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Memorial fund honors 3000 pioneer

Having contributed so much to the 3000 experience in his lifetime, Wirt Atmar wanted a simple finale on the occasion of his death one month ago. No eulogy, a cremation instead of burial, and no funeral. Accolades and thanks flowed over the 3000's Internet newsgroup to celebrate his life. But enduring gratitude, and recognition, still seemed out of reach.

The 3000 community has organized a fitting memorial to this important man. Wirt was a research associate with the famous Field Museum in Chicago. OpenMPE secretary Donna Hofmeister contacted the museum about establishing a memorial fund in his honor. Hofmeister received immediate assurance this was the best way to thank him for a questing mind that found and spread solutions for the HP 3000, like his Plan B for staying on the 3000 instead of migrating. Plan B is a good start for considering the complete set of sustainability decisions.

"Both Both Bruce Patterson," Hofmeister said, "Wirt's friend and colleague, and Sheila Cawley, Vice President Institutional Advancement at the Museum, think that this is an excellent way for us to both help the Museum and preserve Wirt's legacy." The HP 3000 and its community has earned that unique attribute, a legacy, so it's fitting that a memorial is underway. You can make a donation at www.fieldmuseum.org/annualfund and click on the "Join Now" link.  At the bottom of that page, click "Online."

3000 community members can associate their gift with the Wirt Atmar Fund by sending a separate e-mail to Cawley at the museum. One community member, Wyell Grunwald, pointed to the generous nature of this leader and took note of the continuing products from his ongoing company, AICS Research.

He has some extremely good software developed for the HP 3000. QCTerm was free to anyone.  Wirt and I have had many discussions over the years. I will miss his expertise tremendously.  I actually met him once at a INTEREX show. He was always very kind. Wirt had a very brilliant mind.  Perhaps the best thing that could be said of him was that he was very willing to share his expertise with the HP 3000 community, and always strived to educate others. His writing of several years ago about staying on the HP 3000 was excellent. I still work on the HP3000 every day for my job, and have two HP3000s at home.

Some of the best advocacy opportunities during Wirt's most active years came as an improvement on the Interex user group efforts. We'll have a report on Monday on the last shoe to drop in that user group's bankruptcy dissolution, more than three years after the group went dark overnight.