Even though much of the Hewlett-Packard expertise in the 3000 has moved on, users of the system can still find a few gifts of advice during this holiday. A show of goodwill and stewardship, admirable in its novelty, is on the Web and in e-mail readers this month.
The giver is Cathlene Mc Rae, an HP Senior Response Center Engineer who's been making a habit of teaching the community about nuances of the 3000. There is no template for how HP will work its experts during this time of decline of the vendor's 3000 services. Mc Rae is giving away instruction on the 3000-L mailing list, answering questions with the experience of a lab engineer. (She also attended this year's e3000 Community Meet, as shown in the video snap above.)
During the last 30 days Mc Rae has posted advice and procedures to resolve a dead LDEV2 drive, secure the 3000's FTP services, follow IMAGE jumbo dataset rules and practices, and fix a customer's problem with a LISTFILE command and a KSAMXL file.
A more personal notice shows the intention of this remarkable HP resource. Mc Rae has posted the first online animated Christmas holiday card from HP to the 3000 community. "It's warming to know that HP still has a soul," said Ray Shahan of 3000 site Republic Title of Texas. When you visit the Blue Mountain card, you can reply to keep the holiday spirit flowing. Staying in touch with each other will be important in the year to come, especially to celebrate a message of peace.
Mc Rae's efforts are being lauded by the subscribers to the 3000-L mailing list and newsgroup. Since the tech support is shared with the full 3000 community, rather than only HP support customers, you can receive it as a gift.
"The spirit of Christmas is not found under a tree," the card reads, complete with soulful soundtrack. Mc Rae's card is "wishing you peace and love at Christmas and always." These simple messages communicate the sentiment that remains in the hearts of HP's 3000 experts who never wished for an end to customer relationships.
The caliber of her advice shows the value of the gift, to the readers of the list. "Thank you for this info," said consultant Craig Lalley about the KSAM instruction. "It's nice to know I can still learn new stuff after 30 years of working with the HP3000."
"Cathlene does it again," said system manager Tom Lang. "The solution/answer is as much as 100 words. As I've said before, it's not just what she says, it's how she says it -- brief, succinct, clear and simple."
In the months to come, HP will empty its tree of official support resources. But homesteaders, and the migrators who remain on the server for now, might all gain comfort in the hope that this kind of goodwill will remain once HP ends its 3000 operations. Answers from the heart could well be gifts that don't have to appear on any financial report. Here's our thanks to the gift of shared 3000 experience that keeps on giving.
We'll be taking tomorrow off in celebration of Christmas here at the NewsWire, visiting with our new grandson Noah and his parents Elisha and Nick, practicing our tradition of seeing a movie on Christmas Day (Sherlock Holmes), and enjoying our big tree lit by our publisher Abby's hand -- just as she lit the candle of the NewsWire more than 14 years ago. We'll be back on Monday with a look back at an important year to the 3000's future, plus a look ahead at an active year to come for your community. Happy Holidays!
Ron Seybold, Editor
Abby Lentz, Publisher