workload emphasis
8. The propaganda machine
9. Intel re-evaluation
10. Future promises

What is Number 8 even doing on the list? Propaganda is what the opposition calls your truth they disbelieve. As for forced migration, the topic is absolutely no news whatsoever to the HP 3000 customer. How much forcing is really going on for anyone but the Alpha customers ? Depends on what else you're selling against Itanium?

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HP's fourth quarter blasts profit records

HP announced fourth quarter and fiscal 2006 results this afternoon that knocked company share prices beyond $40, as investors crowded around a company whose earnings quadrupled from the same quarter in 2005.

HP weathered a big charge on its earnings in that 2005 quarter, but the results from the last 90 days stand on their own as a significant step upward. The company finished with $91.7 billion in revenues for fiscal 2006, another milestone broken. By many accounts, HP's revenues now lead the computer industry, so long as you include the $26 billion cranked out by the company's printer, ink, paper and camera business.

The quarterly profits came in at $1.7 billion for the 90 days when HP sells the hardest and discounts the deepest. HP came just shy of selling $25 billion in the period, a record for Hewlett-Packard. Revenue grew across the globe compared to the 2005 quarter, with revenue in the Americas up 7%, revenue in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) up 3%, and Asia Pacific up 7%.

Analysts and commentators on the market were noting that the scandals HP endured in September didn't keep customers from choosing the company's products. In a Wall Street Journal report, however, analyst Brent Bracelin said HP is going to have to increase its profits organically, rather than by cutting costs. At a conference call this afternoon, HP CEO Mark Hurd said the company is "substantially completed" with its restructuring, corporate code language for "the layoffs are about over, for now."

As for the HP group developing and selling the HP 3000 replacement models and operating systems, Enterprise Storage and Servers saw its sales rise 4 percent over the same quarter of 2005. But the growth came from "industry-standard" (read: Windows) blade servers, not the HP-UX driven Integrity servers.

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On Watch at the Watershed

It's taken five long years, but it looks like Hewlett-Packard has finally assembled a solution for turning away from HP 3000 systems. There are always going to be companies and customers who cannot afford much change in their environments, if any at all. But for a portion of the market which can spend to improve their IT services, the time appears to have arrived to make a move.

Five years ago, and for nearly every year afterward, we would pose a question to our readers and the HP partners: Why would you want to migrate, or move away from HP 3000s? Now that we've seen the presentations and the proposals for the first chipsets to truly trump PA-RISC, and a version of Unix that delivers economy and flexbility along with all the change it demands, we are prepared to turn our question of the past five years on its head. Now we want to know why a customer would not want to move on to something newer, faster, designed as well as the HP 3000, albeit very differently.

We can anticipate the answers to our turnabout (some might say turncoat) question. Many of the community's customers who cannot move off a system with a great history cannot afford to go anywhere. The value of the 3000, set for a 5-10 year lifecycle and with an integrated design to keep things running smooth — well, no company is offering such a computer, abreast of the latest standards and omnipresent applications. No company but IBM, anyway. So unless your company is ready to switch systems suppliers, or add more spending to your IBM budget, or enter the churning waters of the Windows experience, it looks like HP-UX and HP's new entry-level and midrange 3600 and 6600 Integrity servers are your best future bet.

Continue reading "On Watch at the Watershed" »

Firing shots, five years later

It was a Wednesday, mid-day or the end of the day, when the world learned the HP 3000 was going to pass into HP's history. But not soon, HP assured its customers five years ago today. In time the vendor came to understand that not even the five years it clocked out would be time enough for some of its customers to leave the 3000, power down their power tool in their IT center.

Five years onward now, many have left their systems behind. Lots of those had a foot on the transition path already on November 14, 2001. But for many others, the journey continues. The destination of a better business computer remains on the horizon. For some, that horizon will be defined as Vesoft's Vladimir Volokh defines the term: "Someplace which, the farther you travel toward it, the more it recedes into the distance."

I am travelling between two options this week, studying opportunities. Last weekend the Greater Houston Regional User Group hosted a very successful HP 3000 conference, so useful that the board of directors has already set a date for the 2007 edition: September of next year, at $175 per registration, or free from your favorite transition, homesteading or migration vendor. Make a space in your training budgets of 2007, no matter how far along you are. That conference is a shot across the bow of a ship, one that HP said was supposed to be in port already.

Others are fired up about the newest HP Integrity servers, powered by the Itanium chips that have been evolving since before we began the NewsWire's 11-plus years of storytelling and service. I leave now for the Gunther Hotel in San Antonio for HP's Integrity Solutions road show. This hardware to replace the 3000 is fast and well-evolved, too. Perhaps more important, and where I will spend most of my morning, is in the virtualization briefings, a feature of flexiblity most 3000 shops have never seen.

Take a look at our editorial warning shot of five years ago, predicting that you can never tell what death really means, or how an afterlife will look. That was a scary Wednesday, but you have survived it with the ability to take a shot in the dark at a new solution, be it going your own way to homestead, or leave HP to adopt another platform more open and less vendor-dependent, or follow HP's torch into new territory.

HP pays OpenMPE for engineering advice

Hewlett-Packard has paid advocacy group OpenMPE for engineering services surrounding the vendor's review of the HP MPE/iX build process. Birket Foster, chairman of the advocacy group's board of directors, confirmed in a briefing on Saturday that an OpenMPE "virtual lab" engineer — a 3000 veteran who is an independent contractor — was paid to review HP's process.

The payment represents the first revenue which OpenMPE has generated since the group formed in 2002. All monies which OpenMPE received up to now have come as contributions or donations — including the $5,000 which HP pledged in 2004 to the group.

The contract was not a one-off engagement, either. Foster, who was briefing the HP 3000 Conference crowd with HP's Jennie Hou in attendance, said the engineering project will include two additional phases. In addition to firming up the relationship between OpenMPE and HP, the project also demonstrates the kind of value OpenMPE supplies through its lab services. Apparently of a high enough calibre to earn a check from HP.

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Webster, we've got a solution

Plenty of solutions, in fact, are being offered up today at the HP 3000 conference in Webster, Texas. At a supper last night with a few HP 3000 consultants and partners, we talked about the location of this conference, a city called Webster that hasn't received its share of fame or kudos for hosting the Johnson Space Center.

The Space Center, home to solutions for problems like the Apollo 13 near-disaster or a successful moon landing, is usually called Houston, as in "Houston we've got a problem," or "Houston, Tranquility Base here; the Eagle has landed." But that lack of recognition hasn't kept Webster from serving well — not any more than the reknown which the 3000 lacked in its HP product career squelched your computer's calibre of service.

Today the meeting begins with Alfredo Rego's keynote speech, "A Bit at Home, A Bit at the Edge." There are rumors afoot that simultaneous wireless connections to multiple servers are key to Rego's talk. He told us a few weeks ago he planned to speak about MPE, Unix, Macintosh and Windows operating environments. Then HP decided to release its solution to the potential corruption-causing problems of Large File datasets in C.10 IMAGE/SQL.

It's hard to imagine Rego passing up a chance to enlighten the crowds here about the impact of HP's decision to dump LFDS, a choice which Adager supports along with every other third party database tool supplier. Rego speaks in about an hour at the keynote. In a clear bit of definition, the HP 3000 conference has only one keynote speaker, not the multiples of other computer conferences. Here in Webster, keynote means keynote.

HP said Mondaythat downloading a DBSCHEMA will turn off the LFDS capability, a feature that has caused data corruption during the past three years in IMAGE databases. Knowing what we know about how Adager eschews relying on the IMAGE schema — manipulating the database's root files are Adager's forte — we bet some of Rego's bits will be addressed, so to speak, at the solution from HP. For the record, Adager says that "Everyone should apply the HP patch." When the solution arrives, after beta testing.

Webster, after all, has been the root of solutions for a long time. More than 30 years, in fact, just like the HP 3000.

HP is part of this historic HP 3000 conference, by the way. Historic because we can't find an instance of a vendor who has announced the obsolescence of a computer platform and then five years later helped support a conference all about that platform. Maybe HP, like Webster and the 3000, deserves some kudos for changing that bit of history.

HP will also use this forum to restate and clarify its licensing policies for using the 3000 and MPE/iX. From what we've heard, there is little chance of a return to the FBI-threatening, slap a vendor into house arrest days of 2000, the last time HP protected its property rights. But those rights are still in effect, for any company who's still doing business by the book with Hewlett-Packard.

Continue reading "Webster, we've got a solution" »

HP to update migrated app performance

HP will offer its migrating customers another update on the performance of migrated applications in a few weeks, but this time the advice will be available via a Webcast. The last time HP presented "Performance of Migrated HP e3000 Applications" the engineering advisory came as part of a paid registration to the HP Technology Forum. On December 6, the HP user group Encompass will offer the talk, usually presented by HP's Kevin Cooper, in a Webcast from the Encompass Web site.

HP has given this talk at least once a year since 2001. It's updated with customer migration experience which HP gathers during its migration engagements with HP 3000 sites.

The hour-long Webcast at 2 PM EST does not promise migrating users a definitive forumula for their figuring. Many migrating 3000 sites want to know how much hardware to purchase to get the same level of performance as what they now get from HP 3000 systems. A lot of what has been reported on this subject can be shortened to "It depends."

The Encompass/HP announcement sets expectations accurately. "From this talk, hopefully you will understand why your questions about migration performance can’t be answered with a single number!"

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Regional results from a radio report

In a podcast report (5 MB MP3 file) that's an homage to the great broadcast voices of CBS News, we hear that customers backing an HP 3000 party were sweeping toward the Gulf Coast tonight. The staunch resistance to obsolescence was carried on a wave of strong turnout for this weekend’s first HP 3000 conference. The meeting begins at the University of Houston Clear Lake campus just southeast of Houston Friday morning. As if the 3000 experts were not enough, there's the Gizmo Guys on campus Saturday night, at just $10 a seat at the door.

Change means you don't know what good comes next

3000 NewsWire Editorial

Life can sometimes change, as the song in Cabaret says, “due to one little word: married.”

Littlenickandelisha My little boy has just become a groom now, someone’s husband. The man who gets up to see what that noise was in the middle of the night. The fella who buys flowers when the fight ended last night and they haven’t made up yet. The guy who tells his woman he’s sure she’s beautiful, even when she isn’t sure he’s telling the truth.

That’s my son, Nick. He was married in a celebration last month. A handful of hours over a couple of days when everyone smiled, when old hurts healed over, when hugs worked their song-filled magic, embraced new love, soothed the sick, sparked happiness.

I drove to The Plantation, purpose-built in the 90s with an ante-bellum design, driving with my mom in the seat next to me, with my brother Bob behind me, with my wife and partner Abby riding along on the wave of joy and expectation. And the tears poured down my face when “Married” and “Sunrise, Sunset” rolled off the iPod and into our ears. The day was clear and cool, blue skies an omen for the life of Nick and Elisha together.

It’s a wonderful thing, this kind of redemption, the outcome you work toward but dare not expect. This HP 3000 community which has cared for me, brought me up in the industry for almost as long as I have been a father to this new groom, sustained Abby and I — you are reaching for resurrection, maybe hoping for redemption of a work-life-long partner, HP.

Continue reading "Change means you don't know what good comes next" »

HP to help wipe out LFDS on 3000 databases

    HP has implemented its plan to resolve its two-year-old Large File DataSet (LFDS) issue with the IMAGE/SQL database on HP 3000s. But the vendor’s tested and approved change which fixes the potential LFDS database corruption issue is not going to be released, according to MPE/iX lab director Ross McDonald. Instead, HP will release software to get LFDS ability out of IMAGE databases.

   HP is shelving the months of work on fixing LFDS to stay in step with the HP 3000’s database community. Experts at Adager, Robelle, Bradmark, Allegro Consultants and other vendors have all said that LFDS needs to be withdrawn from the C.10 versions of IMAGE/SQL. Simply put, the fixes to the software don’t justify the benefits that LFDS promised: dynamic expansion of detail datasets.

   LFDS had the potential to corrupt databases which had datasets bigger than 4GB, by all accounts both within HP and in the database utility vendor community. But few customers used the feature knowingly, especially after Adager and then other third parties warned of its corruption capability.

    McDonald said HP doesn’t believe there are any customer sites experiencing corruption issues due to LFDS, a feature first released in 2004 and fraught with multiple attempts to fix its problem.

Continue reading "HP to help wipe out LFDS on 3000 databases" »

Where is Integrity on its takeover curve?

Although we asked this question of HP's Nigel Ball, he could not answer until HP's year-end results are announced in a little less than two weeks' time. HP set a goal a few years ago — increase the revenues from sales of Integrity servers, HP's recommended replacement for HP 3000s, until Integrity's and their Itanium 2 processors made up 70 percent of HP's revenues.

In 2005, HP said its goal for the future of its enterprise server business was to have Business Critical Server unit revenue will grow to 50 percent by the end of 2005, and 70 percent by the end of 2006.

Attaining this goal is important to HP 3000 customers. Those who are staying with HP and investing in HP-UX in particular would benefit from HP hitting its targets, and on schedule, too. HP's Unix runs on PA-RISC processors in HP 9000s, sure. But the hardware with the biggest boost for the buck uses Itanium. If nearly three of each four systems sold wear the Integrity badge, that's a lot of critical mass for the HP Unix platform.

Continue reading "Where is Integrity on its takeover curve?" »

Making a time shift on the 3000

Last weekend, HP 3000 customers saw the last of the switch-to-standard time during a month of October. Citing a desire to conserve energy by keeping the lights off as long as possible, US government officials have changed the switchover times for both "fall back" and "spring forward." HP has sprung into action to accomodate the changes on the HP 3000.

As always, customers can fall back on the community's keen eye for detail to ensure HP's time zone engineering gets onto the systems in plenty of time. After HP's Bill Cadier announced HP has created the file needed to embrace the new mid-March and early-November dates for Daylight Saving, 3000 community members pointed to related information both supplemental and incidental.

Donna Hofmeister of the OpenMPE board of directors says another director — apparently wanting to remain anonymous — thinks somebody in HP doesn't understand how the magic TZTAB.LIB file does its work.

Continue reading "Making a time shift on the 3000" »

HP 3000's extended time gets posted

Hewlett-Packard — and especially the friends of MPE/iX inside the company's lab — are readying the HP 3000 for a future which the vendor never planned to support.

This week HP posted a notice of a replacement copy of a file HP 3000 customers will need next spring, when Daylight Saving Time expands to four more weeks of the year, a change in law beginning  in 2007. Yes, 2007, the year that HP planned to be finished with the 3000 support tasks.

It doesn't take a lot of imagination to see tasks like this file replacement popping up on HP's 2007 and 2008 to-do lists. Major work? Not really. Crucial to the smooth ride you've come to expect from 3000 ownership? Yes indeed.

HP has already made the new file available from its Jazz Web site, months before it's needed. Now the customer will be able to manage time changes in early March, and early November, of a year when the majority of customers were supposed to be migrated. Perhaps by next November the time of a majority of 3000 sites migrated will have arrived.

Continue reading "HP 3000's extended time gets posted" »