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March 2008

Discount is departing for HP's Universe

Universelogo HP will wrap up its $400 discount this week off its Software Universe, a relatively new conference about even newer HP-branded software. The Universe is held at the same time as the HP Technology Forum; the Universe meeting is just down Las Vegas Boulevard at the Venetian Hotel. Register by the end of this week (April 4) and the cost is $1,495. (An HP e-mail from this morning has the price at $100 lower than the cost on HP's Web site.)

HP called this mid-June week the Trifecta last year while promoting the conference, because it takes place in the same city and week as the HP StorageWorks conference and the Technology Forum. Even with all available discounts, attending all the conferences — and therefore maximizing your travel training time — will cost about $3,000. (Of course, being in two places at once might require more than one IT staff member, unless you're nimble or cherry-picking agendas.)

The Software Universe sessions and keynotes can be important if your company is taking a step into a large installation of HP's Unix, or an HP-based Windows solution. A very high percentage of what's showcased at the Universe as a solution is HP-branded, or from a close HP partner such as Oracle or SAP. Big-site stuff, some of this architecture serves. The standards tools can be a good bedrock for midsize companies, too.

HP created the Software Universe by combining its own HP Software meeting with an existing Mercury Interactive conference. HP purchased Mercury in 2006, when it paid $4.5 billion for the company. The most significant offering from what has become known as HP Mercury can be found on the HP Business Technology Optimization site. This is where the HP intelligence in the ITIL standards resides and grows.

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A new conference on the horizon

Three weeks from today, the HP Technology Forum becomes a little more expensive item on HP professionals' itinerary. The early bird registration discount ends on April 18, about two months before the mid-June meeting of HP and its customers, partners and employees.

Encompass and the ITUG user groups have been the driving forces for content in the conference, and the meeting's Expo floor generates revenues for the groups. The need to attend the Technology Forum will seem greatest to the HP 3000 site doing a migration, since almost all of the seminar content and confidential disclosure briefings address non-3000 solutions.

Tech_forum_agenda Some HP 3000 community partners will be exhibiting on the Expo floor. At the left you'll see (with an added click for detail) the overall agenda for the four days of meetings and networking, so you can start planning your travel. But at the moment there's no evidence of specific HP 3000 content scheduled for the June 16-19 conference. There's plenty to learn about HP's Unix, or Windows, or even OpenVMS — although that last environment isn't on the destination list for many 3000 users who are sticking with HP in their migrations.

Nevertheless, the June meeting presents the world's largest computer company in all of its enterprise glory, a meeting devoted to operating and improving computer user experience on the target platforms HP wants to sell its 3000 customers. The final word on the proposed consolidation of four HP user groups will also take stage in Las Vegas.

The discount for registering for the Forum by April 18 is "your choice of $100 gift certificate to HPShopping.com or HP's Logo Store." The HP shopping Web site offers desktops and notebooks among its most enterprise-oriented products (but nary a computer ships with anything other than Windows Vista, an OS gaining more problems with its first Service Pack release.) You can put your $100 toward a flatscreen TV for the executive boardroom, though. Joining Encompass earns you a discount off the $1,695 full conference pass, or off the $695 day pass, but the Encompass member discount doesn't have a deadline.

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HP user groups crank up consolidation

Encompass and its allied user groups offered specifics on the consolidation of four groups, a move the groups have scheduled for April pending member approval. Encompass, the Tandem ITUG user group, HP Interex Europe and the Pacific Rim outpost of Encompass want to become a single entity.

As a single group, the entity that's being called Endeavor hopes to attract more notice and cooperation from Hewlett-Packard and offer a better package of benefits to its members. Encompass president Nina Buik hopes the consolidation will make Endeavor more attractive to younger members of the HP IT professional community.

But first comes the vote on the consolidation, scheduled for "soon" in a message to user group members. In order to inform its electorate, Encompass pointed to an "Agreement and Plan of Consolidation", a legal document that Encompass posted online for members to review prior to the upcoming vote. You don't have to be a current member of any of the user groups to look at the plan; just head to the new Endeavor site to review the document.

Only user group members will be asked to vote, however. But they'll have a clear view of what the user groups need them to approve.

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The many views of your community

Perspectives Adager's Alfredo Rego covered a broad swath of subjects at the recent GHRUG International Technology Conference. His keynote talk ranged from "parables" of Ford executives who had no user experience with the cars they designed and marketed, to the Bank of America founder — whose said his lending requirements began with "people whose character I trust."

Each story seemed to have some connection to the life of a 3000 user in the Transition Era, and one section of Rego's talk addressed the many ways to view HP's 3000 profile these days, as well as views of the community.

"It is something which can be viewed from many different angles," he said. "There is HP's high perspective. The lowly user perspective. The vendor perspective." Each segment went onto the chalkboard behind him in a room where students received instruction. At that moment, Rego could be viewed in a teacher's perspective.

"HP wants to send one message that won't confuse," he said. "There are also many perspectives of users, such as those who couldn't wait for HP to get out of the market in 2001, to provide a reason for them to move away from the 3000, using hired guns."

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Migration: Not just a 3000 project

HP 3000 users are not alone among migrators in the Hewlett-Packard world. The top two alternatives to the system, from HP's point of view, also bear migration concerns. Windows and HP-UX environment customers both faced migration messages this week.

Users of the more popular target among HP 3000 migration sites, Windows, are listening for what Microsoft will do about the expiration date for Windows XP. The seven-year-old environment is being dropped by Microsoft in favor of Vista, an operating system which has had just 20 percent adoption in one year's time. A remarkably low number, considering how many new PCs ship only with Vista.

Microsoft has told large computer makers such as HP to stop selling XP as of the end of June. This deadline, like the one HP stated for its HP 3000 support, has already been extended once, from January 1 of this year. A CNET news article supposes that Microsoft is not far away from extending the sales deadline for XP once again.

Then there's HP-UX, the proprietary Unix which HP's Alvinia Nishimoto described as a popular choice for the migrating customers which HP tracks. Just today the Encompass user group, in cooperation with HP, started surveying about why users are "either planning or actively migrating your environment to Integrity or another platform." So away from PA-RISC Unix or MPE, but on to something other than HP's Unix? Encompass wants to know more.

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Talk to another machine to assure a future

We'll file this one under both Homesteading and Migration, because this advice from the GHRUG International Technology Conference can serve both those staying and those leaving the 3000 community. Make sure your HP 3000 talks to another server well — today. It can mean the difference between using newer technologies down the line for the 3000 as you transfer data, either for backup or transitions to new systems.

For the homesteader, long term use of the 3000 might be blocked by a change in something like Cisco networking protocols. This is a de-facto kind of standards shift, according to ScreenJet's Alan Yeo. And it's just the kind of change that HP, or any third party support provider, will find it impossible to difficult to address (depending on whether it's HP or the third party you use.)

"When people talk about long-term homesteading, and what's going to happen to the 3000, this is the one point," Yeo said. "If you've got a 3000 and it's isolated from the outside world, you've probably got a lot less problems. But if you're using a 3000 in an environment that's pretty related to other machines or other sites — well, if HP are no longer doing patches, next year when Cisco might change what they're doing with their FTP process, or somebody else changes something and it becomes a de-facto standard, the odds are you won't get the link between the 3000 and another device working."

One solution lies in another platform, according to Marxmeier's AG's Michael Marxmeier, who was also at the GHRUG talk.

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More storage tips from Houston

ScreenJet's Alan Yeo had advice for 3000 storage solutions at this month's GHRUG International Technology Conference, counsel for those with limited budgets or no budget at all. Disk drive prices have fallen so far that a half-terabyte $600 RAID-class drive can be had for HP 3000 use, he said.

Even an HP-branded drive for the HP 3000 costs under $500 by now, although it will offer less than a tenth of that capacity. A 36GB HP drive is priced at about $400 on the community's market, "so long as you don't want it tomorrow. Getting enough disk space to do a STORE to Disk should not be a problem," he said.

Backup techniques can have an impact on costs to upgrade storage options, too. "You can always look at splitting your backup up, if you don't have enough disk space. Instead of doing @[email protected]@ you split it into chunks, if you don't even want to spend $400 for more disk."

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Making NAS work with the 3000

Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a powerful enterprise resource, full of value now that disk prices have plummeted. At the GHRUG International Technology Conference, Alan Yeo of ScreenJet shared his secrets for making NAS an HP 3000 tool.

"Like most HP 3000 shops we were looking for a cheap way to [store many gigabytes of data] — and there was no way we could afford a DLT," he said. Digital Linear Tape boasts massive capacities, but most storage these days is going straight to another disk.

Yeo said that fundamentally, the method to include NAS as an option is to create STORE to Disk files, "and then FTP those STORE files up to the NAS device. A simple half-terabyte (500 GB) RAID-1 NAS device is the equivalent of 40 12-GB DDS tape drives."

It's a little unsettling to learn how much HP 3000 backups still go onto DDS tapes. Even the DLT tapes are a pain to handle, Yeo added.

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What you own is not what you purchased

At last week's GHRUG International Technology Conference, HP reminded the community that nobody owns MPE/iX but HP. Owns it forever, even if you bought a server because you believed MPE/iX was bundled, added value of a great operating system and database. No, your money was spent on a license, not software.

At GHRUG, HP's e3000 business manager Jennie Hou confirmed the clear intention that HP will cede nothing but "rights" to the community after HP exits the 3000 business."The publisher or copyright owner still owns the software," Hou said when license requirements beyond 2010 were discussed. "You didn't purchase MPE/iX. You purchased a right to use it."

See the presentation slide below (by clicking to get a larger view) for the exact HP wording.

Whoowns_2 It looks like HP's statement about licensing, announced in the dark holiday week of December 2005, must be re-evaluated. Not that it was untrue, but consider what it amounts to. It's a mystery how HP can give any significant use of MPE/iX to third parties in the years after the vendor won't offer services for the 3000 community. A third party owns nothing under these rules, but should build a business model and employ experts on this basis? Risky business, that.

A third party will just have to hope to rely on access to MPE/iX source. And nothing else but hope. In any contract no better than a typical customer's, a support firm would own nothing but that Right To Use what HP owns. Support for the third party support supplier for MPE/iX from HP? Shut down, by 2010. Support suppliers could consider that deal a sketchy foundation to build a business upon.

The 3000 community can only hope that's not HP's intention for support providers: To make any alternative support for the 3000 community remain sketchy. HP retains its ownership, but the intention of this 2005 announcement was to "help partners" do support business. Here's that HP 2005 statement, as a reminder of Hewlett-Packard's intentions.

When HP no longer offers services that address the basic support needs of remaining e3000 customers, HP intends to offer to license HP e3000 MPE/iX source code to one or more third parties — if partner interest exists at that time — to help partners meet the basic support needs of the remaining e3000 customers and partners.

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What HP has to say for itself

In a little more than 40 minutes last week, HP's talked about the 3000 division's future for the remaining work on the system. We reported the math for HP e3000 business manager Jennie Hou at her talk. Less than 41 weeks remain before HP's 3000 development of any kind will end. That's scant time to finish so many tasks, like release of 3000 enhancements long-finished but untested, or HP preparation for turning over the care of MPE/iX to the community.

2008hpplans HP is going to release a PowerPatch 5 to its support customers during 2008. The company will also "provide clear guidelines for performing hardware upgrades." These were the only plans HP announced for the rest of this year. There will be no further PowerPatches for 6.5 and 7.0 MPE/iX releases. (The individual 6.5/7.0 patches can be downloaded by the entire community.) That's all HP plans to do.

Click on the slide at the right to see the sparse plans for the remainer of 2008.

Those unreleased beta-test patches are in limbo, unless HP has confidential plans it didn't share at GHRUG. A pledge to deploy "a very aggressive plan to put together a program for beta test patches" was entirely without details. HP still puts the plan in the hands of customers, a community loath to change much on frozen systems.

Customers and partners in the audience asked if HP would reduce its beta-test requirements to get dozens of fixes and enhancements into the community. Beta-test is a status restricted to HP support customers. No, HP did not report it would do this for the six dozen software projects that it has built and tested since 2004.

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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.

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What can HP say today?

The Greater Houston RUG International Technology Conference opens today. HP is scheduled to give an update about its HP 3000 strategy and plans for 2007-08. Since 2007 is well behind us, it might be more productive to focus on what HP could report on its plans for 2008 and beyond.

I figure the news that relates to the customers will offer these highlights of HP's e3000 work for the coming year:

1. Deliver MPE/iX 7.5 PowerPatch 5

2. Produce continuity/connectivity white papers & limited enhancements for:

  • Peripherals
  • Storage
  • Networking

3. Provide market with clear guidelines and access to:

  • Hardware upgrades
  • MPE/iX RTU licenses
  • Remarketed systems & parts
  • Add-on software

4. Continue with partner and user communications & engagements

  • Ongoing engagement with the OpenMPE Board and other partners
  • Providing communications through appropriate forums or vehicles

Hp_hardware_options Those clear guidelines in Section 3 may only be news to the 3000 site which is upgrading. Such sites may include the migration customer who needs several more years of performance from the HP 3000 installation. Or an upgrade customer could be a homesteader with no plan to migrate, or one who scrapped a plan. Some sites need a better deal for faster systems that HP cannot offer — because your vendor will not unlock the horsepower of the latest 3000 systems.

HP has many more hardware systems and environments to offer than faster 3000s or a limited enhancement to MPE/iX.. The vendor can hardly get all the replacement options onto one PowerPoint slide (see above, and click to get a larger, legible view.) But HP could say more today, about its end-game strategies (those were supposed to be done by now, until HP decided last summer to extend its business once more) and its intention to let the community take charge of the 3000's value.

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HP Support keeps quiet about futures

To be accurate this entry should be filled under No News Outta HP. But at least we have located a  source of information about HP's support plans for the HP 3000.

Last month Bernard Determe, HP Worldwide Support Planning Manager, spoke to HP partners about the 3000 futures. He was one of several speakers in an EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) briefing, and the only representative listed from HP's Services arm, where product support survives for the system.

We say survives because for two extensions now, the support business has been extended beyond original HP end dates for the platform. We wanted to interview Determe about HP's policy for creating and distributing patches for MPE/iX during 2009. HP's Jennie Hou has said the company will develop no more 3000 patches in about nine months' time. Determe's division is responsible for collecting revenue from the 3000 community for this no-more-patch service.

Alas, HP is holding back on its future support information until sometime in the future. Judy Erkanat, Public Relations Manager for the Technology Solutions Group Worldwide Marcom, wrote back to reply to our request:

We will pass on your offer of an interview at this time, but look forward to working with you in the future. We wanted you to know that HP is committed to continued support of HP e3000 installations. Limited HP Support for e3000 servers has been extended through December 2010 to best meet the needs of our customers and partners.

We're well-informed about that extension, but a bit puzzled on what purchasing HP support during 2009 will bring to a customer. It's a newsman's job to ask for interviews. Sometimes the answer is "not just now." That brings HP support into step with the 3000 virtual division, which has been saying "not just now" to requests for source code licensing schedules. Support, however, has been a primary motivator in that schedule, we believe.

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Entering the state of readiness

Planning is the power behind readiness, that ability to respond to challenges and seize opportunities. In the 3000 community, few kinds of customers do more planning than manufacturers — that's why their software systems have been called Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) and then Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Both are a bulwark of the 3000's populace and power.

With MRP and ERP in mind, then, it follows that one of the most established advisors to 3000 manufacturing firms has started a new service: HP 3000 legacy readiness. Specifically, the Support Group Inc. is now offering HP 3000 sites Ready State Legacy Support, a service which lets an organization store its 3000 platform with tSGi at a new datacenter in Austin, Texas.

Although the Support Group's Ready-State makes a physical space for your HP 3000, the service's biggest benefit may be the care and feeding of the 3000. The Support Group gives the 3000 customer experienced managers to keep a system available, without the cost of headcount.

Loaded headcounts — the kind which include benefits and training — can run from $80,000 to $130,000 yearly for HP 3000 experts, according to the Support Group. These experts might be managing a migration by now, while the HP 3000 needs to remain available. Expertise is the creamy nougat of Ready-State.

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Software supplier extends new service

    A growing number of companies have offered this application support services to the community, but Speedware's marketing director Chris Koppe believes Speedware's support for HP 3000 sites can call on more resources.

   “If you walked around the Speedware offices you’d just find an army of HP 3000 programmers and experts, people who’ve either relocated here to Montreal or others who live on a more permanent basis. It’s almost like the retirement home for the 3000.” The company is always hiring or contracting with 3000 experts, he added, because it has “a huge amount of projects that we’re dealing with.”

   Speedware has doubled in size over the past two years, Koppe explained, both at a revenue level and a staff level, while its services department “has quadrupled or more.”

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Familiar resource extends app support

    A lot of HP 3000 customers need more time in the Transition Era. Besides preparing to migrate, or step away from HP as homesteaders, their duties include application maintenance and support. Speedware wants to help.

    The company that was one of the charter Platinum Migration Partners and still counts many customers for the Speedware development language has started a stronger focus on a new service this quarter. It’s aimed at a broad range of the 3000 community, according to Speedware’s marketing director Chris Koppe.

    “We’re considering the installed base and what’s happened to it over the years,” he said in outlining who could use independent support of their applications. “Some are actively enhancing systems, others that are business-as-usual kind of operations with no enhancements.”

   Koppe said that through retirement there are 3000 shops which no longer have 3000 experts on staff today. “There’s not a huge surplus of 3000 programmers out there, and certainly they’re often not in the same city as the customer.”

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Setting hooks for migration via replacement

Birket_muskie In a continuation of our Q&A interview with MB Foster's chairman Birket Foster, we asked what issues a replacement migration sparks for 3000 sites. His firm is one of two HP Platinum Migration partners still active out of an initial four (Speedware is the other). After six years of delivering advice on the migration, he had plenty to share.

What have you seen at the 3000 site which needs to replace an application, rather than adopt a system from a corporate parent?

   We’ve been on many sites where we’ve helped customers through the software selection process. We look at what kind of items would be mandatory, then nice-to-haves, and build a matrix across software choices so they can compare apples to apples.

Does your company, as a Platinum Migration partner, give away to the community some of what you know and have learned?

   We certainly help coach people through things, especially through our series of seminars and Webinars. Our basic criteria these days is to make sure the business side is involved. You have to have someone from the senior management team who can okay a budget. To give you an example of costs, in the small and medium businesses they think it’s $13,000 a seat all in. If you have 50 people, that racks up pretty quick.

   You have to end up talking to senior management because there’s a business fit as well as an IT fit. In the absence of that, you’re just grading things against what IT thinks they should be. Frankly, the application runs the business, and IT just provides the wheels underneath it.

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Landing new ideas for 3000 users

Birket Foster is not running for election this spring, but he is campaigning for some new ideas. The founder of MB Foster, he’s stood on both the homesteading and migration avenues for more than six years — and as he likes to point out, much longer when you consider moving data as a migration.

    This week the OpenMPE group which Foster has chaired since its 2002 inception announced election results, looking for volunteer help to get HP’s agreement on source code licensing. But the scope of Foster advocacy and business reaches well beyond software, stepping into services in a big enough way that it will soon overtake software at his company. That says something about a supplier who’s been selling 3000 solutions so long.

   With an election on hand and services heating up, we figured Birket — one of those community members known best by his first name — would have something to say about the new 3000 opportunities and persistent challenges. We talked to him in the week before February’s election, on his cell while he traveled to a customer site.

Some in the 3000 community are wondering why, more than five years into the Transition Era, OpenMPE is having another election of its board. Can your volunteers make a difference, so long after HP sparked customers to migrate?

    Our work for now is to make HP realize there is going to be a presence of people who will be there, after HP leaves.

Are there enough members in OpenMPE for HP to consider putting MPE into the hands of the community?

   HP will never put MPE in the hands of the community. They will only put it in the hands of someone who will be qualified to manage and maintain the source code — which is the whole purpose of OpenMPE, becoming that group.

Is there any chance of HP selecting OpenMPE as that group?

    Absolutely. We’ve talked about doing a mini-project up front, like soon just to prove ourselves, so HP gets a fire drill on what it’s like to do a patch without people internal to HP. And they haven’t done a patch in the last little bit, right?

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HP researches way to make Labs pay

Hewlett-Packard is one of the eldest statesmen in the computer community, a fact which bred the HP 3000 community's success with MPE/iX and the PA-RISC hardware. There was a time when HP took regular risks with basic research, the kind which does not always pay off in products. Computing was once driven by basic research to make leaps in technical ability.

Those risks are now rare among the major vendors of the computer community, but HP seems willing to steer its science toward enterprise computing more than it has in its recent past. Tomorrow the vendor announces a revival of HP Labs, the legendary research arm that created marvels such as cutting-edge ink technology and the chip designs which launched the HP 3000's current generation, as well as the latest HP Integrity servers.

HP Labs is one of few basic research groups still standing on the 21st Century computer landscape. IBM still operates the Almaden Research Center. Xerox's PARC center closed many years ago. HP Labs celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2006. Its Bristol, England arm extended HP's prowess in storage devices back when the HP 3000 was peaking at its largest installed base. Precision Architecture Reduced Instruction Set Computing — PA-RISC — grew up in the HP Labs.

The Labs need to be more product-oriented to survive the current bottom-line management scrutiny at HP. Projects which move to products are important to HP's migrating HP 3000 customers. Hewlett-Packard once relied on innovation first and standards second to capture and keep its customers. Some migrating customers who choose HP need assurance that the vendor will do more than the best possible integration of components for Industry Standard Servers. ISS provides the growth in HP's Business Critical Systems unit. But it's the Integrity line of RISC systems — which use HP's innovation of Itanium architecture — that must bolster the future HP-UX.

The revival of the Labs could be a sign that HP remains willing to keep up the innovation that an HP Unix platform is going to need. Without that kind of built-here-first engineering, HP's customers have to hunt harder for reasons to keep using solutions that lock users in HP's technology. CEO Mark Hurd is hosting tomorrow's event, a signal that Hewlett-Packard is willing to give its scientists room to run up bills, spending aimed at delivering knockout computing choices.

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OpenMPE seats two new directors

Candidates Alan Tibbetts of Strobe Data and Walter Murray of the California Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation have become new members of the OpenMPE board of directors, while the four incumbent directors who also ran earned a return to their seats. Except for Tibbetts, who will finish out the final year of retiring director Paul Edwards' term, all will serve for two years.

Seven volunteers ran for the six open seats in the election of HP 3000 advocates. OpenMPE has been dedicated to the continued lifespan of the HP 3000 since the group's inception more than six years ago. Keith Wadsworth of Orbit Software raised awareness and pragmatic viewpoints in his campaign, but fell short in the voting between Feb. 11 and Feb. 29.

Six seats were open in this year's election because of the retirement of long-time director Edwards. Incumbent directors all won back another two years of volunteering, a period which will nearly coincide with the end of HP's involvement in the 3000 market. But in the 2006 elections that was also the belief — when volunteers ran for their posts which were expiring this year.

OpenMPE secretary Donna Hofmeister released the vote totals about an hour ago to the OpenMPE mailing list and HP 3000 newsgroup:

Donna Hofmeister    82
Tracy Johnson    77
Walter Murray    70
Alan Tibbetts    67
Matt Perdue        71
John Wolff        70
Keith Wadsworth    43

In spite of the fact that the HP 3000 community is now more than six years beyond HP's exit-the-market announcement, the election drew 89 ballots, an increase of more than 40 percent from last year's voting. More important, the voting attracts new members to OpenMPE.

Organization chairman Birket Foster says that OpenMPE's impact goes well beyond the number of members. "You have to consider the number of systems represented, as well as the size of customer." In its earliest years, the advocacy group began with 125 companies, including "one major aircraft manufacturer," Foster added.

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Ask A Migration Expert

A new Web-based service offers free advice and answers questions with direct e-mail replies to customers in the 3000 community

The community bristles with spots to ask migration questions, including the HP 3000 newsgroup, engagements with consultants, and even initial meetings with prospective migration suppliers. Speedware has opened several Web pages to gather and then answer questions for free.

The Ask a Migration Expert page is “another avenue to ask questions,” said Speedware’s marketing director Chris Koppe. The page at speedware.com/solutions/HPe3000_migration/ask-migration-expert.html, taps “an unmatched talent pool here,” he said.

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