Helpful programs, still locked away
Still loaning and leading after all these years

HP promises open source porting paper

Porting open source software is a task in the future for many a homesteading 3000 customer. When HP expanded the range of 3000 abilities, the vendor's labs included several open source solutions such as the Apache Web server, DNS and bind nameservers, standardized FTP, and perhaps the most useful of all, Samba file and printer sharing.

Samba has been working in the 3000 community for a long time. The software's roots lie in an after-hours effort to get Samba working with MPE/iX. Lars Appel, who at the time in the 1990s was an HP support engineer in Germany, ported the open source code to give the 3000 a better link with other enterprise servers and Windows desktops on a network. Eventually HP blessed Samba with full support on the 3000.

At the recent HP Technology Forum, the new HP liaison to OpenMPE Jeff Bandle announced that a Samba porting paper will be released to the community during 2007. HP 3000 business manager Jennie Hou says the document — to be available from the HP Jazz Web site for the 3000 — dovetails with the new Samba/iX release.

"This will complement the Samba release we've just done," she said. "It documents the procedures for taking open source code and moving it to MPE/iX — tips on making it work on the 3000, so we can be sure people in the 3000 community do have that knowledge."

Hou said HP will release the paper, which includes general information that will help port other open source solutions, within this calendar year.

Open source has the potential for keeping the HP 3000 more current at a later stage in its life. The GNU C++ compiler opened the door for all of HP's open source additions to the 3000 operating system. Like so much of what's clever and stable for the platform, GNU C++ came out of a third party lab, the product of late-night work by Mark Klein. At the time Klein managed the Orbit Software labs. His work bootstrapped the open source renaissance for the 3000. Both Appel and Mark Bixby used C++ to deliver open source to the system; at the time, Bixby was a systems administrator for a California college while moving Apache to the 3000.

Without the work of the independent community, the forthcoming porting paper would have less experience to document. HP adds the polish and subsequent implementation knowledge, all to ensure 3000 homesteaders can keep key parts of their system stable.