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July 08, 2011

3000 work still impresses at Master Print

HP 3000 expertise can be hard to hawk these days, but some companies are finding it hard to locate, too. Not long ago a Northern Virginia company took to Craigslist to find some HP3000 savvy.

Master Print is one of the largest commercial printers in its area (which includes Washington DC), and the company has used HP 3000s since the Series 9x8 era, prior to the N-Class. Even back while HP was busy cutting back its 3000 business, Master Print was doing more than $30 million per year selling printing. In many ways it's a typical HP 3000 shop, manufacturing at a run rate of under $100 million per year.

Last month Master Print was prowling for an HP 3000 expert, a person who wasn't being asked to help lead a migration away from the 3000. The company has always used Windows in its operations, but the skills sought in the Craigslist ad were classic: COBOL, IMAGE, even KSAM. Minisoft's ODBC middleware, some database management. More than 100 people work at Master Print, a company that's done business since the time the HP 3000 was first introduced.

The HP 3000 cranked up at Master Print just as HP was unleashing the PA-RISC versions of the system, in 1987. The company runs a small IT shop but serves 105 users with its data processing.

This is not a 3000 site with its head stuck in the technology sands. There's Visual Basic 6, Windows 7 and XP, Windows 2003 Server and 2008 Server working at the company. The in-house applications use Javascript. Like many successful HP 3000 homesteaders, the company is deploying technology that's proven, not jumping into less certain pools of tech until they're needed. Its listing for a Senior Programmer Analyst read

Located in Northern Virginia, we are a secure company that has been serving the Metro Area for over 40 years. We are in need of an HP 3000 Senior Programmer/Analyst. This is a wonderful, full-time opportunity for energetic, dependable, motivated person.

There's no mention of leaving its computing platform, but rather, an earnest search for new talent to carry its investment further into the 21st Century. People on other enteprise platforms, such as the IBM Series i, complain of no jobs listed on the likes of Dice.com job boards. But the work is out there, for firms like Master Print and others. The 3000's success continues to make an impression at this kind of independent company.

12:15 PM in Homesteading | Permalink

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