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Updates on Extensions to the 3000

There are a few stories budding in the community this week about extending the 3000's future, but they're not quite ripe enough to pluck for all the details. You ought to know anyway what's in the works to make a 3000 work harder.

The stories cover software for the 3000, something a lot easier to change than the hardware in the eighth year since HP built a 3000. The long-awaited and much-debated 3000 emulator is making progress, according to the Chief Technical Officer at Stromasys. By the week of the coming HP Technology Forum, the company will update the community about how long it will take to move the "cross-platform virtualization" software from testing to supported product for sale.

CTO Robert Boers extended a few details in advance of the announcement. HP's technology to permit a boot-up of MPE/iX is being shared with Stomasys. Boers calls it a "technology transfer," adding that he's signed several HP non-disclosure agreements to gain access to the knowledge.

For more than a decade, the technology that turns a PA-RISC server into an HP 3000 has been discussed in public by the community. Most reports concur that Processor Dependent Code (PDC) is written into stable storage on a PA-RISC system -- and MPE/iX looks for that code during the cold-boot process. Any virtualization solution is going to need the magic code to feed to MPE/iX so a boot could succeed. It says something about HP's goodwill to the community that any transfer of technology is going forward in 2010, the final year of HP's 3000 operations. We'll have more details on this story soon.

Then there's still activity coming up for open source software users managing 3000s. Way back in 2004, HP advised homesteaders to get savvy on using open source, if homesteading post-HP was to succeed.

Open source opening soon: Brian Edminster of Applied Technologies checked in a little while back to let us know that his outstanding project to corral open source for the 3000 is still forthcoming.

I enjoyed your recent Community Counts Homestead Resources post, although it's a painful reminder of my lack of recent progress with getting online. If nothing else, it was a swift kick to get me moving faster on it, and a not so gentle reminder that time is a precious commodity too.

Edminster, who's been managing the 3000 IT operations for Host HMS duty-free shops as part of his business, promises to update us on the open source site.

We'll get back to you with details as they surface on these efforts to extend the lifespan of HP 3000s.