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HP Hardware

HP Garage on National Register of Historic Places 68

Posted by Zonk
from the keeping-the-oldies-golden dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to the San Jose Mercury News, Bill Hewlett's famous garage is now on the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places. It's not clear what exactly this will do for the structure, since it's already owned by HP and it already very well restored to its original glory. Anyway, for history fans and HP fans alike, this is exciting news, akin to saving the original Edison or Marconi labs. 'At my user group's museum, where David Packard actually worked for a while when it was a military base, our collection features an HP-300A Harmonic Wave Analyzer. That's a generation or two removed from HP's garage years, but it's still fun to appreciate the connections between their first products and the computer revolution.'"
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HP Garage on National Register of Historic Places

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Anyway, for history fans and HP fans alike, this is exciting news, akin to saving the original Edison or Marconi labs.

    Uh, you do realize that you just compared HP to Thomas Edison, don't you?

    Thomas Edison invented the light bulb.

    HP made a printer that plagued me in high school.

    Yeah, they're a major player in the market today and have implemented/reused some good ideas. But they're history is nowhere near as important as Edison's lab. I don't care if you are an 'HP Fan' ... I wouldn't che

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
      It would help if you got your facts straight first. Edison did not invent the light bulb. He merely made one that lasted long enough to be useful.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
        Egg on face, it wasn't necessarily life that was the only problem (though it was one), but other factors too, such as cost of manufacture or cost of operation.
    • I use google every day, my entire life would be seriously inconvenienced without its existence. Tesla's ideas have unfortunately been essentially ignored by all of society don't know of anything he's credited for that I use as often as google or the incandescent lightbulb.
      • by Holi (250190)
        Ummmm how about AC power transmission.
        • I thought his method got shot down in favor of some one elses because of his complete lack of PR ability, like the rest of his inventions. I might be totally wrong because I am no Tesla expert. know just enough to respect him and make myself sound like an idiot in front of anyone who really knows.
          • According to wikipedia, Tesla and Edison fought for years over AC/DC. In the end, Edison admitted his mistake in supporting DC power. He's quoted as saying something like "It isn't exactly pretty, it isn't exactly small, but I'm here to tell you AC has got it all." To which Tesla predictably responded with "Old folks are always telling me 'Boy, why don't you grow up and be a man!' ".

      • by hdparm (575302)
        Here we go... [tesla-museum.org]
      • "don't know of anything he's credited for that I use as often as google or the incandescent lightbulb"

        Okay I can't resist. You are correct. You don't know of anything you use as often &c. How about?..

        Wireless remote control anything.

        Why you are such a compulsive consumer. It's a lot more than advertising and subliminal television.

        Most of the UFO's that are witnessed.

        All the great weather we have been having! ie: Katrina, &c.

        H.A.A.R.P.

        Free Energy! (Sorry. I forgot that's in a parallel timeline)

        Anything else you have observed that seemed odd or out of place, because it was. Tesla had basica

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "Thomas Edison invented the light bulb."

      Umm.... no. That was Joseph Swan. Try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Swan [wikipedia.org]

      I am amazed at:

      a) what Americans consider is history. I live in Dollis Park, Finchley, in the road where Flower built Enigma, the first computer. There is no mark, indication or any other memorial. It's just not old enough.

      b) what Americans think they invented. For some reason the Americans think they are good at science and technology - they actually seem to be very bad at blue-sky thinking
      • by owlnation (858981)
        No wonder you post as an A.C.

        If you wish to prove a point then using Wikipedia isn't a good place to start. If you broadened your search you might find some tangible facts. There were many people involved in the development of the light bulb. Many could be credited, Swann being one of them. But you could just as easily credit Humphrey Davy - or about 15 others.

        In fact, if you consider the light bulb we have today, then the inventor was William Coolidge based on Edison's work.

        With most inventions it
      • by blitz487 (606553)
        What Thomas Edison did was invent a working, useful lightbulb, not a laboratory curiosity. Edison solved all the technical problems with it. That means he gets the credit.
      • James Loewen's book is very good, too bad you just advertized it in a horrible post that has nothing to do with the book. I'm going to guess you haven't read it and just put it in because it criticizes American culture.
      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        The European obsession with dismissing every single American invention by pointing to some lame (and often historically dubious) European predecessor is hilarious. It bespeaks an inferiority complex of epic proportions. Mention any major invention and a dozen Europeans will immediately chime in with "We did it first!" It's worse than listening to a black nationalist spout off how every major invention was actually the work of a black man that was stolen by the evil white man.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Ullteppe (953103)
      To play devil's advocate:

      - You obviously don't know much about HP. They started out making precision measurement equipment, not PCs and printers. This measurement equipment played a very important role in the development of electronics, and so behind the scenes contributed a lot to the state of electronics as it is today. The printers and PCs came much later. HP was also instrumental (heh) in the development of early calculators.

      - Regardless of how much revernment you reserve for the light bulb, this is a

      • It pisses a number of us off that the 'H-P' brand name stayed with the shitty Carly-infested computer hardware and printers. H-P has a long heritage as an excellent test equipment maker. I have plenty of HP gear in my lab. Switching to the 'Agilent' name was a terrible thing.

        H-P's first product was an audio oscillator. I used to have one of the early ones, octal tubes in a big ugly metal box. One of their first sales of their oscillator was to the Walt Disney Company to use in making the movie Fantasia
        • by Ullteppe (953103)
          I completely agree. The right thing to do (once they decided they wanted to merge with Compaq and split off test equipment) would have been to call what is today Agilent for HP, and kept the Compaq name with the computer stuff. If I remember correctly, HP didn't get into the general-purpose computer business before in the late 70s, when they bought Apollo.
    • What next, are you going to compare Google to Tesla?

      With the way all the industry rags seem to be hyping Google lately, it's probably only a matter of time before they accuse Google of building a death ray that's powered by fiber optic lines.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I wonder if one day the garage where Jobs and Wozniak built the Apple I be treated in the same reverent manner. From what I've heard, no one even knows where it is anymore.

    And what about Microsoft's Albuquerque office where they developed software for the Altair? Or the grad lab where Google started?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "From what I've heard, no one even knows where it is anymore."

      How is that even possible?

      Jobs: "I just can't remember where it is."
      Woz: "Hey, look at these two dollar bills! You can buy them by the sheet."
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by flyingsquid (813711)
      I wonder if one day the garage where Jobs and Wozniak built the Apple I be treated in the same reverent manner. From what I've heard, no one even knows where it is anymore.

      That old thing? Jobs had it bulldozed and replaced with a hip, stylish building made of white lucite and brushed aluminum.

  • by chromozone (847904) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @12:42AM (#19188253)
    Now you can see whay the Register of Historic Places has been criticised for easy access with the NRHP criteria criticised as "so broad as to be almost useless when evaluating specific properties".
  • Well, my garage is Federal Superfund Hazardous Waste and Dumping Site!
    • Mine may soon be, too, if I don't do something with that huge pile of Dell Optiplexes in it.

      The hammer will come down. They'll declare owning more than a certain amount of lead and mercury illegal. I'll be shot dead, clinging to my VAX and refusing to cooperate with the 'authorities.'
  • HP-11c (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pipingguy (566974) * on Saturday May 19, 2007 @01:10AM (#19188375) Homepage
    I just want to know who owns the patent/trademark/copyright for the HP-11 series of calculators.

    There are thousands of engineering types worldwide that want to see this model come back. And, no, it doesn't need blinking lights, multi-line graphical displays or weird keypad layout. Just give us back the old horizontal format RPN machine that is beloved by engineers worldwide.

    For those unfamiliar, RPN is sort of like Linux vs. Windows - confusing at first but really powerful once the concept is grasped. Plus it has the added bonus of confusing the "where's the any key?" types who cannot find the "=" button.
    • by HW_Hack (1031622)
      Sorry but my HP-15C runs circles around your 11C -- great calculator - 23yrs old still works like a charm ... and no "=" button - priceless
    • Yes, being unusable by those unfamiliar is definitely a desirable property. Shall we have a nice argument about why Linux isn't catching on amongst the general populace again?
      • by Agripa (139780)
        I have occasionally gained experience in this:

        "Can I use your calculator for a minute?"

        "Um, no thanks."
      • When dealing with a complex set of operations (in this case, relatively advanced math) having a user interface that cannot be operated by a layman usually means that the UI is appropriately complex and optimized for what the pros will use it for. HP's RPN calculators are in the same position as emacs and vi: the developers refuse to compromise the usability for pros in order to make it a little easier for somebody who can't be bothered to read a few pages of the manual. This is not a bad thing. It is simply
        • Oh, I get that. All I mean to say is that this is a symptom of what some Slashdot people consider to be a larger problem - the lack of adoption of "geek-approved" tools outside of the geek market. You don't need to defend it. I am merely pointing it out.
        • Most 'geeks' these days would be hopelessly lost trying to use even an old non-digital oscilloscope, let alone any complicated piece of equipment. I'll keep mine, thankyou. The Tek 465M is a hell of a scope, even today. My Tek 7834 mainframe is a marvel of engineering.

          I sold my HP-15C on ebay awhile back. I've started using a new HP-50g (heresy! burn the apostate! I know. Sigh) I haven't sold my HP-11C yet, though.

  • I know from insiders that HP is offshoring left and right.
  • "HP has fans?"

    But then I thought about my mom and dad's old Laserjet 4L. That damn printer is an unkillable beast, that's real, real economical with the toner and the output remains flawless. That thing came from the Windows 3.1 box we had, a 486/66. I can be a fan of something that was reasonably priced and built to last.

    And of course, the calculators are the stuff of legend in certain circles.
  • Ink (Score:2, Insightful)

    by olrik666 (574545)
    Admission fee? Nothing.
    Ink to sign the guess book? 4 US $
    Forgetting the whole thing? Priceless!

    Olrik
  • It's not clear what exactly this will do for the structure, since it's already owned by HP and it already very well restored to its original glory.

    What is will do is to protect the garage from HP. Even if the current management considers an historic landmark, there's no guarantee that future administrations will. Suppose in 2073 the company gets purchased by some Albanian-based conglomerate for its perpetual patent portfolio, lays off the remaining 538 U.S. employees, and tries to sell the property to a h

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      No, this is a common misconception. The register doesn't prohibit private companies from doing whatever they damn well please with the property, it only says the government can't tear it down and tax dollars can't be used in any way to tear it down. HP could bulldoze it tomorrow if they wanted to (though they might miss out on a small tax break if they're renovating it and using it as part of their business), or sell it to another private company who could also tear it down.
  • Today:
    HP = computers and printers
    Agilent = Test and measurement
    Original HP = Agilent
    • True! They gave the "HP" name to the wrong half of the company. It should be re-named the Agilent Garage. Also, did anyone forget Steve Wozniak designed the Apple I when he worked at HP then when HP wasn't interested in it he left to start Apple? Gordon A HP/Agilent Employee 1996-2000

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