Just a bit more than a week ago the airwaves were quiet around the 3000-L mailing list. It had been more than a month without a message. 3000-L used to have thousands of messages a month. Those were the days when the 3000 Renaissance was mounting and a mailing list was a very special vehicle.
The numbers have fallen since the late 1990s, but this week it's not "too quiet, Sarge" in the cybersphere. (Is it a sign of age that I still use a word like cybersphere?) Right away after our "Hello out there" message, more than a few readers and resources from the L checked in, saying their HELLO back. Some shared news.
To be sure, one of the messages was about an impending retirement. Jim Gerber is leaving the 3000 behind on Tuesday of next week. "It's been a great ride from the Model III to the N-series," wrote the software engineer at Quest Diagnostics. There's a billing system at Quest, a corporation traded on the NYSE that had $7.7 billion in revenues last year. Rising sales, too.
TE Connectivity's Terry Simpkins checked in to say the 3000s were still running at the operation with manufacturing sites all over China. The future of MANMAN there is far from certain. Simpkins said he felt like "the countdown is running" since the acquisition of Measurement Specialties by TE awhile ago.
There was also a message from Ray Legault at Boeing. The world's biggest aircraft manufacturer still has MPE/iX software at work, since Legault's signature is still "EWH ESX Middleware Hosting HP3000 & AIX backup Support." Legault said he's doing well.
Then there were the messages from the people we're all certain are never leaving the 3000. Alfredo Rego raised his hand to be counted.
That was the moment for the only wisecrack, when Denys Beauchemin asked how anybody could actively support something that is dormant. Maybe not so dormant, Denys, in the places where there's aircraft being built, medical tests administered around the world, or sensors manufactured in facilities around the world.
Does the 3000-L get quiet because nobody's around, or because everybody is in listening mode, waiting to help? Back in those thousands of messages months, the L was full of noise about elections, guns, and other germs of life. It's got none of that noise now. We're still reading it, just like we've done since the 1990s. The NewsWire owes a lot to the wisdom shared by 3000-L users.