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October 2009

3000 tools lose one, gain another UK entry

Birth and death are both parts of the 3000's ecosystem, even on the sixth anniversary of the system's World Wide Wake. The Wake was concocted by Alan Yeo of the UK-based company ScreenJet in 2003, a worldwide celebration in October of that year to mark the end of the 3000's manufacture. A half-dozen years after dozens of meetings lifted a glass to the 3000's HP lifespan, Yeo has introduced a new product for 3000 sites, while another UK company has closed its book on its programmer's environment.

First, the obituary. Whisper Technologies ended its 18-year run as a supplier of programmer tools, according to the company's founder Graham Wooley. (Tip of the hat to Duane Percox of QSS, whose development labs used Whisper's products.) The UK's Whisper built and promoted the Programmer Studio PC-based toolset, selling it as a development environment which understood exchanges with the 3000 but could be used to create programs under Windows. Robelle responded promptly with a Windows version of Qedit, and the 3000 ecosystem had a lively competition for programming tools for more than five years.

The birth was first announced at this fall's e3000 Community Meet. Yeo introduced EZ View, a tool for migrating the 3000's VPlus forms to industry-standard XML forms. As Yeo suggests in the video above, EZ View promotes a no-changes transformation of 3000 app hosting. Whatever the behavior of your 3000 apps today for the user base, EZ View will copy it faithfully to another environment so no retraining is required. At the same time, the door to .NET Windows or anything which XML supports can be opened.

Continue reading "3000 tools lose one, gain another UK entry" »

Links to 3000 via Unix, Linux stay free

Freevt3k Companies which continue to rely on the HP 3000 connect to the system using other servers. In this case, other means non-3000 computers, especially running Linux and various flavors of Unix. A free program was once available to install on the Unix or Linux host, but freevt3k has been found recently and rehosted for public use. It works with block mode well enough to drive the NMMGR tool shown above.

Mark West of Car Hop, an auto sales and finance firm, needed to perform this kind of link, but discovered that the known links to freevt3k through have gone dead. West dug up the source code for the utility, rehosted it in a forge on, then told the community about its lost-then-found resource.

I've been trying to find a suitable terminal to access the HP3000 servers we use at work. I made a couple of small corrections and set up a sourceforge project to store the freevt3k code on. While I’m sure this isn’t the most recent copy, at least it’s been saved from the lost and found. I’ll be happy to accept any patches sent to me.

Continue reading "Links to 3000 via Unix, Linux stay free" »

Sites turn 3000 clocks back, and back on

This is the week in the world when the loss of an hour must be weathered in IT, as Daylight Savings time ends. (The UK lost its hour last weekend; the US does so Saturday night.) The HP 3000 does time shifting of its system clock automatically, thanks to patches HP built during 2007. But what about the internal clock of a computer that might be 15 years old? Components fail after awhile.

The 3000's internal time is preserved using a small battery, according to the experts out on the 3000 newsgroup. This came to light in a discussion about fixing a clock gone slow. A few MPE/iX commands and a trip to Radio Shack maintains a 3000's sense of time.

"I thought the internal clock could not be altered," said Paul English. "Our server was powered off for many months, and maybe the CMOS battery went flat." The result was that English's 3000 showed Greenwich Mean Time as being four years off reality. CTIME reported for his server:

*  Greenwich Mean Time : THU, JUN 17, 2004, 11:30 AM   *

* GMT/MPE offset      : +-19670:30:00                 *

* MPE System Time     : THU, SEP 10, 2009,  2:00 PM   *

Yup, that's a bad battery, said Pro 3k consultant Mark Ranft. "It is cheap at a specialty battery store," he said, "and can be replaced easily, if you have some hardware skills and a grounding strap." Radio Shack offers the battery.

But you can also alter the 3000's clock which tracks GMT, he added.

Continue reading "Sites turn 3000 clocks back, and back on " »

Fortune 500 beds down for 3000 use

Leggett-Platt Large scale IT operations are already migrated away from the HP 3000, right? Well, maybe not as many as you'd think. Imagine a company that makes "a broad variety of engineered components and products that can be found in virtually every home, office, retail store, and automobile." Better than $4 billion in annual sales. Got to be off the 3000 by 2009, you might think.

In this case you would be wrong. Leggett & Platt is managing its health plan using an HP 3000 and the EnCore claims system. Migration is probably not going to happen before sometime in 2012.

"We do plan on migrating to another platform, but not for another 3-5 years," said Douglas Grimes in IT. Our longtime subscriber added, "I am not sure which one we will go to. We will probably wait to see what EnCore does and follow them."

Leggett & Platt, New York Stock Exchange-listed and 125 years old, makes bedding and furniture assemblies. For example, its Mira-Coil continuous coil innerspring unit "grew in popularity in the 1980s and was patented in 23 countries."

Continue reading "Fortune 500 beds down for 3000 use" »

COBOL offers you can't refuse

Dale Vecchio For a 50-year-old language, COBOL seems to have a lot of new options and energies lately. Especially for 3000 customers who are making migrations, the ones looking around for their next platform and language. For millions of companies around the world, COBOL is an offer they cannot refuse.

We've recently heard from Chuck Townsend, a COBOL and modernization consultant who helped launch the software vendor LegacyJ. He recalls that LegacyJ "implemented the HP COBOL syntax, the HP Intrinsics (excluding IMAGE), the HP Macro capability and you might remember the VPlus capability as well." So LegacyJ offers a COBOL for use on platforms other than the 3000. One that claims to know something about the 3000.

Then there's ACUCOBOL-GT. It was easy to believe that ACUCOBOL would decline in favor of Micro Focus COBOL, when MF bought Acucorp in 2007. But Alan Yeo of ScreenJet reminds us that:

The ACUCOBOL product is still available, and we have migrations that are still in progress with our ACUCOBOL GUI conversion for VPlus products. In fact, Micro Focus are adapting that technology as the Thin Client GUI for the Micro Focus COBOL products. Like the 3000, rumours of ACUCOBOL's death appear premature.

Now that Micro Focus owns the product, it may not be as easy to ask for ACUCOBOL by name, but the GT suite still appears for sale on the Micro Focus Web site. What's even more interesting at that MF site is a pep talk by analyst Dale Vecchio of Gartner, above. The research VP comes across as a consigliere (mob elder statesman) in a six-minute sermon about why retirements are good for IT's future. He seems to invoke that image with his comparison of IT practices and the methods of The Sopranos.

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HP 3000 Becomes a Copy Cat

Sometimes, the HP 3000 can surprise you with its capabilities. Not long ago, the system revealed another life, this one as a minicomputer which controls a copier.

RicohM4000 Both of those technologies, mini and copier, are considered old-school. Everybody understands what a copier does, but few people under 50 know what the term mini represents. For anybody reading who's only just arrived in IT during this decade, computers were known as mainframes, microcomputers, and minicomputers. People who know what mini means helped connect a Ricoh copier to a 3000. Over a network, no less.

Of course this Ricoh CP M4000 is not a copier of the '80s, not any more than the HP 3000 is a minicomputer of that era. The Ricoh prints for PCs (microcomputers) at Victor S. Barnes Company. It also stacks and staples, a feature set that IT manager Tom Hula wanted to extend to its 3000. The system became a copy cat by telling the copier to stop looking for some of its configuration information. A third party tool helped provide another way to claim this new life for the 3000.

Continue reading "HP 3000 Becomes a Copy Cat" »

HP's history becomes a phenomenon

HouseMemoir The company which created the HP 3000 is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. Perhaps it's the coincidence of a zero-numbered commemoration, but history that relates to the 3000 seems to be in the air this week. Most of it represents snapshots of an era we'll never return to, and some community members are thankful for the departure. But what's been left behind could be much more valuable than histories and manuals.

Today Forbes has an early review of the first book by a retired HP executive, Chuck House, who knew and worked with the HP 3000 business. The HP Phenomenon earned praise from a reviewer who's written his own HP book, George Anders. But the reviewer of Phenomenon wrote a more upbeat take on HP's changes than House's clear-eyed memories. Anders wrote the Carly Fiorina saga Perfect Enough, a kinder view of the changes that CEO inflicted on the HP which House remembers.

MPEPocket House still reveres the HP of the Sixties through the 1980s, just like the 3000 community venerates the MPE Software Pocket Guides of the 1970s and '80s. A current thread on the 3000 newsgroup has floated into memory lane about that era of the 3000. Like the guide itself -- and the HP computer management which House admires in his book -- the world has changed enough to make its best days appear to be behind it.

Continue reading "HP's history becomes a phenomenon" »

E-forms integration worth discounted price

Minisoft announced this morning that its eFORMz document management software is being discounted by 35 percent through the end of January, 2010. The software creates PDF documents for e-mailing and secure exchange. It runs with multiple platforms, including the HP 3000. Customers using products such as Optio, CreatForm and Jetform qualify, as well as others.

In addition to smart forms, deeper barcode features and a secure numeric font for check printing, eFORMz brings something even more significant to a paperless drive toward PDF forms and e-document management: ongoing support and continued updates. Those are benefits that are worth paying a vendor for, rather than working with open source solutions.

Enterprise IT in the 3000 world can have pretty low budgets these days, but free solutions cost something. The price is the integration expertise, usually measured in hours or days spent plugging in an open source tool. You rely on the open source community to keep your free solution updated, too, unless you've studied the source code enough to create "diffs" for MPE/iX versions. That's what QSS developer Mark Bixby is doing this month. He has also advised the 3000 community to learn such porting skills.

Continue reading "E-forms integration worth discounted price" »

COBOL migration options: More advice

Last week we examined a COBOL to Java path for 3000 applications which are migrating to other platforms. The story called out two suppliers, Veryant and LegacyJ, who have promoted the Java path to 3000 customers. Those companies were reading that article and offer even more detail on getting to Java, the "write once, run anywhere" language that's still got fairy dust on its collar 12 years after it went global.

Alfredo Iglesias of Veryant tells us that " the majority of our customers find the idea of leveraging their COBOL and application expertise while deploying pure Java applications is very attractive." You can move away from COBOL completely, too.

If someone who knows the COBOL application takes the time to study the Java libraries that isCOBOL provides for the runtime environment, it is possible to take our generated Java code, clean it from the COBOL ‘accent’ and continue development in the Java programming language.

Then there's Daniel Meyers of LegacyJ, the company named after its mission of getting legacy applications into Java. He says the company "has had HP-compatible COBOL and COBOL II solutions -- among 16 others -- for years." I think we'd all like to know more about another COBOL that, like AcuCOBOL, has had COBOL II intrinsics designed into it. Excising 3000 intrinsics from COBOL II can be detailed work, although UNICON reports it's got an automation tool to do this to 3000 apps.

Continue reading "COBOL migration options: More advice" »

Service alert: Use our alternate address Thursday

We're having routine maintenance on our Web server on Thursday. Between the hours 7AM EDT and 5 PM we expect a gap of about two hours of downtime, as our Web host 3k Associates has new electrical service installed.

Despite the downtime on the archive/original Web site, you can still read the NewsWire's blog Thursday at anytime. Please use the alternate address:

to keep up with our news and features. Like any HP 3000 site, planned downtime is a part of our lives. We're happy to have an alternative to go along with our high-uptime main Web service on Next year we renew that Web address for our 15th year. Along the way we're been lucky to have the savvy and experience of Chris Bartram, our original Webmaster, at 3k.

Open source port project in play for print

QSS, the K-12 app software company with clients in both HP 3000 and Unix/Linux markets, has kicked off a porting project for MPE/iX software. Founding partner Duane Percox reports that his company is rewriting open source software to aid in printing documents for 3000 systems.

Mark Bixby of QSS is at work on the porting project. Bixby ported the Apache Web server as well as Internet connectivity software to the 3000's OS late in the last decade, then joined the HP 3000 lab technical staff in the Internet & Interoperability unit. He left HP to join QSS in 2008.

Percox said the project will bring Ghostpdl and Ghostscript to the 3000. The former software can be used as a file format converter, such as printer language-to-PDF converter, the latter can be combined with a printer driver in "virtual printer" PDF creators. The QSS work will focus on including the 3000's common printer language, PCL, in the conversion options.

Ghostscript has been ported to Windows, HP-UX, Linux, OpenVMS and Mac operating systems. The QSS project will be shared with the 3000 community as open source when the work is complete, Percox said.

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Unwrapping the Myths of Security

What the Computer Security Industry Doesn't Want You to Know

Review by Steve Hardwick, CISSP

I have worked in the information security business for more than 10 years, and I’ve learned there is one constant throughout – change. Keeping up with the ever-present cat and mouse battle between the hackers and security industry is a full time job. The Myths of Security by John Viega (O'Reilly Media, $29.95) provides a good view of what the security industry faces and why they sometimes fall short in the eyes of many people. So the next time you are hitting your computer with your keyboard in utter frustration, put it down, pick up this book and take a look at why computer security is so hard. You can also learn what doesn’t work to secure computers – and by extension, good security practices. Some of the biggest security weaknesses will surprise you.
Security MythsThis book begins by outlining how easy it is to have a security problem. Early chapters cover the methods of attacking computer systems and how they have evolved. These include simple viruses focused on specific operating systems up to more sophisticated Web-based attacks and social engineering exploits. New attacks are independent on the operating system; rather, they exploit the lack of knowledge of the user. (Despite their sanguine outlook, even Apple users are wide open to these types of attacks.) Chapter 15 has an excellent example of a phishing attack that demonstrates how the bad guy can get key information without ever touching the operating system. According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, June of 2009 was the second-highest month for number of new phishing sites detected.

The author makes two very crucial points: First, it is no longer just a battle of viruses anymore – any computer user is vulnerable. Second, users will want an antivirus application that can deal with all manner of information security threats — viruses, malware, adware, phishing, cross site scripting and more.

Continue reading "Unwrapping the Myths of Security" »

Developers work to preserve power to port

Several developers in the 3000 community are working to preserve a key tool for porting software to the computer's MPE/iX operating system. The magic wand is the GNU C++ compiler suite, bootstrap software needed to move open source utilities onto the 3000, or keep them updated for security and functionality.

Mark Klein of DIS International did the port of C++ back in the middle '90s, a crucial step to porting Java, Internet networking tools, Samba file sharing, perl, Web services and more onto the 3000. Klein hosted the suite on an account at Invent3k, the public access development 3000 HP closed down in November of last year. Invent went dark and the programs, accounts and tools went offline. For a short while, even Klein couldn't be sure he had the bootstrap software on a server in his own lab.

HP's 2009 policies on Invent3k and Jazz content aimed to share such resources with the community. But a 40-page HP End User License Agreement (EULA) inserted restrictions, terms and fees to control where such freeware and open source software can be hosted. The vendor did not simply pass along code and utilities written by third parties. New hosting outlets must arrange their own agreements to host the independent tools, now that HP has closed up these resources.

Much of it was built on the back of Klein's work, volunteer nights and weekends for the equivalent of a year of full-time coding. The new language opened the door for the HP 3000’s interoperability. He reported today, "I may just host the GNU stuff here in my lab, and at OpenMPE." A third outlet for open source is getting ready to open, too.

Continue reading "Developers work to preserve power to port" »

Leaving COBOL? isCOBOL offers Java path

Migrations away from the HP 3000 mean leaving a fine-tuned COBOL behind. HP shaped COBOL II to include intrinsics which plug directly into the IMAGE database and the 3000's OS. Customers who move to another platform need to rewrite those intrinsic calls for a new COBOL. AcuCOBOL needs far less revision that other COBOLs, because it was designed in 2001-02 to incorporate most of those same 3000 specialties.

But if you're going to be doing any rewriting at all, why not aim for more than a new COBOL that acts like the old one? If a transfer to Java from COBOL is your desire, a software company called Veryant has a language that claims to speak both languages.

Java got a jolt of news this week while its bridegroom, Oracle, gathered the Oracle faithful at its annual Oracle World. James Gosling, considered the father of Java, reported that Java's NetBeans development environment and Glassfish, an open source application server, are more popular than ever. Gosling said this week that Glassfish, as free as any Linux distro, has been downloaded at the rate of a million copies a month.

Except that Oracle already has its own development environment. Plus an application server that it loves. There may be some overlap in that acquisition. But a million copies a month carries a lot of clout. It's things like Glassfish that make Java look attractive during a move away from COBOL. That's where Veryant's isCOBOL could take a role in the move away from COBOL. It all depends on what caliber of Java you get out of it.

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A word on how to catch our words quickly

Twitter Permit us to pause a moment to show readers how to get immediate notice of our reports. We'd also like to highlight a new reason to return to our front page during the day to see mini-updates.

Twitter makes both of these features possible. The moment a blog article is posted, Twitter notifies you if you're following @3000newswire on the service. Even if you don't participate in Twitter, the note appears in our Twitter section of this page -- right-hand column, just under the Transoft ad.

That's also the spot where our mini-updates appear, as well as in your Twitter feed if you follow us. (Do you see a pattern here? We like Twitter because tweet have to be short: 140 characters or less. For an old print headline writer like me, it's a fun challenge.) We're working on one or two Twitter extras during the workdays, sometimes with a link. We'll do Outtakes, since most stories have more material than we can use. We don't want to wear out our welcome. Readers have things to do in addition to keeping up with what's new or helpful.

You can also get our reports sent to you via other services. Twitter is hot now. But there's other technology to keep our news on your plate.

Continue reading "A word on how to catch our words quickly" »

Managing Applications Instead of Migrations

Commerce in the 3000 community has been dominated by migration tools and services. While many utility and some app vendors are selling support contracts, new business has been hard to acquire. It's been close to eight years since HP announced its exit from the community. And after two postponements, the closing of HP's support doors is less than 15 months away.

But that timeline hasn't dislodged applications from many 3000 customer workflows. So some of the same companies who offer migration engagements will also manage your 3000 apps. Speedware is discounting those services for customers who sign on until the end of 2009. Its marketing manager Chris Koppe said that HP's "end of life" label for 2010 doesn't match up to everything he sees.

2010 = End of Life is valid at some larger sites, but smaller ones will rely on 3000 apps for awhile. End of life "has a different meaning for different people," he said. "While the smaller shops have applications on the side, like mail servers, their core businesses are running on the HP 3000."

And so, Speedware (like a few other providers) sees 3000 app management as an important service to the customer. For a limited time it's waiving fees for "application support set-up and knowledge transfer" services to attract this homesteading business, designed to match the lifespan that a customer sees for its 3000s.

Continue reading "Managing Applications Instead of Migrations" »

HMS host makes do with 3000 hosts for now

HMSHost Last week we reported on a pair of 3000s running the duty free shop at two US airports. They're not alone. Brian Edminster, who manages the duty-free application and the 3000s, called to report on two more airports running the server as well as a HQ system. HMS Host, the customer, once consolidated retail services for 20 airports' duty free shops on the HQ's 3000.

HMS Host was listed as a 3000 customer on the OpenMPE online roster, compiled several years ago. The company is exiting the 3000 user community as quickly as it can, but customized applications like the duty-free app keep HMS in the fold for now, probably into 2010.

"There's still value in the business logic," said Edminster, who's studied the application with its creator since the middle '90s. He thinks the retail app is so sound that it could be used in a small chain of department stores.

Whatever the future value of the duty-free app at the HMS-run airport shops, the program is getting the job done there. HP continues to service this customer with support, but Edminster is the key link to keeping the shops online. This relationship defines one share of the 3000 community: stable apps maintained by third parties with no products or support to track for anybody who's counting the 3000 populace.

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HP 3000 work still surfaces, on contract

Even in a marketplace for a computer the vendor stopped building six years ago, jobs emerge to manage HP 3000s. I put out a Google Watch on the HP 3000 (and HP3000) years ago, and the daily results have delivered some surprising gems. Today's catch includes an opening in the Orlando area for six months of administering HP 3000 systems.

Don't all of you go applying at once now. Even though we're told the pool of 3000 IT pros is shrinking, we hear of many 3000 veterans who are at liberty, too.

What's in Orlando? The job listing is pretty detailed. It reports that ARGI, a subscription management and fulfillment application/outsourced service, leads the list:

This position will administer all aspects of HP 3000 minicomputers including the hardware and operating system. Applications include: ARGI subscription fulfillment, Maestro, 3000 Security, and Omnidex. Must be experienced in COBOL programming. Additional skills in Microsoft server, IIS and PC setup / support. Duties include developing and maintaining COBOL programs, develop and maintain visual basic programs, installing software patches & upgrades, maintaining nightly backups, and supporting PCs.

That's right, you read correctly: This job includes development in COBOL on a 3000, in the year 2009.

Continue reading "HP 3000 work still surfaces, on contract" »

Itanium: Failing HP-UX futures, or more?

ItaniumRising We take it on faith today that Intel produces most of the world's popular processors. Even Apple, once a Motorola and IBM POWER stronghold, now uses Intel chips in Macs. But the HP 3000 never got a real chance at having Intel Inside. Now that 3000 emulators are in the works and testing soon, it looks like skipping over Intel's Itanium might be a good thing for MPE/iX users.

This might come as heresy to the 3000 advocates who lobbied HP long and hard for a shot at 64-bit processing, the Valhalla of the journey via Itanium. But look at what HP-UX customers got for their waiting -- including the 3000 sites that migrated sooner than later -- and you can wonder if the delays were worth it. The 3000, and MPE/iX apps, are now more likely to find a future on an mainstream Intel chip.

This matters now, in the gray time of HP's Unix system migration. PA-RISC is old tech, but it's running a large share of the migrated 3000 sites. The Itanium failure to dominate relegated HP-UX to a niche market, a place HP couldn't imagine setting up shop. The 3000 was supposed to be the small market, even if HP didn't say so while Itanium was so new it was called Merced.

Since Hewlett-Packard plowed its engineering into Itanium, HP's Unix customers cannot host their applications on a standard computer, something HP sells very well (think ProLiants, and Linux or Windows). These Industry Standard Servers, as HP calls them, are so strong that HP is thinking of folding its printer business into a combined PC-printer organization. This would offer little help to HP-UX customers. The merger is supposed to jump-start HP's printer sales.

Back in the 90s, HP trumpeted vast plans for the chip that now represents the Only Home for HP's Unix. Then the market had its say. One PC columnist, whose last name is the same as a failed keyboard layout, asserts that Itanium hobbled more than HP-UX options, since it failed to live up to its promise. John Dvorak says the chip killed the computer industry.

Continue reading "Itanium: Failing HP-UX futures, or more?" »

3000s continue to fly free: but how many?

Pelican At last month's e3000 Community Meet, Speedware's Chris Koppe shared an estimate. The company surveyed its customer base, then called or contacted other sites from lists of known 3000 locations. At most, Koppe said, Speedware believes there are 1,000 HP 3000 customers still running systems.

The size of the known 3000 universe is as tough to track as any other kind of expanding entity. By expanding, I mean accelerating away from HP. Everyone who's remaining on the system is moving away from the vendor in relationship to their 3000 use. These customers have been in free flight, out of formation and out of contact for many years now. HP never knew for sure how many 3000s were running, by its own admission. The vendor's estimates drifter further afield with every year that it relied on resellers, then didn't close the loop on support contract renewals. About the only thing HP can report on these days is the relative silence compared to years ago.

So when we heard today from Dave Wiseman, who helped bring ScreenJet into the 3000 world late in the 1990s, about a few 3000s he encountered in-flight, we wondered: Are a pair of US airports, both using 3000 systems in duty-free shops, on anyone's radar who's tracking the size of the universe?

Continue reading "3000s continue to fly free: but how many?" »

OpenMPE searches for source money

The OpenMPE advocacy group is looking for investors. This all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization has passed HP's examination for a source code license. Now it needs money to pay for this license, along with some administration funding to make the knowledge available to its members and its virtual lab.

Above, the group's director Matt Perdue explains the situation in a video of two minutes, recorded at last month's e3000 Community Meet. He's assisted at one point by OpenMPE chair Birket Foster (pan to the right), who explains some circumstances under which HP could terminate these licenses.

A terminated MPE/iX license hasn't ever happened to customers, because they weren't using source code. But the read-only MPE/iX source is for development of patches to the 3000. This is new territory here. No third party has ever asked a constituency in public for funding to open a lab. This is the new turf of volunteer, advocate-based development. OpenMPE at least wants to assemble an independent organization more extensive than a Web-based code forge, the vehicle most open source communities use.

But because HP's license prevents anyone from discussing the terms in public, the source license doesn't have the ironclad, tangible rules and policies you'd expect for an investment in a product.

Continue reading "OpenMPE searches for source money" »

3000s still under Boeing's wings

Large customers have been among the earliest and most active migration sites, but some companies with high-flying profiles, like Boeing, will use the 3000 beyond 2010.

The aircraft manufacturer is making efforts to leave the platform as soon as possible, but the timing of its migration isn't tied to any HP support schedule. Long-time NewsWire reader Ray Legault from Boeing checked in last week and reports that some key applications may take awhile to move. Third party support and outsourced services are in place to let Boeing's application owners work at their own migration schedule.

"There are just some Finance, QA and Manufacturing apps that are left," said the Boeing systems integrator. "They want the platform to disappear ASAP. It may take a while to migrate."

If finance, quality assurance and manufacturing sound like mission-critical apps, that might be mitigated by the app's reach into the Boeing operations. The company generated $60 billion in sales last year. It's long-anticipated Dreamliner 787 is scheduled to arrive in the market just as HP ends its 3000 support.

Continue reading "3000s still under Boeing's wings" »

Just A Minute: Eloquence Update at the Meet

Eloquence database creator Michael Marxmeier gives a presentation at the recent e3000 Community Meet in this video, shot handheld from the front row of the SF Airport Hyatt hotel meeting room. Presenters had to limit talks to 15 minutes or less; most were even briefer. We grabbed a minute of his talk for the camera.

Marxmeier's slides are not yet part of the Meet's archive page we reported on earlier today. In this video he has a slide up which describes the following overall technology enhancements for the latest release of Eloquence 8:

  • Implements new thread model for Eloquence database server (improving on the default HP-UX threading)
  • Provides base for future enhancements
  • Aligns Eloquence technology to newer hardware and OS capabilities including multiple CPU cores, CPU core speed increases made more moderate, and larger memory sizes.

Continue reading "Just A Minute: Eloquence Update at the Meet" »

Community Meet slides go online

Speedware's Chris Koppe, president-elect of the HP Connect user group, announced this morning that the presentations from last week's e3000 Community Meet are available online.

The six sets of PowerPoint slides can be downloaded from

The slide sets include Koppe's own, which detail the efforts the user group is making for the 3000 community, as well as a Speedware update on migration and homesteading issues. Speedware offers a service to manage 3000 applications for customers who are homesteading, as well as its migration tools and services.

Other slide sets online today are from Transoft, presenting migration and application upgrade information; an update from ScreenJet's Alan Yeo about its modernization tools; David Floyd of the Support Group, explaining sustainability options and services; and OpenMPE secretary Donna Hofmeister, presenting details on the group's campaign to fund an MPE/iX source license (as well as services coming online soon.)

We have video and audio from these talks we're working to edit and post here in the days to come.

Our 3000 reports move into a 15th year


The 3000 NewsWire celebrates its birthday today, tying a bow on 14 years of publishing which began in 1995. In the fall of that year my partner Abby and I began our delicious journey through your community, one that remains without an end in sight. While we move into our 15th year, I remember some in the community wondered how we'd find anything to publish in Issue 2.

The NewsWire's pages, both printed and those we flung onto the fledgling World Wide Web, had to prove the concept of a 3000-only publication. We promoted the platform by highlighting the changes to its solutions. HP was already calling the HP 3000 a "legacy" system during 1995, even while people in the 3000 division worked to bring the platform up to date.

In October of 1995, HP was just starting to embrace the idea of serving small customers with the 3000's fastest technology. We called the Series 9x9 servers Kittyhawks in our Page One article, using HP's code name. (Click on the image above to read that front page.) System configurations were a major part of a 3000 customer's duty in that day, so we reported HP was finally adding an 8-user MPE/iX license to the entry model of the 9x9 line. HP said you could get the latest generation 3000 at under $50,000, we reported with an asterisk,"before disks, console and networking cards are added." Most customers needed to add one or more of these elements, but HP was still trying to improve the image of the 3000's value.

Another kind of image was important in that first issue, the 3000 database of the same name. We launched our first at-deadline issue of the FlashPaper with a report on the new leader of the IMAGE/SQL lab, Tien-You Chen. The vendor community was pleased with the move, since it looked like the database group was getting a leader devoted to results rather than policy.

Chen has a can-do style. In a meeting with several partners over TurboStore integration, someone in the meeting suggested that “an HP file system engineer would really help us here.” Chen excused himself, got up and came back with the engineer.

Of course, much of what seemed novel and important 14 years ago has aged into history. We looked over the first issue's story lineup to see that top HP executives (like CEO Lew Platt) were still praising the platform in public, when pressed. HP could show a wrinkled side of its image to the 3000 faithful, too: 3000 division executives made a show of taking off their jackets en masse at an Interex conference roundtable. Although roundtables and HP executive comments on the 3000 have evaporated, our first issue carried news that resonates in today's community. A powerful object-oriented compiler was being launched, C++, "which promised better products sooner" for the 3000. It remains a key tool to keep the 3000's future smooth, no matter how long you've decided to remain on the computer's path.

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