The HP 3000 emulator is still en route toward its freeware personal version. But in the meantime there's still plenty of equivalent HP-badged iron out there in the marketplace. One spot to look is in the shops of the recently-migrated companies.
Lane Rollins of Boyd Coffee sent us a notice about a pair of Series 918s he's been wanting to move out of his datacenter. (There's a Series 979 on hand that's not going away, even though the company has been migrated for several years.) Rollins was looking for a good home for his rack-mounted Series 918 and a standalone 918. Both of the systems are the same power as the personal version of the HPA/3000 emulator software. The rack-mounted unit had an added benefit of an extra SCSI card as well as HASS storage.
This kind of hardware is still circulating in the community, even if it's got as much cost attached to it as that personal freeware emulator. If you can find something like this out on the market, Steve Suraci of Pivital Solutions -- which still sells 3000s -- says you shouldn't be paying more than shipping. Although his company collects systems like this for their depot parts value, they also keep an eye the shipping costs.
We still take them on at times when it makes sense. Some gear is too far away to make sense. By the time we get a mover out there to collect it all, and get then have it shipped back to us we have more into it then we could ever get back.
But the closer a 918 sits to your own shop, the better value it can be -- so long as it's offered free, plus shipping.
"Someone local may be interested if they could pick it up," Suraci explains. A migrating customer who's holding deactivated Series 918s may have to help out on the costs to ship away. To be frank, this kind of server is a better value to the buyer than the seller. Some kind of pickup fee, even from a scrapper, would usually be part of moving out this lower-end 3000. At Rollins' shop, the offer included an LPQ 500 printer with LAN card, a Printronix-based unit, and a few p405 printers.
"The resale value is just about nothing on this lower-end 3000 gear," Suraci said. "Any of the printers might have some value, because of the fact that they are used in non-3000 shops. Shipping cost would still probably be a concern."