Skip to comments.Hewlett Packard Could Have Been Apple, But It Made 5 Poor Decisions
Posted on 02/01/2013 9:53:34 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Back in the 1970's Steve Wozniak worked for Hewlett Packard designing its hit product, engineering calculators. At night and on the weekends, often in his HP cubicle, he tinkered on a little project that would one day become the Apple I computer.
Woz designed the hardware, circuit boards and operating system for the Apple I.
Woz took his pet project to HP and "begged" them to manufacture the PC, he told Georgia State University students on Wednesday.
"Five times they turned me down," the Atlanta Business Chronicle quotes Wozniak from his lecture.
When Steve Jobs saw the Apple I, he recognized its potential.
Jobs didn't say, "Oh my gosh, let's start a computer company," Wozniak recalls. "He said, "Let's start a company to build one little part a printed circuit board, so people can assemble a computer. Let's build it for $20 and sell it for $40."
(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...
Business Insider is a little late with this story.....has been known for years....:)
They were the world leader in the best instrumentation, bar none. Somewhere along the line (maybe around the time that brilliant Carley Fiorina became CEO?) they decided to “frack instrumentation!” “Them ink cartridge sales on cheap-sh!t cheap printers will make us a goddam bundle!”
And so they went. Sold instrumentation to Agilent; they still sucked on their computers, but they made a bundle on HP Inkject supplies! I had one of their printers. Wirelesss, oh boy! Didn’t work with Apple at all, scanner software was bug-ridden and it was a POS...trashed it and bought an Airprint EPSON....seamless joy!
And apple could have been Microsoft
but Bill Gates is The Borg
I think you are right. It might not be 5.
Meanwhile Agilent is doing fine. You can’t swing a cat in my lab without hitting something made by them.
It was called the Altair and it was in the garage where MicroSoft started. HP had the right to first dibs. Gates had buffaloed IBM about DOS because he hadn’t bought it from the Seattle Computer Company yet. The HP guy said “why would ordinary people want computers?”. DOS was installed on the Altair and the rest is history.
One thing to remember is that Wosniak was trying to upset a world dominated by big iron computers like IBM and CDC. Even the entrepreneurs of the day saw little market for personal computing. I remember hearing Ken Olsen, founder of DEC, saying he could not imagine why anyone would want a computer in their home. He was telling the truth.
I call it ‘Big Company Syndrome’
The man who invented the photocopy process that eventually became Xerox was turned down by Eastman-Kodak, RCA, IBM and some others, basically telling him, “You’ve got a nice little trick, there, but we know what our customers want and they don’t want that.”..........
Kinda fun to look back....:)
A Short History of MS-DOS
Known variously as Seattle Computer 86-DOS, IBM Personal Computer DOS, and Zenith Z-DOS, MS-DOS was developed by Seattle Computer Products for its 8086-based computer system. The MS-DOS history is intertwined with the general development of software for 8086-based computers.
In May 1979, Seattle Computer made the first prototype of its 8086 microprocessor card for the S-100 bus. There were brief discussions with Digital Research about using one of Seattle Computer’s prototypes to aid in developing CP/M-86, which was to be ready “soon.” Although Seattle Computer was considering using CP/M-86 when it became available (expected no later than the end of 1979), there were only two working prototypes of the 8086 processor card, and it was felt that both were needed in house. Therefore, there wasn’t one free for Digital Research.
Microsoft had already started a strong 8086 software-development program. The firm was ready to try the 8086 version of Stand-Alone Disk BASIC, which is a version of its BASIC interpreter with a built-in operating system. During the last two weeks of May 1979, this BASIC was made completely functional using the hardware that Seattle Computer provided for Microsoft. Seattle Computer Products displayed the complete package (8086 running disk BASIC) in New York the first week of June at the 1979 National Computer Conference. (This was the first-ever public display of an 8086 BASIC and of an 8086 processor card for the S-100 bus.)
Seattle Computer shipped its first 8086 cards in November 1979, with Stand-Alone Disk BASIC as the only software to run on it. The months rolled by, and CP/M-86 was nowhere in sight. Finally, in April 1980, Seattle decided to create its own DOS. This decision resulted just as much from concern about CP/M’s shortcomings as from the urgent need for a general-purpose operating system.
The first versions of the operating system, called QDOS 0.10, were shipped in August 1980. QDOS stood for Quick and Dirty Operating System because it was thrown together in such a hurry (two man-months), but it worked surprisingly well. It had all the basic utilities for assembly-language development except an editor. One week later, Seattle Computer had created an operating system with an editor, an absurdity known as EDLIN (editor of lines). A primitive line-oriented system, it was supposed to last less than six months. (Unfortunately, it has lasted much longer than that as part MS-DOS.)
In the last few days of 1980, a new version of the DOS was released, now known as 86-DOS version 0.3. Seattle Computer passed this new version on to Microsoft, which had bought non-exclusive rights to market 86-DOS and had one customer for it at the time. Also about this time, Digital Research released the first copies of CP/M-86. In April 1981, Seattle Computer Products released 86-DOS version 1.00, which was very similar to the versions of MS-DOS that are widely distributed today.
In July 1981, Microsoft bought all rights to the DOS from Seattle Computer, and the name MS-DOS was adopted. Shortly afterward, IBM announced the Personal Computer, using as its operating system what was essentially Seattle Computer’s 86-DOS 1.14. Microsoft has been continuously improving the DOS, providing version 1.24 to IBM (as IBM’s version 1.1) with MS-DOS version 1.25 as the general release to all MS-DOS customers in March 1982. Now version 2.0, released in February 1983, has just been announced with IBM’s new XT computer.
KO turned out to be right, although not in the way he thought. He said all you needed was a terminal hooked into a big machine. So now you have a handheld hooked into the “cloud”. Yes, those have local processing power to run apps but in reality all you need is comm software to talk to “something else”.
I agreed with him. Why would anybody want a PDP-11 in their home?.......
For use as a space heater on cold nights.
According to Obama, they didn't build anything.
You haven’t live until you’ve used a TOS.
Not to mention Xerox.
A dude I met at a tavern once, offered to give me a miniVAX.
...and a damn good one, too!..........
I guess they couldn’t imagine that people would use computers to print guns, among other things.
I’m with you
I bvought one HP computer- The secondary drive bay was welded shut so you could not install a second drive. For the entire time I owned it my 2nd hard drive was hangin by the wires
To remove a broke flobby drive I had to break apart the front plastic. there was a weird port in the fron that NOBODY made anything for...
When I needed drivers the tech support people acted like they were from a foreign country and didnt understand what I wanted - I knew more then them- it was like they contracted with the first company from Inda in the phone book
Total POS and not even their printers are any good anymore. I bought an inkjet all-in-one and it would shake so bad I thought it was going to bring my desk down
A much more accurate description is: "Spun off the instrument making divisions of the company, which then adopted the name Agilent." Every Agilent employee, on the day of the spin-off, had been a Hewlett-Packard employee the day before.
It was a difficult adjustment for those in Agilent to give up using the "Hewlett-Packard" name. Hewlett and Packard had founded and grown the company making very well-respected Hewlett-Packard instrumentation for decades.
The decision was evidently based on the fact that the computer side of the house needed the recognition of the Hewlett-Packard brand name for the computers and printers more than the instrumentation side of the house needed the name.
#6. Hired a dumb broad that knew nothing about HP to be the CEO. She ran it into the ground. So much for her thinking HP was “just a printer company”.