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Thanksgiving, wherever you are in Transition

Advocates tracking down contributed gems

Now that OpenMPE has opened up its own Invent3k 3000 development servers, the group is tracking down utilities and programs that have slipped out of the community's toolbelt. In specific, the search is underway for HP 3000 software which was once hosted by individuals on the HP public server for the 3000, Invent3k.

HP closed down this Series 9x9 HP 3000 in December 2008. The vendor notified customers who'd created accounts and built software -- items like an MPE/iX version of an open source tool like Perl -- before HP pulled the Invent3k plug. But when the server went dark, the only copies of the customer-created software dropped out of sight. OpenMPE wants to stock its Invent3k servers with these programs. It needs to find contributed software.

"HP told us if we could get the [creators'] permissions, they're willing to find an old Jazz backup and send it to us," said OpenMPE secretary Tracy Johnson. "We're looking for abandon-ware or demo software that people are willing to put up on Invent3k." These programs would add more value to a 3000 that is the first tangible asset for OpenMPE. The group will be charging $99 a year for membership to use all of Invent3k starting January 1. Since the Invent3k servers went back online in September, there's been eight new members signed on, and a baker's dozen returnees to Invent3k programming.

The creators of some of these programs are among the more profilic help resources in the community. Johnson said that accounts existed for Applied Technologies' Brian Edminster, Keven Miller of 3k Ranger, Craig Lalley of EchoTech, consultant Jeff Kubler, and Jon Diercks, who wrote the most comprehensive MPE/iX administration book. Johnson believe there may be many more programs. The goal is to make Invent3k an irresistible resource for the homesteader.

Developers can contact OpenMPE through an email to Johnson to give permissions or contribute programs.

These programs were available via more than one protocol when Invent3k ran at HP. Some were accessed via the Web plus a link, while others were delivered through a telnet connection. Johnson also said the Invent3k server will be merged with HP's software that was once hosted at HP's Jazz server. These programs -- at least HP's own developed or revised versions -- are already on the Jazz websites operated by Client Systems as well as Speedware. But other very useful parts of Jazz, written by individuals, have fallen into the cracks of 3000 experts' servers.

OpenMPE wants to revive the links to all of the Jazz resources and host or point to everything on Invent3k. But it needs to find the creators of these tools and get permission to host the software. It's not the collection of Contributed Software Library tools; OpenMPE already has those. These are Contributed Commercial Software programs, according to Johnson, who defines the programs as one of three types.

1.  Software vendors that wish to offer a permanent “DEMO” to experiment with.

2.  Software vendors that would like to contribute a limited licensed product for an “Advert” spot on OpenMPE’s website or just because they believe such a contribution would be helpful marketing.

3.  Abandonware.  Software products that are no longer being sold. Software vendors who are no longer offering a product may consider it like a contribution to a museum.

1. and 2. above could be handy for users on INVENT3K who could need software tools.  Competing backup demo products could also be interesting, operationally I would have to use different backup products on alternating days. (Naturally, licensing for any of the above should be as appropriate.)

So many ingredients could make up the tasty “Stone Soup” that can be Invent3k!

Lastly, this is also call for former Invent3k and Jazz contributors (of the non-commercial variety).  To any former contributors to Jazz and/or the original Invent3k machine:  If you contact OpenMPE and give us your release, it is possible we may get HP to provide the old backups for your former Jazz or INVENT3K contributions and we can reinstall them on the new INVENT3K machine. But we need your release.

Alternatively, if you retained your own Invent3k or Jazz backups, contact us at OpenMPE and we can reinstall it also.

We'll be taking a holiday break tomorrow from our reports to celebrate Thanksgiving here in the US. On Friday we'll return with a list of what every HP 3000 customer, current and migrated, can be thankful for and how to track it down.