Seven days, 36 OpenMPE votes
HP goes into overtime on time zones

Why join OpenMPE? Getting connected with providers

Voting in the OpenMPE board elections proceeds for the next nine days. Even if you're not all that involved with who serves on the advocacy group's board, there is another reason to head to that Web site. OpenMPE tracks service and hardware providers for the community, with a listing available on that Web site.

If you're in the business of helping companies stay on the 3000, this looks like a tangible benefit for your time you spend joining. OpenMPE is keeping four lists of providers: Hardware Support, Hardware Broker, MPE/iX Phone Support, and Consultants.

OpenMPE members join for free by answering seven questions and providing contact information. The form for provider listings, also free, follows directly below the membership sign-up questions.

Once you join, you're a member of a community. OpenMPE runs its own mailing list to give its membership a way to reach out to each other. Traffic has been light on that list, but in these days of e-mail bombardment, or a host of Off Topic postings, light traffic might be a benefit.

Many companies are doing interim homesteading with their 3000s before they make their transition. Proof of that? How about a new HP license for Right to Use MPE/iX? The customer base is still buying hardware in the marketplace. The OpenMPE membership looks to be a good way to stay in touch during a transition, or an "infinite homestead." That's the one you'll pull off as long as you can, with no transition date planned now.

After all, even HP won't commit to a firm end to its 3000 business. Its December, 2005 announcement said HP would extend its 3000 support until the end of 2008 "or later."