[time-nuts] HP Reliability
kb8tq at n1k.org
Sun Feb 14 22:08:38 EST 2016
I can indeed think back to the 70’s and at least somewhat earlier than that. Without naming names (and getting
everybody mad), there is a pretty long list of companies that had a good thing going through the 50’s and 60’s.
I worked for several of them. Life was good. Big money was made in markets that who ever it was commanded some
insane market share. That list includes companies in the US and a *lot* of other places.
Thirty to forty years later I look at the entire list and every single one of them was in trouble. Another ten years
later, they are gone or they are in worse trouble or they have re-organized to the point they have no relation to
the original company. Each time the stories come out, it sounds like it happened to just one company that somehow
“lost it’s way”. The real answer appears to be that what happened happened to all of them and it did so over a fairly
No I don’t want to get into adding names to the list. My only point is - a company that was great and that is still
here in any sort of recognizable form is doing far far better than 90+% of its “peers” back in the old days.
> On Feb 14, 2016, at 8:31 PM, Jeremy Nichols <jn6wfo at gmail.com> wrote:
> Up to roughly the mid-1970s, even ordinary mortals, HP employees, could fly first class if you were traveling on company business for HP and the flight was longer than 3 hours. Even I, an lowly process engineer, included in a shopping trip "back east" to Boston and Philly, got to fly first class. HP sent five employees on this shopping trip—God only knows what it cost. That was then, when HP had more cash than it knew what to do with.
> On 2/14/2016 4:48 PM, Wes (N7WS) wrote:
>> I was never with HP but I bought (using Hughes Aircraft and US government money) megabucks worth of HP Instruments. The whole facility bought millions more. The local Tucson HP sales office had a salesman assigned just to Hughes. They showered us with catalogs, app notes, training programs, seminars and I even traveled a few times to attend programs elsewhere. We paid for our own airfare and hotel, but breakfasts, lunches, dinners, girly shows, etc were on HP. In discussing travel expense reporting with the rep, unlike Hughes where every penny had to be accounted for, he said his reporting consisted of counting the money in his wallet when he left and counting it again when he got back. The difference was his expense.
>> Wes N7WS
>> On 2/14/2016 4:05 PM, Jeremy Nichols wrote:
>>> I was with HP 1972-79, when it was still a great company. The vertical integration was such that there was a joke about HP plant site landscaping, which always seemed to feature ferns. The reply was , "We're making our own coal!" We not only had packaging engineers but made our own cabinets. We made our own integrated circuits; I made the photomasks for those ICs in the Santa Clara Division (02, the old Frequency&Time Division) in building 51-Lower, next to the line where the counters were wired. Good times, free coffee.
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