August 2005

MPE will need an emulator to attract hobbyists

HP reported at last week's OpenMPE meeting it will enable the time-honored tradition of a hobbyist's license for operating systems, giving the 3000 community a way to teach itself and experiment with MPE for non-commercial research and education. But HP's method of licensing MPE/iX to the programmers and students of the environment will use the proposed emulator license, an agreement that appears to require an emulator to surface for the HP 3000/9000 hardware.

Another part of HP has already granted a hobbyist license for another commercial operating system, OpenVMS. That license was created in 1997 by Digital, and more than 40,000 copies have been granted to date. The license is free once a user registers with Encompass, the HP/Compaq users group, and Encompass registration is free at the basic level. Of course, HP is still supporting OpenVMS with no apparent end-of-life date for its service, so those OpenVMS hobbyists enjoy even more privileges than MPE/iX customers. The OpenVMS hobbyist license doesn't require an emulator.

(More details on this story at the NewsWire's daily blog,

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