Advocates recruit fresh directors
February 3, 2009
OpenMPE has invited the 3000 community to continue advocacy on behalf of system owners. HP's lab is closed. Only a few items remain on HP's price list related to the server: support contracts, licenses, subsystem products that are going to be slow sellers at best. But just because there's no HP 3000 division to tangle with doesn't mean the war is over yet. OpenMPE is seeking candidates for its board of directors. The voting begins Monday.
It's easy enough to stand for election to the board; sending an e-mail to secretary Donna Hofmeister will do the trick. Things have been lost in your community. Advocacy is not yet lost, and asking questions remains good work in a good cause.
Joining 3000 leadership now might feel like Rhett Butler joining the Confederates near the end of the Civil War. ("But they're running away," says Scarlett. "Oh no, they'll make a last stand, if I know anything about them," Rhett replies, "and when they do, I'll be with them.") Rhett says he's always had a weakness for lost causes, "once they're really lost." During 2008 the community lost the vendor's lab, and perhaps a few hundred companies who migrated.
But OpenMPE's director Birket Foster believes that 2009 still holds advocacy goals the group's nine directors can attain.
"Just because HP's CSY  division has gone away does not mean there's not advocacy opportunities for OpenMPE," Foster said. He might as well have been Rhett, pulling on his hat at the turn to Tara, while expressing that hope.
There was never anything that any group of volunteers, even one full of customers who helped HP groom the 3000 — could do to stop the vendor from calling the 3000 a lost cause. But over the past seven years so many crucial points of process, policy and procedure flowed from OpenMPE's work: licensing and transfers of HP intellectual property that will be key to any last stand, no matter how far away the last bugle call sounds.
Hofmeister reminds candidates that volunteering involves a weekly meeting commitment and the to-do items which follow the conference calls. Whether a customer is late to the conflict over the 3000's ending, or just watching while waiting for the finish, there is still work to do with the two HP's which insist on controlling the server forevermore: HP Support, and the HP Development Corp. The latter owns all of the IP in HP. Someone can speak for the 3000 owners to HPDC. The most interesting advocacy might be yet to come, now that the division has left the field.
And who wouldn't want to be Rhett Butler, making a last stand before landing on his feet after the war? The 3000 community is old-school, so gallantry seems to fit among its members who are still finding their way toward the front lines of the future.