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First news surfaces on Tech Forum details

The Encompass Web site has opened up details for the June HP Technology Forum, showing a keynote on the conference's first evening (June 18) and sessions and entertainment running through June 21.

If a June 18 6 PM keynote from HP CEO Mark Hurd is not that important, you might schedule your travel during that Monday. Las Vegas hotels are famous for offering the lowest rates Sunday through Thursday. The Luxor Hotel, right across Mandalay Bay Road (less than a half mile) from the conference HQ at Mandalay Bay sold me a room at about 40 percent less than the Mandalay.

Details on the Encompass Web page are still sketchy today; the conference remains in the process of attracting and selecting papers to cover the four days of breakout sessions.

As we've said before, the Tech Forum could be important to the 3000 customer whose migration includes HP as a key supplier in the future. Talks from last year's conference featured many sessions on moving away from the system. OpenMPE's advocacy board presented just about the only homestead-related content.

Under the topics page of the Tech Forum site, MPE/iX is not mentioned at all. Such talks are aimed at the other HP operating environments. HP 3000 advocacy group OpenMPE, still working with HP on a weekly basis to plan the post-HP life of the platform, has submitted a proposal for a presentation at the Forum.

But the Tech Forum will excel at keeping a customer interested in HP's Unix + Integrity server combination. We see that hardware and OS configuration in a positive light for the first time in five years. HP-UX offers virtualization to make the Integrity servers deliver maximum performance, given the correct tuning. HP continues its commitment to the Integrity line, which replaces PA-RISC systems.

On Monday some all-day Pre-Conference Seminars unfold, but there's an extra charge to attend these. Many are focused on the Non-Stop HP line (formerly Tandem systems). But several could supply good IT fundamentals, independent of platform, OS or migration strategy. None of these have details yet, but Bill Hassell's talk on sysadmin tips and techniques was superb at last year's GHRUG HP 3000 conference for the old-school command line manager moving to HP-UX. We also see on the list:

High Availability Technologies and Best Practices
Ken Moreau, HP

Soft Skills for the IT Professional
John Delves, Southeastern Training & Development

Network Security
Laura Chappell, Protocol Analysis Institute

Full registration is $1,495 with discounts available through the end of this month. Certified HP Professionals (yes, there are 3000 experts who are holding his certificate) can do the entire conference for $1,295 before discounts. And a day pass is $595. Which day would be of most use to the 3000 manager migrating remains to be seen, but it's likely to be either Tuesday June 19 or Wednesday June 20.

As for that trip between hotels, Las Vegas casinos have made it easy to travel that half-mile. If you start from Mandalay Bay, you will stop at the Luxor — less than a 5-minute trip. The monorail is in operation 24 hours per day; trains leave every 3 to 7 minutes.

The waiting area at the Luxor is not indoors, and some walking is required to make the loop (there are stairs as well as an elevator to access the tram stop). Fortunately, everything is well air-conditioned. Even a holiday weekend crowd can be accommodated once the initial rush for a seat dies down.