Timely photos of a time-frozen HP
July 18, 2006
HP carries more history with it than any other Silicon Valley computer maker. The dedication to history is one reason the HP 3000 lasted as long as it did in HP's business plans; the company cared about its longstanding customers up through November of 2001, even though the platform wasn't bringing in as much growth as others. (Profit is another measure altogether. HP still won't step off its 3000 support track at the end of this year. That business is still plenty profitable, per dollar of revenue received.)
All that HP attention to the past is illustrated in a photo essay out on the Web this month. CNET took cameras for a tour of HP's Page Mill Road headquarters, a building erected in 1960 and preserved in that style even today.
One especially interesting photo was evidence of Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard's open door policy. The CNET photographer took a shot showing how the office linoleum in Packard's space had been bleached by the sun coming through the open door.
HP want to open other doors to its 3000 customers today. The 46-year-old HQ building is a memorial to a company and its ideals — inspired work that led to its first general purpose business computer, your system, that sparked the PA-RISC revolution and led to the Unix dreadnought. Alas, the CNET photos of the key products under glass at HP HQ do not include an HP 3000. Only the ThinkJet printer and HP 35 calculator earned a shot. Have a look at the series to recall the HP of the 20th Century.