Hewlett-Packard, one of the biggest technology companies on earth, began its life inside a garage in a quiet professor-laden neighborhood of Palo Alto, California. In 1987, the company's Ground Zero gained historical landmark status with the State of California as "The Birthplace of Silicon Valley." This year HP is taking the time and spending the money to refurbish and renovate The Garage and the house in front of it at 367 Addison Avenue back to its classic 1938 look. HP now owns the property, a significant part of its history, once again.
This week, while we wait for HP to make its promised "second-half of 2005" announcement about the post-2006 era of the HP 3000, we suggest you take a look at the new video HP's put together about the company's roots and that garage. HP has been through a lot of changes since 1939, when Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard sold their first oscillator for $847.50. But no matter what is announced this week before HP goes on its year-end holiday sabbatical, looking back at the company's heritage makes it easier to believe the HP Way that spawned MPE still lives in the intentions of some of the HP employees who still serve the 3000 community.
Have a look at the film at the company's Garage renovation Web page. (The link is on the right-hand sidebar of the HP page). Stay tuned to this space for an update — whenever HP makes it — on the source code decision and whatever else the vendor has to say about helping its customers preserve a heritage. History is something this large corporation obviously still considers important.