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3000 emulators moving ahead on Windows

Changes to the most dominant computer environment on the planet, Windows, as well as reaching backward to the days of a surging client-system strategy, have sparked some research and solutions for next-generation HP 3000 emulation.

Attachmate ReflectionWe're not talking about emulating the 3000 hardware. Stromasys CHARON HPA/3000 is the tool for that. The subject here is getting a traditional HP 3000 application screen to display on what we once called desktop PCs. Now they're mostly laptops, but at their essence they are smart clients, linked to servers. WRQ did the biggest trade in this kind of tool, selling hundreds of thousands of copies of Reflection over the years.

MB Foster is reminding 3000 customers there's a migration coming for those desktop environments running Windows. The firm has been a supplier of the Reflection line of emulators and connectivity software since the 1980s. In a few months, Microsoft will be pulling its XP version of the desktop OS out of security patching status. XP won't stop working, not any more than MPE/iX did when HP stopped patching it. But running a company with XP-based PCs, attached to 3000s, is asking for a lot of blind luck when it comes to patching for trouble. Much more luck will be needed for the PCs, a situation which is leading Foster to remind users about upgrading Reflection for the future.

Attachmate acquired WRQ years ago, but the Reflection brand lives in in the combined corporation. On April 8, when the XP patches end, things get more risky for the company that hasn't migrated to Windows 7 or 8. MB Foster wants to help with this aspect of that migration, too.

If you are using Attachmate’s Reflection product line, it will continue to be supported based on the Product’s Support Lifecycle. However, Attachmate’s ability to resolve issues related to Windows XP will be limited after April 8, 2014.

MB Foster has already noticed companies moving to Windows 7/8 with an eye toward leveraging 64-bit architectures, reducing risks, and standardization of a supportable operating system. To minimize risks even more, Attachmate and MB Foster are recommending you upgrade retired or discontinued versions of Attachmate software. 

Reflection was offered in many sorts of volume bundles during its lifespan at WRQ. It was the most widely-installed software program, in numbers, that ever served HP 3000 owners. The discounts for volume licensing can be reactivated, as can support for older versions of Reflection.

For customers and clients who need support for older versions, Attachmate is offering an Extended Support Plan. For those who don’t have a maintained Volume Purchase Agreement, MB Foster is taking this opportunity to encourage customers to pre-plan, pre-budget, and to take advantage of product fixes, enhancements and security updates for Reflection.

The Microsoft migration away from XP -- like HP's from MPE/iX -- has "its undertones and challenges." Finding an XP client system in production is easy these days, but one that's also serving an HP 3000 may be more elusive. MB Foster is quoting reactivations of the Volume Purchase Agreement -- the least costly way to get a lot of Windows PCs updated. Customers who have a VPA number should have it at the ready, the vendor says.