Former members of the HP user group SuperGroup Association have announced a new project to preserve the history of the HP 3000, collecting and archiving the most durable medium for the platform: paper manuals.
"Since the 3000 performed its work for more than 20 years without even CD-ROM archive technology, we know where the good stuff lives," said Treeware Project organizer D. David Brown. "We're putting out a call to the entire 3000 community to send us their paper manuals and documentation, so we can erect a massive testament to the success of this system."
Brown said that even sales and marketing documents would be crucial items in the project's mission. "Most of the time HP's marketing materials gave the biggest clues to the 3000's true powers," he said. "We stopped publishing our SuperGroup magazine in 1989, once the vendor finally dropped its "cold dead fish" marketing practices."
Historians in the community such as Raul Paulerson were puzzled in their comments on the Treeware Project, apparently caught unawares by the bold, overnight move to catalog billions of pages of documents. "I'd estimate there's more than a million This page left intentionally blank sheets out there," he said. "These Treeware guys better have really good shredders to weed those out."
Project leader Brown said that he's designating a preliminary delivery address for donations: Hewlett-Packard's corporate headquarters, 3000 Hanover Street, Palo Alto, CA 94304. "What else would HP have had in mind, ultimately, by setting up HQ at the 3000 address?" Brown asked. "We're grateful that the vendor has the platform's history and preservation at heart."
Packages of documents should be marked "Treeware Project" in plain block letters. HP DeskJet-generated barcoding will be accepted as well. Brown believes that the HP Development Company, keepers of all HP intellectual property, will insist on compliance with all US mail fraud laws.
The 3000 NewsWire would like to chip in on the Treeware Project. Since our office space is more limited than the massive HP headquarters, we're accepting any 3000 paper documents with a staple in the middle, as opposed to loose sheets. (An example is shown at left.) Our mailing address is 11702 Buckingham Road, Austin, TX 78759. We ask the community to please send no contributions postage- or delivery-due.