HP hardware supplier Norco Computer Systems announced this month they are closing their doors after more than 20 years of serving the HP 3000 marketplace. The Brunswick, Ohio-based reseller drew comments of praise from its former customers on the HP 3000 newsgroup, after selling hardware that not only included the HP 3000 but servers running Unix from HP, Sun and IBM, storage devices from HP, Sun, Dell and EMC, and more.
Connie Selito of The Cat Fanciers' Association, who called the closing "an end of an era" added, "We had a long-standing business relationship with Norco, having purchased our Series 937RX system from them many years ago, as well as disk and tape drives, printers and various other HP peripherals. My sincere thanks to our sales representative Wil Bournigal, for his integrity, support and excellent service."
Chuck Harner of the company said that his firm had lost key personnel who'd been tough to replace — along with a toughening market for computer hardware sales.
"[The closing] is because of numerous factors," Harner said. "The last three years have been rough; lost some good people, declining sales, couldn't get the right people in to replace the ones who left."
Norco was ready to provide evidence of HP's 3000 pricing history in a lawsuit against the vendor in 2004, an action to block HP's attempt to collect more than $10 million in insurance against lost 3000 sales to Hardware House.
Three years later and in its closing, Harner said the company still has one of the largest HP 3000 N-Class systems available in its remaining stock. "We have a e3000/N4000 4 x 750MHz machine. It has a valid license and it could be a very good deal for somebody. See the specs."
Harner said that Norco's biggest HP 3000 system has these specifics:
HP 3000/N4000 4-Way 750MHz CPU
Unlimited User License
MPE FOS, IMAGE/SQL
Glance Plus MPE/iX
HP PCI 2Gb Fibre Channel Adapter, 2-Copies
4 X 750mhz Cpu's
2 X A6689a PSM
1 X A4882a Memory Carrier
1 X A4923a 1Gb Memory Kit
1 X A6739a 18Gb Disk
HP 3000 sites (and other brokers, for that matter, such as Genisys, which purchases systems from resellers) can contact Norco at 330-225-5588, by cell at 330-242-1026 and by IM at norcochas.
Los Angeles legal firm Anderson, McPharlin & Conners went to the 3000 mailing lists and newsgroups in 2004 to beat the community’s bushes to discover prices for used HP 3000s sold between 1994 and 1998. Paralegal Laurie Moss said HP wanted to calculate the full software price on every server sold to Hardware House.
During the legal firm’s discovery search, Moss said many 3000 community members that were contacted wanted to help.
“You wouldn’t believe how many people have said ‘I sure do wish I could help you in this,’ “ Moss said. The law firm’s attorney Lisa Coplin deposed John Adamson, former owner of Hardware House, in the case, as well as Balon. HP settled within a week of those depositions for five percent of its original claim.
“We were afraid that some of the hardware brokers wouldn’t want to come up against HP,” attorney Lisa Coplin said. “Norco said, ‘We’ll give you everything we have.’ “