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.
5. HP rolled out a crucial patch to disable the Large Files function for IMAGE/SQL's greater than 4GB datasets. The repairs were the first of two critical repairs for the database, both engineered in a hurry to give the customers assurance of the 3000's stability. HP later repaired Large Files with a binary-level patch and the first fix for the 3000's millicode in 16 years. Fast response, available to the entire 3000 community, regardless of a customer's support relations with HP. Surprising, during the sixth year after HP announced its 3000 exit plans.
4. Jennie Hou took the reins from Dave Wilde as business manager for HP 3000 operations at HP. She may oversee the exit of HP from the 3000 community, but the new manager said that HP doesn't have a confirmed date for ending its 3000 support. We asked Hou, "Does HP intend to exit the support business for the 3000 at some date?"
Of course. Eventually there will be no HP support of the 3000. HP will exit that support business completely. HP cares about our installed base and wants to help our customers in maintaining a stable e3000 environment while they conduct their migrations. Therefore, the support model evolves based on customer needs and balanced business approach.
Already in August, though, HP was talking about a conceptual model to extend its support business. Nothing official at that time, though.