Support continues, even as 3000s move on
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3000 vet pursues remaining installed sites

Editor's Note: We've been checking in with HP 3000 veterans to survey their plans for 2011, tracking migrated sites as well as those which are still relying on 3000s through this year and next. Our story today combines both homesteading and migration situations.

Dave Darnell wants to move across Ohio to take his 3000 skills out of migration and into management. He's leaving a site where the younger talent is now taking over the closing steps of a migration to HP-UX. Darnell is in search of a spot with The Andersons, a retail and grain processing corporation with outlets across the Midwest. At that firm, the 3000 remains in charge of grain operations, tracking the purchases and movement of the fruits of farmers' labors.

Darnell reported on a pair of 3000 sites that have moved away from the system, using his help.

I administered the systems retirement and data archive project for all systems at Qualchoice/Wellpoint. (To replace the 3000 we did Microsoft SQL, VB, and Access w/VBA work on that, too, including SQL database work.) I then moved to Weltman, Weinberg, and Reis, where they have been trying to get off the 3000 for 10 years.

Darnell's departure isn't triggered by a lack of work for him at the largest creditors' rights firm in the country. But he's moving to western Ohio this spring. Andersons offers a potential 3000 post, he hopes.

"Grain [system management] would be fine," he said. "I have experience with North American Chemical that might be relevant, multimodal commodity shipping and inventory stuff. The Andersons appears to be a quality company. They have a good reputation with people I have talked to so far. Locals love their retail store in Toledo."

At Weltman, Weinberg, and Reis, Darnell supports the collections system on the 3000, including EDI. "They have a couple of youngsters handling the conversion to Win/Tel," he said. "They're moving their 3000 and the new Microsoft "data warehouse" interface to a canned package on the HP-UX.

In the Cleveland area for the healthcare operations of Qualchoice, Darnell said, "Qualchoice was closing up when we were re-badged to WellPoint/Anthem. I stayed with Qualchoice after the doors closed (under University Hospitals) as a part time contractor through 2008."

Some 3000s have gone dark as a result of mergers and acquisitions, an event that's been commonplace for more than 15 years in the IT business. In other places, the system is being taken down by a desire to move to a packaged application. But large firms relying on the 3000 still need expertise to sustain their operations -- even if only for a few more years, as in the case of The Andersons.