Conference debut now checked off Craig's list
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Swank show floor draws quality customers

Speakmpe Nary a homesteading provider can be found among the HP Technology Forum Expo exhibits, unless you count longtime 3000 friends such as MB Foster (whose MPE sign is shown left) and Speedware, companies both supporting sustainability plans as well as making migrations happen. But there is no reason to expect that kind of exhibitor here, a place where a new HP future would be on the minds of most 3000 attendees.

Few were in attendance at yesterday's 3000 updates and advisories. Head count never topped two dozen for the main talk by HP's Jennie Hou and engineers Craig Fairchild and Jeff Bandle. Nine bodies were present for the OpenMPE update. A stronger turnout listened to migration advice from HP partners Softvoyage, Summit-Fiserv, Oy Porasto AB and HP's own Kevin Cooper. (Cooper mentioned in passing that he's worked with the HP 3000 since 1976, from internal IT development through SE service and on to performance management.)

Floor07 But the expo floor did display a torrent of information about HP destinations for migrations, as well as a few outposts where the remarketed HP 3000 gear was on offer. Baypointe and Canvas took out booths to attract buyers of used systems and prospect to rent HP 3000s, HP 9000s and more, respectively. DB-Net offered a look at a new interface which migrates 3000 databases in just two clicks on a screen. MicroFocus and Acucorp cozied up in a booth to show off the latest in COBOL technology, promising a July 11 Webcast update on merging their product lines. And most vendors said that if the show traffic was light, the quality of the contact more than made up for the quantity.

Elvis07 The innovation on the floor extended to entertainment, of course. Voodoo Systems, makers of the Superdome of gaming computers, sat attendees in a racing car with response of rocking a chassis as well as the high-grade visuals and audio blasts. HP conducted a tour of its vast acreage of systems, solutions and storage, 15 minutes that featured more than 20 stops, with a USB reader as a door prize. And Elvis rode a Segue scooter, then talked with Marilyn Monroe. Why not ā€” it is Vegas, after all. The Smothers Brothers are headlining here in town, and the Commodores are coming soon, too.

Cafe07 Off in a quiet corner of the expo floor, attendees could shoot pool or shoot the breeze with each other at the Connections Cafe. The Cafe was a new element to the Forum, a place to follow through on contacts from the social networking software which Encompass made available to registered attendees in the weeks before the show. HP had dedicated spaces in the Cafe to meet with prospects and customers which they'd enticed to the Forum. Comfy chairs and sofas provided another kind of software. Rock-solid wireless access beamed to every corner of the show hall.

Snow07 MB Foster's Birket Foster, our At Large Editor, chatted up veteran HP hardware planner Dave Snow (at left, but briefing a customer, not Foster) in the HP Integrity rx8620 station ā€” where Foster mentioned that the electrical partitions of that mid-to-high end server might help with the compliance requirements of migrating 3000 customers. Snow, ever in form as the leading feeds-and-speeds guru, showed off the 8620's plum-colored pull-out boards to remove IO cards while the system is still hot. The server uses as many as four cells, each of which can hold two processor boards. HP also had 3600 and 6600 Integrity servers on display, systems that can offer a smaller, more affordable leap in performance for the migrating customer.

Along a prominent wall of the HP booth, the benefits of cooler and lower-power HP systems got the big headlines, with the new jet engine cooling fans on display. A Tech Forum show floor now only opens from 10 to 3 each day, a shorter and hotter span of time for the rare 3000 customer to do their next-platform exploration.