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Taking the Console at Your History

In a community that spans decades of IT, history is around every corner of memory and experience. This year the HP 3000 marks its 40th birthday, a milestone that prompts examination and recollection in everyone. (Not to mention an HP 3000 biography I am working on. Your stories are most welcome.) A veteran of the system is offering parts of that history, as well as a small monument to a simpler time for this computer.

S III Console-webDave Wiseman has a few HP 3000 items he wants to donate to a good home, including a Series III console. The hardware at right (click for detail) drove the CPU cycles that were first establishing the 3000 as a business-critical platform. Being a Series III, it harkens back to the times when third-party software of any sort was a novelty, plus the need to understand the iron underneath at a level which younger IT pros can only imagine -- when they take the time to do so.

Wiseman splashed into my notice at a user group conference in the early '90s in Nashville, where he toted around an inflatable alligator as an icebreaker stunt. Awhile later he helped to found the ScreenJet experience with his partner Alan Yeo. By now he's moved on to other technical and sales work, but he owns a serious collection of these markers of 3000 history. In a storage closet here in my office, hung over a clothes rod, rest a handsome set of HP-branded ties he shipped me five years ago. Some of us wore such things with pride at these conferences. Wiseman would like to ship you his historic console for a tiny fraction of the hardware's original cost.

"Do you know who might be interested in these?" he asks. "I want don't want money for the items – just shipping costs."

SIIIMemorabilia-webThe full array of the memorabilia above includes multiple editions of the VEsoft Thoughts and Discourses on HP 3000 Software, which include papers by Robelle's Bob Green -- plus Robelle's own HP 3000 Evolution, collecting other papers and some NewsWire articles. Even more fun is the DVD of Chris Gauthier's Growing Up with the HP 3000 short film, the Seldom Met User Group (SMUG) guidebooks, and some of those HP-branded giveaways we knew from the era when alligators followed software vendors.

Wiseman will ship it all for $40 to the US or France, or 25 Euros. "The console has protective plastic still on it," he says, "so this is new, unused item! I have a second console -- and I intend to wire it up by my bed so I can press 0003006 and then Start/Enable, to boot myself in the mornings!"

You can contact Wiseman to get your history at [email protected].