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December 2007

The Very Top Stories of 2007

Here on the last day of 2007, we have the advantage of 12 months of perspective to decide on the three biggest stories of the year just ending. Most customers will agree on Number 1, and we'll get to that in a few paragraphs. But what other two stories had the most influence on the customer base?

3. In my view, the overall behavior of HP in patching situations comes very close to being the top stop story of the year. Twice in less than six months time of 2007, HP released patches during the year which only the vendor could create, considering the timeframe of the patch development.

If HP has truly been working to kill off the HP 3000 — as some wounded customers and partners insist — it would hold fast to a deadly intent: Draw down the available resource to repair internal problems in MPE/iX. Even if the vendor supplied support, creating patches for the entire customer base to use demonstrated a subtle agenda, it seems. HP doesn't want to be caught leaving a critical problem unfixed, at least not while it continues to charge someone for 3000 support.

2. The ecosystem became richer and more complete than ever. Whether it was MB Foster taking over ODBC support from HP labs, a swelling inventory of available HP 3000s, or the SCSI Pass Through tool to add new disk support — not to mention a white paper that outlines open source development techniques from the HP labs, illustrated by a Samba port — the future of the platform has no firm end before 2027. Third party partners span both the migration and homesteading needs of the community; MB Foster, Speedware, Allegro Consultants and a fleet of independent advisors raised their profiles and maintained five years of momentum for either side of the 3000 mission. After all, so many sites are homesteading until they complete migrations, or can afford the switch.

Moreover, that prediction of migration expertise being as pricey and rare as Y2K consulting, well, it never came to pass, not even one year beyond HP's envisioned end date. People still misunderstand the support aspect of the 3000, and others showed they hadn't found everything that could make a migration affordable and faster. There's much to learn, beliefs and outlooks to change, and a growing host of experts to help.

Even in the face of the number one story of the year, the ecosystem of OpenMPE maintained its mission. Proof of this relevance? HP lost a liaison  to the OpenMPE group and named another. If OpenMPE were irrelevant to HP, such a move doesn't happen in 2007.

As for the top story of the year, most of us can guess that it involved two letters and two years.

Continue reading "The Very Top Stories of 2007" »

Top 2007 Stories, Part 3

Halfway through our recap of the Top Stories of the 3000 community's 2007, we should pause to take note of the top story from 20 years earlier. Writing a history of a community like yours, where continuity is the 3000's credo, led me to back issues of the HP Chronicle, the newsmagazine I had the pleasure of editing from 1984 through 1992.

Halfway through those crucial eight years, the community finally saw the rollout of the first PA-RISC HP 3000 — the same technology HP created to run the systems still in mission critical service today. HP called its RISC project Spectrum. The first system was a Series 930, shipped to ASK Computer just before Labor Day. Labor was the key word to describe the new computer, which I wrote "was undermanned from the first day. HP sold so few 930s, [all to Bay Area customers] that it promised the Series 950 loaded with a more powerful processor on the same schedule."

The Year 1987 represented the high-water mark of the system's footprint in the world of computing. HP announced it had shipped the 30,000th HP 3000 system, moving from 20,000 installed to 30,000 in just two years' time.

But during 2007, 3000 hardware made a different kind of news. Reliability services became more widespread than ever, operated by independent HP 3000 veterans making use of low-cost RISC systems. Nothing as elderly as a Series 950, but systems with more horsepower and life left in them than you might expect.

6. A few blocks of San Francisco went without power on an afternoon in July, and massive chunks of the Internet was knocked out. Big companies and famous sites. Good Morning Silicon Valley noted the popular sites that were knocked out:

LiveJournal and Second Life went dead, AdBrite dimmed, Craigslist became unlisted, the 1Up gaming network went down, Facebook turned blank, Six Apart couldn't get it together, and Yelp was rendered silent.

The disaster lasted a few hours, a wakeup call for any 3000 owner who believes the system will never fail because it never has over years, perhaps more than a decade. We reviewed what we offered as a guide to DR services, including a new turnkey operation opened up for multiple OS environments at Hill Country Technologies. The story included Web links to many services who understand the mission critical needs of the 3000.

Continue reading "Top 2007 Stories, Part 3" »

Top 2007 Stories, Part 2

HP reached out for more HP 3000 relevance in 2007 with a Right to Use License, one of the top news stories of 2007. Outside suppliers made at least as much impact on the majority of the community, despite being only a fraction of the size of Hewlett-Packard. The news in 2007 showed that size can be measured in dedication as well as resource.

Continuing our 2007 countdown of top stories:

9. A third party picked up the challenge of extending an HP product lifespan. Not by actually taking on HP source code, but by returning to the source of HP Transact design — that's how ScreenJet  offered a future for customers using Transact applications. Somewhere out there, people outside HP created the solutions HP sold to customers over the past 20 years. ScreenJet joined forces with Transact's creator David Dummer to offer Transaction, a vehicle that might carry a customer on a 3000 for many years to come, or help them move onto a new platform.

8. HP offered retirement plans that lured some of its most visible 3000 links out of the company. Community liaison Jeff Vance and OpenMPE link Mike Paivinen both took early retirement offers to leave the 3000 group inside HP. HP moved other experts into the jobs, but the exits showed a serious side to the composition of the 3000 expertise: advancing years crossing over careers. Vance took a post with a third party vendor who's still supporting HP 3000 sites, but also offering a vendor-neutral K-12 solution.

Continue reading "Top 2007 Stories, Part 2" »

Top 2007 Stories, Part 1

You can argue that any year when HP extends its 3000 business is a notable year. And so 2007 was as notable as 2005, both years when HP moved its HP 3000 finish line back by two years. HP's actions, however, don't necessarily make the biggest news in a community that survives with less Hewlett-Packard resource every year.

HP did reach out to that community on several occasions during 2007. The company spent the back end of 2006 devising a new license it rolled out early in 2007. That story was one of several where HP was reacting to the 3000 community, rather than leading as it did during the 1990s.

Twelve months to a year, a dozen stories to lead the news and evolution of the 3000 community. Let's count them down.

12. RTU license program returns HP to 3000 vendor ranks. HP created a Right to Use license for HP 3000 owners, something a customer needs to pay the vendor for during some sales of existing systems. Ross McDonald, HP's 3000 lab director, said the vendor realized that customers needed a way to "create a valid system when purchased upgrade kits were no longer available."

To be sure, someone in the community needed something to justify the new RTU. HP was adding a 3000 product to the price list for the first time since 2002. McDonald said the process was complex, maybe just as complicated as discovering who needs to pay for an RTU. McDonald shed some light on the answer with one comment.

For the customer who cares about software licensing, and wants to do the right thing, I think [the RTU] really helps them.

Continue reading "Top 2007 Stories, Part 1" »

Love is the hardest, best gift of all

After we suggested some Christmas wishes for the HP 3000 last week, we got word of how tough it might be to deliver on one of them: expansion to 32GB of RAM on MPE/iX systems. While the HP 3000's OS was built to handle 64-bit computing, it didn't become a full 64-bit system. That's what the work was going to accomplish when HP moved the OS to the Itanium architecture and Integrity. A move that never got engineered, of course.

Discussion among community members has included some comment from both an HP expert as well as a third party engineering guru. Sad to say, the phrase "you could just tell them to migrate" came up after the candid talk about what the 3000 won't be re-engineered to do — at least on HP's watch.

A reply of "migrate" when the community customers ask for more from their 3000s, especially when the reply comes from a long-tenured expert, seems to show how much feelings can affect choices. Even technical choices. There is a way to extend the 3000's memory from 8GB to 32. But HP explains that it can't justify doing this kind of work any longer. Adding "migrate" after the explanation isn't a way to sell this decision, however.

There are people who have known MPE/iX just as long as HP's lab experts, and deeper in some places. I remember the book Beyond RISC. Copyright 1988, it says in my worn-at-the-edges copy. Third party experts wrote that book. HP bought thousands. That's being of one mind and one heart. Now the sides feel differently about MPE.

What's the difference? These two sides, inside HP and out in the expert community seem like a couple of steady beaus to me. They have both wooed and wrestled with that MPE gal, while she has gained weight (years) and lost her tone (customers, demanding updates) and shown more grey (elderly versions of Ethernet, SCSI, all the tendrils of open source). Yes, they've both had a relationship with her, still do. But the outside experts still love her. HP's experts can take her out, buy her dinner, even give a thoughtful gift that shows they know her. But the message seems to say that they're not in love anymore.

Continue reading "Love is the hardest, best gift of all" »

A holiday gift list to wish for

Since today is the final day in the office until after Christmas, we thought we could extend our holiday wishes to the community by passing along a wish list. We've heard these desires from HP 3000 customers, consultants and vendors during 2007. Some of them might appear to be like the Red Ryder BB-Gun that's at the center of the holiday epic A Christmas Story. As in, "you don't want that, you'll put your eye out."

If you're unfamiliar with the movie, the line means "I don't want you to have that, because I'll worry what you will hurt once you get it." See if you can find the wishes on the holiday list that seem like BB-Guns, and remember: Gift giving season is celebrated this week, but can be practiced the whole year through.

1. Unleashing the full horsepower of A-Class and N-Class 3000s
2. Just unleashing the power of the A-Class 3000s (since every models operates at a quarter of its possible speed)
3. Well, then just unleash the N-Class systems' full clock speeds
4. HP's requirements to license a company for MPE/iX source code use
5. A way to use more than 16GB of memory on a 3000
6. A 3000 network link just one-tenth as fast as the new 10Gbit Ethernet
7. A water-cooled HP 3000 cluster, just like IBM used to make
8. A guaranteed ending date of HP's 3000 support for MPE/iX
9. Freedom to re-license your own copy of MPE/iX during a sale of an 3000

Those last two items might seem like real BB-Guns. But I think they have a chance of helping the community see the 3000 more clearly, instead of putting its eye out.

Continue reading "A holiday gift list to wish for" »

PDF news for perusal, or pursuing the past

While we lean our ear onto the rail to listen for news in this quiet holiday season, it seemed time to point out some online resources we've put into place to read print editions of The 3000 NewsWire. Issues are available both new (November 2007's print) and a few old ones as well.

Late last month we posted our full print issue for November, a new feature of the NewsWire as we entered our 13th year of listening and reporting. PDF is hardly a new technology, which actually makes it a good choice for a community like ours, so focused on reliable solutions. Since the issue includes our sponsors' ads, we advise that you use a broadband link to download the latest, since it's about 20 MB — with resolution enough so you can print a custom copy with pages for your own issue.

We are continuing to print and mail our quarterly issues, just so nobody in the community gets confused. This is extra exposure. PDF technology lets us push these printed pages even farther than postal delivery — just like this blog puts the news online faster than our old printed and Online Extras ever could.

We'll be back with more news to report for tomorrow. But ah, it's already the eve of what much of the world will consider a five-day holiday around Christmas. Or at least four, if you're finishing up projects tomorrow.

Continue reading "PDF news for perusal, or pursuing the past" »

A Vegas date to save for '08

Encompass_logo There's no Web site up for details, and the invitations have not gone out in the mails, but Encompass has already settled on a site for the user group's annual HP Technology Forum. Don't change your travel plans from last year — the conference song remains the same, venue-wise, and so will not be leaving Las Vegas.

Encompass user group president Nina Buik said in an interview this year that Vegas has plenty of "curb appeal" as a user group meeting destination. She did not say that the city is a major upgrade from Houston's curb, the last venue the Forum used other than Vegas.

But we'll say it, with no disrespect to Houston. People just don't say, "Hey, I'm headed out to a weekend in Houston!" Or if they do, it doesn't get the same response as "Let's hit Vegas for a weekend." Here at the NewsWire it was a short hop from Austin to Houston. Proximity is not curb appeal, however.

So what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, at least for 2008. The Forum is scheduled for June 16-19, 2008, the same dates as HP's Software Universe conference. While the two shows are separated by one mile of the Las Vegas strip, keeping the conference in Vegas looks like coupling up the user's meeting in a permanent way with HP's other customer and partner events.

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HP leads Cognos into extra support year

Early in September of 2007, Cognos announced it would support PowerHouse products in "Mature Platform Extended Support" beyond HP's then-announced 2008 date. Cognos was extending out to the end of 2009 with its mature support, but ending development support about 12 months from now.

Then HP released word of its own Mature Product Support without Sustaining Engineering for the 3000. Cognos has since updated its own support plans to match HP's timeline, according to the latest PowerHouse roadmap. Product manager Bob Deskin left word on the Internet forums about the changed (PDF) roadmap.

I have just posted an update to our Roadmap at containing Cognos' commitment to Mature Platform Extended Support for PowerHouse on MPE/iX until December 31, 2010.

Continue reading "HP leads Cognos into extra support year" »

HP liberates some 3000 patches

Customers of all types, self-supporting and third-party supported, as well as those with HP support can now download new HP 3000 patches. Well, not exactly new, but tested long enough to gain the HP support labs' elusive General Release status.

An HP advisory has outlined a raft of patches which HP labeled as Recommended fixes for HP 3000s running MPE/iX 7.5, 7.0 and 6.5. The patches can be downloaded from the HP IT Response Center Web site by any customer running an HP 3000. According to HP support, a Recommended patch

should be applied at your earliest convenience. There is potential for sub-optimal performance, lock-ups or unwanted  shutdowns. This will protect your system from a serious, but not  unrecoverable failure.

More than a dozen such patches were identified as General Release fixes in an HP patch advisory from last week. None bring extra functionality to the HP 3000 customer, unless you count 7.0 patch MPEMXQ3B, which HP described as "Enhancement: Load PDC [Processor Dependent Code] into main memory on A- and N-Class systems." The patch is a fix for a problem which has much more serious consequence — a panic — on HP's Unix systems, according to HP's notes.

Continue reading "HP liberates some 3000 patches" »

Questions good, no matter how late they're asked

Even while HP 3000 customer Korry Electronics is searching for HP 3000 expertise to fill a position, the company is figuring out its strategy for the rest of this decade. On the MANMAN user mailing list, Deborah Lester asked good, fundamental questions about the Transition Era.

Fundamental questions are often the best kind, even if they seem to be asked long after other people have heard the answers. I liked Lester's list of questions so much I'd like to share some of my answers, as well as ask for yours on few. Experience makes us all smarter.

1. Does any vendor refurbish HP 3000s legally without HP? What does this entail and how do we know those vendors from other vendors? Will others emerge?

If refurbish means upgrade, there are upgrade kits for sale on the third party market, as well as from Client Systems, which was the last authorized North American HP 3000 distributor. (With no official hardware resellers anymore, no distribution has taken place through HP since 2003.) The "legally without HP" part of the question gets more complicated. HP insists that every customer has a Right to Use License now for their HP 3000s. So an upgrade can involve a license transfer, if you're taking on a system from another customer.

This third party market in this community has the hardware which customers need to keep running. For a customer who recognizes the authority of a Right To Use (RTU) license on a 3000, HP's License Transfer process can make it simple to "know those vendors from other vendors" while doing a "refurbish."

2.  Has anyone had a business case for HP to convert an HP 9000 into an HP 3000?  What does it entail and how long does it take? Does anybody have a firm commitment from HP to create a HP 3000 from an HP 9000?

Many customers have had business cases for converting 9000s to 3000s, but HP has never recognized one. This "personality" of the PA-RISC server is set in Processor Dependent Code, which HP claims cannot be modified by anyone except Hewlett-Packard personnel. (Note: HP 3000 owners have done this kind of modification, aided by vendors, without regard to HP's wishes.)

3. When buying an HP 3000, how do you transfer SUSAN numbers legally?

Now here's an easy one. Or at least the answers are easy to understand, since HP has documented the transfer process in great detail at it Web site. The transfer costs $400 to precess, and you must provide proof of purchase from prior owner. The sticky part turns out to be The Proof, as HP calls it, that the 3000 had a legal MPE license to begin with. HP has several forms and elaborate instructions for this.

Continue reading "Questions good, no matter how late they're asked" »

HP predicts declining growth

Twice a year HP meets with financial analysts, out along the West Coast in the summer and back in New York during the winter. The cold climate of the Eastern seaboard might have ushered in cooler forecasts for HP's 2009 year. The company predicted that its coming fiscal periods will only match analysts' predictions. Revenue growth, HP reported, will be no more than 6 percent over whatever 2008 figures turn out to be.

The numbers still mean that HP intends to sell at least $117 billion of product and services during the fiscal year which begins on Oct. 31 of next year. But posting growth below 10 percent is what got the HP 3000 eliminated from Hewlett-Packard futures.

HP remains the world's largest company by revenue, if not by profits. However, a report released on the same day as HP's analyst meeting shows the company's PC business is grower at a slower rate than Apple's. What's more, Mac sales improvements are outpacing Dell's, just like HP's sales.

Continue reading "HP predicts declining growth" »

No bad questions, no matter how late

More than six years beyond HP's exit the market announcement, customers are still just starting their migration plans. Up on the Linked In networking site, one member posed this question.

A relative of mine (who doesn't have access to yet) is taking proposals for migration strategies for his HP 3000 machine and all the software and data which resides on the machine. HP has recently quit supporting the HP 3000, so a new machine is required, and something needs to happen to all the COBOL and databases on it.

One bid received will cost 10s of thousands of dollars simply for a migration plan, with the actual migration being a separate bid. This particular migration will be to a Windows environment upon which the same or similar COBOL will continue to run. Any suggestions?

Mark Stoddard
Software Engineer, APT Automation

The suggestions have been around for years now, but since we're Linked In members (you can be one too), we posted this summary reply for Mark's relative who's facing migration's challenge.

Since HP canceled its 3000 business plans in 2001, I've heard from hundreds of smallish businesses faced with this problem. We don't sell services. We interview and publish reports on how customers and service providers solve these problems.

Your relative needs to answer a question to decide how to proceed.

1. What is the primary reason for migrating off the 3000?

A) HP support is no longer available
B) The system cannot keep up with computing needs
C) HP's business strategy no longer includes new HP 3000 models.
D) A mission-critical application provider is quitting on you, its customer

Mark should know

A) More responsive and less costly independent support has been available for many years for the system. HP will support HP 3000s for another two years.

B) A 3000 system that cannot keep up with computing needs can be replaced for many dollars less than a migration plan. If the computer is a 9x8 or 9x7 server, a replacement system is especially economical.

C) HP changed its plans for the 3000 because of the small growth rate of the business -- not because of a flaw in the system. HP 3000s will continue to run through 2027. If purchasing a computer with a long future in front of it is the goal, I wish your relative good luck at finding something with an assured path of improvement. Critical mass determines business futures. Windows has more than any choice today, but it comes with its own hurdles to consider.

D) You've got to move away unless you can acquire and keep up source code for the application. This is the most compelling reason to migrate as soon as possible.

Continue reading "No bad questions, no matter how late" »

Webcast shows off 10 gigabit Ethernet

Xframeii Thursday afternoon (US time) HP will be showing off its fastest enterprise networking to date. In a 2PM Eastern Webcast, Network and Storage IO Manager Parissa Mohamadi of HP will give a tour of the features of the "10 GbE" offering on both Integrity and PA-RISC servers.

Sign up for the Webcast at the Encompass site; membership is not required for this program. Supply the password "hpencompass" at the start of the registration form, then choose your own password for the Webcast. The briefing is designed for datacenter managers.

While this networking advance doesn't operate on the HP 3000, the new technology is a selling point in advancing a migration strategy. Benefits of a migration need to go beyond the "we're getting off the HP 3000" target, and new technology like this can make better use of virtualization capabilities in HP-UX.

The Encompass Webcast is sponsored by Neterion, which has its XFrame II devices at the heart of HP's 10GbE. The XFrame II relies on Ethernet, which Neterion describes "the proven industry-standard for 30 years." If that sounds like the server in your environment which HP is stepping away from, well, Ethernet has had technology refreshes over and over again.

The fastest Ethernet traffic an HP 3000 can handle today is 100 megabits. Customers asked HP for 1-gigabit networking for many years, but the vendor always said the project was too large for HP's remaining MPE/iX development resources. The new technology is 10 times faster than the enhancement request HP declined back in 2004.

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HP releases SCSI Pass-Through, to some

Following through on a summertime promise, HP has finished its work on an SCSI Pass-Through driver for the HP 3000. The software makes it possible to connect and configure SCSI storage devices which HP has not certified for 3000 use.

HP announced the availability of the enhancement late Monday evening.

Full instructions on how to use the software are on the HP Jazz Web site (PDF file). But the software itself is being put on a the usual HP software improvements leash: only available to the HP support customer willing to take SPT, as HP is calling it, as a beta test version.

Patches MPENX01A, MPENX03A and MPENX04A are beta patches, required to make the SPT work on MPE/iX 7.5. Contact your HP support representative to get your copy of SPT — an HP 3000 enhancement which might be one of the last which HP will design.

Continue reading "HP releases SCSI Pass-Through, to some" »

Still hiring after all these years

It's not a commonplace discovery, but we do see job postings for HP 3000 expertise and management in the IT world today. These positions can be nearly full-time, but rarely permanent. However, any employment that relies on MPE/iX savvy is worth a look, if you're an IT pro who wants to leverage many years of experience.

One such job we noted just this week is at CDI Corporation, a $1 billion "professional services company that offers Fortune 1000 clients a cost-effective, single-source provider of high-value engineering and information technology outsourcing solutions and professional staffing."

CDI has a need for a 3000 MPE/iX and IBM AIX administrator, which would be quite a mix in a single IT pro. The job listing is up on, where it says that "Data migration and software upgrades are key areas of this project."

The job is in Richmond, Virginia, but the important part to recall is that Google's alert service turned it up for us. What's more the migration process in play across your community can force open some employment doors, too.

Continue reading "Still hiring after all these years" »

How to do a final 3000 shutdown

A few weeks ago, a customer asked how to turn off an HP 3000 once and for all. While this is a sad time for the IT expert who's built a career on MPE knowledge, doing a shutdown by the numbers is in keeping with the rest of the professional skill-set you can expect from a 3000 manager.

Chris Bartram, who has launched and stocks a Technical Wikipedia (TWiki) for the 3000, offered all the details of turning off an HP 3000. "I have just performed last rites for a 9x8 server at a customer site," he replied, "and have been through the exercise a couple times before."

His steps did not include SOX requirements, but "might be useful," he said in his usual modest introduction. There are 10 steps Bartram details before switching off the 3000's power button.

Continue reading "How to do a final 3000 shutdown" »

HP shares open source porting tips

At the last HP Technology Forum, HP's 3000 group announced the upcoming release of a Samba Porting Paper. The document, first promised in June, proposes to show the 3000 community the methods HP used to bring Samba from a 2.x version to a 3.026 version for MPE/iX.

The paper is now available as a PDF download from HP. It's been available since late September of this year, apparently, so we must have missed HP's announcement or notice that it was ready for use.

Not for lack of interest, either. Robert Mills of 3000 site Pinnacle Arvato was looking forward to it in September, searching for assistance to make open source Python/iX an up-to-date solution for his 3000. HP reports the paper has been online since Sept. 26. That is, by the way, the same day that HP announced it was extending its 3000 support to 2010, in a limited, no-patch fashion.

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A Unix feature to move you

Six years ago, HP calculated that much of its 3000 community would move to HP-UX. Enterprise customers need an enterprise-grade replacement, right? Something with an HP badge on it, already tested in mission-critical environments. HP's Unix seemed to HP like a natural fit.

Not so fast, said a lot of the 3000 marketplace, the ones willing to migrate. Windows looks like what we already use on desktops, plus its costs less in capital acquisation expenses. (The operating costs are a whole other matter, depending on how good your Windows staff is.) Other Unix solutions knocked on the door of opportunity, too, the gate HP swung open with its "we're getting out of the 3000 community" announcement.

But HP-UX is more than Windows-calibre, as some migration sites can already attest. (Don't look for too many of them in the Ecometry e-commerce village, but the Summit credit unions are hip-deep in HP-UX.) HP-UX is deeper, richer, more tuned to a large-scale customer. So the HP-loyal sites got to work on HP-UX migration. HP has only made this solution better over those six years, but some of the improvement uses pretty old ideas, turned new again.

Remember Application Service Providers, from the 1990s? The ASPs were supposed to make 3000 ownership an infrequent option. HP even opened up its own ASP center, someplace in Idaho, for application firms to host upon.

Now the essence of ASP returns in Software as a Service (SaaS). Don't look for this in your MPE/iX bag of tools. ASPs never took off in the 3000 community, but SaaS might be a real reason to mount the big task of moving your computing away from a not-broken-anytime-soon HP 3000 environment.

Continue reading "A Unix feature to move you" »

What was done to MPE for good in 1990

Frozen-waterfallPhoto by Vincent Guth on Unsplash

One week when two of the 3000 community's greatest icons connected with me, it drew my attention back to the start of the 1990s. To say that decade was a very different time for the HP 3000 simplifies a much richer story. What's more, there are parts of that decade's accomplishments that continue to serve the community to this day, for those customers who rely on the frozen nature of MPE/iX.

The year 1990 was galvanizing for the 3000 community. I was reminded about the year when Adager's Alfredo Rego asked on the HP 3000 newsgroup in 2007, "What were you doing in 1990?" In a brief message, Rego noted that 1990 was the launch date for the world's first Internet browser, created by Tim Berners-Lee on a NeXT workstation. Rego pointed at a history page from 1990 about the start of the browser era. Then Rego noted

Enjoy it (typos and all).  Be sure to click on the links to the screen shots. Ah... Memories. Fortunately, the NeXT ideas have survived (and thrived).  Just as MPE ideas have (not). Sigh.

But 1990 was a high-water mark in HP 3000 advocacy, a habit which works today to survive those three decades. The HP 3000 users formed a community in way no other computer can claim, led by Wirt Atmar, founder of report solution provider AICS Research, creators of QueryCalc as well as QCReports and the free QCTerm.

Atmar knew better than most about advocacy, for in the fall of 1990 he helped spark a charge that changed HP's business practices about the 3000 — changes which you might argue lasted until the vendor stepped away for good. Especially for the MPE users who have changed little about their HP 3000 stable environment.

Continue reading "What was done to MPE for good in 1990" »