Several weeks ago, the HP 3000 community hosted a beach party for members in the Bay Area. The June celebration unfurled on the Santa Cruz shoreline, in a spot where the old BARUG user group had met during the 1980s — an era when the 3000's fate at HP was sunny as any Pacific Coast beach.
OpenMPE member Donna Garverick-Hofmeister, who organized this Dodge-em Car reunion, reported the turnout was good, even though few of the just-retired HP 3000 experts made the time to drive "over the hill," as the trip across Highway 17's switchbacks is known.
I thought the whole BARUG went well, although not as many people came as I was hoping. I had some fair interest, but a number of last minute cancellations. I guess Chuck Shimada was a surprise, since he lives in SoCal (but he was in the area for another reason). Jeff Vance was the only HP’er that came. Mike Paivinen kept saying he’d come but — you know how the wild retirees are.
The community element that drew current and former 3000 experts, customers and managers represents the strength for a group that has its vendor leaving the market pretty soon. (At left are a quartet with more than 100 years of 3000 experience, and none have left yet: from left, Stan Sieler, Gavin Scott, Steve Cooper and Shimada. (Chuck maintained all those Interex HP 3000 show configurations for many years, and still has copies of the Interex CSL tapes, the last time we asked.) These people in your community remember one another, stay in touch, and have not forgotten the sometimes-arcane commands and knowledge to keep a 3000 running.
Some have suggested that the departed HP employees with 3000 experience might be available for third-party projects on MPE/iX, once the OS has been licensed to a third party. A modest retainer against billable hours could be just the backstop a homesteading OpenMPE member could count upon.
If you're interested in who's remained close enough to spend a day on the beach, older and wiser, have a look at Donna's Web page for the event. In a bit of irony, the pictures are hosted on an HP 3000 inside Hewlett-Packard, the invent3k public development server set up during the 1990s — when HP was still working to keep the 3000 a part of its future, as well as its past.