Itanium: Failing HP-UX futures, or more?
HMS host makes do with 3000 hosts for now

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.

We'll have more to share about this kind of 3000 next week, but the label for this installation is often "Longtime Success Needs New Steward." Without getting too speculative, Time-Warner once operated its subscription and premium fulfillment services for its publications in the Central Florida area. That's precisely the level of company that's got intentions to leave the platform, but cannot find a replacement solution that fits as well as its 20-year-tested business logic in COBOL.

These kinds of sites and customers represent opportunity for the marketplace in general. If you cannot find a qualified person who can take a 6-month contract to administer, you might move the app to an outsourced hosting provider. If the app looks creaky but runs fast, you could modernize without leaving MPE/iX. As we heard today from a consultant and app support expert, "there many miles to go before all these 3000s go to sleep." In the meantime, some need a watchful eye.

In Orlando they need "excellent COBOL programming skills and above average Visual Basic programming skills." If you've acquired both those skills and have a yen to live near Disney World, get in touch.