Page 7  
(Continued from page 6)


The squeaky wheel does get the oil!

A contented community is a quiet community. And, a quiet community doesn’t generate sales. “People want the latest and greatest,” Lancaster said. “And today that means UNIX, Linux, or Windows – not MPE. It really didn’t matter that the e3000 could do anything any of those other operating systems could do. Perception is all that matters.”

Lancaster described the bond he’d always felt with others in the e3000 community. HP e3000 users have always tended to bond and share with each other easily, knowing that they have something special. MPE was one of the first commercially available multi-user mini computers, and the first specifically designed for ease of use and reliability. It was for years HP’s only commercial general-purpose business computer.

When HP developed its PA-RISC (then called HP-PA) architecture, they simultaneously started marketing the HP 9000 systems with HP-UX as a commercial multi user system instead of an engineering workstation. Slow in growth at first because of a lack of applications software, the 9000 soon saw rapid deployment as database servers. This, and the rapid growth of Intel-based servers, forced the e3000 further into the shadows both inside and outside of HP. Even at Interex conferences and on the Interex board, e3000 users found themselves pushed to the sidelines.

“I think I saw it coming in the late 90’s,” says Lancaster. Starting in 1998, he spent three years negotiating with the old guard of the e3000 community to put together the very successful HP e3000 Solutions Symposium in early 2001. With HP’s e3000 general manager Winston Prather as a key speaker discussing HP’s plans to bring newer, more cost-effective models of the HP e3000 to the market, Lancaster was hopeful, but still wary. “As difficult as it was to convince people that the symposium was a good idea, HP’s announcement just months later shouldn’t have been a surprise.”

Coming back home… or Homesteading”?

Many e3000 customers felt betrayed and let down by HP, especially on the heels of making a five-year commitment to the e3000. There was a great deal of uncertainty, and HP’s sudden departure was anything but a

bonding experience for e3000 customers. It was during this initial time of confusion that the term “Homesteading” was used to describe those who choose to remain on the e3000. The term originated with the Homestead Act of 1862, where the U.S. government allowed people to live on, farm, and eventually own large plots of land.

These people lived very independent lifestyles. The term “homesteading” today often refers to those who prefer to do for themselves what had been commonly provided by the government or other large organizations. It is a term that depicts independence and self-sufficiency. Lancaster disagrees that those who choose to remain on the e3000 are homesteaders. “They’re not alone,” he says. Instead, he wants to recreate as much of the e3000 community experience as possible, and that sense of community, he says, is the real fuel behind Resource 3000’s burning desire to support those who remain on the system.

“Many people with whom I’ve worked over the years have dedicated their careers to the e3000 system,” Lancaster continued. “For some, it’s all they know. Homesteading implies that e3000 customers are left to fend for themselves, and with all this incredible talent available, I don’t believe it has to be that way.”

Why would someone with Lancaster’s experience, skills, and ability to achieve financial success outside of the e3000 community return to what many considered a dying relic? Lancaster’s response was swift: “I missed the community,” he said. “When Lund approached me with their proposal to help bring the company back to its roots of loyalty and availability to its customers, I said I would do it on one condition – that I could reestablish tight relationships with the people I’d come to respect
and care for in the e3000 community.”

It didn’t take Lancaster long to call his old friends at Allegro Consulting, Ideal Computer Services, and ORBiT software to propose joining forces. They felt that by coming together to create a one-stop e3000 resource, which they call Resource 3000, they could offer the e3000 community the type of products, service and
consulting that was no longer available as HP moved its skilled staff to other projects. Lancaster says that, “Once we really get the Resource 3000 consortium rolling, I truly believe we’ll see an influx of other longtime e3000 consultants and (continued on next page.)

(Next Page>>)   Resource 3000 - NEWS - Issue No. 1 - JANUARY 2005