Personal HP Stories

revised Oct. 30, 2005

On this page I share various personal stories of my experiences with HP.  The stories are generally arraigned in chronological order but there are some overlaps of time.  I wrote all of these in a short time frame and plan to edit and expand as needed in the near future.  In some cases I put some things to jog my memory when I get back to this.

My first experience with HP test equipment:  I graduated from high school in May of 1972 and immediately went to Bessemer State Technical College to work on a two-year degree in electronics.  I had heard of the Hewlett-Packard Company but knew little about it.  At school I used various surplus pieces of HP test equipment including the HP200CD, HP608D, various oscilloscopes including the HP130CR, HP120AR, and an HP170A.  I remember the HP170A was very heavy and had a calibrated sweep expander down to 20 ns per division.  I was intrigued to use that time resolving ability to measure the speed of light.  I set up experiments to measure the propagation delay in cables thus confirming the speed of light after allowing for the propagation factor in the cables.  In the microwave labs I remember some HP equipment but do not remember model numbers -- it would most likely have been an HP616.  I developed a high appreciation of the HP equipment noting that it was solid, durable, and worked exceptionally well.  This equipment was obtained through the surplus market and sometimes needed repairs.  I gained experience making repairs and in the process learned a lot about how to build solid test equipment.

HP35 scientific calculator:  I remember reading several magazine articles in early 1972 about this new calculator and dreamed of owning one.  At that time the only calculation equipment I had was a slide rule.  But the $395 price tag was an order of magnitude beyond my reach at that time.  In 1974 when I entered Auburn University to work on a degree in electrical engineering I saw an HP35 that a dorm mate had.  He gave me a number of demonstrations of it and I continued to dream of owning one. At that time my only calculation tool was a slide rule.  As far as I know I was the last person at the university to use a slide rule as a primary calculation instrument.  Everyone else had a calculator.  Most of the calculators were made by TI, Casio, and others as these were relatively cheap.  There were very few HP35 calculators around at that time.  I knew I needed a calculator but could not afford one.  Many years later in 2003 I purchased two working HP35 calculators on ebay.  It is interesting to operate these primitive machines and think back what a marvel they were in 1972.  I bought these primarily to add to my huge collection of HP test equipment but also to satisfy a yearning to own one I had many years ago.

Time shared basic:  My first experience with a computer was in 1974 when I was at Auburn University.  The engineering school had an HP2000 time shared BASIC computer system using about a dozen teletype machines.   The computer was an HP2116B.  I learned to program the computer using BASIC and we used existing programs stored on the computer for doing simulations of electronic control systems. In 1975 the system was upgraded to an HP3000 system.  The noisy and clunky teletype machines were replaced with video monitors and the system was much faster.

HP25 scientific programmable calculator:  I was attending Auburn University working on a degree in electrical engineering.  My only calculation equipment was my slide rule and a four function calculator.  I dreamed of owning an HP calculator but had little money.  When I read an advertisement for the newly announced HP25 in 1975 I knew that this was going to be my calculator.  My father bought me this calculator for Christmas.  I was not familiar with Reverse Polish Notation (RPN) but I knew that mastering this was the key to success so I carefully and methodically went through the manual cover to cover working every example and mastered the operation.  It paid off.  Thirty years later I still punch equations into my various HP RPN calculators without a moment's thought.  RPN is truly the most natural way to solve problems.

HP302A wave analyzer:   First some background information.  I had used a wave analyzer (a.k.a. tuned voltmeter) while at Auburn University while I was working on a degree in electrical engineering.  For those not familiar with this, a tuned voltmeter (or wave analyzer as HP called them) measures signal amplitude around a very narrow band pass.  The center frequency is manually tuned.  This is essentially a manually tuned spectrum analyzer.  I am 99.9% sure the instrument we used in a laboratory exercise for a class relating to Fourier series (decomposing a complex waveform into its component parts) was an HP302A. It was around 1977 and we had been given an assignment to calculate the Fourier series for a half wave rectified sine wave.  The instructor set up the equipment and asked us what amplitude should the instrument indicate at the fundamental.  I only had to multiply the sine wave amplitude he gave us by the factor that I had pre worked using my HP25 calculator.  He tuned the instrument to the fundamental frequency and my answer was confirmed by the meter indication.  He then asked us for the amplitude of the second harmonic. Again I had the answer with a quick calculation on my HP 25.  This continued with the third harmonic.  Then the instructor asked the class, "Are you going to let Ken do all the work?  Somebody else give me an answer."  In 2000 I bought and restored and HP302A for my collection.  It is a joy to use.

HP80 financial calculator:  Even though my father was an economist he had a great appreciation of the technical quality of the Hewlett Packard company.  I never knew how in his position that he could know enough to have the high respect that he had.  He purchased an HP80 shortly after it became available and used it a lot for over 25 years before I inherited it.  It still works perfectly to this day.  In the 1980s he gave serious consideration to an HP computer system for his office but had to go with another company that bid a lower price.

HP Journals:  When I began my first engineering job in February, 1979, my boss informed me that reading the HP Journal was required.  My boss had a very high appreciation of HP and always marveled at the very clever solutions HP engineers found to difficult problems.  He loaned me numerous recent issues and I read them all and realized that this was an excellent publication.  I really liked the discussion of the pros and cons of various approaches before HP engineers settled on the final approach.  I have always been a strong believer that the key to engineering is mathematics so the mathematical discussions were very interesting.  The picture and brief bio of the engineers involved with each instrument added the final touch.  I could easily picture myself doing the same kind of work and seriously considered sending HP my resume a few years later.  I began a subscription to the HP Journal.  Years later when my then boss was nearing retirement he asked if I wanted to take over his collection of HP Journals.  He knew that I cared and would appreciate them.  He could not bear to throw these treasures in the trash. I of course said yes.  There were many issues from 1950 up until the mid 1980s although there were significant gaps of missing issues.  Reading the vintage issues was very interesting and I read and re read many of them.  Years later these would guide me in building a collection of vintage HP instruments.

Beginning around 2002 I searched on ebay for HP Journals and was able to obtain a complete collection from the inception in 1949 up until the early 1990s.  A few issues are photocopies but the bulk are originals.  I also have most issues up to the last one in Nov. 1998.  Some are printouts from the archives on the HP website.  There are only about a half dozen issues (mainly in the 1991 to 1993 time frame) I do not have at present and it is just a matter of time before I find those.

HP41C scientific programmable calculator:   Early in 1979 when I was now working as an electrical engineer, an HP instrument sales person stopped by the company.  I asked him if he knew anything about whether HP was going to introduce a new calculator as it had been a while since a major calculator had been introduced.  I was now prepared to purchase a top of the line unit.  He told me to wait for a few months and that I would be very pleased.  Sure enough, later that year the HP41C was announced and I immediately placed a direct order with HP to purchase one.  Once again, demand far exceeded the ability of HP to supply them and I received numerous notices that shipping would be delayed, delayed again, and delayed again.  I was finally beginning to see HP41Cs in stores and decided that the fastest way to obtain one would be to cancel the order with HP and buy one locally.  So I checked the cancel order box on the most recent delayed shipment post card I had received and mailed it to HP.  About a week later I received a phone call from HP.  The lady told me that the computer had scheduled the shipment of the HP41C to me for next week and that there was no way they could stop the computer.  (I still remember that well as it was scary.  The phrase, "... there was no way they could stop the computer," kept ringing in my mind.  It reminded me of some science fiction movies where a computer ran amok.) She said that I could simply mark "refused" on the package and that HP would pay for return shipment.  I responded that I would definitely keep it as that is what I wanted and had been waiting for.  Shortly afterwards the calculator and three memory modules arrived.  I spent many hours mastering the calculator's many functions.  The programming ability was better than anything I had ever seen and I wrote many programs for doing numerical analysis.  This calculator was really my first computer.  I even wrote what would later be called a spreadsheet for it to do comparitive economic analysis.  Very clunky by today's standards but it did the job.  At that time this was powerful -- I had no other way of doing it.

I added a card reader and the thermal printer to make a complete system.  The thermal printer has a very amusing story -- this really happened as unbelievable as it sounds -- I have not embellished anything.  I had wanted a thermal printer but the $350 price tag was just too steep for me.  I had ordered some extra magnetic cards for the card reader from an electronics store in California.  When the package arrived it was unusually large and heavy considering that the items I ordered were all feather weight.  I opened the package and there was the HP thermal printer I had wanted.  I checked the invoice and it was not listed. I was charged only for the magnetic cards and a few other small items I had ordered. Also, I had not received the magnetic cards I had ordered.  In checking over some other things I found out that there was only one digit difference in that stores numbering system between the magnetic cards and the thermal printer.  Obviously, they had made a mistake.  My thought was to call them and offer to buy the thermal printer at a discount since it would cost them time and money to have it returned. I called and the first person I talked to quickly informed me that they had a no return policy.  I told him that a mistake had been made and that I wanted to purchase the unit at a fair discount.  He then told me that they do not make mistakes -- that if I ordered something then that is what I received.  This conversation was going nowhere.  Finally, he transferred me to the stock room and I talked to the stock room manager.  Once again I explained the situation and his response was that he was very sorry for the mistake and since I did not receive the printer then he would send me one right away -- now I am about to have two printers!  At this point I just about did not know what to say as I could not believe the total stupidity of this phone conversation -- this was supposed to be real simple.  I quickly told him no, no, no.  I explained again and this time he understood and responded that he would send someone to pick it up.  Again, I am just shocked -- he is in California and I am in Alabama.  We could make no further progress so he transferred me to another manager.  This person finally had at least some intelligence.  I explained the situation to her and she agreed that it was a good idea for me to purchase the unit at a discount.  She said that she would have to discuss this with another manager and call me back.  Just when I think that things are finally getting better, they get worse.  About an hour later she called me back and offered a $10 discount.  Again, I just can not believe what I am hearing on the phone.  I told her that return shipping would be more than that and that the discount was going to have to be more substantial.  After some discussion she agreed to give me a $100 discount.  So, I bought the printer for about $200 considering their discount price and the further discount I received.  I probably could have just kept the printer and not made the phone call and they would never have figured it out.  But I am a fundamentally honest person who lives by the motto,
The secret to sleeping well at night
is to have during the day, done everyone right

In around 1980, I called the HP calculator technical support number to ask some question concerning the HP41.  The HP employee I talked to was very helpful and provided the information I needed.  Then he had a question for me.  He asked if I was having any trouble purchasing batteries for the HP41.  He continued by telling me that he had received numerous phone calls from people who could not find the batteries in local stores and he had no idea what to tell them.  I told him that the batteries used in the HP41 were camera batteries and were readily available in any store that had a camera section.  The batteries would not be found in the regular battery section.  He thanked me for this information.  I thought it was interesting that here I was providing information to HP about their product.  I have always thought that HP had made a mistake in the design of the HP41 by using N cells (a small special cell for cameras) instead of the more practical AA or AAA cells. Perhaps N cells are better able to the peak load current for the optional card reader.  Perhaps someone in marketing had specified the size of the calculator such that the more practical cells would not fit -- never let marketing do engineering.

I am writing this in 2005 and the HP41C calculator still works perfectly after nearly 26 years of service and I continue to use it and even program it on occasion.  I long ago quit using the card reader, printer, and other accessories as personal computers taken over those tasks.  But I still have these items in my collection and may get them to work again for old time's sake.  I recently purchased an HP41C on ebay just so I could have one at home and at my office without having to carry one back and forth.

Reverse engineering using an HP3000 computer:  This is an interesting story that I am very proud of.  The only connection of HP to the story is that an HP3000 computer was used for the extensive calculations.  In 1983 I was working as engineering manager at PBR Electronics in Athens, Alabama.  I had been an engineering co-op there while attending Auburn University in the 1970s.  One difficult job that I inherited from the previous engineers who had retired was finding a solution to building a magnetic amplifier subsystem for the HAWK (Homing All the Way Killer) anti-aircraft missile.  For those not familiar with them, a magnetic amplifier to vary the saturation level in an iron core thus varying the conduction of alternating current (typically 400 Hz).  Magnetic amplifiers are extremely robust and if not destroyed outright, will continue to operate after a nuclear blast.  Raytheon had always built these previously but this work had now been set aside for small business.  The problem was that the drawings were incomplete and critical resistor values were missing.  I called the project office at the Missile Command and talked to an engineer who confirmed that the government did not have this information and gave me a contact at Raytheon.  I knew that Raytheon was not happy with us getting the contract and would probably not be helpful.  But for the record I had to call and sure enough was basically told to go jump in a lake.  So here we were stuck with a government contract to make something for which there were no complete drawings available.  I thought for a while and realized that there was a HAWK training facility at Red Stone Arsenal and they would very likely have one of these amplifier units.  With access to this I could make external resistance measurements on the potted amplifier assemblies that would make it possible to deduce the correct resistor values.  I called the Missile Command and explained this to the contract specialist.  He agreed and arraigned for us to visit the facility.  I took our best ohmmeter and made every permutation of resistance measurements I could.  The magnetic cores and resistor networks were encased in a black potting material so direct measurements of the resistor values was not possible.  I wrote a program in HP BASIC to search every possible combination of resistors for the network until a close match was found to my external measurements.  Our company computer was an HP3000.  Interestingly, the resulting data sets had a Gaussian distribution with the maximum value being the most probable resistor value for each set.  We used this data for each resistor value in the network and built a prototype which worked exactly to the specification it had to meet.  Thus, we went to production.  As this was being wrapped up I returned to my previous employer in Birmingham so my fellow engineer and friend, Julio (known affectionately as the wild man from El Salvador), inherited my work.  Some weeks later he called me to ask a question and to tell me a funny story.  He told me that none of the production units worked at all.  When he traced the prototype I built he discovered a discrepancy between how I wired the system and the schematic diagram the production units were built to.  I had crossed the windings of one of the transformers.  The production units worked fine if that same winding was crossed.  How did I know to cross that winding?  I had not realized that I had done that but told him that I knew how magnetic amplifiers were connected and probably subconsciously corrected the error that was on the schematic.  The funny story he told me was that Raytheon found out that PBR was having great success in building these units and had also won a contract to build some.  They had not built any of these in many years and the original people were all gone.  They too ran into the same problem with not knowing what the correct resistor values for the network were.  Raytheon called PBR to inquire about this and the president of PBR told them that for $50,000 he would tell them.  They did not pay and were not informed of the resistor values (and also of the wiring error on their schematic) that had been designed by their engineers may years previously.

An example of a simple HP solution to a difficult problem:   Around 1995 I was working on a design of a new flame ionization detector (FID) for my employer. For those not familiar with this, an FID is used to measure for the presence of certain chemicals that have been separated in time using gas chromotography (GC).  Certain chemicals if present will show up at a specific time in the GC cycle.  The chemicals are detected by burning the effluent from a GC column in a hydrogen flame and using an electrically biased pickup to instrument ions released in the burning process.  The pickup has to be biased at some voltage relative to the flame thus requiring the electrometer to operate at a large offset from ground.  This requires expensive isolation amplifiers to remove the offset.  I was considering ways to eliminate the isolation amplifier but everything I tried clearly failed on paper as any electronics I could conceive of would not have the required ultra high isolation resistance (generally in the 10^14 ohm range).  I encountered an HP5890 GC that had an FID detector installed.  With much curiosity I took the cover off to see how HP did their FID electronics.  The exact moment the cover was removed I saw immediately how HP did it.  They had used the exact approach that I had figured out but had a very clever implementation that very simply solved the ultra high isolation resistance problem that had eluded me.  I kept looking at what HP had done with amazement and disappointment that I had not figured that out. It should have been obvious to me as I had wound that very kind of transformer that HP used to solve the problem.  This is just one of countless examples of how HP engineering transformed seemingly unsolvable problems into simple and cost effective solutions.  Anytime I encounter a challenging engineering problem I ask myself the question, "How would an HP engineer do this?"  And I find the solution and people think I am a genius.  There is more to the HP Way than just management.

How myself and company beat HP in an instrument competition:   This is an interesting story of how I used my knowledge of the HP way of engineering to develop a device that enabled the company I work for to triumph over HP in an instrument competition.

First a little background.  The company I work for sells specialized instruments for measuring trace amounts of chemical warfare agents.  HP tried to sell its gas chromatograh systems into this market but was having limited success.  I think the main problem was that this market sector was just too small for HP to justify the expense of pursuing it with zeal.  There was no doubt in my mind that HP had superior systems, electronics, and software.  However, those were not optimized for this special market like our clunky equipment was.  The equipment that the company I work for makes is very clunky and would have HP engineers rolling in the floor with laughter.  However, our equipment does address the specific needs of the market.

This was in the summer of 1999.  The government arranged for a long test to see how our instrument, HP's instrument, and another company's instrument (they dropped out of the competition) would work measuring trace amounts of three different chemical agents simultaneously over many weeks.  This is a very difficult task for any instrument because optimizations for one chemical agent make the instrument less sensitive to the others.  The instrument would have to be very sensitive to all three simultaneously.  Our in-house tests showed that on good days we could meet the specification but we had little margin for less than perfect days.

The problem was compounded by having to locate the equipment at one place and run long lines of heated Teflon tubing to transport an air sample to the instrument from another location.  Further, one of the chemicals could not be transported down the lines and had to first undergo a chemical conversion to create a derivative chemical that would transport.  But one of the other chemical agents was not compatible with this derivative process and would have to be transported via a separate line.  So, two lines were required to transport the three chemical agents.  This is just the beginning of the problem.  These two lines had to converge into the sample inlet of our instrument and precise sample flow for each line had to be maintained so that a specific volume of air was sampled through each line in a specified time.  Otherwise there would be no way to calibrate the instrument.  The usual way to accomplish this would be to use a flow controller in each line to regulate flow.  However this will not work because the chemicals will tend to stick to the flow controller inner surfaces thus spoiling any hope of chemical calibration.  We did use a single flow controller on the outlet of our instrument to the vacuum pump which pulled the air sample (the desired chemicals are captured by our instrument and do not appear in the outlet).  The problem was how to regulate precise sample flow in two separate lines with varying restrictions with a single flow controller downstream of where the lines converged.  Think about this for a while -- there is no way to do it.

This was a critical problem to solve if we were to have any chance in this competition.  Fundamentally it was impossible.  I put on my HP thinking cap and in the classic HP engineering style transformed an impossible problem into a simple solution.  I realized that we could put a heated valve (heated so chemicals would not stick to the surface) in each line and operate each line one at a time repeatedly during the period of time our instrument collected air samples.  Thus, the flow through each line would be precisely regulated by the sample flow controller for a specific time and our instrument could collect all three chemicals with precision.  The key was that by alternating the valves at a sufficient rate and proportion, a precise effective simultaneous flow could be achieved in each line.  I proposed this concept and our chemists worked out the specific details.  The device worked great and gave us the competitive edge we needed.  We actually got a patent on this device (6,640,654, Variable Split Sampler for Air Monitoring).  The difficulty and extreme torture in the patent was translating the operation into the required legalese.  That was much more difficult than making the device work.  The biggest disappointment was that the formal drawings of the device fell through a crack and the drawings in the patent are very ugly hand sketches.

I think HP addressed the problem by using a dual instrument so that no convergence of samples was required.  We could have used two instruments but that would have made the total cost prohibitive.  Our device gave us a significant cost advantage.   Our technical advantage came from a specialized detector known as a PFPD (pulsed flame photometric detector).  We acquired a license from the inventor in Israel to manufacture this detector and it features both high sensitivity and selectivity.  It is an extension of the traditional FPD (flame photometric detector) and works by repeated explosions using hydrogen of the effluent from the GC (gas-chromatograph) column.  Different chemicals burn at different times in the explosion and a high speed data acquisition system with time slicing can be used to further separate chemicals that would otherwise be simultaneously detected in the traditional FPD that HP used.  With more technically advanced electronics and software signal processing, HP had better sensitivity than our normal FPD instrument.  However, the PFPD detector had the sensitivity and with additional chemical selectivity was more immune to false alarms than a pure FPD could ever be no matter how good.  This was our technilogical edge. I designed the electronics and wrote the embedded firmware for our PFPD and it has seen good sales by our parent company.  Although HP did well in this contest considering the difficult challenge, our system performed better and had cost advantages. Our many years of experience in this specialized sector paid off.  In fairness to the small group of individuals at HP who I know worked very hard on this contest, our victory was really due to the fact that this market sector is just a bit small for HP to justify the resources that would enable them to capture it.  We would for sure have lost the contest both technically and on cost if we had been up against HP at its best.  As of this writing in 2005, Agilent is still a competitor but the company I work for continues to maintain the majority share of the market.

HP141S Oscilloscope:  This was my very first piece of HP test equipment.  This piece had been retired from service at the company where I work and was on its way to the land fill in late 1999 because it did not work properly.  I could not bear to see such a fine instrument end in such a brutal way so I asked to take it.  The problem it had was an intermittency in the horizontal sweep.  I took it home and cleaned it up to look just like new in my shop.  I acquired manuals for the scope and tried to locate the problem.  As I worked on the scope more and more looking for the problem the problem occurrence became more rare. I finally traced the problem to a dirty contact on the plug-in horizontal time base unit.

The collection starts:  It was early in the year, 2000, and I was very proud to have and use the HP141S scope and thought that I ought to have more old HP equipment.  I studied my collection (then very incomplete) of HP Journals and read articles about vintage equipment I wanted to own.  The HP8405A Vector Voltmeter really caught my attention and I discovered a brand new one still sealed in the box at Fair Radio Sales for about $300.  I quickly bought that.  I liked wave analyzers and needed one for some work I was doing so I bought an HP302A and HP310A wave analyzer from Fair Radio Sales.  Both needed some repair and adjustment as well as a serious cleaning to remove an accumulation of cigarette tar.  Most of the precision capacitors in the HP310A were open so I had to rebuild the correct capacitance with a combination of capacitors in my shop.  After a lot of enjoyable effort both units worked like new.  Next I added an HP334 Distortion Analyzer.  I bought an HP500A frequency meter with a low serial number (around 140) and restored it to brand new condition.  Over the next year and a half the collection slowly grew with acquisitions purchased at electronic flea markets.  In the fall of 2001 I joined ebay and found numerous treasures that I could not find anywhere else.  At first my interest was to collect a number of vintage pieces that I could restore and use in my work.  Around 2002 I began to entertain thoughts that I should have a museum as well.  Thus, I began accumulating numerous vintage pieces.  My goal is to restore everything to like new cosmetic and functional condition.  I do not have a good count of the individual pieces of equipment but I estimate that it is well over 200.

How two competitors became friends:  This is the story of how two people who had been ebay foes became close friends once they realized they were on the same team.  The story begins in 2003 when I found very stiff competition in bidding on ebay for some vintage HP items.  Sometimes I won, sometimes he won.  No doubt the seller was a big winner as the price for an item went very high.  In the fall of 2003 I won an HP200I oscillator from Mr.Vanek in New York.  I mentioned my hpmuseum website and Mr. Vanek liked it very much.  Soon thereafter he had a vintage HP610B UHF oscillator for auction.  I bid a very good price thinking that I would probably be the only bidder or if anyone else bid it would not be much.  At the last second my now friend, Marc Mislanghe (who retired from HP France), placed the winning bid. Mr. Vanek had been rooting for me to win and emailed me that he was surprised that someone would beat me at the last second.  He asked if I knew the fellow that beat me.  I responded that we had been in a number of bidding wars but there were no hard feelings about loosing. Mr. Vanek responded that he was impressed that I did not hold any hard feelings and also told me that I should contact Marc because Marc was a collector of vintage HP items too.  So I sent Marc a brief email and gave him a link to my hpmuseum web site.  Marc was very impressed and we immediately became very good international friends.  We exchanged items that we had duplicates of but that the other needed.  Marc explained that his goal was both a physical and virtual HP Museum.  That is the same goal I have.  Marc sent me a huge package of HP Journals that I was missing and I sent Marc a variety of items he was missing.  Marc also sent me an extra copy of the "Wrapping it Up" issue of the HP employee magazine called Measure.  I read that issue cover to cover twice reliving HP history for my self.  In some cases where Marc wanted an item on ebay and the seller would not ship to France, I won the item for him and shipped it myself.  We coordinate our bidding on ebay so that we never bid against each other.  We work out in advance who will win the item.  In the spring of 2004 I Americanized the English in a fantastic PowerPoint presentation Marc had created outlining his plan for a museum.  Marc honored me with a telephone call to thank me for my efforts.  Marc has sent me pictures of his work on a real museum and plans for his virtual museum.  I can tell everyone now that this will be a fantastic web site when it is up.  I will promptly post a link to it.  Marc is typical of every HP employee I have encountered.  He has a strong belief in the founding HP principles and a high respect for the company.

Relations with HP employees:   I have had several inquiries from HP employees concerning the restoration of vintage HP oscillators and other HP equipment they won on ebay.  Generally, they first found me via ebay and then I refer them to my web site.  All were very impressed with the site.  As my web site gains popularity I will probably receive a lot more inquiries.  What strikes me about every current or former HP employee I have encountered is a very strong belief and dedication to the company unlike any other company I have ever known.  HP is not just employment, it is a way of life -- again, the HP Way is more than just about management.  The employees I have worked with were quite interested in the history of the company and felt that they should own some of the history.  I am always glad to provide historical and technical information.

Although I have never worked for HP I feel as though I have the HP spirit.  In the early 1980s I almost sent HP my resume.  Perhaps I should have.  Interestingly, every company I have worked for clearly showed some effort at mimicking The HP Way (with varying degrees of success or not) and used HP equipment so I have never been far from HP.  Even my basement shop is full of HP equipment.  HP is omnipresent. There is hardly anyone anywhere in the civilized world that is not fairly close to some piece of HP/Agilent equipment whether it is a computer, printer, or test equipment.  While I am restoring a vintage HP oscillator I almost feel that Bill is watching over me with joy.

Links to other web pages on this site This link takes you to the main HP Museum page. This link takes you to the main page of my personal web site where you can access a variety of information.