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3000 shareware lives at 3k.com

3ktinyc_t Some programs from the former HP shareware server Jazz are online at Speedware and Client Systems hosts. But some are not -- especially the 3000 tools written by the user community. One of the best repositories of such 3000 programs is still online and serving software. 3k.com is, as its founder and curator Chris Bartram says, "a site with arguably the largest collection of public domain/shared software, or links to the such software on the Internet."

We agree, and want to note that 3k.com was always a Web resource with more scope than the now-defunct Jazz. The 3k Associates site hosts a 3000 technical Wiki, did a 3000 FAQ before that, hosts a raft of technical papers, has a link to the freeware from 3000/9000 support vendor Beechglen, points to another set of tools from Allegro Consultants, and has been home to the biggest directory of HP 3000 software products. How long has this resource been around? Well, 3k.com is a two-character Web address. You simply can't buy those anymore, having been snapped up long before the 3000 business was closed off at HP.

HP closed down Jazz one year ago this month, but the vendor did more than pull the plug on the freeware server. As we've reported before, the Jazz programs are now walled off by a 40-page End User License Agreement. At least the ones that HP engineers developed for free use by the community. The third-party tools that were hosted on Jazz aren't covered by the HP EULA. That's where 3k.com comes in, during a time when OpenMPE is still working to try to get its hosting site open to the public.

The OpenMPE initiative will add a new dimension to a 3000 Web resource, whenever it finally goes online. The servers will host the Jazz contents from HP, as well as the invent3k public development server facility. It's taking longer than expected to bring OpenMPE's Jazz and invent3k.openmpe.org online. The holdup is the state that HP left its Jazz pages in: full of HP logos and references that the vendor demands be excised by third parties.

It's been suggested that this kind of Web housecleaning is a straightforward process using perl or awk, but until recently the volunteer OpenMPE team didn't have this kind of experience. HP certainly knew perl and awk, but it just turned over Jazz in its unauthorized rehosting state. OpenMPE gained a new volunteer this week to help in its Jazz hosting. But HP could have spared the advocacy group, Speedware and Client Systems all the legally required exorcism work.

Shareware, by a popular definition, is software without restrictions for use or sharing, donated to a community. It's good that Speedware, Client Systems and even more so, 3k, have maintained the concept. OpenMPE will have to abide by that nettlesome HP EULA to keep the vendor's donated programs online. This release could have been done with more elegance and attention to the spirit of the free tools. While it's fair to appreciate the work that someone in HP did to free up Jazz's shareware, the delays in presentation by the new hosts illustrate another spot where HP "didn't think of that." OpenMPE directors say that answer was uttered frequently by HP while it responded to OpenMPE's requests.

We'd say "Free Jazz now," but that would involve OpenMPE ignoring the HP EULA. With the likes of 3k.com's wide array, as well as Speedware and Client Systems sites (both were delayed by the HP logo purge), the software is free now. Just not as free of the memory of HP's need for controls while it exits your community.

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