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Linking Up to the Community

The community count is nearing 70 experts and veterans at the Linked In group that covers HP 3000 expertise and background. Some of the members go back to the fundamental days of the MPE/iX environment with their experience, while others are telling members in the free and open group about migration choices.

While Nancy Missildine joined up, she checked in with stories of integrating and testing MPE/XL 20 years ago at HP. Meanwhile Mark Ranft has been reporting on choices being made by his Pro 3k consultancy to move airline transaction processor Navitaire off a farm of more than 30 HP 3000s, carefully and with precision.

Asked why Windows and .NET is a suitable replacement for these MPE/iX operations that serve major airlines, Ranft said that Windows, like MPE or Linux or HP-UX, is "just a tool. The enterprise architect must understand the strengths and the weaknesses of the platform and design the application around them. Sometimes this may mean you have large pools of mid-tier systems/application servers to make up for the lack of resiliency in the operating system. This could be compared to using the RAID concept for disk arrays. However, I fear that most enterprises will find the licenses, care and feeding of the numerous mid-term systems needed is far from being inexpensive. Keep in mind that MPE was never exactly cheap."

Joining Linked In — a social network free of charge and important enough to warrant the Connect user group's participation — is as simple as browsing to its linkedin.com opening page. Once you're signed on, look for the "HP 3000 Community" group on the site and make a quick request to join. Then pose a question to the experts, or share what you've learned by answering those already online.

The group has attracted experts retired from HP like Missildine and Mike Paivinen, the latter having taking HP's early retirement package in 2007 after five years of liaison with the OpenMPE and 3000 advocacy community — and a legacy of MPE/iX engineering. Paivinen asked what we planned to do with the Community.

Frankly, that's up to its members more than me, even if I did create it with the new Groups software on Linked In. But I answered Paivinen by saying I hope the group "is up and running after I found several hundred HP 3000 users, owners and experts on Linked In. There's practically nobody like that in the Connect/Encompass user group. With some luck and prodding, perhaps these 3000 people on Linked In can connect for jobs and advice.

Linked In has a different membership than the HP 3000 newsgroup, for the most part, although what the newsgroup survivors call "The -L" still brims with answered questions about technical challenges. Exploring the membership on a network basis, with connections that can lead to new colleagues, is the advantage of a social networking outlet. I hope to see you linked up to the HP 3000 Community on Linked In.