One of the sharpest prodding-points that gets customers moving away from HP 3000s is brain drain. MB Foster's Birket Foster said it well at last week's CAMUS user group meeting. "It's not the software, it's the wetware," he said of the departure of 3000-savvy IT pros. One such staffer at the City of Sparks, Nev. has been in the city's IT shop for 32 years, preserving the knowledge of in-house apps.
Even more basic knowledge of the 3000 can be needed today, too. How to log on, manage accounts, administer disk space (represented in sectors, rather than GB, for example) — all these have unique techniques. Finding a place to train new IT staff on your 3000, as well as guides to teach them in a few hours — both can be elusive.
Jack Connor of Abtech, who serves on the OpenMPE board of directors, needed this kind of class content in a hurry over the weekend. He was asked to give a day-long tutorial to "a group of operators that have never worked with MPE as they are outsourcing replacements. There used to be a Computer Based Training program on HP's site, but it's no longer there."
Connor was on the hunt for HP's basic "Here's a 3000 and here's how to drive it a little" info. "The set I remember started out with describing the accounting structure using file cabinets as accounts and drawers in the cabinet as groups, and so on."
Through the magic of the Web, Glenn Cole dug up Understanding Your System Concept Guide for the HP 3000 Series 9X7LX. The eight chapters which include that filing cabinet tutorial are still online at HP's docs.hp.com website. (It would be a good idea to download these pages to support your plan of succession for yourself — a vital component of sustaining a 3000 into the new year and beyond.) The fact that the training was written in the 1990s for MPE/iX 5.0 makes it no less fresh for teaching 3000 skills.
There's even better, deeper training available to the community from the source of the latest 3000 training materials. Paul Edwards and his training partner, Frank Smith, "are the exclusive licensees of all of the HP MPE training materials. The [web page] you mention is in the Fundamentals class. I still do MPE training
on-site. I refer you to my website, www.peassoc.com for details. There were two self training modules available from HP, too."