Last week I wrote in advance of a follow-up HP briefing to get details of the vendor's exit from your community. I called it the advent of a new season for HP's 3000 operations. Then I spoke with Jennie Hou, HP's e3000 Business Manager since Dave Wilde moved away from that post in 2006 to another portion of HP.
Hou confirmed that she will be the last Business Manager HP will ever have for its 3000 line. Her duties will end on December 31. Hou is one of a crew of 3000 experts who've been working with and developing for the platform since the 1980s — and for a few, even earlier.
She's not the only Hewlett-Packard employee to end 3000 duties at the end of the year. But as of January 1, the only HP personnel a customer can discuss the system with will be those at HP support Response Centers. HP is truly and completely closing down its 3000 labs at year's end. No surprise there, except perhaps in the extent of the shut down. The closure will be so complete that the Response Centers will be in charge of clearing beta patches for use in general release.
Today I heard back from Jim Hawkins at what HP used to call its "virtual" HP 3000 group. Hawkins was among the few HP development engineers who still spent the majority of his time on 3000 issues and development. He's been the MPE/iX IO and disk expert for HP, an area where there's still potential for the system to embrace newer technology, using software called the SCSI Pass Through drivers.
But Hawkins will be out of regular HP 3000 work at year's end, too. Just today he posted a good answer on the 3000L newsgroup to a question about an HP 3000 technical issue. In a reply to me, he said that his status is the same as Hou's for 2009 and beyond: Gone from HP 3000 work. But he added a little remainder to his subtraction.
My status is consistent with Jennie’s comments. I will continue monitor and participate in HP-3000L [newsgroup discussions] and [other online groups] as time permits.
There are more people to check on, asking them if they're "retiring" from the part of HP the 3000 group called "vCSY." But the answer is only likely to vary a little from Hawkins' and Hou's, in my estimate. The group of people with the deepest HP 3000 knowledge in HP's offices are moving on, just as the vendor has promised, at year's end.