A personable community was one of the big reasons the HP 3000 got its own publication. The HP Unix community was more reticent during the 1980s, holding just a few meetings. HP 3000 owners and managers were a social bunch. It led to the founding of the HP Chronicle, where I first met the devotees and experts about MPE/iX. There were SIG meets, RUG conferences, Birds of a Feather gatherings, and national Interex conference attendance that felt almost automatic for awhile. Gathering in person isn't automatic for anyone now that social networks rule our roost.
There's still some desire to meet and share what we know, in person, however. Dave Wiseman is inquiring about gathering users in California this summer.
Wiseman, the founder of HP 3000 vendor Millware and an MPE veteran since the system's most nascent days, floated the idea of a "3000 Revival" in Europe in 2014. Wiseman was the chairman of SIG BAR, the informal after-hours gossip and news sessions held in conference bars. Stories swapped during the 1990s went on until all hours. I'd drift off into a light doze in a lounge chair after hours at a conference, listening all day, and then get snapped awake by something I hadn't heard. It's possible that a 2018 meeting could deliver something we hadn't heard in a long time.
Wiseman will be in the US this June. (The picture at right comes from the 1980s, when he hauled around a floaty alligator at an HP conference hosted in Nashville). But that gator pool toy design is still in use, along with HP 3000s.) He described what a revival can amount to. The last time, he called the event an HP3000 SIG BAR meeting.
Remember all those good old days standing around at trade shows talking to each other? Never being interrupted by potential customers? Then there were the evenings sitting in hotel bars….
Well as far as I am aware, I am still chairman of SIG-BAR. I've dusted off the old ribbon and it's time for another meeting (only without the pretense of having business to do and without the hassle of actually bringing a booth!)
If you know anyone who worked in the HP3000 vendor community or its user groups, please contact me: ([email protected] or +44 777 555 7017)
A heartfelt reunion came together in a London pub in 2014. It could happen again. Your community still wants to meet after all these years.