Since I started this thread, I thought I would update it --

As the article Ron Seybold linked to pointed out, around 20 years ago,
Cognos changed from issuing 20-year licenses to issuing perpetual licenses.
Depending on who from Cognos you talk to, it's not clear if the change was
made between versions, or if the change was made at a certain point in time.
(In the second case, early adopters of 501 might have 20-year licenses,
while late adopters of 501 might have perpetual licenses.) Cognos has
archived their sales and support records from 20 years ago and it takes them
a while to research any particular case. But we haven't kept *any* of the
paperwork we got from Cognos 20 years ago, so their files are better thanours.

We've been off Cognos support for many years. Cognos made us a fair offer
to reinstate support; if we reinstate, they'll extend the expiration of 501,
and also provide a current supported version if we want to upgrade. (Since
501 is not supported, they won't take responsibility for doing anything
beyond extending the expiration.)

We're software vendors ourselves, and I think Cognos has been very fair.
And the Cognos software did give plenty of warning that it was expiring.
It's not Cognos' fault that we didn't keep our license paperwork from 20
years ago, or that we didn't heed the warning until the software actually
expired.

I advise other HP3000 users running 501 to contact their Cognos sales rep
immediately (if you need to renew support), and then you can get 501
patched. You may also want to find your Cognos paperwork from 20 years ago
to see whether back then you thought you were getting a 20-year license or a
perpetual license.

Tom Combs

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