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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.

Murray, who worked in HP's 3000 language labs on COBOL II before leaving the company, is an end-user OpenMPE director, still a minority in the nine-member board. John Wolff, Tracy Johnson and Chuck Ciesinski are also end-user/customer volunteers; Wolff and Johnson were re-elected this year. Hofmeister, whose current job is at Long's Drug, and Matt Perdue also returned to the board in this year's voting.

Johnson, Hofmeister, Wadsworth and Perdue all responded to the NewsWire's candidate questions, which we posed on Feb. 21. All of this year's board nominees posted candidate statements at the OpenMPE 2008 election Web page for candidate bios. The page remains online today.

Tibbetts served on the OpenMPE board in the past, a term which ended last year. His employer Strobe Data announced an HP 3000 emulator project in 2004, a long-term effort for which Strobe has set no timetable for release. Emulation of HP 3000 hardware will become a viable option for a vendor only in years to come, according to Strobe's founder Willard West.

Wadsworth made a case for changes to the 3000 community in a February statement, calling out HP for what he sees as a mixed message from the vendor — focused on the Right To Use (RTU) licenses.

We all know the platform was killed six months [after HP's promise to support it in 2001], and therefore users and third-party application providers began developing new business strategies and plans for the remaining life of MPE.

Yet today many of us find ourselves very puzzled. On one hand HP keeps insisting (for over six years now) that the MPE platform is being made obsolete. On the other hand HP seems to be handling MPE as on ongoing business offering with a future by again extending product support and the RTU policy scheme.