Other Readings

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Other Readings



The HP Way, How Bill Hewlett and I
Built Our Company

By David Packard

For anybody wanting to learn the main thing about the HP story, here is the book to be read before anything else. The HP Way was written by Dave Packard and edited in 1995 by David Kirby and Karen Lewis.
David Kirby has been associated with Dave Packard for twenty-seven years. He established and managed HP's Public Relations Department until his retirement in 1989. Karen Lewis, formerly with the Harvard University Archives, began the archival program at HP, where she has been corporate archivist since 1987. Karen is still today Director Media Communications and Archives at Agilent Technologies.

In 1995, for its first edition, the book was distributed to every HP employee worldwide with the following message written by Dave Packard:

To All HP People:

I hope you'll enjoy this account of how Bill and I started the company and how it developed into a worldwide leader in technology, innovation and business enterprise. I have also described those HP values and management principles that together have become known as the "HP Way".
HP's success is due to the talents and dedication of you and your colleagues and of the people who have gone before you. Together we have built a truly remarkable company. I believe it is a company without peer and I hope, as you read the pages that follow, you will feel a deep sense of pride and satisfaction in what we have accomplished.

The book can be bought from many sources like Amazon.com




INSIDE HP: A narrative history
of Hewlett-Packard from 1939-1990

By John Minck

John Minck started writting some parts of this narrative back in the early 1980's because he felt that it might be useful for new employees of HP to know more about the early culture of the company.

This narrative is today a huge book in PDF format that describes the history as he and others lived it over the years. It is a very enjoyable read that gives many details on the company people and products.

John Minck retired in 1995, after a 38-year career with Hewlett-Packard, in technical marketing and communications assignments. He previously worked several years in atom bomb testing and the USAF. He holds a BSEE degree from the University of Notre Dame and MSEE/Adm from Stanford University. Minck is newsletter editor for the National Conference of Standards Laboratories, a global metrology organization. He is the author of numerous published articles and application notes and was co-author of a laboratory manual on microwave measurements.

John Minck's "Inside HP" Narrative, NOW on this Website ===> CLICK HERE

acro_off Click here to download John Minck's Narrative - The 115 pages document is a 4 Mb PDF file.



HP 9825: "The Story of
the Little Computer That Could!"

By Steve Leibson

Steve Leibson is an experienced hardware and software design engineer, engineering manager, and design consultant. He spent 10 years working at electronic systems companies including HP’s Desktop Computer Division, Auto-Trol Technology (graphics workstations), and Cadnetix (EDA workstations) after earning his BSEE cum laude from Case Western Reserve University. At HP, Auto-Trol, and Cadnetix, he specialized in the design of desktop computers and workstations, especially in the area of system-I/O design. He then spent 15 years as an award-winning technology journalist, publishing more than 200 articles in Microprocessor Report, EDN, EE Times, Electronic News, and the Embedded Developers Journal. He served as Editor in Chief of both EDN and the Microprocessor Report and was the founding Editor in Chief of the Embedded Developers Journal. Leibson has published two books on microprocessor I/O that were used as university textbooks for many years. He is an accomplished speaker, having given many presentations including day-long technical seminars on embedded topics at Microprocessor and Embedded Processor Forums over several years. Since joining Tensilica a year ago as its Technology Evangelist, Leibson has published several articles and spoken at conferences to acquaint the industry with Tensilica’s unique approach to SOC design. Leibson is an IEEE Senior Member.
Steve was inspired to document the history of HP's early desktop computers (www.hp9825.com) while visiting a used book store that was going out of business. On one shelf, he spied a 1962 catalog from Non Linear Systems detailing the line of available digital voltmeters, many of which had BCD interfaces used to drive printers (and later, computers). He realized that the central idea, the reason to document HP's desktop computers and focus of the Web site, was the positioning of the HP machines as instrument controllers. The result was his Web site.




MEASURE Magazine - Wrapping it up

Dave Kirby, and all the MEASURE editors

The last issue of MEASURE magazine was created in June, 2000. It is a huge and valuable source of information, tracing 61 years of company history. For 37 years, MEASURE magazine, whose subtitle was "A magazine for Hewlett-Packard people", told HP stories about people, products and philosophy. It often conveyed HP values and the HP Way.

MEASURE magazine was an internal HP publication. The "Wrapping it up" issue was distributed to every HP and Agilent Technologies employee in May-June, 2000. Some copies can be found from time to time on the second hand book market, but every issues of MEASURE magazine have been collected and scanned by Glenn Robb. They are available as searchable PDF files, ready for download on Glenn's web site.




Inventions of Opportunity: Matching
Technology with Market Needs.

Introduction by William R. Hewlett.

Most of this book consists of reprints of articles that were published in the Hewlett-Packard Journal from its beginning in 1949 to 1983 (date of edition). Introduction written by Bill Hewlett begins by:

A panel of senior Hewlett-Packard engineers and scientists selected the articles on the basis that at the time of publication each represented a major advancement in state-of-the-art electronic technology, and in many cases led to a major product line for the company.

A short analysis is then made by Bill for each covered subject and all the copies of the referenced HP journal articles are included. The covered subjects are the following:

  • Design Notes on the Resistance-Capacity Oscillator Circuit (November & December 1949)
  • The High-Speed Frequency Counter (January 1951)
  • The Low-Frequency Function Generator (June 1951)
  • The Clip-on DC Milliammeter (June-July 1958)
  • The Sampling Oscilloscope (January-March 1960)
  • Time Domain Reflectometry (February 1964)
  • The 50 MHz Frequency Synthesizer (May 1964)
  • The Flying Clock (July 1964)
  • A New Microwave Spectrum Analyzer (August 1964)
  • Microwave Harmonic Generation (December 1964)
  • The Quartz Thermometer (March 1965)
  • The RF Vector Voltmeter (May 1966)
  • A New 1 GHz Sampling Voltmeter (July 1966)
  • An Ultra Wideband Oscilloscope (October 1966)
  • Automatic Network Analyzers (February 1967)
  • Computation (March 1967 & September 1968)
  • Solid-State Displays (February 1969)
  • The Fourier Analyzer (June 1970)
  • A Better Laser Interferometer (August 1970)
  • The Hewlett-Packard Interface Bus (October 1972)
  • The HP 3000 Computer System (January 1973)
  • The Logic Analyzer (October 1973)
  • The Fully Programmable Pocket Calculator (May 1974)
  • Gallium Arsenide Field-Effect Transistors (November 1976)
  • The Signature Analyzer (May 1977)
  • A Fully Integrated Total Station (September 1980)
  • High-Speed Plotter Technology (October 1981)




How Hewlett and Packard
Built the World's Greatest Company

By Michael S. Malone

A recently edited book which can be bought from many sources like Amazon.com


Below is a review of the New Book "Bill & Dave" by Chuck House, Exec Dir, Media X at Stanford. ( 04/07/2007 )


"The best book, by far, about the founders of the Hewlett-Packard company. Malone. with an insider's emotional connection and a polished journalistic style, has produced a warm, empathetic portrait of two remarkable men that will likely never be equaled.

Malone embeds their story remarkably well in the context of the times, over a fifty-five year business span of twentieth-century America. Working with hitherto unavailable resources, both from the families and the Hewlett-Packard archives, this book dissects the character of the two men (all the harder for the very private, very shy dyslexic Hewlett) and establishes their worth and contribution in a way that, I suspect, many HP alumni will find incredibly accurate and compelling.

This is not a hagiography — in. places. Malone observes that they did some things on occasion that they later would not tolerate in their employees, avowedly exhibiting a fake product at a trade show, for example. He chronicles some near-misses - learning the lessons of cash flow or ethical behavior or pricing strategies the hard way. And he puts their life evolution into context as well, noting that they did far more than "simply" build a great company — they became business statesmen, national statesmen, and valuable world scene philanthropy, learning all the while throughout long and productive lifetimes. Importantly. Malone interprets Packard's own autobiography for the serious student of HP. Packard wrote a succinct dry account near the end of his life - Malone analyzes many passages and gives them far more liveliness than did Dave himself.

Purists might quibble about a number of factual dates and places, but this is not intended as a definitive history — it is instead a monumental offering about a philosophy of business for which the details are better left somewhat sketchy in order to appreciate the tapestry that was composed. At a time that HP has just become the largest (in revenue) high-tech player in the world, and it has been besmirched by a wayward CEO and a sad Board debacle over pretexting, this book "will help restore the HP pride factor. It certainly has done so for me. Maybe most importantly, Malone re-sets the bar for corporation leadership today to consider longer term perspective — including the distinct possibility that the bedrock tenets of this duo. with their belief in the worth, dignity, and innate creativity of individuals, are more apropos for the 21st century with its offshore, outsourced virtual teams than ever before."




Bill's & Dave's Memos

Edited by Albert Yuen

Bill & Dave's Memo's is a small collection of writings by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. It gives a glimpse into the minds of two of Silicon Valley's best known entrepreneurs. The memos address key issues such as the social responsibility of corporations, a management code of ethics, and the managing of your greatest asset - people. Managers from first line supervisors to executive board members will find this collection of writings a powerful reminder of the purpose of a corporation.






The HP Phenomenon


Innovation and Business Transformation

By Charles H. House & Raymond L. Price


Edited in November 2009, this book can be bought from many sources like Amazon.com


The HP Phenomenon tells the story of how Hewlett-Packard innovated and transformed itself six times while most of its competitors were unable to make even one significant transformation. It describes those transformations, how they started, how they prevailed, and how the challenges along the way were overcome—reinforcing David Packard's observation that "change and conflict are the only real constants." The book also details the philosophies, practices, and organizational principles that enabled this unprecedented sequence of innovations and transformations. In so doing, the authors capture the elusive "spirit of innovation" required to fuel growth and transformation in all companies: innovation that is customer-centered, contribution-driven, and growth-focused.

The corporate ethos described in this book—with its emphasis on bottom-up innovation and sufficient flexibility to see results brought to the marketplace and brought alive inside the company—is radically different from current management "best practice." Thus, while primarily a history of Hewlett-Packard, The HP Phenomenon also holds profound lessons for engineers, managers, and organizational leaders hoping to transform their own organizations.




General Radio "The Experimenter"



The initial idea for the HP Journal came from a periodical called the General Radio Experimenter. The Experimenter started publishing in 1926 (11 years after the founding of General Radio) and was the first periodical of its type in the radio industry.

Thanks to Benjamin Sheena, all General Radio Experimenters, are available for download or viewing from the IET Labs website:





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