MPE's Skies app flies from Open to New
History tells us to mind the futures gap

The cloud lifts 3000 app vendor into revival

CloudITWhile HP 3000s were still for sale from Hewlett-Packard, American Data Industries sold $50 million in HP servers and related hardware. Ken Roberts is the president of the wholesale and retail software vendor, and he was once on HP's Advisory Board for 3000 vendors. His application was written using Basic 3000, and he reports he's now aiming at new business using the 3000 from the cloud.

"My company was a major player in the HP 3000 market," Roberts said. "We dropped out when an HP salesman told my audience how great Unix was, implemented on the HP 9000."

In spite of our closing our doors we continued to support our clients for another 20 years. We, of course, couldn't talk any of our prospects into purchasing an HP3000 but our existing clients refused to drop out.

Nine years ago HP was considering a new channel of 3000 hardware sales, even though manufacturing had ceased the year earlier. At that time Roberts told us that any extension of MPE would help his customers homestead. Instead, he's moving to an application rental model.

In 2004, Roberts was responding to a letter from HP that said the vendor might authorize its resellers or third parties to change HP 9000s’ personalities, or do the changes itself, to allow MPE/iX to boot on refurbished HP 9000s.

“I have renewed hope that if MPE is extended into the future, it might include support of the Basic 3000 language,” Roberts said at the time. "I still have clients running on my system and I support them. I would have many more clients if I had suspected that the HP 3000 would last this long and longer. I am anxious to hear if the future will be extended, and for how long."

Nine years later, the system's stubborn durability has provided hope for a new future for the ADI software. His customers haven't let the application die off, Roberts said. 

"After several years of watching The 3000 NewsWire, it would appear that the HP 3000 also refuses to die. "So I have begun another approach to selling my Wholesale and Retail system, and that is renting it over the cloud."

"It still runs on the HP 3000, but no client would ever be aware of that, or care."