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November 2000

New gear gives seasoned body a fresh step

NewsWire Editorial

The steady autumn showers fall outside my Texas window, and with each drop I think of Ireland. It’s a rainy, misty place not far from my thoughts this week, just a few days before my partner’s first marathon. Abby is stepping onto the streets of Dublin Oct. 30 for her first racewalk, and she’s taking on the gear and garb of a marathoner. I see the power and confidence that gear brings her, and I think of our readers, taking steps down the path with their computers’ longtime success.

I hope their new gear has the same effect it’s having on Abby. She’s been in training for the last six months, walking in the Texas summer heat, taking Pilates strength and flexibility classes, lifting weights. But now in the waning moments of her preparation, the gear to wrap about her body’s engine is arriving, like vestments of hope and heart. Waterproof jackets for the certain rain in Dublin. The last and best pair of shoes, after wearing out four other pairs, always searching for a better fit or design. A special dispenser of a high-carbohydrate gel called Gu. A Camelback hydration unit for water en route, and of course, the best socks for feet that have seen hundreds of miles already.

With each box that arrives, or bag that comes back from her trips to the Run-Tex store, she believes a little more. She has earned her vestments through months of work on the trails. And HP 3000 owners have earned their new gear after years of the most reliable business service in all of computing. This year there’s more than ever, garments you can wrap your legendary servers in while you prepare for your path on the Internet.

It can be hard work to believe in new potential as an aging athlete. The clothes, the shoes, the new digital wristwatch which delivers race splits — all are modeled on younger people in the catalog pictures. Abby is 52 at her first marathon, a time when many a racewalker is slowing down, not stepping onto the path for the first time. Her faith to finish is bolstered by the younger person’s gear. The innovations are the best choices, no matter what your age or race experience.

In the same way, a new software tool like an application server is as state-of-the-art as Web service gets, and now the HP 3000 has several. They spring from Java, more garb for younger computers. This is a server that doesn’t seem to acknowledge its age, driven along by those that appreciate its durability and keep bringing it more tools. It reminds me of my marathoner-to-be, whose heart is big enough to tackle a challenge that daunts even me, nine years younger.

I hear that same heartbeat when I speak with some of you about the new races your own HP 3000s will run. You love your work because you’ve spent years piling up knowledge about your platform, knowledge you get to press into a new millennium. One of the country’s oldest private aircraft makers uses the HP 3000, and a manager there fairly glowed on the phone with me the other day about how a commercial sendmail package is moving data from his system to impress his company’s managers. Sendmail, one of many Internet improvements, boxed up for HP 3000 use.

That manager sits in a classic HP 3000 shop, running software they have both created from scratch and modified from a packaged application. Yours is a community full of what HP has decided to call “home-grown” applications. By our measure, two-thirds of your companies rely on such programs. It’s a field of racers ripe for the best and newest gear, because they have heart enough to make the gear perform to its potential, and they need it to keep a mature racer moving.

New gear is not enough to finish the race Abby faces next week. It takes training as well, and a desire to complete what you start. In the closing weeks of her preparation she’s connected with several experienced marathoners, through a superior book and face-to-face lessons. I see that kind of contact lift her beyond the doubt of Do I, into the fast lane of I Do. She is open with what Zen calls Beginner’s Mind, where everything is possible.

That same kind of contact and state of mind is available for HP 3000 owners. Knowledge and experience are at hand in new training venues like Tech Group University, the enormous experience in Internet forums like the 3000-L mailing list and 3kworld, the even bigger world of the open source development community. There are thousands out there ready to help you in your fast lane — the one where someone asks who makes the HP 3000 do something like e-commerce, WAP mobile computing, and you answer, “I Do.”

In each of these efforts, on the damp streets of Dublin or in front of your desktops, I stand to the side and applaud the energy. Telling the story of the growth of these dreams is my reward, a little fairy dust of encouragement sprinkled on the good hard hope of those you support. I believe our readers will succeed, as will Abby, because I can see all the new gear is a good fit, well chosen. It’s even easier when you know how strong the heart that beats underneath it, the athlete’s engine of a trained, mature body that drives those vestments to the finish line.

— Ron Seybold 


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