Manufacturing Projects with HP Cloud
Voting for Security, Obscurity and Propriety

Accepting Irregular Statistics

Nov. 5 538We're on the eve of the US national elections today, so a lot of stories are being told about statistics. In many segments of the country, one-third of the registered voters have already cast ballots. We are told that statistically there are under 1 percent of the voters who remain undecided.

A small percentage might continue to matter. And the trends often do matter statistically. For example, Microsoft's Windows XP still represents about half of the PCs still in use, according to metrics company Net Applications. And just this week, the number of Mac users who are clinging to three-year-old Snow Leopard Mac OS still leads the installed base.

And maybe just as surprising, some large and well-known companies are still continuing to embrace their HP 3000s. It's irregular to believe that major corporations continue to use an operating system this dated. Well, maybe not so dated. MPE/iX got its last security patches in 2008, just a little bit farther back than Snow Leopard was created. Maybe because of their stability, both Snow Leopard and MPE/iX continue to serve in the market. One place we discovered this morning is PC Mall, an online sales outlet selling computers that will run Snow Leopard and Windows XP. And they're doing it off software written for MPE/iX.

PC Mall is providing an irregular statistic, but they also prop up a trend. The adoption of non-MPE/iX platforms by the installed base has slowed to a crawl. Migration suppliers all predict that 2012 will one of the least active migration years since, well, the 3000 transition era started in 2002.

What's more, PC Mall isn't a complete outlier. Unisource, a $5 billion company, continues to run its operations on HP 3000s.

Both of these pieces of information come by way of the LinkedIn's HP 3000 Community Group. There's 538 of us in that group, numbers that start to approach the membership of the 3000-L newsgroup. Except you can see and connect with every LinkedIn member. New members come on, like those from PC Mall and Unisource, every week. Chris Enderle of Unisource checked in when he signed up.

I still work at Unisource based out of Atlanta and we are running strong on the HP 3000. Unbelievable that we are still running a $5B company on the 3000, but like I tell our CIO, as long as we keep electricity to them, they will chug on forever. We have very bright people writing code, and they do some amazing things compared to when I wrote code. 

Code from bright people is creating interesting statistics about the prospects for our election, too. And in about 36 hours that exciting code will give us results of a hotly-contested election. I hope you've voted already if you're in the US, or that you will do so tomorrow if you haven't. It takes full participation and complete tabulation to get to the point where you can accept irregular statistics for what they are -- part of the greater truth.