Nine years ago we ran an article that suggested 10 things a 3000 owner could put on their Christmas list. Most of them were directed Hewlett (Santa) Packard, since the vendor's toy factory was so full. After this weekend of Christmas, it's instructive to take a look at what was delivered from the 2007 list and why—or why not. In summary, the HP 3000 hardware remained frozen in time. The software did advance, though. Here's the wishes.
1. Unleashing the full horsepower of A-Class and N-Class 3000s
You got this only if you poked around for a third party consultant who knows how to do this. HP had three more years of support and one more year of full MPE/iX lab when we wrote that wish in 2007. All those years made no dent in the vendor's resolve. It's okay, there's Charon HPA from Stromasys to introduce speedy futures.
2. Or just unleashing the power of the A-Class 3000s (since the A-Class operates at no more than one quarter of its possible speed)
Didn't get this, either. We're always surprised to see how many A-Class systems still show up for work every day. The A-Class amounted to the Series 9x8 caliber of PA-RISC for MPE/iX.
3. Well, then just unleash the N-Class systems' full clock speeds
Like a broken record here: this didn't appear under any tree, either Christmas, phone support, or other kinds. There is a way to employ eight CPUs on 3000-class PA-RISC servers. Don't ask HP about it. Your independent support provider will probably have a story to tell you.
4. HP's requirements to license a company for MPE/iX source code use
The market got this a couple of Christmases later. Source didn't matter much to the future of the system. It improved some workaround options, though. This became more important as more workarounds edged into the 3000's support practices from independent providers.
5. A way to use more than 16GB of memory on a 3000
This too did not surface from HP, but the third party world has heard of ways to do this. Since all the 3000s are no longer bound by HP support limits, extra memory on an N-Class can be added beyond 8GB.
6. A 3000 network link just one-tenth as fast as the new 10Gbit Ethernet
This was a hardware request, like the others above. HP didn't come through on this, but any emulated 3000 has access to 10Gbit speeds and more.
7. A water-cooled HP 3000 cluster, just like IBM used to make
Might as well ask for this along with all the rest. No water cooling. A 3000 is so reliable that a big box fan can keep it cooled in the worst of environments, though.
8. A guaranteed ending date of HP's 3000 support for MPE/iX
One more thing HP granted, one year later. We only learned it was guaranteed when the December 2010 end of support deadline showed up and the vendor stopped renewing support contracts.
9. Freedom to re-license your own copy of MPE/iX during a sale of an 3000
HP still wants to be involved in this kind of sale, 13 years after it built the last of its 3000 boxes. You have this freedom if HP's official licensing of 3000s is about as important as a buggy whip to an Audi.
Number 10? We could wish for a long life and continued interest in MPE/iX from the HP 3000 gurus of the community. "There's nobody to bring any of these gifts if nobody cares inside of Hewlett Packard." That didn't turn out to be true. We've watched the hamstrung Hewlett-Packard systems unlocked by virtualization. In one swift move, Nos. 1-3, 5 and 6 got delivered. Not bad. All we needed was for a third party vendor to get its Santa cap on.