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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.