invents public development 3000 host
New Invent3K server offers online resource for
HPs e3000 division (CSY) opened the doors on a
virtual lab for the servers development community last month,
as the company put a high-end computer on the Internet for the public
to use for free.
The computer, which CSY has dubbed the Invent3K
server, is meant to provide an HP 3000 computer resource for
developers and customers who want to create software and test
programs. CSY engineer Mark Bixby said Invent3K provides a place for
programmers to work on ports to MPE/iX, among other
Anybody can register to obtain a logon account
to gain access to this machine via the Internet, Bixby said in
announcing the resource, in order to port new open-source
applications, develop new closed-source applications, or just
test-drive HP software.
The server, located outside the HP corporate firewall
for security purposes, is an HP e3000 989/400 with 4Gb of RAM and
running MPE/iX 6.5 PowerPatch 2. A full suite of HP 3000 subsys
products is installed, along with the Gnu Compiler Collection and
other popular open-source applications.
The intent of the machine is to help spur the
invention of new MPE apps, Bixby said, and we do not want
to limit the types of apps that may be created. Customers who
sign up for an account on the Invent3K system are only forbidden to
directly use the machine to conduct business, for example,
setting up an e-commerce Web site using WebWise on the machine and
selling stuff, or using sendmail on the machine to do commercial
mailings, Bixby explained.
Users who sign up at the Web site
can develop their own business software on the machine, which they
can then transfer to their own HP 3000s and conduct business from
their own machine either by executing that software or
reselling the software theyve invented to other people. While
the Invent3K server doesnt replace any current developer
partner programs, HP is even willing to let third-party firms install
demo copies of their products on the server. Because this is an
openly shared machine, it would be the responsibility of the ISV to
secure their software in such a way to prevent unauthorized copying
and usage on other machines, Bixby said.
The HP engineer described initial
response as enthusiastic, and several developers have
already posted ports on the system. Mark Wonsil of 4M Enterprises
finished a port of text2pdf, a simple, small C program that reads
text from the standard input and creates a PDF stream as output.
Details on using text2pdf are at invent3k.external.hp.com/~MGR.WONSIL/text2pdf.html,
Wonsils development area on the server.
An open area for porting to the HP 3000 was among the
goals the CSY labs had in its spring meetings this
CSY R&D chief Dave Wilde said HP has been
looking at how to get things onto the platform faster, in ways
that are usable and sustainable to our customers. Weve been
thinking of putting a system outside the HP firewall as a test
machine for things, to make it easier for people who dont have
a system at their disposal with all the right tools on
A new 2.0.9 version of Samba recently came online at
the main Samba Web site, and HP engineer Lars Appel suggested the
Invent3k server will be a good place to port the version to MPE/iX.
It looks like the new Invent3K porting system is having a very
good start, he said.
Appel reported that he used the Samba 2.0.7
source code diffs from www.sambaix.com, and it seems that 2.0.9 also
builds successfully on MPE/iX. I have not spent time on extensive
testing or packaging new binaries. With the advent of the Invent3K
porting system, it could probably be done by someone else who
The Enhydra 3.1 Web application server is also
installed on the Invent3K server, to give customers a way to test
using the software without doing installation on their own
IBM appeared to follow the CSY move a few weeks after
Invent3K went online, opening up a public server for Linux developers
and users to access over the Internet.