How HP Got its First Calculators

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Interview with the men who brought
the calculator to Hewlett-Packard; By Steve Leibson


This year 2008 marks the 40 th anniversary of HP's entry into the calculator market. Many, many people contributed to this event, but two people stand out. Steve Leibson recently recorded two fabulous video interviews with Dave Cochran and Tom Osborne. These are must-see TV if you enjoy learning about the history of technology.


Tom Osborne in the Sep. 1968, Hewlett-Packard Journal
Courtesy of the Hewlett-Packard Company

Interview with Tom Osborne
By Steve Leibson
February 22, 2008


"How HP Got its First Calculators"


Tom Osborne was never an HP employee, but he designed and built the prototype machine that was destined to be the foundation of HP's first calculator, the HP 9100A.

Click below to see the video on YouTube:






Dave Cochran in the Sep. 1968, Hewlett-Packard Journal
Courtesy of the Hewlett-Packard Company

Interview with Dave Cochran
By Steve Leibson
October 23, 2007


" Dave Cochran, Calculator Pioneer: The Video Interview "

Dave Cochran was creator of the software in the HP 9100 desktop calculator and HP 35 World first pocket scientific calculator.

Click below to see the video on YouTube:







In-depth Reading about Early Computers at HP

Another chapter of this web site is dedicated to the Model 9100 calculator. Early HP computers from 1966 up to 1980 are discussed in the Quick Tour 1960-1980 period.

The Steve Leibson web site is certainly the most accurate about the early computing evolution at HP. Steve Leibson who worked at the Loveland factory made an in-depth description of the major steps of the HP early computer production. Starting with the 2116 instrumentation computer up to the birth of the 9825 "The little Computer that could!", Steve relates a complete historical timeline of the various orientation taken by HP to produce a computer product line as successful as was its previous production in the instrumentation business. In a chapter specifically dedicated to the 9100 Project, Steve Leibson unveils all the details of the human side of the story with a wonderful style rarely found in technical writing.
" Sometimes it feels like the planets have aligned, the fates are all pointing at you, and "somethin's just gonna happen." HP's VP of Research Barney Oliver must have felt like this in June of 1965 when he was visited by not just one but two inventors who had different but equally radical ideas for building a scientific calculator."
What follows this Steve's introduction is the most pleasant reading you could find regarding computer birth at HP.

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