Stealing or Scrapping Older HP 3000s
December 14, 2011
Owners of older HP 3000s have an end-of-life issue in front of them, sooner or later. Sometimes, as is the case at Cygnus Publishing, a 3000 is going offline to be replaced by a Windows server. What to do with the remaining hardware, usually so old that using it as a production box is not an option?
Subscriptions won't be processed any longer using the Datatrax app on the 3000 at Cygnus, said Eric Sedmak. He's been put in charge of moving the system out the door. The company is based in Wisconsin, and Sedmak wasn't sure which model was being turned off at the end of this month. We suggested contacting support providers in his area. Someone like Preferred Systems in Minnesota might pick up a box in neighboring Wisconsin for spare parts.
(MB Foster has developed a program and practices for decommissioning HP 3000s. The company held a webinar this afternoon on its practices. We'll have an article here soon on the advice that was given.)
On the other hand, if you're collecting old HP 3000s, a Series 70 HP 3000 Classic is on eBay until next week. Refresh Computer in Orlando is trying to get takers for this "vintage and loaded" system. As 3000 vets know, this is a beast of a piece of iron, one that might be placed in a garage to aid in heating during the winter months. To be certain, HP engineered the 70 to survive such harsh conditions. Hey, it's got four 4MB RAM modules (probably LP-sized boards) for 16MB of main memory, plus it includes an HP 150 Touchscreen PC for a monitor. (That's Touchscreen, not TouchPad. The Touchscreen had a lifespan of at least three years of sales, instead of the TouchPad's three months.) the Touchscreen alone is a steal, since there's just as much vendor software coming for the 1980s PC as that TouchPad.)
We're not sure if you can call a Series 70 a holiday gag gift, since some support companies might want one of these to test against customers' systems. But as the first Series 70 we've seen on eBay, you might think of it as a steal.
• Can anyone in Florida save this HP 3000? Not mine but I would love to see someone with the space grab it and at least store it and save it from the scrapper. I know there are/were a few big iron HP fans here. This is the third time its been listed. Cheap enough now for a local scrapper to profit from it. Probably won't be a 4th listing.
• I've been watching this too, along with the 7937 hard drives and the 7978 tape drive, simply because I used to work on these systems. The Series 70 is a beast of a machine, and requires 220V for power. I'm not in a position to rescue it though, either in terms of proximity or space.
• Honestly, to me, these machines have no real value beyond what I could auction it for, as they're nothing that I have a personal connection with, and they're too archaic for me to enjoy recreating the past. I think that the retro-computing/emulation things are ways for people to wax nostalgic and enjoy the things that they used to enjoy.
• I'm really tempted. I'll actually be in the area around Xmas. Is it worth renting a van? What would I even do with this?
• Just Do It. The opportunity won't come again and you'll be kicking yourself for years to come.
"Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone" (BANG )
• Pretty neat server. You'll have to get a few friends a few beers to go along with ya when you pick it up, though. I can only imagine the weight of that thing.
• Not too many people that have that much space in their house. It would be just as bad for someone got it and put it in a shed or garage with no climate control. You would probably need a forklift to move it around. Could you even fit it through the front door of a house?
• Besides the power requirements, you'd still have to find a copy of MPE to run on it.
On that last score, the HP Computer Museum website can provide a copy of MPE V/E for use on this Series 70.