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Go for the Gold Book

An HP 3000 staple went on sale at eBay this week. The tool contains no toxic elements, is mobile and can be easily customized. HP 3000 experts say that keeping it maintained leads to stable system environments. The tool dates from the 1980s, but it's never going to go out of date.

GoldBook The staple is the HP 3000 Gold Book, known as the Hewlett-Packard System Support Log. HP 3000s were shipped with a Gold Book, where the diligent and professional IT manager kept log-on information, system configurations, serial numbers, support handles and more. Paul Edwards, a treasure of the 3000 community who devoted a career to teaching and developing HP 3000 skills and software, has preached the lesson of keeping a good Gold Book.

The Support Log on eBay is just a tool to organize key information about HP 3000 documentation, but it's unusual to see such an operational resource for sale. Only $9.95, but worth every penny if your homesteading shop doesn't already have one that's up to date. Edwards wrote a white paper on homesteading practices, free for the downloading from his website, that features Gold Book use for documentation. Docs, of course, are the story of the 3000 you leave as your legacy of your work at a company. The Gold Book even has a useful function when your homesteading site goes into migration mode.

Edwards explains in his paper:

The Systems Manager Notebook is vital to the proper management of any HP 3000 site and consists of many parts. Every site should have one because it contains critical hardcopy information to back up the information contained on the system. It is part of the Disaster Recovery Plan that should be in place and is used to manually recreate your environment.You can’t have too much information in it.The pages in the Gold Book supplied by HP with each system should be used to record ongoing details about each system. All parts of the notebook have to be kept current at all times. This information will be valuable when migrations are planned in the future.

Details in the Gold Book can save a system that has endured a critical failure. Edwards says that the book should include "BULDACCT.PUB.SYS, a listing of BULDJOB1 for MPE commands to rebuild the accounting system structure and settings and a listing of BULDJOB2 for the MPE commands to rebuild the COMMAND.PUB.SYS file settings."

GoldBook Tabs Mervis Equipment and Electronics Equipment Exchange of Kokomo, Ind. posted the eBay notice that expired yesterday. (Alas, without a single bid; you can contact Mervis about the book at [email protected], or phone them at 765-454-5833.) But even if you're not ready to spend a pittance on this tool, you can create your own, working with the details that Edwards defines in his homesteading white paper. Documentation, after all, is the easiest way to establish a path toward a stable future, whether that's on the 3000 or in another operating environment. You must first sustain your IT environment, documented well enough for others to understand, before you can make a transition.