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Bandle, Fairchild step out at HP Tech Forum

The new liaisons to OpenMPE and the 3000 community carry news of development

    HP wasted little time moving its new team of 3000 lab liaisons into the community this summer. Just a few weeks after HP’s Jeff Vance and Mike Paivinen retired from lab connection and OpenMPE liaison duties, Jeff Bandle and Craig Fairchild made connections at the HP Technology Forum.

   “Taking on the OpenMPE liaison role will be big shoes for me to fill, with Mike [Pavinen] leaving HP,” Bandle said. “He has such a strong reputation. I’m excited about the assignment, because I enjoy working with customers and coming to events like this Technology Forum. It presents the reality of what goes on with the platform.”

Conference debut checked off Craig's list
    After awarding the latest e3000 Contributor Award to Stan Sieler of Allegro Consultants, HP's 3000 business manager Jennie Hou introduced another new but seasoned element to the 3000 community: Craig Fairchild, selected to begin to fill the "very big shoes," as he said, of retired 3000 engineer Jeff Vance.

   Fairchild, who has been working on the HP 3000 since 1985, introduced the SCSI pass through drivers for MPE/iX, a bit of engineering coming to a 7.5 beta test patch near you.

   Part of Fairchild's duties will be reminding the community about opportunities such as this driver, software which will let HP 3000s utilize storage devices that haven't been officially certified as 3000 peripherals. All support bets are off, but at least the lack of a 4GB drive from HP's parts list won't keep a 3000 offline, thanks to the driver.

   "It's designed to teach SCSI devices new tricks," Fairchild said of the driver to be in beta test during the second half of 2007. The device driver makes use of the Posix IOCTL command to send and receive data from the SCSI device.

    In fact, the engineering is even more clever than that. Fairchild pointed out that the device file actually talks to the physical path of the device, not just the device itself. HP created an external use for an existing diagnostic interface to create the SCSI Pass Through, which it calls SPT for short.

    Fairchild emulated Vance's candor, too. "Using the SPT is not for the timid," he said. "You'll need to know a lot about the device you're talking to."

Bandle opens up to OpenMPE sources

   Jeff Bandle started with Hewlett-Packard in 1988 after graduating from the University of Kansas with a Masters degree in Computer Science. He has spent his entire HP career working on the HP 3000 with a focus on the networking subsystem.

   Bandle comes to his new networking assignment with network experience of a different kind. His main areas of expertise are on DTC connectivity, ARPA services and the system console. Bandle is the networking architect and is responsible for overseeing networking subsystem activities on the system.

   At the Technology Forum, Bandle also announced that a Samba porting paper will be released to the community during 2007.  HP will release the paper, which includes general information that will help port other open source solutions, within this calendar year.

   Bandle worked as a crucial contributor to HP’s new Right To Use (RTU) license policy. At the Tech Forum he confirmed that some 3000 upgrades won’t require an RTU. HP has simplified the tier structure of the 3000 family, according to Bandle.
    "There are instances where if you do an upgrade, you stay in the same tier," he said. "That essentially is a zero-cost upgrade."