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Hacking HP3000 Model Numbers 26

tmjva writes "A hardware hack reported last Wednesday on the HP3000-L list proved that a newer version of Hewlett Packards's MPE operating system can be loaded on HP's more venerable machines. Normally this is impossible according to HP (the installation message declares this.) This also brings up some important legal questions as convictions and lawsuits have been handed down before for converting HP3000 systems. Since the HP3000 is sold no more and support ends in 2008, HP may decide to show no interest. Then this hack may allow those who are clinging to old machines the ability to upgrade their OS. Those with newer models may also be able to upgrade their intentionally crippled HP3000 processors to equivalent HP9000 speeds as shown in this table."
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Hacking HP3000 Model Numbers

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  • by zubernerd ( 518077 ) * on Monday June 05, 2006 @06:15PM (#15475932)
    One moral of the story: Be very careful if you are designing you applications/systems around a proprietary system. If the vender decides to go in another direction, or needs to get more systems sales by making a newer version of the proprietary OS intentionally incompatible with older hardware for no other reason than to drive up sales of newer equipement, you may get your 'assets' burned.
    • Correct me if I'm wrong, but MPE users are using this platform for the IMAGE database. They have invested lots of time and money into software and development around the IMAGE database and the underlying (and quite limiting) MPE file system.

      Remember, this technology is 20+ years old, and there wasn't much competition in the mid-range database market back in the day. There are lots of companies who have done the same around IBM big iron, luckily enough have done so that IBM still provides them with an upgrad
    • Beg to possibly differ.

      Most vendors(OS, APP, HW) limit the number of combinations they support for practical reasons. In most cases that is just stated in realease docs etc. that software xyz is supported on devices X, Y, Z. Putting in blocks to explicitly make it impossible to install on any but the supported devices sounds like an overkill and a bad idea, but I would not automatically assume it is a conspiracy to make more money. It might be just a matter of how much resource they are willing to spend on
    • Another lesson: Avoid HP. Abandoning hardware is one thing; suing your customers for supporting themselves is JUST PLAIN WRONG. Would you support SCO?
    • What's the problem? I work for a HP refurb shop and we sell MPE boxes for hot spares often. I'm sick of people saying propriatary hardware sucks. Bull. This stuff will work for a very long time if treated correctly (We still have stuff from the 70's in stock - working). People will still buy stuff running at 80 mhz because it runs 4ever. If anybody has played with the risc gear they know it's very well made. Seems no matter how hard HP tries to kill MPE it just doesn't die.
    • Bah. It's always been this way. You think if you design your application to run on Linux that you'll be safe in twenty years? What if you depend on a kernel module for the 2.0.36 kernel, can you even load that on a contemporary system?

      At some point, the rubber's got to meet the road, and if your application is in any way "real" (read: has to meet performance thresholds), you're going to have to take advantage of the underlying system. To do this is to tie yourself to it in some fashion. Nowadays it's f
      • Actually our shop is still using an HP3000 in production and expects to be doing so for at least another 5 to 10 years. The thing just keeps on runnin'. A third party vendor has put a decent GUI front end on our main application and it links data seamlessly to other Windows applications. The main reason we hold back against converting to something else is our hardware is fully depreciated. As I agree HP has abandoned the HP3000 user community, I think it is also entirely appropriate HP no longer gets a
    • Unless you pick IBM. Much VM/360 code can run on their latest and greatest mainframes. But oh'll cost you.
    • When I worked for HP and we were making plans to discontinue this system, there were 5000 customers. And these computers were boat-anchors then :-) But their audience were bigger zealots than Linux ever had. I had the CTO of the major non-HP MPE services vendor sit me down at HP world and tell me why Unix would never make it. It took me a while to realize he was talking about Unix, not Linux.

      We actually talked about Open Sourcing MPE. I think it sunk because 1) the MPE folks were afraid that IBM would use t

  • If we are, please let me know. I have, and love, my C3000 running first Deb and then Gentoo.
    • They're talking about this: [] Having worked with MPE/iX and Image databases, I can honestly say I don't miss it.

      It was nasty. Particularly coming from a UNIX background, MPE/iX just seemed ass-backwards.

      • Particularly coming from a UNIX background, MPE/iX just seemed ass-backwards.

        I know Unix. Therefore, !Unix is bad.

        Welcome to Slashdot. Come on in. Meet the folks. They're just like you.

      • Actually, it IS ass-backwards. If you remember the file structure: FILE.GROUP.ACCOUNT was converted to POSIX, therefore the same thing now looks like: /ACCOUNT/GROUP/FILE. (Albeit you can now add more subdirectories.) And the IMAGE database? Just turn the IMAGE structure diagrams Upside Down and it looks like a Relational database!
  • DMCA? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Monday June 05, 2006 @08:06PM (#15476635) Homepage
    Doesn't this topic violate the DMCA? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to recall people being prosecuted on disclosing similar "exploitation" information before.
    • Those are just links to already released news reports. The cat has been out of the bag for about a week on this one. No offense.
  • By all means, let's pillor HP for dropping (finally) support for the HP3000. What's up HP? It was only introduced in late 1972. That was like, yeasterday! Thank gawd HP still supports the PDP-11, Data General has held in there with the Novas, GE & Honeywell are still changing the world with Multics and Xerox is happy to keep that Sigma in the back happily humming along. And I can still get Visicalc & dBase-II upgrades!

    What a wonderful world! Everything lives FOR EVAH!

  • If they own it, then by definition it can't be illegal to modify it or sell it.

    Look up "exhaustion of rights" sometime.
  • So, what exactly is the hp 3000?

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."