Previous month:
February 2010
Next month:
April 2010

March 2010

Training becomes a critical commodity

HP 3000 expertise is a crucial IT element at some companies, but that doesn't mean that it's valued. A recent lively discussion on the OpenMPE mailing list showed how how the demand for MPE know-how might not be outpacing supply -- but only because there's no evidence of budget for training.

The 30-message stream on the list starts when Vindoh Kumar of L&T Infotech asked OpenMPE list readers for training in MPE/IX commands, SUPRTOOL, QEDIT, QUERY, Powerhouse, VPlus, TurboIMAGE, KSAM, JCL -- even Allbase, which probably wasn't installed on more than 100 customer sites in 15 years of availability. The list was large, the company based in India had testimonials from Freescale. What an opportunity.

Not to some MPE experts reading. "HP community, please don't do this," Janet Hiller replied. "It just takes away American jobs. I was just outsourced from my job of over 20 years and it was to IBM in India. The more we teach them, the more jobs we will lose."

This was not the first request for MPE training from a manager in India. One of the most notable came from a company with a lot more 3000 experience: HP. The community's last training business entrepreneur had a story to share about that, one that didn't include a budget.

Continue reading "Training becomes a critical commodity" »

3000 batch transition offers some solutions

Migrating HP 3000 sites face multiple tasks and challenges to duplicate the system's ability. But reports from customers making transitions show that the MPE/iX batch and job-stream functions are being duplicated in a wide array of solutions. It's not unusual to see such job control replacement require some customized coding of scripts.

However, Speedware's product manager Nicolas Fortin said his company's clients make commercial scheduler software work for the appropriate size of company, if manual scripting is not in a migrator's skill set.

"Some migrators are either using their own supplied concept/software for batch scheduling, or we are recommending that companies to use commercial job scheduler software with their job-converted code," Fortin said. He adds that for companies which are doing a migration themselves, he's seen them either retain the MPE JCL on the target platform (using a product like Speedware's AMXW) -- or convert the JCL to target-platform scripts. This scripting is being done manually, or aided by a tool provided by a migration solution provider.

Continue reading "3000 batch transition offers some solutions" »

Redmond reader exaggerates 3000 greatly

The world of Windows is wide, but some of its pros have narrow views. A recent column in Redmond, the "independent voice of the Microsoft IT community," aired a view of the HP 3000 that praised the system while distorting its condition.

Like Mark Twain's famous reply to an errant obituary, Redmond's rumors of a total 3000 demise were greatly exaggerated.

Editor Doug Barney invited readers to nominate their favorite dead companies in the magazine's March issue. Digital, now pumping out the successful ProLiant business servers as alternatives to the HP 3000, led Barney's list. (Commodore was No. 2.) Not satisfied with sticking to facts, Barney then invited readers to nominate their favorite dead product, or as he quipped, "products that have gone the way of the dodo." You just know where this one is heading, and it's not in the direction of independent thinking.

Continue reading "Redmond reader exaggerates 3000 greatly" »

Get specific about access from IPs

Is there a way to force a particular user ID to use a specific IP address? In other words, I want to give a machine a static IP and only allow this person to access the HP 3000 from that PC with the static IP.

Tracy Johnson replies:

A simple logon UDC should suffice:

IF HPREMIPADDR = "aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd" then
  ECHO Welcome.
  ECHO Evil message here.

Bob Schlosser of the Support Group inc adds:

You can set up a logon UDC that checks that the var HPLOCIPADDR is equal to the device (PC) that you want them to use. Something like this:

IF "!HPLOCIPADDR" <> "123.456.789.321"        change "123.456.789.321" to
your IP address

Using this we verify that the user is on the correct (assigned) IP address, and log them off if not.

Continue reading "Get specific about access from IPs" »

3000 hardware pricing a classy affair

Homesteading customers have been finding a wide range of prices for used HP 3000 hardware. (It's all used by now, since HP hasn't built a new system for more than six years.) But there's one clear demarcation on the price line: systems sold with a license, and those with just software.

The difference, as HP has insisted, is the legal nature of the 3000. Unlicensed HP 3000s don't refer to the iron, but instead to the MPE/iX operating system needed to define a box as a 3000. A few brokers who don't want to be named report that even N-Class systems can be bought for under $10,000, if you don't need to prove to anyone the server is licensed. One such server moved in the UK last year for $9,000.

On occasion, a company will part with a licensed N-Class for under $20,000, although it generally will be on the lower end of the line. One system manager checked in with a story of winning a server at auction at that price.

Continue reading "3000 hardware pricing a classy affair" »

3000s exit emergency solutions with dispatch

Sentinel Once upon a time, HP 3000s dominated the 911 dispatch sector. In 2000, while it announced that it would call its server the e3000, HP boasted that the computer directed emergency calls for 90 percent of US cities of more than 100,000, tapping an application from PSSI.

But some cities with smaller populations have taken a shine to other solutions for routing fire, police and medical calls. Sumter, SC had its city council approve the funding to move off its 3000 earlier this month, and officials in the IT group there felt they were among the last to make a change. An article from the Sumter Item reported the council gave a green light to changing the system that controls emergency lights.

The new server, which is a Sentinel system, is used throughout the state and is a replacement for the current HP 3000 platform being used. Sumter is the last place to make the switch, which will cost about $118,683.87. But that money will come out of the E-911 fund rather that the city's budget directly, and $47,473.54 of that cost will be refunded by the state.

The Sentinel replacement is sold by a Motorola division, but its description shows how a computer platform is the least element in a small county's migration considerations. The words PC, Windows or even the phrase "the computer" don't appear in the Sentinel data sheet. 911 has become computer telephony.

Continue reading "3000s exit emergency solutions with dispatch" »

Connect posts hot Tech Forum sessions

The Connect HP enterprise users group has posted session descriptions for its June HP Technology Forum. The online catalog lists hundreds of talks that comprise the HP-centric content which makes the conference a unique value for managers of HP business-class systems.

The sessions are HP-centric in a way beyond their subject matter, focused on HP's solutions. They're delivered in very large part by HP staff members, although some are presented by HP's partners, too. (The catalog lists a few customers leading sessions; there's a strong OpenVMS and NonStop contingent providing that kind of content.)

But the three-plus days is one of the best ways to meet HP, especially the company that has changed so much since the last HP 3000s rolled off the line in 2003. "The Triple Bottom Line of Green Data Centers" is a talk to be given by William Kosik, HP's Green Technology Director. If you didn't even know HP has such a director, or wonder where Green might be paying off for HP, a bottom line session could bring some green to an enterprise.

Continue reading "Connect posts hot Tech Forum sessions" »

Migration pace prompts older system value

Economic experts peg the start of the Great Recession as 2009, but it hit even earlier than that for IT managers in the 3000 community. About 2007, says the Support Group inc. founder Terry Floyd, who has watched migration projects stall out. As a result of the stall, his clients across two companies -- the allied Entsgo unit sells MANMAN ERP alternatives -- started upgrading 3000s.

The 3000 upgrades didn't start up because migration projects died or failed after implementation. However, a failure to fund an established project made newer 3000s a better value. A purchase of a 3000, more powerful but not the latest, gave his clients some time to homestead longer -- whether that is their long-term plan, or just an interim step.

Another support company which sells 3000s reports that the popular upgrades haven't been the ultimate generation of 3000 models, HP's A-Class and N-Class systems. Steve Suraci of Pivital Solutions said the A-Class servers don't make that much sense to a company using the 9x8 Series of 3000s, for example. The A's don't offer enough of a jump in performance to justify the price premium still attached to the newer model.

Continue reading "Migration pace prompts older system value" »

Support partners bundle performance tool

PGG Lund Performance Solutions is partnering with the MPE Support Group in a new alliance of players with a long history working together. Lund is adding a cross-platform analysis tool to the new MPESG customers the companies will sign up.

A press release from Lund, which says it's been offering performance guidance to 3000 sites for 27 years, highlights the addition of the ClearView Gallery tool, which collects statistics from HP 3000, HP 9000, Linux, Sun Solaris, IBM AIX, Windows and XP hosts.

Today’s IT organization is under enormous pressure to reduce costs while improving performance and response. The ClearView Gallery tool will be included in all new MPE Support Group contracts for support, service and maintenance. This will allow MPESG to offer the full spectrum of professional services that respond to clients’ immediate technical challenges. Also, it will give MPESG and their customers’ access to the 27 years of MPE and HP-UX performance expertise offered at Lund Performance Solutions.

Continue reading "Support partners bundle performance tool " »

Supporting More by Doing Less, But Better

2010 will turn out to be a year of opportunity for part of the HP 3000 ecosystem. Support providers will be taking on new clients, the customers who have followed HP faithfully -- some might say blindly -- ever since their first systems switched on 15, 20, or 30 years ago.

Suraci-04May But those decades of support from HP end in about nine months, a turn of events that will turn those still running a 3000 -- but faithful to HP -- toward independent support. Steve Suraci of Pivital Solutions sees good prospects to add fresh clients for support companies like his.

"There's a bunch of customers that will stick with HP until they can't anymore," he said, "and that's a group that will need to find another alternative. Hopefully at that point they do their homework and can separate between the good and bad providers -- and we become one of those who are given an opportunity to be in their plans."

Pivital specializes in HP 3000 issues and support, including hardware, software and applications. Suraci's company, which has been in the community for two decades, is practicing a mission that narrows its focus to expand its client base. Like a few others serving homesteaders, they want to deliver better results by sticking to what they do best. That strategy is all about level of service.

Continue reading "Supporting More by Doing Less, But Better" »

2 Ways HP Eats Its Own Dog Food

When a system supplier touts a product, it's one level of endorsement. When that supplier uses the same system to run its own operations, that's a more significant marker. HP's Unix and Integrity spokesmen are talking about Hewlett-Packard eating its own dog food: The HP-UX server environments they'd like to see replace your HP 3000s.

The Web posts at are written by spokesmen like Jacob Van Ewyk, who works in Business Critical Systems Marketing. He reported that HP's own internal IT ops use Integrity and Superdome servers in two ways: to service specialized mission-critical applications, as well as providing a smaller footprint for company-wide apps. While such stuff is written to promote HP's servers, it's also an insight into new technology terms and insider IT organization. A customer asked Van Ewyk if HP had its own dog food on the IT menu.

One of topics I addressed is whether we use HP Integrity servers and HP-UX 11i in our internal infrastructure. Indeed, we do. While it may also be used for exception types of projects (ex. Mission critical environments that can't use our standard services), both our Shared Application Server and Shared Database Server environments utilize application stacking in HP-UX 11i, Serviceguard (and Serviceguard Extensions for RAC in the database environment), Virtual Server Environment, and more.

Application stacking, you might ask? A new term for a familiar concept. HP 3000s have always hosted many applications on a single server. This was often not the case in the Unix environments of the early 21st Century, though. It was often one app to a server, with many instances of HP-UX -- running multiple points of failure.

Continue reading "2 Ways HP Eats Its Own Dog Food" »

No contest, some skeptics on OpenMPE vote

Connor One team of people who have been pushing back HP's retirement for the 3000, OpenMPE, have announced a new board of old members and fresh faces. Three volunteers chose not to continue as directors for 2010-11, which brings the fresh blood of Jack Connor, Keith Wadsworth and Connie Sellitto into a group that operates without a building, sales and revenue models, or much respect from some community corners.

SellittoThe last two elections for the board's open seats have been held with no opposition: candidates equaled the positions in play. The group's secretary Tracy Johnson said "a voter asked why not just acclaim the candidates, since each was guaranteed a seat on the board? My simple reply was that OpenMPE’s By-Laws don’t have an acclamation procedure." He said even an uncontested election was a necessary step.

Our next board meeting was scheduled for after the election, so we might as well let the election take its course. A Candidate might have decided at the last minute to drop out of the race. Then we’d have to draft someone again. Besides, it was an incredible adventure to log into our hosting provider and update OpenMPE’s Candidate and Balloting Web pages! As some have noticed, some of our Web pages have not been updated since May of 2009, so I was able to fix many of those.

WadsworthThis year's voting through the Web site netted fewer than 50 ballots, including those from some current board members. One support provider in the 3000 community noted that several firms with new MPE/iX source code licenses service more current 3000 customers than the total of 2010's OpenMPE voters.

 "The reality is that at least four of the US-based licenses already have support operations with more paying customers than OpenMPE will have voters in their election," the CEO from a support company shared with us via e-mail. "How about an article targeting the realities of their situation? They have no business plan, no operations, no investors, and more importantly no income: yet they aspire to be a support provider?"

Continue reading "No contest, some skeptics on OpenMPE vote" »

It may be later than it looks, to a few 3000s

Daylight Saving Time started in the US early Sunday morning, and your HP 3000 should have kept up with the forward progress of the outside world's clocks. But if it didn't, then independent consultant Keven Miller has shared a repair.

"My DAYLIGHT job was still on the old TZ dates," he said of the list of trigger-dates for changing the 3000's clock. "I checked my TZTAB file (which was correct), and fixed my job."

HP supplied a new file for 3000s in 2007, when the US government and a few others changed crossover dates for the spring and fall time shifts. Miller shared an updated job stream to keep the 3000 on time.

Continue reading "It may be later than it looks, to a few 3000s" »

See how to seed MPE's future via OpenMPE

Mar12 Webcast-1 You can watch our first video broadcast online this morning, six minutes of screen time that sums up what the numbers mean this month at the OpenMPE brain-trust. The group's board of directors election ends today; vote if you are a member, and join for free if you're not a member. The directors running will be seated later this month, and we will report the tallies next week. There's not much mystery about who will be a director for this year -- five candidates, five open positions.

What's unknown is another count, the total of money received as contributions for the MPE source code license which OpenMPE has been granted. It's a matter of paying HP's bill this month, and the group needs corporate and individual monies to pay HP for this license. As we've said before, we're stepping up with a modest check. We invite you to do the same, and I make a case for why you should during my six minutes of close-up. (Click on this link to go to the NewsWire's YouTube channel to watch.)

If you're got a bit of budget on hand, in checks as small as ours or even bigger, this revenue for OpenMPE could make the entire eight years of its work matter so much for the future of the system. Any company or individual who wants to invest in the OpenMPE license can send checks (made out to OpenMPE, Inc.):

OpenMPE, Inc.
c/o Treasurer
PO Box 460091 San Antonio, TX 78246-0091

If you've pledged already, today is more than a deadline for casting votes. It's time to get your investment working if you plan to use the 3000 into 2011 and beyond.

MB Foster adds auto-magic sign-on solution

MB Foster has announced a partnership with education software provider Systemtech, a Danish company extending its single-sign-on solutions into North America with an exclusive support center and distribution deal. The EasyIQ software will be integrated for university and K-12 customers across the US and Canada. Birket Foster said Systemtech sought out MB Foster.

While the new solution operates solely in the Windows environments that are popular among higher education clients, it's a logical next step for Foster's HP 3000 enterprises. "We've been helping people integrate stuff for almost 33 years," Foster said. "This is merely an extension of our normal integration mission."

Single sign-on is a mission-critical requirement in education systems, as students and faculty need secure access across a range of applications that share data between the apps. The HP 3000 didn't offer such a range of services -- unless you count the unsecured power of Vesoft's GOD program that granted absolute access. "Your background is actually checked with EasyIQ, so you get access to the systems you're allowed to access." Foster said. "With GOD, it was never checked."

As customers have moved off single-system 3000 environments into "a multitude of specialized application platforms, they need to have a way of identifying who their users were," Foster said. Systemtech has evolved its solution over time, "so what this does is consolidate the identity management issue. It allows identity management to come from a single source, and get it delivered to where it's needed." This gives the software more than simple sign-on capabilities. EasyIQ provisions data based on the same identity across the environments that are replacing the HP 3000.

Continue reading "MB Foster adds auto-magic sign-on solution" »

Europeans see the future of HP's invite-only technology conferences

If you are wondering what the Hewlett-Packard plans are for the future of the in-person conference, you can look no further today than the Realise the Future HP Technology@Work 2010 event next month in Frankfurt, Germany. The April 27-29 event is by invitation only, sponsored by some of HP's biggest vendor partners: Oracle, Intel, Citrix, Microsoft, VMWare and more. One of the Silver Sponsors is HP enterprise user group Connect.

A conference controlled entirely by HP, Technology@Work will include 22 talks with the word "Integrity" in their title. This is a view of HP's future enterprise and work computer planning, considering that there are 174 sessions scheduled across three days of talks. HP isn't shaping its view of the future around servers or environments. Probably not news to the large-scale HP customer, but this approach might surprise the HP 3000 pro who's continuing with HP beyond a migration.

Rather than organization around environment, HP has shaped its Technology@Work briefings around tracks such as Cloud, Virtualization, Sustainable IT (energy efficiency), Innovation and Elasticity/Converged Infrastructure. There is a track on Industry Standard Servers (the HP ProLiant line, not Integrity) and Storage Solutions. But the days of understanding systems as an edge in business computing are over, by the looks of HP's conference lineup.

HP is calling it the most significant technology event of 2010.

Continue reading "Europeans see the future of HP's invite-only technology conferences" »

Of safe names, and safer 3000 documents

I've read about that Florida site where the system manager passed away without much notice. It sounds like documentation is pretty important in that kind of crisis. What do you recommend as a minimum?

Paul Edwards of Paul Edwards & Associates replies:

There are a couple of papers in PDF format that can be downloaded that deal with documentation that
every HP 3000 site should have on hand for these kinds of situations. The contents of a System Manager Notebook include hardware and software information that is vital to recovering your system in any type of disaster. The rest of the company’s busines operating procedures has to be combined with the IS plan to form a comprehensive corporate disaster recovery contingency plan.

The Notebook contains hardware model and serial numbers; license agreements for all software and hardware; a copy of all current maintenance agreements, equipment warranty information, complete applications documentation of program logic; data file layouts and system interaction, along with system operator run books and any other appropriate documentation. There is a wealth of information contained in each HP 3000 that can be printed and stored offsite that is critical to a recovery effort.

I'm trying to figure out what characters are really safe to use in file names in the HFS namespace. I was recently surprised to learn that the percent character has problems in MPE.  If I STORE and RESTORE a file with a percent sign in its name, it seems that the percent sign and all following characters are dropped from the name. To be completely safe, do I need to restrict myself to uppercase and lowercase letters, digits, and underscores? 

Cathlene McCrae of HP Support replies:

The help file for the build command in the HP 3000 reports incorrectly that file names can begin with or contain any of the following characters: a-z, A-Z, 0-9, _, ., ~, `, $, %, ^, *, {, },+,|,:

Continue reading "Of safe names, and safer 3000 documents" »

Connect opens Tech Forum sign-up doors

TechForumLogo The Connect HP user group opened registration for its annual North American show on Friday, the earliest opening I can recall since the event launched in 2005. Although this conference has little to offer the HP 3000 homesteader, any company who's considering HP gear as a replacement for their 3000 should find plenty to justify a trip between June 21-24 to Las Vegas.

HP's needs have helped to plant the show in the desert during the summer, since the vendor has always provided thousands of attendees to swell the crowds. Professional certification on HP solutions is offered throughout the conference, for anyone who needs to show proficiency in HP's Unix, NonStop, Windows or networking products. It's not a bad idea, if you're adding new skills to your IT resume, to aim for a certification.

The other advantage to HP's heavy involvement in the event is the HP Confidential Disclosure briefings. If knowing about coming product release specifics will help you plan that HP-UX server buy, then signing up for one of these is a unique value for a small or medium-sized customer. (The bigger ones get these briefings without having to travel.)

But being onsite at the Mandalay Bay Casino and Hotel mid-week wins you more than HP's peeks. If you're diligent and attend the right meetings, you can expand your network to extend your base of experience. There's nothing like forming a contact who's trying out things you haven't yet implemented. In-person meetings make that develop faster. Then there's the Expo, which managed a healthy show floor population among vendors even last year, a period when travel budgets were slashed all around.

Continue reading "Connect opens Tech Forum sign-up doors" »

Voting remains apace on uncontested ballot

OpenMPE is holding an election this month that amounts to a confirmation for the community. The eight-year-old organization, which Connect user group president Chris Koppe says is carrying the advocacy torch for the 3000, names and selects its directors each spring. This year five seats are up for grabs, although the reaching comes from the candidates' commitment to stretch themselves.

Sitting directors Donna Hofmeister (secretary) John Wolff (vice-president) and Walter Murray (ex-HP, customer) are not seeking another term. Hofmeister resigned late in 2009. Filling their places will be three new volunteers, Connie Selitto (customer), Jack Connor (Abtech support) and Keith Wadsworth (Orbit Software). The voting continues through next week.

Why bother to vote? This week in Texas we held a primary election, and many of the candidates on both Republican and Democratic ballots had no opposition. Abby and I voted because it was our responsibility as citizens. If you don't participate, you can't carp about the condition of your community. We're voting today from the organization's balloting Web page. (You will need your membership number.) Candidate bios are up there, too.

More companies than HP ever imagined will be using the 3000 starting next year, when there's no HP around to offer even the peace-of-mind support you rarely used. Independents will serve the community, HP partners former and present (if they do non-3000 business). An independent council with a source code license is a good organization to join, and this election is the first tangible thing a homesteader can participate in if they're new. The membership is even less than Connect's value-priced $50. It's free, this year.

Continue reading "Voting remains apace on uncontested ballot" »

Independent free training hits road for UX

While HP toasted a debut of a multi-million dollar US-based support center, an independent service provider is spreading business system intelligence at a more affordable cost: free.

Source Direct has hired HP-UX guru Bill Hassell, after his many years of self-owned consulting services, and this spring Hassell is on the road. He says he's happy serving the HP-UX community from a new position. "I joined Source Direct in November 2009 and loving every minute of it," he said. After more than 20 years teaching and training in HP's Unix, Hassell is giving one-day seminars for Source Direct in eight US cities between now and May 26.

His classes in Unix administration and power tips run 11-5 at his stops, usually at a hotel in a major city. March 10's class is in Pittsburgh at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel (RSVP to Andrea Ditillo at 412-951-5009); March 11 in Philadelphia at the Sheraton Society Hill (Kath Cropper at 610-643-4655 x143); and March 17 in Phoenix at the Marriott Courtyard, Scottsdale Downtown (Bob Mariner at 602-943-4649, x132).

These are the kind of talents that can help established 3000 pros retain jobs in a changing economy. HP has been doing some hiring in the support community for its part, but the latest round of new jobs came at a price in Arkansas.

Continue reading "Independent free training hits road for UX" »

A 3000 Link to Connect Leadership

Koppe Chris Koppe is now in his third month of presidency of the Connect user group, but he's clocking in many years of volunteering on behalf of HP customers including the 3000 community. Koppe, who's been involved with Connect since the group's days as the Encompass enterprise user group, looks to the 3000 as his own foundation.

"It's where my roots are," he said when we talked after the user group had named its 2010 officers and explored this year's goals. User group work has given him about 20 hours weekly of extra duties, something he's managing along with the life of being a dad and directing Speedware's marketing operations. But he considers the user group as a means to illuminate the 3000's future.

"I was always trying to be the torchbearer for the 3000 community during those transitions," he said, reflecting on the middle of last decade and the Interex demise. Koppe got approached by Encompass president Kristi Browder while he was still on the Interex board, as Encompass reached out to connect with the 3000 crowd. The Connect group is reaching for more 3000 leadership for next year, too. Steve Davidek, who's still managing a 3000 for a Nevada municipality, is the president-in-waiting for 2011.

Continue reading "A 3000 Link to Connect Leadership" »

OpenMPE legacy: Knowledge door now ajar

Although the OpenMPE advocacy group isn't going away -- far from it, during its eighth annual election this week -- these volunteers already have a legacy. The HP source code license for MPE/iX and TurboIMAGE will improve the customer experience of those lucky sites that have a relationship with a license holder.

Last week I used the word lucky in describing the license holders as well, a miscue that Adager's Alfredo Rego noted almost as soon as I told the community about our source code license stories. Rego said in part, "Even though I am under strict non-disclosure on this, I can assure you that 'luck' had nothing to do with HP's decisions. Hint: 'Decades of hard (and meaningful) work' is more like it."

I should have used the word fortunate rather than lucky, but Rego talked more about that required hard work the day after the license holders were announced. Any such holder will need advanced technical skills to make something out of the millions of lines of source HP ships this month.

"The source code by itself is a dead entity," he said. "You have to know how to bring it alive." Adager's know-how goes so deep that one of its former lab engineers, IMAGE co-creator Fred White, has a database flag named after him inside IMAGE called "FW." With that kind of insider skill inside the third party community, Rego wondered why HP needed to limit the use of MPE/iX knowledge at all during 2011.

Continue reading "OpenMPE legacy: Knowledge door now ajar" »

FTP may fail both migrators, homesteaders

Unix history Some HP 3000 sites use FTP everyday, but others found the stale support for MPE's FTP one more reason to migrate. Recent news indicates that the File Transfer Protocol, secured or unsecured, has had freshness problems of its own, regardless of your hosting environment.

One of the world's biggest hosting organizations, Google, is ending support for FTP and SFTP this spring. If you're unaware of Google's FTP support, it's no wonder. The only way this venerable standard enters the Google customer base is through Blogger, the blog creation and hosting tool that's pushing up on its 10th birthday soon. Early bloggers used Blogger, a tool that was simple and quite a value (at free).

Before there was a 3000 NewsWire blog, I tuned up my blogging skills at Blogger. And right up to this day, my writing workshop blog The Write Stuff has been created using the Google tool. I chose to transfer my content files to my own host some years ago (at least four), while FTP didn't have the cracks in its armor that Google points out now. If you're using FTP or SFTP, Google wants you to reconsider. I didn't know it, but FTP is one of the oldest protocols on the Internet, nearly four decades old by now. That's older than the bedrock for HP-UX, whose System III roots were born in the middle 1970s. FTP was almost 15 years old when HP-UX hit the streets, as the chart above shows (click for an expanded image).

Standards are good, but few have can claim the tenure of MPE's design. If a 3000 site would rather not trace their file transfer's roots back four decades, then both the homesteader and migrator will be in the same place: looking at more secure ways than FTP to shift data.

Continue reading "FTP may fail both migrators, homesteaders" »