Charles Finley, a stalwart member of the 3000 community whose reseller firm once moved thousands of HP 3000s, is now working on migrations at Transformix. He was searching for a fresher copy of the job submission scripting language SLS, rumored to be contained the Contributed Software Library (CSL). "I just received a CSL file in compressed format. Does anyone have software to decompress this? I was told that it's a cFA compressed file."
Getting a program to decompress cFA files pointed to SolutionSoft, a software supplier which was once a player in the backup competition of the 1990s. The company remains in business, but its Time Machine Y2K product is the only HP 3000 solution still being offered from its Web site. Compression Storage Manager, a late-'90s product which compressed the CSL file Finley received, is long gone from the SolutionSoft lineup.
The object here -- getting the free SLS job scheduler -- got complicated when HP closed its Jazz freeware server at the end of 2008. SLS isn't one of the Jazz programs that got rehosted by either Speedware or Client Systems last year. SLS was created by an independent third party and appears to have vanished since HP took its server offline.
Where to go from here? Finley and his crew at Xformix reported back that they've resolved the decompression issue on their own; SLS support is now a part of Transformix Tools package. While this problem got a workaround, it illustrates the challenge the 3000 homesteader faces. Freeware disappears, some suppliers go out of business, others simply bury their MPE/iX products to move on toward other markets. We'd like to track these deaths and the internments, but we'll need your help.
A recently reported casualty is E-Mail Inc. The company supplied a 3000-based e-mail program during the last decade and even migrated HP Deskmanager files to Windows, but 3k Software's Chris Bartram said he discovered nobody home at the company's Web sites or phone number.
INLEX/3000, an integrated library cataloging system developed for the 3000, has been dumped by its creators, even though it's still in use at US libraries. Consultant Jon Diercks searched for some expertise in INLEX used by libraries to manage card catalogs and check-outs. His need revolved around a migration of data. "I have a client wanting to export some of their old data," he reported. "I can see it's a mish-mash of IMAGE, KSAM and other files, so I could use Suprtool. But I don't fully understand the structure."
Thus his need for some connection with INLEX. The vendor Sirsi stopped development and support in 2003, shifting its efforts to Unicorn, which runs on platforms including Windows and Linux, IBM's AIX, Sun's Solaris, HP's HP-UX, and Digital's Unix on the Alpha servers.
HP's got a document that might help find equivalents for things like INLEX for the migration-bound. HP is still hosting a PDF file that reports equivalent products -- on other platforms -- but the chart is dated 2003.
Bartram's 3k site has many freeware programs that aren't hosted elsewhere, but SLS is not among them. He's also got a good starting point for the full list of 3000 software that was once sold and supported and is still in use in the community. "I have a list of HP 3000 vendors on the 3k.com site technical wiki which anyone is free to update, but I don't have the time or energy to do the research myself: www.3k.com/twiki/bin/view/TWiki/Hp3000VendorNames "