| Front Page | News Headlines | Technical Headlines | Planning Features | Advanced Search |
Click for Minisoft sponsor page

January 2003

New Year’s calls for new calendars

NewsWire Editorial

The year 2003 is only three days old as I write this, a fact that’s easy to track in the NewsWire’s offices. This year we’ve got no fewer than five calendars in our work spaces, offering education, inspiration and memories. In the year to come, HP 3000 customers are going to need all three of those resources.

I’ve developed an obsession with new calendars in recent years. I love prowling the aisles of Barnes & Noble in the waning weeks of December, looking over a wall-full of wall calendars, or thumbing through the stacks of page-a-day editions.

Calendars can keep us on course, remind us of where we’ve been, give us hope for the future. Schedules and plans have risen very high in importance for HP 3000 customers, now that the Transition era is revving up. If you’re going places with your computing systems — and everyone in the 3000 community is, since HP’s pulling out of its role and pushing homesteaders to new infrastructure and migrators to new platforms — tracking the passage of time is essential to success and prosperity.

I’ve had a rich array of calendars in years past. The year after cartoonist Scott Adams had us all roaring with laughter at his HP World speech, I tore off hundreds of Dilbert cartoons to keep my days moving. I also ended up saving more than a few of those barbs at the corporate lunacy. When the Star Wars franchise lit up screens again in 1999, my 2000 wall calendar sported the artwork for 16 months afterward. (Love those bonus months.) After touring Paris’ Musee d’Orsay in 2001, I just wrapped up enjoying 365 days of full-color Monet paintings, where many of the artist’s works hang.

Companies that own HP 3000s may need a similar collection of calendars. There’s the countdown calendar for sales of new systems; only 300 shopping days left before every 3000 system will be a used system. There’s that support calendar, with many more months before all support is third-party (48, if you’re counting for your top management, a very long time. Think of how much has changed in any four-year stretch of the computer business. It might as well be a lifetime.)

Then there’s the many calendars for migration of packaged applications to non-3000 platforms. Customers might find some of those application calendars displayed on very slick paper, since they’ve got so much slippage.

This year’s calendar models hanging around the NewsWire offices serve many needs. For inspiration we’ve got the photography of Ansel Adams, both on a wall calendar in Abby’s office and a desk calendar behind my writing chair. The Adams photo calendars are something of a tradition around here. I gave Abby her first on our first wedding anniversary, the one that’s to be celebrated with paper gifts. On the calendar’s pages I printed notes of all our significant dates through courtship and honeymoon.

This year’s edition, her 12th straight, has swelled to 255 dates I’ve noted, from business launches to memories of full-fortnight vacations. The calendar has moved from memory minder to our history book.

HP 3000 customers may see a similar transition proffered by HP this year. It won’t surprise me to see the storied history of the system, which has ridden the wave of every new technology, get recast as the baggage of age. How, HP and its partners may ask, could you keep using your HP 3000 for mission-critical computing, since it’s so old? Expect everyone to advise you that a newer computer platform will be a better, safer choice.

We agree, but not exactly as HP recommends. There is a newer computer that is a safer choice, but you’ve got less than 300 days to buy a brand-new model. Get yourself the HP 3000 N-Class, something that Hertz has purchased to replace its 27 older HP 3000s. (I’d recommend the A-Class 3000 as well, but not before HP unlocks its processor power with a firmware patch. I don’t expect that unlocking to be free, but at least a little extra expense will free up the full power of the A-Class.)

All across the 3000 community we’re hearing stories about companies stocking up on the HP 3000, moving from older 9x7 systems to more modern K-Class 9x9s, or right on up to the N-Class servers. They’re buying time, like those 16-month calendars with the bonus pages. After all, when what you’ve chosen is working for you — whether it’s the trusty Ansel Adams desk calendar that keeps my appointments and notes, or an HP 3000 — you want to stick with it as long as you can.

Tacked up on a couple of workspaces in my office are this year’s page-a-day winners, both wrapped around words. Educating me above the NewsWire’s desk is the American Heritage Word-a-Day, expanding my vocabulary one proffered word at a time. (Today’s is cunctation, another way to describe delay.)

Over in the editing bay is the Book Lover’s calendar, which today suggests Jimmy Carter’s An Hour Before Daylight, the ex-President’s memoir of a boyhood in Georgia. For someone like me, who aspires to write a book of his own, the pages remind me of the goal that I toil toward almost every day.

Your goals for the coming months can also be as modest as the Habitat for Humanity calendar that showed up in my mailbox. It hangs on my wall to remind me about service, a value that the 3000 community will have to embrace in the year to come. Every other Saturday I buckle my tool belt for the local Habitat chapter, a dedication that’s sometimes not easy to offer on a weekend. This year you may find yourself called to test contributed code, provide your opinions about transition choices, or take the time to write a paper to keep spreading the 3000’s techniques. Service works in surprising ways: it returns a wonderful feeling to the server, too.

Any new year brings a feeling of possibility in its first month. Revel in what might be, as you move through your January, whether it’s the massive task of migration or the exercise in hope of homesteading. We advise you practice no cunctation in preparing for your future: as of this year, the 3000’s new era will arrive.

Look up a page of education every day, and seek your inspiration among the memories of what you’ve accomplished already in your career. Some day you’ll be able to look back on the 3000’s Transition era and boast a bit about it. You can create a safe place for your company’s information assets through these trying times, overcoming economic and shifting infrastructure challenges. The best time to start on that mission, if you haven’t already, is today. So go ahead, circle your calendar’s date. In the years to come, people will want to know how long it took. Tomorrow, after all, is just a page away.

— Ron Seybold 

Copyright The 3000 NewsWire. All rights reserved.