HP ends red ink overall, but BCS tumbles
Forms? Are we still talking forms in 2013?

Where You Can Check for 6 and 7.x

All 3000 customers have MPE/iX installed, but the operating environment comes in three flavors. In the homesteading world of 2013, two of those three will need to be served up by your community's comrades.

Last week 3000 manager John Watson -- one who says he worked for HP for awhile -- asked around to see who had a copy of MPE/iX. He was after a version 6.x or 7.x. If that request was for a 7.5 release, it's easy to obtain. In fact, the Stromasys freeware HPA/3000 emulator can be downloaded with a 7.5 MPE/iX included. No subsystem software, of course.

But the earlier MPE/iX versions? Ask your neighbors, because there's no official way to get that software. Pivital Solutions' Steve Suraci, whose company was among the very last to be an official HP 3000 reseller, confirmed the comrade-swap situation. Pivital continues to support 3000 sites, as its primary business. But that won't make the earlier MPEs any more available, by the book.

"HP has made no provisions for this situation that I am aware of," he said. "My guess is that this customer will easily come across what he is looking for. But we would not be able to legally provide it to him."

Resolving this problem is not as simple as moving up to 7.5 from other releases, for reasons that anyone managing a 3000 would know well.

HP built the 6.5 release to accomodate Large Files features that were needed by Amisys/3000 healthcare customers. The 7.0 release included support for the new PCI IO bus. These releases tend to have been frozen in place around the homesteading community. Customers are loathe to change these, because things remain stable if they do not.

You've got to be careful about which MPE/iX SLT you use from another system, too. "I just recently got a 939," said Watson, "but the SLT tapes I have from 2006 have been cut from a different model. I think patch MPEMX90 should have been applied before cutting the tape."

Without the patch, his 3000 "just hangs a little about you try start norecovery," he said.

Problem? What problem? When the community decides HP is done with the 3000, it can share what's needed. And nobody needs to know who has helped.