Friday Fine-Tune: Memory and disk behavior
Wayback Wednesday: The 3000's e-Moment

German A-Class for sale at $1.07 + shipping

Snow with A-ClassManagers running MPE/iX in Europe can get a backup HP 3000 server today on auction at $1.07 plus shipping costs. Considering this is a two-CPU server which you can essentially tuck under your arm, (as HP product manager Dave Snow does at left, when the server was unveiled in 2001) the shipping costs might permit even North American 3000 managers to bid.

Dennis Grevenstein posted his notice of the sale last night on the HP3000 mailing list. The eBay auction starts at a minimum of 1 Euro, or about $1.07 at today's exchange rate. As of this evening there were no starting bids posted. The listing starts in German, but not too far down the page Grevenstein has English translations on the details.

Other than servers which have been given away for the cost of shipping, this is the lowest price we've ever seen for an HP 3000—especially for a model that's nearly portable and was built after 2001. Many 9x7-9x9 servers have been offered for outrageous discounts, especially considering their original pricing. This is an ultimate-generation HP 3000. Earlier this month, a single-processor A500 was being offered for $1,200 in North America.

The description notes that the German server is an rp2740 "with a slightly different firmware. It will also run HP-UX or Linux without problems. There is one hard disk with MPE/iX 7.5 on it and a spare disk." The note reminded one 3000 veteran about the performance drag HP that saddled the RISC processor with as a result of that firmware. The eBay listing is straightforward about how much the HP of 15 years ago hobbled the A-Class.

The A500-200 server "naturally runs MPE/iX. It has two 650MHz PA8700 CPUs (clocked at 200MHz when running MPE/iX)."

Even though those CPUs are now selling for about 54 cents apiece, with two disks and 3GB of memory included, the down-clocking of the processors still bugs Patrick Santucci. "I'm still irked at HP for underclocking and crippling the 3000 like this," he said on the mailing list discussion.

Grevenstein said in this email offer, "I need to free up some space. International shipping is possible. Please ask for shipping costs." A-Class servers continue to run production-grade IT datacenters around the world.