Members of the HP 3000 community have doubted any hardware emulator would ever surface, often pointing to HP's reluctance to make a license possible. More than five years elapsed between HP's initial promise of a virtual MPE/iX license for PC-based servers and the mechanism of right-to-use licensing. Even when HP issued an FAQ on the emulator, users didn't believe the concept could pass HP's legal muster.
"HP has demonstrated an intractable institutional resistance to admitting that the HP 3000 was a viable platform," said James Byrne, IT manager at 3000 shop Harte-Lyne. "This cannot but continue to have a baleful influence on efforts at cooperation with HP by those producing and intending to use said (non-extant) emulators."
Harte-Lyne was using a pair of Series 918 3000s when Byrne cast doubt on an emulator's future. Other long-time advocates of the 3000 described the concept as "an emulator that will never happen," according to Joe Dolliver, owner of consultancy e3k Solutions.
But early this year Dolliver also said he had "two part-time 3000 clients that have no Plan B, and I will be supporting them for several years to come." lf licensing can be arranged to allow third-party tools to run in emulation, such clients could find a Plan B in an emulator.
"If an emulator existed and cost less than the hardware support contract for our 3000," said Edward Berner of Yosemite Community College, "then I could save money and reclaim some floor space at the same time."