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July 27, 2020

Fewer voices fill the 3000's air

Mic in studio on air
There are still working 3000s out there. Some of the systems are paired with retiring staff. Boeing isn’t the only company paring down its IT workforce. In places like those, however, there may be some chances for a support company or consulting practice to be of service to a site that doesn’t have MPE/iX expertise anymore. We keep hearing about companies now servicing legacy app users with co-lo and the like.
 
Finding the opportunities can be a matter of listening for a call for help. Inside our world, the voices are growing fewer and fainter. It used to be that even 3000-L was good for an on-topic subject or two every month. Over the past 30 days, 3000-L has 18 messages. More than half of them are about how to use Linux on a home machine. The other two subjects evaluate the remaining worth of old disk arrays and an even older reel tape drive.
 
The metadata for the list — which by the way, started just a year before we launched the NewsWire — says that 368 people still get the messages. Last week, one message tried to figure out if a 7978B tape drive was worth saving. The week before, a brief exchange showed that XP drives are becoming recycle-only devices.
 
Summer traffic in our tech community is always slow. Stories from other July dates note how still the waters can be. This was the month that once preceded a North American Interex conference. In the run up to those shows, everyone took time away from community exchange.
 
The 3000-L chatter of late is about old and really old hardware -- the is a 1984 introduction date for the tape drives. Reel to reel storage feels like something out of Terminator 2, a film from 1992 where The Terminator shot up a computer room full DEC equipment that was old even in that year.
 
Some people are still using the classic gear. One company in Cleveland has "an HP 3000 957 that still chugs away. Just yesterday I had to pull some information off of it. It's surprising how the needed commands can still come to me just before I type them. I had to use Query, Quad, and Business Basic.”
 
That might be an archival system. During many weeks, keeping the archives alive here seems to be my primary mission. Your support and continued interest helps. Raise your voice if you're still listening. Share a story.
 
Photo by Fringer Cat on Unsplash

 

04:52 PM in Homesteading | Permalink

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