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A drive to beat the clock

OpenMPE is waiting to hear from the vendor about participating in a project to test-run the creation of a "build" of MPE/iX. In the meantime, the advocacy group has raised the flag on its future a little higher.

Director Matt Perdue sent us a note that reports that "The domain name openmpe.org has been renewed for five years. It will next expire on 9-13-2013, perhaps outlasting HP's involvement with MPE. That is of course if HP doesn't extend 'mature product support without sustaining engineering' beyond 2010."

The report arrived as an e-mail, but I detected a tone of persistent pleasure in Perdue's sign-off. There's a Web page that will tell you how many days of HP's 3000 support, with sustained (patch) engineering, the community has left.

For the customers who remain on the HP 3000 only so long as the vendor supplies support, we remind you that only six months remain of HP labs support for the system. Beyond December 31 of this year, it's workarounds "for the lot of ye," (as they said in The Meaning of Life) because the vendor has said "We lose our labs" starting in 2009. If you can arrange something better with HP on your own, good for you — but HP is making no promises for 2009.

For those who'd like to calculate the number of days until the only MPE/iX labs will be operated at third party sites — and OpenMPE has been persistent in its goal to become one — take a trip to timeanddate.com/counters/customcount.html and punch in 1-1-2009. You can calculate the time left on HP's 3000 business operations by  typing in 1-1-2011.

Purdue offered a simple vow, one that a homesteading HP 3000 customer may count upon until a transition plan emerges for everybody. Transition for a homesteader can mean getting onto a new computer platform at a more reasonable cost or lower risk, or getting established with a new ecosystem (and third party labs/support) to remain an MPE/iX user.

Whatever the outcome for the customer who is homesteading now, and for the near future, they might be heartened to hear Purdue say, as he did, "Yes, HP, we intend on outlasting you."