QSS gathers another 3000 HP expert
New tricks for HP's old dogs, and newer, too

Why there are always parts available

Hewlett-Packard tells the 3000 community that the vendor can provide custom legacy support through 2010, but the offering will depend on parts availability and the age of the HP 3000. Older systems might have parts which are no longer on the HP warehouse shelves.

But no matter how old the HP 3000 might be in your shop, you can be reasonably sure that spare parts will not keep you from keeping it working. Last week Wyell Grunwald offered a "practically free" HP 3000 on the Internet newsgroup. All that Grunwald wants is the cost of shipping to send the 200-pound server onto its new home.

After a quip about this early '90s server making a good bookend, another community member said they could use the system for parts. Imagine, an HP 3000 PA-RISC server built in 1990 — yes, 18 years ago — still has parts available in your community.

The key word in that last sentence is community. Even when HP runs out of HP 3000 parts, the community can carry on the supply. This group got a lot of longevity when it invested in the HP 3000, as well as durability. The word "tank" is part of Grunwald's 922 description.

It's difficult to overlook how underpowered the Series 922 might be compared to any other HP 3000. After all, the entire PA-RISC line only started to ship in 1987, and only in significant numbers a couple of years later. Code-named SilverFox Low at its introduction, this is a very early model 3000, just three systems off the start of the PA-RISC line.

The harsh numbers: This HP 3000 has just five percent of the horsepower of the smallest Series 979 or HP's smallest N-Class server.

But while you would not want to carry a lot of computing on this swaybacked steed, the fact that it's still a parts repository in 2008 might give a homesteader some comfort. HP warned everyone in 2001 that HP 3000 parts were going to become scarce in five years' time. So long as your community stays connected and communicating, the Hewlett-Packard MPE support expertise is likely to get scarce before many 3000 parts disappear altogether.