I've been an HP and HP-UX user since 1984
(back in the 9000/500 days and HP-UX 2.0). I really
like the products, the engineering and software
are quite solid. I've always had great service,
both hardware and software.
I currently have a nice K250 with 2.6 Gbytes
of RAM, 500 Gigabytes of disk and all other
resources I need. But what's happening to HP?
Last summer, I got a letter from HP saying my
700RX x-terminals (including the keyboards!) were
not Y2K compliant and would not be supported after
Dec 31, 1999. OK--so I got $25k and bought new
X-terminals (plus more for expansion--over 20
x-terminals). Guess what, the old x-terminals
(and the keyboards!) still work just fine! And I wanted to
upgrade some less than 1-year old x-terminals
to 100-mbit ethernet cards--guess what: HP stopped
making X-terminals and I can't get the cards!
(what does this mean for parts?).
Then this week I get a letter from HP saying they
will no longer support fortran 77 after Dec 31, 2001.
Mine is a scientific group with a couple of hundred
thousand lines of fortran 77. What am I to do?
HP is offering a free upgrade to fortran 90, but
I've heard f90 is not backward compatible with
f77 (anyone know about this or just how incompatible
I used to have a great sales rep, but he got promoted.
I haven't been able to talk to a knowledgable rep in
the several years. And when I have called with a question,
I've not gotten answers--often afte I ask the question, not
even a return call. Don't they care to sell something?
In the past ~5 years I've not bought from HP--only 3rd
party vendors--they usually have some answers, but not all.
Go to HPs web site and try and find something. It can be
quite difficult. If you can find it, it probably is a really
great product. (e.g. go try and find the largest fast-
wide differential disk drive for K-series servers--probably
takes at least 15 minutes unless you've got a bookmark or
know what all the management buzzwords about waht enterprize
computing are and how they will solve all your problems
(they don't even know what my problem is!).
How about a web site like a catalog? HP's old catalogs
were quite easy to find stuff in. Now you need the product
number to find it on the web, and even then it may be a page
that says how great the A123456A box is and how it will
solve all my problems, and never actually tell you what
an A123456A really is!
My problem is HP has become disconnected with the customers.
If they stop selling key products at the drop of a hat,
I have lost confidence in them. Why should I invest
hundreds of thousands of dollars if I have no confidence
that a key product will no longer be available?
I have a number of scientist colleagues who bought HP
a decade+ ago, but for similar reasons,
essentially all have gone to other vendors--I've been
one of the last holdouts.
Can anyone email me the address of the president of HP?
Or sall I just plead for the engineers to fire all
the managers and take their company back?
Sorry for the long rant--I'm just hoping someone from
HP is listening--the products are really great.