HP, Dell show caution to the winds
HP releases newest 3000 patch

IT manager turns to homesteading 3000s

Homestead3000 Independent 3000 support continues to grow as a cottage industry. Hewlett-Packard imagined that commerce in the 3000 community would rise as the vendor fell back from the system. But HP didn't have visions that former chiefs of 3000 shops could turn their skills into dollars the open market.

At least not by 2008, when a raft of small-shop supporters have surfaced. One of the latest to bob onto our charts is John Bawden, running Homestead3000. He's the former IT manager for QualChoice, a third party administrator of health plans in Ohio which ended its business in 2007, selling off 68,000 Medicare subscribers to WellPoint. In addition to a new full-time IT job elsewhere, Bawden continues to do remote management of the remaining QualChoice HP 3000.

Using a signature line of "HP 3000 Forever," Bawden reports he's allied with hardware reseller and service supplier Black River Computer in the Cleveland, Ohio area.

Bawden describes a situation we like to label a "soft retire," a way of ending full time work but keeping options open for 3000 engagements on contracts after those traditional work-weeks wrap up. The 3000 community has a broad field of support experts who run the gamut from hardware and software sales and support (Pivital Solutions) to software support plus backup service with numerous application and utility firms (Allegro Consultants) to the outsourcing and support operations such as the Support Group inc.

Bawden and his Homestead3000 consultancy represent the entry-level tier of MPE/iX and system support. 3000 owners contract with professionals like him when their final MPE expert has left the firm.

I am still doing the Homestead3000 consulting in support of the one QualChoice system that is still running and waiting for the results of a Medicare audit. I've been doing the remote (mostly) management of the system since January, 2008, and there is no end in sight yet. But once the audit is signed off on, the system will be decommissioned.

Because of the full time job I haven't been looking very hard for any more work, and probably won't until I retire from full time work next year. Then, if there is anything out there...