Once a month, or sometimes twice, the OpenMPE advocacy group holds a meeting by teleconference. The group's directors discuss the big questions about 3000 life after HP leaves the market. They sometimes discuss these issues with Jeff Bandle of HP, where the details then fall under the confidential code of executive session.
This week the group posted meeting minutes from May and June discussions, where progress on a 3000 community resource was revealed. HP expressed a little interest in getting the programs and applications transferred from the Invent3k public development server — hosted at HP — onto OpenMPE's HP 3000s. From the minutes:
June 12: While there's been interest expressed, there's been little follow-up. [Director] Anne Howard is aware of a company that's retiring many MPE systems. Perhaps a system would come available that way. Another possibility is to formally ask for HP's Invent3k [server].
June 26: HP seems agreeable to giving OpenMPE a backup tape of Invent3k. There is an issue with third-party software that needs addressing.
While Invent3k and its assets are not yet outside of HP, this is a small victory of some note. HP will at least begin to transfer one 3000-related asset out of the company. And so, the vendor must create a process to do this, one that might pave the way for other transfers.
The complete listing of meeting minutes is available on the OpenMPE Web site. Reading them in order shows the efforts which nine volunteers continue to make on licensing issues, asset transfers and other work needed to keep 3000s running long after HP leaves.
This work will be done on behalf of some customers, including large manufacturers, who will be using 3000s for several years after HP's support ends. One major aircraft maker has no plans to turn off their HP 3000 until 2013 — working around an SAP implementation team schedule that has no regard for HP's 3000 migration timetable, or warnings of risks.