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Houston echoes community's streaks

While the Houston Rockets were winning their 21st NBA game in a row up the road, another streaking community held court at a campus known for its rockets. The University of Houston-Clear Lake boasted a legendary aeronautics program and hosted the Greater Houston RUG (GHRUG)  International Technology Conference. The meeting marked the 38th straight year that the HP 3000 community gathered face-to-face. It was also the fifth year of meetings since HP halted its 3000 sales.

Alfredomag In Houston, another streak remained intact. For the sixth straight springtime, HP did not offer details for its 3000 endgame issues, such as source-code licensing and the elease of beta test patches. HP's 3000 labs now have less than 41 weeks remaining to complete work on the operating system before closing up.

However, HP did not confirm that the virtual HP 3000 will vanish at the end of 2008. The question was asked during an HP update session about the 3000 — a computer platform which wasn't the only system that GHRUG speakers addressed.

GHRUG maintained a two-conference streak on keynote speakers, hearing Adager's Alfredo Rego launch the second day of the meeting for the second straight conference. "I am not going to try to convince you of anything here, but just to tell some stories for your benefit," he said. But the HP 3000 advocate did arrive at the meeting with a copy of the latest Entertainment Weekly, which featured an older Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones on the cover, along with the headline, "Why He's Still Hot." Like the HP 3000, this is a story the audience won't grow tired of hearing.

Rego shared his research on Ford, pointing out a few things the star has in common with the HP 3000.

"I am like old shoes," Rego quoted Ford. "I have never been hip. I have never been enough in fashion to be replaced by something new."

Understanding chuckles rose up from the early morning crowd. "It reminds me of the HP 3000," Rego said.

Talk at the conference did not run to details on the latest Right To Use license language, or where the business model might come from for a hardware emulator. OpenMPE didn't even give a presentation, but HP did offer both Alvinia Nishimoto and Jennie Hou as 3000-related speakers.

And maybe most important, for the future of the event, was the 100-plus participants who arrived for two lunches, two breakfasts and one impromptu cookout. GHRUG is going onward with this event, bolstered by 42 talks across two days of networking.

Nishimoto detailed HP's view of the migration away from the 3000. HP-UX, she said, is the target platform most favored by migration sites. she chalked up the choice to one 3000 essential tool: Robelle's Suprtool. The software isn't available on Windows and is in wide use in the 3000 community.

HP's quotes went as far back as 1995 to cover satisfied customers who'd migrated. Windows is stable enough, too. Windows is being driven by packaged applications.

OpenMPE didn't update its plans or progress at the meeting, but asked pointed questions in the HP presentations. Emulator projects didn't come up, either. But attendees could learn more about using Network Attached Storage with a 3000, or a Baker's Dozen tips on working with HP 3000s. More on those tomorrow.