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Invent3K public server gains GNU tools

The public access HP 3000 called Invent3K2 gained new set of tools this morning, another improvement set up by OpenMPE secretary and system manager Tracy Johnson. After being offline for close to two years, the development server is now expanding beyond the original Invent3k capabilities.

Johnson reported that "Mark Klein's GNU tools have now been installed," open source programs such as gzip/bzip, autoconf and more. Klein was the founder of the 3000's open source feast back in the 1990s, when he ported the GNU C Compiler to MPE/iX -- opening the door for ports and development of every other utility and program such as Apache Web services, Samba print services, and those GNU package announced today.

Invent3K2 is free to use through the rest of 2010. The HP 3000 is online at, and a terminal window will get you an INVENT3K2: prompt. You'll need an account, which Johnson can provide once you're a member of OpenMPE. That's free, too.

You sign up for the OpenMPE membership by following instructions at the bottom of the OpenMPE membership web page. (That's an email to [email protected] with basic contact info, number of 3000s at your site and MPE versions.) Johnson pointed out that "a member of the OpenMPE list-server and a subscriber to the OpenMPE membership roll are not the same."

Some of what's happening to Invent3K2 is the community reclaiming what HP shuttered during 2008. The Jazz server at HP's labs went offline along with Invent3k, and Jazz had some utilties for the 3000 that didn't make the transition to the independent versions brought online by Speedware and Client Systems.

In addition to the toolset that open source developers use, Invent3K2 also has been set up with all the HP 3000 software from the vendor: BASIC, C, COBOL II, FORTRAN, Pascal, RPG, SPL and Java/iX.

The intention of Invent3K has never been to allow these HP programs to be downloaded; the open source programs as well are meant to be run from this HP 3000. Accounts that are free until Dec. 31 are meant for OpenMPE members to compile and test their own programs.

"It is not for the downloading of HP SUBSYS material, which is why FTP, DSLINE, PCLINK2, and WS92LINK are locked down," Johnson said.

This HP 3000 is also a service to members that needs management, something Johnson is volunteering. Last week he reported that "I found the machine crashed this morning when I came to work. This reminds me of the days of yore when a fun loving programmer can crash a system." Johnson brought the system back up, a common occurance on a crash-and-burn development HP 3000.